I Moved Away from "Remaining in Him"

It all happened so quickly. I moved away from the "remaining in Him" part. Yes, I still believed that Jesus is the Son of God. It was the part about "doing as He says" that had become difficult. I chose to become detached from the Vine, and I shut myself off from friends, family, community and church.

After several weeks in this social vacuum, I knew something was not right inside. Feelings of abandonment and rejection began to trigger pain. My life spiraled into a hell of drugs, booze and sex. I started thinking about death. Part of me wanted to just call it quits, but another part knew that I had come too far to give up.

Then the songs started coming back. One of the songs was, "Love Lifted Me". The tears flowed as I repeatedly spoke the words. I was so thankful I had learned this song as a child so that now, years later, I could be blessed by it. When nothing else could help, the unfailing love of God kept lifting me. In faith, I repented of my sins and asked God to help me find the centre once again. I thanked Him for the close friends that I could reach out to.

The next Sunday, I arrived at church to find that we would be participating in communion. What a privilege this was going to be. I knew I was ready to participate. As I was preparing myself to take the elements and thinking about how marvelous God's grace is, a picture appeared in my thoughts. In the centre was a circle of bright yellow. On the left was a black shape, and on the right was a bright red one. My focus shifted to the yellow and red. The Holy Spirit was showing me that it was through the shed blood of Jesus that I could approach the bright throne room of God with a clear conscience. God's love lifted me away from my dark sinful behaviour, held me firmly kicking and hollering through the grays, and ushered me to the foot of the cross where my life could be washed whiter than snow. I was being helped back to live in that safe centre place: the yellow light of God, the red blood of Jesus and the orange fire of the Holy Spirit. My branch was once again being nourished from the Vine.

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in Me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire, and burned." John 15:5-9

Thank you, Jesus, for loving me and not letting go.

~ Ken

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