As a believer I have been going through seasons of purging, God has been pruning my character, my attitude and behaviour to be more like him. What does this look like?
Before I was saved to Salvation in Jesus Christ, I had a lot of character, attitude and behavioural problems. I was a very negative person, I didn't really like people or myself, I didn't like being told what to do, I didn't like authority. I was very angry, I swore a lot, watched porn like it was nothing, constant arguments and fights, I drank alcohol and did all sorts of drugs, I lived a selfish life that was all about me.
This is what God had to work with and I used to ask why me? I don't deserve this and that's where I just had to accept his grace and during this process God started working on all my negative ways.
The first thing God did was get me into a Christian based rehab where I chose to start working on all my behavioural problems. I lived with 20 people so I was around people all day who would keep me accountable with my negative behaviours.
In the rehab I was in there was a saying that "Iron sharpens Iron" and it was so true because who's better to pull you up on your negative behaviours then people that have had those behaviours themselves. God was sharpening me through other people and it was painful.
Hebrews 12:6 NIV
"My Son do not make light of the Lords discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son."
I hated the pruning at the time but now I look back and I wouldn't change anything. God loved me so much that he wouldn't leave me where I was He wouldn't leave me in negativity, depression, hatred, disobedience and he has taught me so much through trials that I would never have learned on my own.
I learnt how to deal with my anger without aggression, I learnt the basics in submitting to authority, I stopped swearing and slowly started to be more positive towards people and myself and my whole outlook on life changed because of the hope Jesus was giving me.
God's love is so deep that no-one will ever understand it, He is changing me from the inside out and I can't thank him enough for that. He saved my life and gave me a reason to live and it blows my mind that he does this for all his people that he loves. A God so uncomprehendable that he is working in the hearts of all his people that have lived, are living, and will live. Words can't describe how big God really is or how much he really loves us.
I will never be perfect, I still sin, I still make mistakes but God forgives and for some reason that I do not know he still chooses to work through a sinner like me. Right now God has me serving in a Christian based rehabilitation program with 14 guys in it.
I get to speak into their lives and help them in their journey just as God's people did for me, these are the sort of things that God does because he is Love and if he can work in me he can work in YOU!!!
Shane Rowney lives in Tweed Heads NSW, Australia. He is currently studying Ministry.
Shane Rowney's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/shane-rowney.html