Over the course of my life I’ve always been told to read the word of God ever since I was a little boy. But sadly enough, there my Bible sat on the book shelf collecting dust till Sunday. I wish I would’ve put more time into reading it. I know that if I had, my walk would’ve been so much more fruitful. It’s sad to think that until recently I have just begun to understand the importance of reading and knowing the word of God. I’ve definitely been blessed to have Godly people in my life to get to this point, though. But looking back there are numerous times where I can see that when I pressed in and really got into the word of God that I was not only able to encourage and strengthen myself but those around me. If there’s anything I can say, it’s this; that the word of God is power and it’s important to take it to heart. Not only for our lives but for those who are lost. They need to know the love and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ. You can’t give what you don’t have. The word of God is our weapon to defeat and destroy the kingdom of the wicked one. Ephesians 6:17(AMP) “And take the helmet of salvation and the sword that the spirit wields, which is the word of God”. It is our job as believers in Christ Jesus to arm ourselves with the word of God so that we can encourage and strengthen and help arm others to do the same. Since I’ve been getting into the word, I’ve had break throughs in giving, in lustful thoughts, in anger and it’s only by standing on the word of God, and I’ve been able to help others in those areas as well.
Matthew 13 had not come alive in me the first few times I had read it. I have been saved since May 1, 2011, but over the summer, and even in the fall when i had came back to it, there was always a sense that I was missing something. I had understood that Jesus spoke in parables for a reason, and that there was a true meaning for every word, and every line, and at one point I convinced myself I understood completely. When I had listened to Pastor Rodney speak last week, I had my own personal revelation that the soil being sowed was actually the heart, my own heart. I knew it was kindergarten for some people but I’m aware of my own walk with God.
Thinking back upon my life it’s very easy to notice the different types of soil I happened to have. When I was saved last year, immediately after it seemed like I was set for life. I was going to save everyone I preached too, instantly, while calmly walking down the narrow path to heaven. But I did not know enough of God’s word, and became easily disheartened when things did not work out, or when I could not reach someone the way I thought I could. This was because my heart was rocky soil. I had accepted the word with joy, but had no roots to keep me upright. This slowly became a heart among thorns, and after a few months, without proper washing of the word of God, I found one foot in my old sinful life, and the other trying to hold on to as much of the cross as my own will would allow. Two months went by until it felt like my hand was about to slip for good.
It wasn’t until my friend Josh had talked with me and told me about RBI, and until I made a snap decision to get up and go, that I felt the thorns were being cut. A week later, I left on my birthday, December 30, with Josh and two other friends of mine to New York to see them preach with a bullhorn to a crowd of people, and immediately left on a 20 hour ride to Tampa. And it wasn’t until a couple weeks ago, that I found my soil was good, and its getting softer every day. Praise God!
Things that would cause fear now get confronted and conquered. People who used to be a thorn in my flesh now are greeted with love.
I like these changes. Do I feel like the Lord is finished with me? Oh my, no! This is just the beginning. I’m just getting to the place where I can be used. That’s not because I’ve attained anything; I feel woefully unprepared in myself. That’s a good thing. That means I must lean on God for everything. I’ve learned to listen to the Holy Spirit and hear His voice as He guides me through situations.
There is a saying at the River: Preparation days are never wasted days. Being at RBI has been the best experience for me. For anyone who feels a call into full time ministry, or just wants to learn more of the Bible, the anointing and the Holy Spirit, The River Bible Institute/River School of Worship is for you.