Personal Discourse: Forgiven and Forgiven-ness

I walk along a narrow way in Light from Above,
showing me the path I must follow.

At first, in my youth, all the world was brightly lit.
I played in the park; rode my bike to the ends of the city and back.

In adulthood it was even brighter, in a different way.
I discovered and enjoyed so many things: dancing, drinking, sex, fine clothing, automobiles, career advancement, praise from others, friends and acquaintances, co-workers, travel on expense accounts, people, places, and things to possess. Despite my religious upbringing, I had become amoral and hedonistic. Life was to be lived fully. All the pleasures of the flesh to be experienced.

Then one day my world fell apart.
It did not happen all at once, no; it came in stages.

First came crumbling of my financial life.
I recovered somewhat and continued along my path.
I did not notice the creeping graying of the world.

Then came the collapse of my most intimate and valuable relationship, and divorce.
I stiffened my spine and marched on along the path, indulging in what pleasures I could find.

The light seemed to be failing. My world was darkening. For several years I searched for the light. I though it might be found in some philosophy not yet familiar to me. I tried Roscricianism and thought it was good but alas, it did not have the fullness of light I sought. Nor did the Bhagavad-Gita, the Koran, The Book of Mormon, the philosophy of Alan Watts, numerology, astrology, Buddhism, Bahai, Mensa, nor any of the other teachings I studied and practiced nor any of the groups I joined. Not one person was able to turn up the light for me.

It happened in my 'middle years', age 40.
I experienced the sudden indwelling of Christ from sincerely repeating a prayer heard on radio to which I was listening, driving along on East Broad Street in Columbus, Ohio.

What led me to this moment was what I had seen in some people I met. I saw people filled with joy, living in peace and contentment. I wanted what they had. One of them told me to listen to a certain radio station and i would learn all about the source of her joy.

It took a while before it happened.
When it did, the happening was instantaneous. From one second into the next, I knew I had become a "new creation".

Suddenly my world was bright again.
I stumbled forward and sideways, looking for the narrow path I knew must be there.
I was seeking, as I always had, instant gratification.
It did not come.

Many confusions and distractions kept me wandering in different directions.
I met other believers and learned but my carnal nature was still alive, (and is still) yearning to have my salvation and my life in the world all in one package. The more I tried to do this, the dimmer became the light in my life.

In another instantaneous event, the Holy Spirit came upon me and within me.

This time, my world did not become brighter, but even darker. Yet, through the gray I could discern a distant, narrow path with a light shining at its end. I trod resolutely toward the light. I found the path at time extremely narrow and hard to follow. It traversed over gorges, and along cliff edges, and over boulders I could not climb.

My guide pushed me onward.
"You can not go around the obstacles", He said. "You must go over or through."

I knew that all my past sins were forgiven, but what about the new ones? What about the ones where I stepped or fell off the lighted path into the darkness? What about the ones ahead of me? For surely, I have not, nor will I ever reach perfection as an earthbound being.

For many years now I have hewn to the lighted path though losing my balance at times and falling off. But when I fall of, I confess and repent. HE forgives me again and erases it from His memory and His book as if it never happened.

And He will do this again and again, unless I commit the unforgivable sin against the Holy Spirit. For some years this worried me. I thought, 'What if I do it unintentionally?' This question came from one who watches, hoping I will stumble, fall, and find myself once again in his grasp.

It is not possible to sin against my Savior without intent. There are no accidental sins in my life. EAch and every one was and is a product of my human desires or failures. It is no longer possible for me to commit the sin against the Holy Spirit. The light is too strong on the path. I cannot go back. I cannot 'unbelieve' now. It is too late for me. I am born again in Spirit and cannot enter into the earthly life I knew and one cherished.

The lighted path goes through some magnificently beautiful places, mostly because of His people I meet along the way. As He commanded, we love one another. Through no effort of our own, irrespective of appearances, position, circumstances; we love one another and lift each other up to be blessed by Him.

As I walk this path, I realize that I have not only been forgiven, but I live by faith in a state of forgiven-ness; His ultimate gift to me. No matter what I want, think, or do, He forgives me. You might say I have a license to live in any manner I choose.

But there is a catch to all this.

If you are a believer, or entertaining thoughts of making a decision to trust Jesus Christ as your Savior and give your life over to Him, He will free you. Then, when you open your heart's door to Him, the Holy Spirit will invade your mind. It will be soft, gentle, and easy at first.

As you allow Him to do so, He will begin filling you with light and He will remind you of all the grace you have received and continue to receive. He will never condemn you; He will convict you. His light will shine outward from you and illuminate some other pilgrim in his walk.

Most importantly, each time you fall, He will remind you of what Jesus suffered; how He fell on the path to His crucifixion. And then; then He will remind of the victory of Jesus over the final enemy and that the victory is passed on to you because of Him.

He will remind you how much God loved you when you were dead in the spirit and how much He loves you NOW in your spirit made alive. And because of His love for you, He will teach you how to love Him. As this progression of light and grace builds in you, you will see that the ONLY light is the light on the narrow path. Everything you used to know is in darkness.

Sadly, the light you receive in your spirit, enables you to see the darkness of the world which you are still in, but of which you are not a part. That is the catch. He lived, suffered, died, and rose again to redeem damned world.

When you become close enough to Him, you will see all to clearly that the world is in darkness and that vision, that knowledge and understanding, will tear at your spiritual heart.

You have the light. They do not.
You see. They are blind.
You hear His voice. They are deaf to it.
You feel His presence. To them He is historical or abstract or a myth. No matter how hard you try, you cannot MAKE them see, hear, feel, and know.

Yet, you will feel compelled to try.
Because HE has given me so much, I overflow with desire to share His love when and where He allows me to so do.

I have a daisy with only one petal on it.
All the 'He loves me not' petals have been pulled away.
Only the 'He loves me' petal remains.
He loves you too.
He asks only that you believe in Him and love Him in return.
All else will follow as you follow Him.

©2011 Wayne Hepburn

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