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I began my life in a Christian home and in a Christian church. We had daily family devotions and were always at church every time the doors were open. So, like a well-indoctrinated devotee, I went to the altar at age 12 and gave my life to the Lord. But, did I? For 10 years, until age 22, the Lord allowed me to wander in dry places. I had no assurance of being saved. I didn't know what it was like to be in God's Will. I knew nothing of feeling God's love. Since I didn't feel it, neither did I receive it or give it. I was miserable, still a slave to sin, and differed nothing from an unsaved person (Galatians 4:1). At age 22, God caused me to live a small portion of 2 Kings 19. He caused similar events concerning Hezekiah and Sennacherib to happen between my public school supervisor and myself. In this process, He exposed the rebellion still in my heart. As I was in prayer over a letter that my supervisor wrote to begin dismissal proceedings against me, the Holy Spirit zapped me hard with verse 22. He told me loud and clear that in going against my supervisor, I was going against God as well, who placed my supervisor over me. After repenting, God miraculously intervened, preserved my job, and taught me that all His Word can be lived literally as well as spiritually. He taught me that living His Word is the same as living His personality (2 Peter 1:4) and having a living relationship with Him. Through relationship instead of religion, He created an award-winning person and teacher out of me, to love my wife, my children, my students, my neighbors, and my church. I've learned that being a Christian is growing in levels of relationship with God that deepen, broaden, and heighten all at the same time. I want to be like Abraham--God called him His friend. If the woman with the issue of blood needed only to touch the hem of His garment for virtue to flow into her, I position myself on His lap every night and wrap myself in His garments for His virtue to flow through me all night long. This same way, He is with me all day long as well. Salvation is beginning a relationship. Sanctification is deepening the relationship. I gave up religion to have an intimate relationship with God.

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Hi Val!
I just wanted to send you a warm greeting and tell you that I have total confidence that God will answer the cry of your heart. He longs to bring you into a close, personal, intimate relationship with Him. He does want to see in you a desire for Him. I believe He is giving you that desire. It is part of Him wooing you in His love. At some point you will have to count the cost. Do you want Him above all else? Would you do anything He asked you to do? For me, He had so thoroughly convinced me of His goodness that giving up doing my own thing for being willing to follow Him was like giving up a plate of garbage for a wonderful banquet of the best food imaginable. As soon as you make that decision to trust Him, make Him first in your life, and to live the rest of your life for Him, you will become His child. He will make sure that you know you are His. This is a journey and He is Lord of the journey. I pray the God will bless your journey today and that soon you will make the decision for total committment. He is so faithful! He proved it at the cross. In His love, Katie
Considering where you think you are in your Christian growth, I am praising God for you. Going back to your first reply that describes the deep yearnings of your heart, Who is it (do you think) Who put those desires within you? (Notice I hint with the capital "W" !!!) You wonder if you are IN God's Will and IN His Purposes right now? Be puzzled no more--here's a verse that plainly says it all (and it is emotional and relational, not religious): 1 Thessalonians 5:18, "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."
Dave K.
Hi Dave,

Goodness...you certainly started something didn't you!! I love it. I thank you for keeping on me about all of this. I think I am getting the hang of it. I converse with God throughout the day and I take some time in the evening to pray. I just get confused. I feel as if I am praying for the same thing and I thought I heard someone say..(not in here) that God doesn't want us to pray the same prayer all the time...or more than once? Maybe I'm wrong...(real good chance of that) As far as my church, I'm sure you are right. I have just been fearful that the reverend , who is one that I should be looking to for guidance, may try to influence me wrongfully. Is that stupid of me to feel that way? Regardless, I will find a church to go to..whether it be that one or another in my area. There are a number of them in my town. And I have discovered a book that I had called The Book, which is a modern day translation..I think...of the Living Bible. I have begun reading that with great understanding. I thank you ever so much for all of your help! This does my heart good to be here and to interact with you all! God Bless!
Hi Katy!

I am so happy about the outpouring of compassion and understanding, and guidance from everyone. I think Dave is right...although I didn't even think about it until he suggested it ...God has instilled desires inside of me to have a relationship with him. As I have said in previous posts, I feel as though a weight has been lifted off me when I come in here. I feel at peace. I have all of you to thank for that as well. God Bless You !!
Val said:
Hi Dave,

Goodness...you certainly started something didn't you!! I love it. I thank you for keeping on me about all of this. I think I am getting the hang of it. I converse with God throughout the day and I take some time in the evening to pray. I just get confused. I feel as if I am praying for the same thing and I thought I heard someone say..(not in here) that God doesn't want us to pray the same prayer all the time...or more than once? Maybe I'm wrong...(real good chance of that) As far as my church, I'm sure you are right. I have just been fearful that the reverend , who is one that I should be looking to for guidance, may try to influence me wrongfully. Is that stupid of me to feel that way? Regardless, I will find a church to go to..whether it be that one or another in my area. There are a number of them in my town. And I have discovered a book that I had called The Book, which is a modern day translation..I think...of the Living Bible. I have begun reading that with great understanding. I thank you ever so much for all of your help! This does my heart good to be here and to interact with you all! God Bless!

OK, your statement, "I feel as if I am praying for the same thing and I thought I heard someone say..(not in here) that God doesn't want us to pray the same prayer all the time...or more than once?" sounds more like religion than relationship to me. Ever have children of your own who kept asking for your help on the same thing over and over? And, if you're anything like me, you stopped and helped every time because you LOVE them, knowing there would come a day when they think they DON'T NEED you anymore. BUT they then return after some teenage years to ask for help once again--only this time they marvel at how wise you are! Where did we ever get the idea that God is a Great Impersonal thing out there in the distant somewhere? Wasn't it God that created loving earthly mothers and fathers, and so wouldn't HE know how to and be better than anyone else at PARENTING? While my children were in their teenage years, I proactively set their sights ahead by telling them that as they got older and wiser and better able to think on their own, I was not regressing, but I too was going in the same direction of growth.
Dave K.
Dave Knauss said:
Val said:
Hi Dave,

Goodness...you certainly started something didn't you!! I love it. I thank you for keeping on me about all of this. I think I am getting the hang of it. I converse with God throughout the day and I take some time in the evening to pray. I just get confused. I feel as if I am praying for the same thing and I thought I heard someone say..(not in here) that God doesn't want us to pray the same prayer all the time...or more than once? Maybe I'm wrong...(real good chance of that) As far as my church, I'm sure you are right. I have just been fearful that the reverend , who is one that I should be looking to for guidance, may try to influence me wrongfully. Is that stupid of me to feel that way? Regardless, I will find a church to go to..whether it be that one or another in my area. There are a number of them in my town. And I have discovered a book that I had called The Book, which is a modern day translation..I think...of the Living Bible. I have begun reading that with great understanding. I thank you ever so much for all of your help! This does my heart good to be here and to interact with you all! God Bless!

OK, your statement, "I feel as if I am praying for the same thing and I thought I heard someone say..(not in here) that God doesn't want us to pray the same prayer all the time...or more than once?" sounds more like religion than relationship to me. Ever have children of your own who kept asking for your help on the same thing over and over? And, if you're anything like me, you stopped and helped every time because you LOVE them, knowing there would come a day when they think they DON'T NEED you anymore. BUT they then return after some teenage years to ask for help once again--only this time they marvel at how wise you are! Where did we ever get the idea that God is a Great Impersonal thing out there in the distant somewhere? Wasn't it God that created loving earthly mothers and fathers, and so wouldn't HE know how to and be better than anyone else at PARENTING? While my children were in their teenage years, I proactively set their sights ahead by telling them that as they got older and wiser and better able to think on their own, I was not regressing, but I too was going in the same direction of growth.
Dave K.

OK, so here's another reply--sorry--can't help it. Learn how to recognize satan whispering in your ears that you are no good and that everything you do is stupid and ungodly. If what you are thinking is condemning with shame in it, than that is satanic, because Jesus does not condemn (Rom. 8:1). If the Holy Spirit is admonishing, then there is always love and softness and acceptance of you--with NO shame. Jesus bore ALL our shame in every way you can imagine by hanging naked on the cross. And like shame, confusion too is satanic.
I love that you keep talking to me Dave. Please don't stop! Thank you! I have always been insecure so I guess I have some life changes to go through. I appreciate all that you say and it helps me immensely! God Bless You!! I'm going to go read my Book!

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