"Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary use words." - St. Francis of Assisi

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Shaking the dust off my feet...moving forward

I’m not going back, I'm moving ahead, I'm here to declare to You my past is over.
In You all things are made new. Surrendered my life to Christ, I'm moving, moving forward.”
(Hezekiah Walker)

   This is my new “go-to” song. My life-song, so to speak. One comment that people have always made about my writing is that I tend to be very transparent; very honest about what I’ve gone through and where I am. So, today brings me to another transparent moment that I need to share.

  Contrary to what you might think, I do not have life all together. I am not some super-spiritual guy who knows what God wants and lives every day with a holy cloud following me around with little birds singing hymns and praise songs around my head. When it comes to things spiritual, I have many faults and failures. If God did not have the grace that He does, Jimmy would have been lost long ago. Do I read my Bible every day? Nope, and I am sorry to admit that, but it is true. I read it often, but it isn’t necessarily every day and I am working on that. Do I tithe? Well, yeah. That is a biggie with me, and I do tithe, however occasionally I get behind and catch up rather begrudgingly. I could go on and on, but need to get to the point of this tome.

  My personal walk with God has been suffering for a few years now. And it’s time to get back on track. I allowed circumstances to dictate my faith-walk and relationship with my God and I’m not a better person for it. Just a weary traveler and pilgrim. There are days when I feel as if I have lost my way and other days when I have not cared if it was lost or not. Here comes the part that is important to me and to you.
   For a period of time, I was in a place that should have been one of love and acceptance; however, it was a place where I was lied to and lied about. It should have been a place of humility and guidance; however, it was a place of manipulation and ego. It should have been a place where growth of skills and abilities was nurtured; however, it was a place where mine were slowly squelched until there was no place for them. Slowly, over a period of time, I allowed the joy of my salvation to be taken away. And, on the inside, I cried and reached out to God, but could not find Him because I had allowed circumstances to dampen my communication and love for Him. And, then in time, I didn’t care any longer.
  Over a period of time, when I was no longer in this place, I began to feel some stirrings in my heart and soul which I knew was God calling me back. I listened and took a few steps. Then, more stirrings and a few more steps. Little by little, I began the walk home.  But, it was a hard journey because there was so much heavy, heavy baggage that I continued to drag behind. This baggage has continued to hold me back in various degrees in various degrees. I have wanted to hurt as I was hurt and to cause the sleepless nights that were given to me. Basically, I wanted revenge. Yeah, I know this is against all things scriptural and Christian, but that’s what I felt that I needed in order to be free.
  No more. I must move on and quit looking back. I have to continue growing in Christ and using my gifts and talents for His glory as much and as often as I can…..wherever I can. I must depend on my faith and not my feelings to live. I must not compare myself to others, because I will be lacking. Christ is the one to whom I should look for, not any other person. I am finding the joy of my salvation again, and not let anyone or any circumstance steal my joy again. And it’s working. As with Jacob of old, I have pitched my tent where it needs to be. I’m shaking the dust off my feet. And I’m reading my Bible and for now, not books by a lot of different people who have their own take and ideas about the scriptures. All I need now is my Bible and God. He’ll tell me what it means and what I should do.
   Now, for my encouragement to you. Don’t make the mistakes I did. If you are in a situation, a relationship or circumstances where you are not growing in Christ, where you are not growing personally or spiritually, where you feel squelched and unimportant to the whole, then get out. Find yourself a quiet place and reconnect with God and ask for His guidance. Don’t lose your Joy!
   Please pray for me as I continue my journey (which, you may remember, began back at Lent), as I will be praying for you who may read this.

  And for today my friends, this has been the gospel according to Jimmy.


At 9:15 PM, Blogger Alisa said...

Wow! You could have been writing about me. I have gone through too many joy sucking days in my life. Not been too crazy about the changes God wrought in my life and sadly, rebellion has been my choice of how to handle things. satan loves to steal our ability to worship and in my rebellion, I turned it over to him.

No peace and too many sleepless nights brought me to my knees and back into worship.

Like you, I too decided to move forward but at times, have found myself in muck that keeps sucking me down.

The good news is that I have chosen to lift my hands in surrender and let God lift me out of the muck and back on solid ground.

I will be praying for you!

At 9:18 PM, Blogger Tommy Kennedy said...

"Shaking the dust off your feet" is a well known concept. But we often miss the other concept in the same passage
Matthew 10:13 "If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you."
You can have peace even after disappointment or rejection. Let your peace return to you!

At 10:10 PM, Anonymous Jimmy Cochran said...

Thank you, Alisa and Tommy. It's encouraging to know people have faced the same thing and are now encouraging me along the same path. And, Tommy, I can feel the peace coming. Thanks be to God.

At 6:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We can relate! Thank you for your post...I just made this statement last night to a friend "shake the dust". We feel the Lord is separating the real believers from the false christians. Its as if the Lord is saying "the old ways are no longer working, I am doing a new thing. We are excited to see what God has in store, but I have to admit it feels like we a wandering sheep. We feel deflated when we visit churches in our area. I just completed a record entitled all things new. We were recently in a pretty hot fire and God delivered us. He is making all things new for us on earth for sure! Anyway, thanks again for your post...encouraging to know we are not alone.


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