that at some point you have strayed from what was planned? What began
as a journey of conviction and passion has changed; not suddenly to alert
me to what was happening, but slowly over the years. This continued as I
went on my merry way until I no longer recognized where I was (or who).
Chuck Swindoll (Insight for Living) once remarked that such is the norm for
those who stray from the faith.
passion and fervor to “do” all I could for my King. Over time, and with
guidance from many of the teachers I heard on the Bible Broadcasting
Network, God showed me that it was not “doing,” but DONE thanks to the
finished work of Christ. The grace that God extends to all of us (Ephesians
2:8-10) is a GIFT and something that cannot ever be earned by any act or
deed. We are saved from ourselves and our efforts by the completed work of Jesus on the cross; a work that God put an ‘AMEN’ to through the resurrection of His Son. We, as clay in the hand of a potter, vessels in process and that is something I’d forgotten.
was an unholy trinity, it would be me, myself, and I!). This brought no little
satisfaction on my part as I added one activity after another to my “faith.” A
vibrant and active prayer life where I kept track of requests shared with me
(or that I felt led to pray about without a request) in a series of small
notebooks. As the prayer was answered, I would mark through each, giving
thanks to God for His faithfulness. Over time, it became tedious and
time-consuming as the list of people and items that were on it began to grow ever larger. I had forgotten that it wasn’t Tony who was carrying on this ministry, but the Spirit within me. Trying to do this in my strength doomed my prayer ministry to failure which pleased the enemy to no end. At some point years later, my prayers consisted of a rote recital of a few things, each changing with various situations I was confronted with or that affected my wife outside.
“... Be sure to carry out the ministry the Lord gave you.” NLT