“For You have been my hope, O Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth.” Psalm 71: 5
Jesus has walked deep with me and been an active force in my life ever since I can remember. When I was very young He taught me His ways of love, grace, and forgiveness. He also taught me about His church, the Body of Christ and how it should function. All this was long before I ever encountered a bible or a church, but when I got a bible from the Gideon’s at school in fifth grade; I discovered that the written word only served to confirm all that Christ had already been revealing to me all those years.
However, when I finally went to some “churches” when I was about 14… I discovered that much of what they taught and practiced went directly against what Jesus and the bible had shown me. Instead of finding a fully functioning Body of Christ where every member was valuable and important…I found a few “men” called Pastors who dominated all the sharing and ministry while all the other members sat quietly in their pews and chairs. When I publicly questioned the Leadership about this tragedy they dismissed me very quickly and I was told to not come back there ever again.
This all happened shortly after my earthly father hit me in the head with a shovel and left me for dead on the side of the road. My father did this because he did not want to hear about Jesus from me and I could not back down from sharing the gospel with him. Looking back I am glad this event happened because from that day forward he would abuse me no more.
Being on my own and homeless at age 14 was not easy, but the Lord was still with me and I never went hungry or without some sort of shelter. Sometimes that meant dumpster diving and a cardboard box, but His grace was sufficient as always to get me through the most difficult times. From age 14 til 17 I bounced around finding fellowship wherever I could with like minded followers of Jesus. What I could not find in “church” buildings I found at dinner tables and living rooms. However, Jesus quite clearly let me know that in my future I would be used by Him to help start and empower relationship based, Spirit led, home fellowships.
Now I am nearly 54 years old and still following and serving Jesus as best as I can. My youth and childhood was difficult to say the least, but Jesus brought me through all the rapes and abuse and kept my feet solidly upon the Rock. I honestly do not remember a time when Jesus was not right there with me. I love Jesus with all that I am… and now I am blessed to be able to be in relationship with many others who understand what it is to actually be the Body of Christ. I relate to many fellowships now that function freely as led by the Holy Spirit. The things Jesus showed me as a child are now coming true for many people all over the world. I cannot begin to adequately express how thankful my heart is to see the fulfillment of my childhood thoughts and dreams. For those of you out there who have yet to find fellowship and a functioning Body of Christ.. I say pray and don’t give up. Jesus hears and will answer your hearts desire. …And everyone out there please know this: You are loved and accepted among the beloved. Jesus will meet and lead you outside of the walls of traditional religion. Do not change who you are in order to fit in with “man’s” system of doing “church”. In the true Body of Christ you will fit in just the way you are. You are created uniquely by Him. Don’t give up, don’t surrender, and do not compromise what the Spirit is leading you to be.
Kirk Out !