From "Battle Weary" to Renewed, Abiding in Christ and Ready to Serve Again
I would describe my spiritual condition when starting The Journey as “battle weary” and “beaten down”. I’ve known the Lord since I was 10 years old. I spent my teenage years active in a youth group; surrendered to the ministry after my service in the Marine Corps; and served as a church planter and pastor. However, after years of spiritual battles and warfare trying to serve the Lord on my own and in my own strength, I became overwhelmed and defeated spiritually. I still loved the Lord and desired to please him, but the emotional and spiritual wounds my family and I suffered became more than I could bear. As a result, I became reluctant to expose myself to further suffering through service to the Lord.
The Journey has had a tremendous impact on my spiritual life and spiritual wellbeing. This course of study has helped me “reconnect” with amazing love and grace Christ has for all of us. The spiritual wounds I have been carrying with me for years are healing and my desire to once again serve the Lord on the spiritual battlefield has returned.
The greatest lessons I have learned through this process is the importance and necessity of “abiding in Christ” and the need for brothers in Christ to stand shoulder to shoulder with through the battles we face. My mistake had always been the belief that I could handle anything the enemy threw at me on my own. Whether this was pride, self-confidence, or good old fashion ignorance is irrelevant. The Journey has taught me the irreplaceable need to stay grafted into Christ for His strength to fight and win the spiritual battles we all face. The relationships I have develop with my fellow brothers in Christ through the Journey has provided me with a band of brothers who I know stand with me and I with them.
It is my belief that there are certain mile posts in life that mark key turning points in our lives. For me, The Journey is one of those mile posts. It is the point in my spiritual life when I was wounded and broken that God, in His infinite love and compassion for me, sent his servant, Rich Trayler, to cross my path so that, through him, God could nurse me back to health.
I highly recommend The Journey to everyone, but especially to those who have been trying to go it alone. The Apostles had Christ, but they also had each other. The Journey will teach you how to serve the way Christ intended, through Him and with others.
May Christ bless and keep you.