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Sep 14, 2009

Spiritual Starvation

I once heard a story of a plane that crashed in the Antarctic and the survivors had to hike back to civilization over a period of months. They survived by eating the people who died in the crash. One gentleman actually told of how he carried someone’s arm in his back pack and “snacked on it” as he hiked along. That’s creepy! I suppose if it meant eatsurviving to see my wife and kids another day I might chew on some dead guys arm. I probably wouldn’t refer to it as a “snack” later in life, but that’s just me. 

I’ve watched about five different reality shows where people were competing for huge sums of money and one of the things they had to do was eat disgusting things. We’re talking spiders, crickets, grasshoppers, roaches, dead rats, and even buffalo testicles! I watched one guy on “Fear Factor” eat three-week-old moldy, maggot-filled cheese. I do believe it was the sickest and funniest thing I’ve ever witnessed. When people are desperate, they’ll eat almost anything. 

I personally hate the dark meat in chicken. It makes me want to throw up. But put me on an island for a month with nothing but rats and bats and I promise you I’d not only eat dark meat chicken, but I’d love it! I don’t care for okra in the least. It tastes like Vaseline-pellets to me. Offer me fifty thousand dollars to eat it and I promise you that I’d develop a taste for it real quick. 

I’ve been a Christian for about twenty years now, and in that time I’ve experienced the four corners of denominational thinking. I’ve been to Catholic churches, Methodist, Episcopalian, Baptist, Nazarene, Assembly of God, Four Square, Calvary, Victory Outreach, Church of Christ, and about fifty other denominations that range from cold to hot. You name it, I’ve been there. I’ve seen formal gatherings, informal gatherings, contemporary, traditional, charismatic, and just plain dead gatherings. 

The one common denominator that I’ve noticed in this vast religious landscape of Christian beliefs is that they are all full of hurting and hungry people. Not just hungry people - starving people! Over the years I’ve watched different Christian “Fads” come and go. I’vestarve seen twitching, barking, laughing, shaking, falling, hopping and dancing. I have found that you can always gauge the level of spiritual starvation in people by what they’ll ultimately accept as food. What will they put in their spiritual mouths, chew up, swallow, and call food? I do not believe that there has been a time in my entire life quite like the one we are living in now. There has been a famine in the Church for so long that people are showing signs of extreme spiritual malnutrition. Christians today remind me of the little starving Ethiopian children we see on the “Feed the Hungry” commercials. Their spiritual bellies are swollen from a lack of nutrition, their bones are showing through their skin, and there are flies buzzing around their faces. 

At this point I believe that most Christians, out of sheer desperation, will eat just about anything that’s given to them. Gone are the days of meat and potatoes. Anything will do for today, as long as it fills the stomach. I watch sincere-hearted people running from dumpster to dumpster eager to find just a scrap of whatever to ease their spiritual hunger pains. People will literally travel hundreds of miles to attend a conference where supposedly the fire of God is being poured out. They’ll wait in line for four hours and give away money that they don’t even have, only to leave blaming themselves for not having received the fire they had heard so much about. 

I recently watched a series of videos of a popular preacher in Florida whom everyone is raving about. After watching about an hour of clips I was mortified by what I was seeing. Iseriously thought it was a clip of some wacky character that “Saturday Night Live” had come up with to make fun of Christians. What astonished me was how easily all the people in the audience were led astray by something so obviously screwy. The things this guy said, the claims he made, the ridiculous things he taught, and his silly slap-stick antics were so unbelievably whacked out, it was astonishing to see how blindly people followed him. 

This guy is a convicted sex offender. He’s covered in tattoos (of terrible things). He has piercings all over his body and he claims that God tells him to punch people in the stomach and kick little old ladies in the face. He also talks about these insane visions he claims to have had that go against ALL of scripture. The supposed visions are so positively wacky and off the wall, that they remind me of something my three-year-old daughter would make up when she is in an extra goofy mood during story time. It would be hilarious if it weren’t for the audience full of spiritually emaciated people believing every word of it. 

This is just one of many examples that I’ve found in recent days where evidence of starvation is running rampant in our religion. I understand these people because I used to be one of them. I remember my non-Christian friends trying to lovingly talk sense into merevival when I was following another popular “healing evangelist” of the day (the other guy). Even they knew that this guy was a crazy charlatan. My friends asked for verified proof that people were really getting healed, and I remember secretly not wanting to investigate that because I wanted so badly to believe it was really happening the way he claimed it was. I felt that asking for proof would be a lack of faith on my part, and I feared losing a blessing from God if I went down that road. It was honestly more fun to just believe it was true. It was fulfilling. I suppose I knew in my heart that things were grossly exaggerated, but I didn’t want to lose that excitement I was feeling in my spirit. 

I remember that giddy feeling that would come over me when I would hear the crazy stories about visions and encounters with God that my evangelist guy claimed he had. Though it did sound a bit “off” to me, I was just happy that something was happening somewhere to someone; even if it wasn’t happening to me. I think that’s where the giddiness came from. There had been drought and famine for so long that my heart would leap at the mere suggestion of rain. Also, in a twisted way, it both gave me hope and took my hope away at the same time. It gave me hope because I thought, “Who knows, if this is happening to him, it could happen to me.” It took my hope away because when I came back down to reality, I knew that it wasn’t ever going to happen to me. It was just too big and, quite frankly, too crazy. 

I remember driving for three hours and waiting in line for another six hours just to get a nose-bleed seat at one of his crusades. I didn’t want anything else other than to know that God was real and He noticed me. I remember driving home after the service feeling like I missed it. I totally understand spiritual starvation to the point where I can recognize that hollow look in someone’s eyes from a mile away. It’s an unfulfilled hungry look that is clouded with desperation and self blame. This is the look I see in most modern day Christians. 

The institution of Church, in my opinion is a watering-well business. They dug the hole, wellthey attached the bucket to the rope, and they set up the pulley and crank system so people could get water, and they distribute it to all who come. It’s a great business because everyone needs water. The problem is that when people actually encounter Jesus, he causes them to overflow with living water from within and they never thirst again. That’s not good for business! 

I think institutional Christianity ultimately survives on keeping people in a constant state of starvation and dehydration. “Living Water” cannot be distributed to your customers when you’re in the business of selling water. That’s suicide. Arrowhead wouldn't last a day if people got wind of this Jesus guy who could make them not thirst anymore. 

I remember pondering that “Living Water” verse in the Bible years ago and secretly wondering why I was still thirsting. That passage alone was evidence that I was missing something, and I think it’s evidence that most of American Christianity is missing something. People don’t travel three hours to hear a popular preacher speak if they’re not thirsty. They don’t pool their money together and send their pastor to Florida in hopes that he’ll bring home the fire unless they're starving to death. People also aren’t ready and willing to believe any crazy thing when they are well fed and satisfied. These things are the result of severe hunger.  

When people don’t know how God feels about them, or they suspect that He has less than favorable feelings towards them, they begin to hunger and thirst. When people don’t know where they stand with God at any given moment, or they attempt to calculate exactly where they stand based on their performance or lack thereof, their spiritual stomachs beginwater to growl and their lips become dry and chapped. When people think that Christianity is about NOT SINNING, their spiritual bellies begin to swell from lack of nutrition. When they believe that they were put on this earth to complete a job that God created for them to do, they ultimately find themselves crouched down waiting for the food truck while flies buzz around their lips. . 

The moment I realized that He loved me just the way I was, EVERYTHING left me in an instant. My hunger and thirst were gone immediately and I never again attended another conference or "how to" workshop that the watering-well system of Church had to offer. I never even searched the book store for a Christian book to read. Every single behavior that I had lived with up until that point, ended the day I realized He and I were fine. I can honestly say that I thirst no more. Jesus was right.

 

Darin Hufford


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Comments

  1. Gravatar
    Silas

    Thanks Darin! An excellent article. I felt a tinge of embarrassment as I read your post because I've done exactly the same things like driving hundreds of miles to hear and/or meet a renowned Christian speaker being spiritually hungry.

  2. Gravatar
    paul

    ouch! I remember many healing services where some evangelist would come and basicaly lecture us on faith then of course take an offering (I guess it was a guilt offering)and proceed to heal all the sore neck,backs and what not while the people in the wheelchairs for some reason still were in their wheelchairs.I remember our pastor bragging the following sunday about how the church gave 10,000 dollars to their ministry. Needless to say that was the last time I attended a healing confrence or that church for that matter. Aman Darin

  3. Gravatar
    MRAE

    If I depend on others to feed me, then I will have to choke down whatever they give. However, when I feed myself, I can have whatever I want. I am saying that believers have some responsibility in the matter. If we seek, we will find. If we don't seek, well, that is what happens with many. They are satisfied to let someone else warm up their bottles for them. In that case, they have to drink whatever is in them. I have often asked myself why people don't want more of God and to really develop their relationship with Him. I think it boils down to righteousness. The Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. Knowing that you're right with God is the gateway to the rest. Then you can have peace and simply enjoy Him, knowing that He also delights in you.

  4. Gravatar
    Michael

    Underneath our need to feed at such weird troughs, and our blind continued doing of same, is our IC religious mindset that deems questioning or even discussing the soundness of a Leader's views and actions, bad and most decidedly un-Christian. Amens only please!

    And that ain' t just happening back there in IC land - like alot of our old institutional wardrobe, I think and fear we bring that right out here with us in "Free" land. That you go up to the mountain and tell us what He said and God save us from leprosy if we dare to question what you bring down mentality.

    At this jumping off point for FBN with a new book and prophesies of Darin becoming the next Tony Campolo perhaps we might turn the accurate judgement of what we and they did and still do in IC land upon what we do here, too.

  5. Gravatar
    lionwoman

    Darin, I hope and pray that your book coming out will serve as a catalyst in our churchianity culture. I hope it will make a significant difference in the religous landscape. Perhaps one day we will have others to closely fellowship with in our F2F life. As of now, hungry people have their compasses pointed toward AZ for early next year :-D

  6. Gravatar
    Michael

    I hunger too and I too have been waiting to feed in AZ next year - but another part of me says depending on second hand eating from a bizarre bald headed guy in FL is in some manner no better than waiting to second hand eat from a cooler much more saner bald headed guy in AZ. The only real function of either one of them or any teacher is to point to the real food, give up their headiness, and get the heck out of the way willingly or no. And the function of me, the lost and hungry hearer, is to find someone with good directions, metonia, and then go eat straight up with no more dependence on any other than as directional reminders. My fear - for me and them and us - is in just changing who I am eating secondhandedly from, in or out of IC, instead of how I am being fed and eating period.

  7. Gravatar
    Myso

    Don't judge Todd. He's done mistakes and I don't agree with everything he's ever done but he has an honest sincere heart and many things about him are real and geniune. There are lies about everybody. You don't have concubines and some people think you do. I think searching the charismatic side of Christianity might be a try to feed the hunger for a REAL loving God. But one can be perfectly safe and know the truth about God's heart and still search more of the spiritual realm. Why not? The supernatural is supposed to be part of the Christian life, otherwise Jesus was kidding quite often and meant things he said only symbolically. But everything should be based on real loving relationship with Him. That should be the core. And all the other things are just a bonus that make life more fun.

  8. Gravatar
    Mary

    "The moment I realized that He loved me just the way I was, EVERYTHING left me in an instant. My hunger and thirst were gone immediately..."

    This is how it happened to me. When I realized that "it was finished" I sat down. .. 35+ years of evangelical Christianity caused me to become an unbeliever. And in giving it up, He found me. Living water sprung up. No effort on my part. I am no longer seeking. He found me. I no longer need to eat spiritually. It is already inside me waiting to be lived out. Waiting to be recognized for what it already is inside. Metanoia (repentance)... opening and renewing my mind to it daily.

  9. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Myso, I'm not judging Todd for the mistakes he's made or for the roomers circulating about him. I've watched several sermons from him and they couldn't be further away from scripture. I've witnessed myself the stuff this guys says and it's beyond crazy. It’s downright insane. He has claimed that almost 30 people have been raised from the dead all over the country because of his ministry, yet not one single shred of evidence supports that. His claims get wackier and wackier as he goes. His teachings are amazingly twisted and weird. I’m using him as an example of what starving people will eat. This guy is so obviouslly off base and unstable it is astonishing that any thinking person with the smallest understanding of the Bible and their faith would follow him one single inch in life.

  10. Gravatar
    Liz

    Excellent article and so very true. We spent thousands of dollars going from conference to conference.... been there done that and won't do it again.... We've got to go straight to Jesus. He is all we need. Christ is everything, our all in all. In Him we live and move and have our being.

  11. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Yea Liz, I remember those days. I can't even relate to that today. I'm so glad that chapter of my life is over. It's nice to not be seeking anymore.

  12. Gravatar
    myso

    Darin, I've read Todd's biography and read a book by him and most of it was OK. I've also seen a few sermons where he spoke on faith and divine healing and that was OK, too. He was quite young then. Ordinary guy, not many tatoos, maybe none. I know concrete people that have received obvious blessing from his ministry and books. Maybe the Florida thing got to a crazy point, I don't know, I'm not a USA citizen. I admit there are many weird things about him now. And I totally see the point of your blog. It's just not black or white. Yeah, why has everything supernatural have to become crazy and wacky? It makes all miracles look weird. I love the fact that Jesus did amazing things like walking on water but still remained a normal human. Quite a good God we have, don't we?God is love, that's it

  13. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    myso, yes we are lucky to have our God. I think Americans have a way of going a little crazy when it comes to the supernatural. It always turns into a circus. The sad thing is that neither Benny Hinn nor Todd Bentley have EVER been able to produce one single shred of verified evidence of an authentic healing. NOT ONCE. Americans are so hungry spiritually that they'll believe anything as long as it makes them feel better for the moment.

  14. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    These healing crusades operate on a "Prophets of Baal" psychological level. Everyone gets super emotional and thinks stuff is really happening, then no one has the guts to really check into it because everyone wants to believe so badly that miracles took place.

  15. Gravatar
    Sue

    So true. No desire whatsoever to attend conferences or bookstores to drink sugar water. How heartbreaking it is to see so many running after the wind. Breaks my heart. Thanks for writing this fantastic post.

  16. Gravatar
    Sue

    I think another part of the problem is that people are taught that to deny yourself means to abdicate yourself from yourself, and that it's a holy thing to do. Children who are molested very young, there is a strange thing that goes on whereby pedophiles seem to be able to sniff them out better as kids somehow abdicated already, ripe for the picking. To embrace the evil and the good within yourself, to accept yourself because you know that He accepts you, is to enter into the most amazing dance. You begin to get very picky about what you eat. You want fresh fruit and vegetables, not processed unfood. Pure water, not contaminated. Thank you again for this post, it's really hit my heart this morning :(

  17. Gravatar
    David Backus

    Myso. Jesus tells us that we shall know them by their fruits. If such an evangelist was good and right in the beginning, he still would be. Fruits means the end results or yields. What is the end result of this guy in question? a ranting lunatic kicking people in the face in the name of Jesus! the end result of Benny Hinn? Someone who teaches its ok to cures your enemies (and actively DOES it on stage). The proof is in the pudding where the true colors show, eventually.

  18. Gravatar
    myso

    David, I can't agree with the "he still would be". Saul was a God chosen king, but the end of his reign was horrible. David killed Golliah, but in the end killed Uriah and stole his wife. Solomon was the wisest and greatest king on the planet, built the greatest temple of God and ended up worshiping idols. Everyone can fall. If Darin Hufford leaves his family and starts preaching that God hates us I will not burn his books and tapes that brought healing into my life. And regarding Todd, I've read evidence that convinced me about many healings. But I think it doesn't matter at all if people believe it or not. The point of this blog is not to be dependant on crusades and conferences. Not to try constantly feed the hunger with something fancy. And that's a great point.

  19. Gravatar
    David Joseph Brncik

    Yea Darin i can relate to, like i have not listened to anything religios in like years. I know that God is good and the institution is wrong. The living water is a well that no walls can contain.

  20. Gravatar
    debsfree

    I heard this guy on Fox & Friends this morning. He was very real. He said that the promise (in the last election)of "hope and change", in reality, is a promise of "rope & chains". I just thought that his opinion fit rather well with this blog.
    I WISH I had ALL the moo-la I've spent on books,conferences, retreats,seminars & etc... Thought of selling the books on e-bay but I can't bring myself to see some other misguided soul go through the crap I did. Best place for it is with the years of notes & study materials that are rotting in the dump.
    THANK GOD for His inexpressible GIFT! & for the FBN. Thanks Darin.

  21. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Yea, I had a big dumpster party with all my thousands of dollars worth of books and tapes. I felt like giving it away was like giving a kid pornography. I made sure it was in the trash and stayed in the trash. I once spent 300.00 on one Video from a ministry that promised to teach me how to heal the sick. It didin't work so I spent another 300.00 for their second video:) I'm not a fast learner:)

  22. Gravatar
    David Joseph Brncik

    Darin thats hilarious!

  23. Gravatar
    lionwoman

    Darin, thanks for saying this. Sometimes, I feel like I am the slowest study on the planet. But, I guess it takes us all a while to get it. I hear you, there have been things I just threw away rather than foist off on some other unsuspecting soul.

  24. Gravatar
    MRAE

    The first one on my burn pile is "Becoming a Vessel God Can Use" and others like it. I mean, how long does it take to say, "Show up" or "Love people"? (I am reminded of God using a donkey to speak for Him which He still does.) These books are more worried about the outside of the "vessel" than what is inside which is Perfection. Just pour it out and see what God does. Like Darin says, if we loved people, we would not need to worry about being usable or buying materials to show us how. We would just do the stuff.

  25. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Yes MRAE, that one should make a beautiful fire:) I remember preaching on that about fifteen years ago. I can't believe I did that.

  26. Gravatar
    Karen

    I was a partner with Todd Bentley....I felt like the most gullible person alive at first, but I see now that it puts me in good company. LOL!

  27. Gravatar
    Alexander

    I think we get that from Moses. We read that Moses went to the mountain talked to God and came down with a "word". So we flock to this conferences hoping that the speaker has been with God and can do the same.

    Then you read a book and lo and behold the speaker is saying thats the way he got the fire. He went to some conference, waited in line, and felt the wind of the spirit ect. So its no wonder we all go out and do the same thing , in hope that we could be next.

  28. Gravatar
    Stephanie

    This was great Darin. So true. We all fail...but love never fails..if we could just get that into every fiber of our being..

  29. Gravatar
    Tash

    Darin, I just discovered this site. I love you post here. I thing you're so right about starvation.
    I can find conferences tiring and quite boring at times. But are you totally against any conferences? I first discovered the message of pure grace at a "conference" and my life has never been the same since.
    I also know many people that have had genuine healings - from small local ministries mind you, not flashy Todd-style ones. Sometimes we could be in danger of throwing the baby out with the bath water - so to speak - and not believe in any miracles, supernatural healings, etc. Some of the greatest miracles I've heard about happened in the poor "low" societies such as amongst Aboriginals. Surely we shouldn't discount miracles altogether because of a few showy charlatons?

  30. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Tash, I'm not against conferences at all. I also believe in healings and miracles. I've seen both. I'm just speaking here about how desperate people have become in this generation to find something to feed themselves spiritually. Many of the conferences we see today are a whole lot of nothing:) They've become like spiritual dumpsters for the homeless. They are synthetic processed food that isn't even real. That doesn't mean I don't believe in conferences. This post is really about the condition of the American Christian in general. It's not about not believing in miracles or healing or conferences. All of those things are great and real.

  31. Gravatar
    Sue

    Darin, thank you so much for this post. Until now I didn't know why I stopped wanting to go to ''church'', I realize now that I'm not thirsty anymore. I used to buy books constantly, searching for a closer relationship with God, I went to revivals and different churches. Some ministers would say ''God is here'', but I never felt Him. I've been ''free'' for about 3 years now, but until today didn't realize why church was the last place I wanted to be. I have the living water! Count me in as another slow learner :)

  32. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    It's so nice to not be hungry anymore. I never thought this day would come. When people invite me to hear this or that speaker who's in town, I'm not even tempted.

  33. Gravatar
    Shannon Brown

    "The moment I realized that He loved me just the way I was, EVERYTHING left me in an instant. My hunger and thirst were gone immediately..." ME TOO!!!! I LOVE what you wrote Mary, my experience was very similar to yours. In the midst of my famine, I thought I would always hunger and thirst. It was just the way it was and I came to accept it. I started losing hope that it could be any different. Oh how His love has quenched my thirst and fed my hunger!!

  34. Gravatar
    "chick"

    my sister gave me this link to go to im not even a christian but once was about 5 years ago. i still have my doubts about my decision to not be one but im fed up with all of it now i just try to live well and do my best for my family and friends. i still keep an open mind and appreciated others honesty and opinions thanks

  35. Gravatar
    jenny

    Never been into the kind of thing you describe; always been put off by such shows. Also slow to believe glowing christian "testimonies". But still been just as hungry and thirsty. Was taught to "feed" on the "word" and that those who "came to Christ" would never thirst, but I could never see how that worked in with getting up each morning and going about the ordinary often hard days of life until I recently realised it was through walking through those days in awareness of His love and grace, not trying summon up faith in Him by some act of will. For many years that was where I was; just saying to the Him "I believe because I choose to believe though I do not understand ...". A very painful place to be. He met me there though with His love.

  36. Gravatar
    Samuel

    I used to set up these style of conferences, where the expectation level is very high. Each conference was an exercise in getting to critical mass, usually about a third of the way in we would have a sort of explosion moment, where everybody is relaxed and into the worship, then they would do the ministry bit, because peoples defences where down and their intimacy levels up. At the first one I ever did I said, 'this is it, this is the real thing ?' Conferences can be
    great, but a lot of it is just flooding your mind with spiritual stuff and getting a high. The same effect can be achieved by just worshiping God solidly for a few hours. The best times are when God does stuff outside the meetings through you, that is very real, not always big, but real all the same.

  37. Gravatar
    What the bleep

    I used to buy books constantly, searching for a closer relationship with God, I went to revivals and different churches.

    http://www.energytalkradio.com

  38. Gravatar
    jenny

    "When they believe that they were put on this earth to complete a job that God created for them to do, they ultimately find themselves crouched down waiting for the food truck while flies buzz around their lips. ." This idea of a pre-planned job has bothered me along with finding "God's perfect plan for my life" and the idea of God sending suffering to teach me things to prepare me for it all, so I decided I was a very slow learner (hence a lot of suffering)and have suspected that I missed this plan (I'm 55). What you are saying here and elswhere is such an eye opener.

  39. Gravatar
    Delivered and Free

    Excellent article. I completely agree with everything you have shared here. Jesus said if anyone was hungry or thirsty to come to HIM, and I think that's just the heart of the matter right there. If we come to HIM we will NOT be starving and ready to eat garbage in our desperation. If we come to Him we will be filled and will have "twelve baskets full" of leftovers, so to speak, to share with those around us which will also be truly nourishing "food" and give them a "taste" of the REAL source that can fill them up, thus encouraging them to go to HIM. Not to televangelists or churches or fads -- just HIM!! He is real and alive today -- He is not a code word for "system of beliefs and rules" but a living God ready to meet with us in private one on one if we just go to HIM.

  40. Gravatar
    Jo Ellen

    "Is that all there is?"

    That's the one thought I usually had after going to a conference. I always felt like the sober person who was acting just a little bit drunk since everyone else seemed to be.

    Somehow I ended up in ministry, teaching a bible study that points people towards their freedom in Christ. My ultimate goal is that they don't need to go runnung off to bible studies...or conferences, for that matter...just that they know how complete they are in Him because He loves us so dang much!

  41. Gravatar
    Jo Ellen

    By the way, the ministry is "Created to Eat!"

    Thought that was appropriate, giving the subject of your excellent article.

  42. Gravatar
    Ovo

    There's an extreme of being socially stuck in the church culture.Here people are cut off from a personal experience with The Lord.There is another extreme where we abandon the church for the failure of it's culture and end up veering in a tangent,isolating ourselves from the assembly of the righteous,and attempting to survive as a hand without the rest of the body.
    How do we create the right balance?

  43. Gravatar
    Russell Macfarlane

    Ovo - Jesus will guide and draw us together if we put closeness to Him first. '...and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ'. (1 John)

  44. Gravatar
    Jo Ellen

    Ovo--I agree with Russell...our fellowship with the Father always leads us to fellowship with every believer. It's my experience that while I may not be participating in the IC hooplah, I still have great love and enjoyment of those who are YET I also experience being shut off from them BY them. They don't quite know what to do with this sister who isn't showing up for the weekly serving of goulash! I think we can leave the building without leaving the folks that are still committed to it.

  45. Gravatar
    Laurie P

    I believe that I made the mistake of equating social fulfillment (people approval) for spiritual fulfillment (the approval from God that I already had), and couldn't figure out why my quest was so unsatisfying (laughing at myself now). Kind of like trying to squeeze a drop of water out of an empty bottle while shaking off the drops from the gushing, clear, sweet, waterfall that keeps splashing you.

  46. Gravatar
    Fred

    Great artical Darin, could not agree more....

  47. Gravatar
    Michael Jehlik

    Truth...The ultimate truth...we go seeking for it in every building, function, and corner of the world. How insulted our Father must feel when we are basically saying that His taking up residence in us, via is Holy Spirit, will just not do. Then off we go to "the next best thing." Think of it: The Almighty, All Powerful, All Knowing, the I AM, became the lowest and most hated man (to all those who "knew better") to offer us a chance to be forever yoked with Him and the Father for all eternity. Agape doesn't come close to that kind of love and devotion. No human words can express it. And we go running off to hear all sorts of doctrine when all the while the Father's Spirit in us is saying, Here I AM. No need to go. No need to look around the next corner. He who has ears to hear...

  48. Gravatar
    Jetters

    I love eating fruit specially apples, great nourishment but I also understand that a few might be bad or not be ripe. I guess the motto is---don't judge the taste of all apples just because you got a bad one. I'm getting hungry for truth. spiritual food can be found in many places. the living water is always in the hearts of true believers when Jesus dwells within.

  49. Gravatar
    Scott

    Again a very transforming article. I agree alot with the conference going thing.Here it is. I've been to a few conferences in my life that changed me forever because I was truly touched by Jesus. The rest disipated being more excitement than anything of substance. What I'm saying is the holy spirit could actually lead you to go to a meeting.In 1989 I was led to go to one I was dead set against, in fact at the time I was done with conferences for good! This will sound rediculous to most, but it was a Norvel Hayes meeting. Hated most everything that went on in that meeting, God melted me and gave me a love for a part of his body I had rejected (I dont support,just along with God I can now love them. MEN do use and abuse meetings. Jesus is never a cloud without rain. Only he can satisfy.

  50. Gravatar
    randee

    let me say that as a cancer survivor i give God all the glory for still being here and still being able to continue my life as a husband, father, believer and musician. however during the course of my illness i saw the faith of one of my good friends rocked because i was not healed immediately....funny thing was he took me to a church that had a "cancer ministry"...that night i was rushed to the hospital...it took a couple of years for him to get that God's plan for me was not immediate...as demonstrated by the fact i had chemo bags hooked up to me...He did however have a plan....that does fly in the face of most of the teaching out there...i have struggled with it myself at times... but after this i have come to believe that whatever the course that is laid out...there must be someting that God would like us to learn from whatever we go through...i still don't have the answer on the whole healing thing, i am not defined by my circumstance but redefined

  51. Gravatar
    randee

    i must clarify...i have not struggled with how my healing came about...i have struggled with the fact that the teachings do not reflect what is taking place in real life, that is what is tripping people up...does instant healing take place...i believe it does but you can't put God in a box expecting it to happen the same way for everyone all the time....when doctrine does not line up with real life outcome people get confused
    i lost a number of friends during my sickness because they did not understand how to process what i was experiencing with what they had been taught

  52. Gravatar
    Jennifer

    Thank you for putting this view into words. It's wonderful to see that many believers are out there, seeking for the Lord. It is tempting to want the temporary but deceiving satisfaction (like candy) but is completely unhealthy for our spiritual stomach, if you will.
    There is the difference between religion and living a Christian life - not going to every conference (it does not make you any more spiritual) versus being truly hungry for the Lord and seeing that He is sufficient enough, for "He satisfies the thirsty sould And the famished soul He fills with good." (Psa 107.9) The Lord is really wonderful in this way, as long as we have that seeking heart, He will satisfy and bless us (Matt.5:6).
    Thank you again for your sharing. :) May the all-sufficient grace of the Lord be with you.

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