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By Jeremy Lopez
Some people would question the wisdom of God, but He allowed me to be a free spirit for many years, until my mid 20s. I am so glad He did it that way. I would have been pro-abortion, not to the degree I see going on tonight, but I was after MY own freedom.
Little kids want their freedom too, and they have to learn to govern themselves, or they will be potentially harmed. But good parents, and not everyone has them, teach their children to be careful, smart and wise.
So, when I see these activists (not people and property destroyers) I can "get" their drive. I did have a conscience but maybe that was because I was taught that kindness and respect were important, and I heard that (within me). But I didn't grow up with a rigid rule book, but I did hear about the 10 Commandments, and I was taught how it makes sense.
What I am trying to get across is that I was not religious. Both my parents worked and so I did not get a lot of "homeschooling" because they were tired when they got home! We weren't rich, but I felt loved by the things that were provided for me. I believed my parents loved me.
Not everyone has that. In my late teens, my parents split up for a while. Things in life happen. I became interested in drugs then. I wanted the party life like so many kids do today when parents themselves are so overwhelmed with their lives that it's hard to take care of their kids like they would like. A lot of parents are working to find their way!
God had His Hand on me, I think because I had been dedicated to the Lord. My family was Methodist. I was given a Bible there and was taught to pray - which was the BEST thing that ever happened for me because God did respond to some of my prayers - and I went to Sunday School.
The "born again" experience was not defined there but Jesus was taught. One day, when I was about 8 years old, a Sunday School teacher talked about this wonderful Jesus and after class, I went alone by myself on some stairs and asked God, "Are You really like all that?" It was like the heavens opened, and many years later I realized that that was my born-again experience, because God entered my life to stay. I wasn't born again because I hated myself. I wanted God! I was taught that He loved!
But I wasn't reigned in. I was being exposed to things, and God visited me, but no one talked about Him much. WHY am I sharing all this? BECAUSE THAT is how so many are today - they have been "exposed" but not drawn in, not taught, or activated. In the few places I was, like in Vacation Bible School that my parents were glad to let me go to, it made a big difference in my life. But my zeal was not responded to, because they didn't know.
Seeing and Seeking Miracles
Now LOOK at America today. So many wonder WHY it is the way it is, but I am telling you here! I was not equipped nor are many others. It wasn't until I went out of town to college that I met people who knew the Lord a lot more than I did. It touched my heart and in 1976, I got baptized in the Holy Spirit because this was a Spirit filled group and they had His Presence.
When that happened, a strong change came, and I even discovered that I had a calling! Who would have thought? This party animal had a calling from God! No, I didn't think I was better than anyone, I was clueless and a lot like today's people too, I had a difficult time learning what it was all about. I knew it was more than just a fellowship group.
With the Holy Spirit working in me, I could not go party like I did before, because His conviction was there. I had friends, but they were not interested in what I was going through, which was the Lord, and they didn't understand Him either.
Thank God for Christian radio, because they advertised meetings at churches, and I started to go to them.
In Houston there was a real Smorgasbord! But I learned there was a lot more going on than just what my Methodist Church had taught, but they did ground me a lot more than I realized. But they didn't emphasize the power of God. And I needed that power to overcome and live this exciting life in the Spirit.
I found out I could see and seek miracles, not to be bizarre but to be blessed. I learned that what Jesus taught was still being taught today, two thousand years later! I found the most beautiful worship music and fellowship groups. And I had still a lot to learn, especially when I heard Him tell me my calling. There were not a lot who could train me in those days, but a few years later I learned that there were some who could. When I was trained, then I could move out in my ministry to others, and I learned the skills I needed to hear Him. That is still an ongoing process years later.
God is Personal and Rewards Those that Seek Him
Now I am sharing this, not to tell about myself so much as you don't want to seek me, but you DO want to seek HIM, Jesus! But if you are not exposed, taught, and touched by the Lord, then you will flail around for a while, maybe a long while. I remember one time gong to ER with a couple that were friends of mine, and the husband asked some people in the hospital waiting room, if he could pray for them. Wide eyed, they said yes, and I could tell they had not had personal prayer like that before.
Maybe they had congregational blessings, but they didn't have prayers for them personally. It was a big moment for them. What was somewhat casual and common to us, was very special to them. THAT is the kind of thing that changed me and set me on my path of seeking with those rewards, which are great. It makes a difference!
When people see flippant prayers, most turn away from that, because a non-real or non-holy prayer will lose a lot of people, even turn them away. Now we say "we need Revival"; I am talking to you about that here!!! God needs you!!!
God is PERSONAL. And God rewards those who SEEK HIM! And if the unsaved feel rejected by the saved, they don't like them. And it will stir up the spirit of rebellion in them. And what are we watching in society today?
Enter the devil who will gladly take those the Church rejects. And if you want political, they will give you are ride for your money, but faith is not going to take when people are cavalier. It doesn't have to be weird, but it does need to be real to them.
We are not TEACHING people to SEEK to get what they need! And when they learn, they have questions, and pastors can't do it all. We need ALL the gifts of the Spirit FOR the WORKS of the ministry!
If we don't teach and equip that, then we have hollow, if not empty houses. We have no root system so the winds and waves beat on that house not grounded on the Rock. Do you know that a house halfway on the Rock can get greatly damaged when a storm comes? Well, I lived in hurricane territory, so I have SEEN how that works!
Growing in the Lord takes time and effort and energies. The reward is great FOR ALL when people care about others and will share and DO ministry! Do we really WANT to change society? Prayers are important, but our actions are what do it. It's one thing to ask God for change, but it's weak compared to KNOWING WHAT to pray AND DO!
I gripe about a lot of how things are, but that is not all I do. I teach, pray, travail, work, study, and share. I can WISH a lot of things but WISHING won't change much. But if I learn what God wants ME to do, then I will start making a difference. Let's have REVIVAL!
Do you want it?