Have a Blessed day,
Healed of Cancer
“Why have people left my life?”
I can’t underscore the importance of relationships in the Christian life. Let me start off my teaching
with a 3 minute story:
I was pretty wild as a youngster – not out of rebellion but a lack of oversight. My home was a very busy home. My father never had the privilege or pleasure of having a staff help him. I have a wonderful staff, but I still work morning to night with a staff. My momma did not go to school while my dad went to school. My dad was in Bible school. They worked long hours and never intended on having a baby 12 months after they got married. The got married at age of 18; I popped up at age 19, while my dad was still in Bible school. I lived in a dorm room with my parents. Life was crazy and both of them were gone a lot. See, churches like this didn’t exist 25-30 years ago. You had a pastor and he might have a secretary - if your church was really doing good. And that’s it. He did everything. He was superman. He did it all.
Well, that’s the home I was raised in. Mom worked at a jewelry story. And that’s why that independent spirit came so alive in me. I got my own jobs and made my own money. Bought my own cars. I didn’t go to mom and dad and ask for money because I knew they didn’t have it. So, I raised myself. I was living like an adult as an early teenager. I was very responsible, but I didn’t have a lot of oversight on my life. And because of that it led me to make a lot of decisions - with that lack of oversight - that led me down some tough roads and people helped me down there.
When you make wrong turns, the enemy will bring people in your life to reinforce those decisions. So I had some people I was fiercely loyal to that did not add to my life at all. They diminished it. They took away from it. I got a scholarship to play basketball, but it was at a Christian college. But it was God’s big trick He played on me. Long story short, I got saved my first year there. Gave up my basketball scholarship and went to my advisor and entered the Pastoral curriculum. I knew I had a call on my life.
A lot of you don’t know my story. And when I made a decision to follow Jesus, another thing you’ll learn about me, it don’t take me long to make a decision. When I make one it’s made. I don’t apologize. I support my decision. If it’s a wrong one I’ll go back and clean up the mess and say, ‘I’m sorry’ and keep on going. When I made a decision to follow Jesus, I MADE a decision to follow Jesus. I didn’t do what a lot of people do today: they just kind of feel good in a church service and go up and pray a little prayer. That was not it at all.
Mine was a life change. I got up from that alter and KNEW:
> I was going to date a different kind of girl.
> I was going to talk a different kind of talk.
> I was going to act a different kind of way.
I mean when I got up, I was going to head in the other direction. That’s just the way I am. But I had 5 friends that were my partners in crime. Literally. And I knew if I didn’t do something about those relationships, my decision to follow Jesus had NO chance of succeeding. Because I love these guys. I had grown up with these guys. I played ball with these guys. I worked jobs with these guys. And they’re not bad guys. Today, many of them are successful and have families. They ended up in church and done well. I’m not talking about losers. They had NOTHING to do with my future.
And I knew, and I was only 18 years old, I didn’t have a mentor, no preacher… I knew internally that if I did not do something about those relationships, that [my] decision at the alter had NO chance of survival. No chance. Because those guys appealed to my flesh; not to my spirit.
And you’ll have people that will pull the gut out of you and then you’ll have other people that’ll pull the worst out of you. And you can tell what comes out when you get around them. I’m preaching good right now. And these people brought the worst out of me. So I called them and met all of them. I said,
‘It’s over. I love you. I wish you well. But from this moment forward, I’m not going to call you,
I’m not going to come back for Thanksgiving, Spring break, Christmas break and go hang out
with you and run with you. We are going to part ways. I’m going a different direction now.’
Now, here’s the problem with that: I had not already made new friends before I gave up my old ones. So, there is a season of loneliness that most people are not willing to go through. Because what I have found is people so hate being alone, that they will sabotage their future and stay with relationships that do not benefit their purpose just to have somebody around.
[To be continued until tomorrow…]
Ron Carpenter, Redemption World Outreach Church