by Pastor Tim Burt
Deuteronomy 4:29 “But if from there you shall seek the LORD your God, you shall find Him, if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
When I turned 18 years old and moved out of the house, I began my journey of figuring out life. At that point in time, I was mostly focused on survival—how to maintain my car, and how to find, furnish, and provide for a place to live. Beyond that, the rest of my focus was dedicated to learning how to walk out this new freedom of no parental supervision, and how to have as much fun as possible without killing myself. It was a journey—one I think most young adults go through in one way or another.
I grew up in a very religious environment. I am not saying that in a positive or negative way. It started early in my life and over time became me going through the religious motions and events I really didn’t understand. I do remember as a boy and as a young man feeling a deep affection for God and sincerely wanting to know Him. I just didn’t know how to make that happen. The religion in my life wasn’t working. I felt like I was trying to maintain a one-way relationship with God that I eventually began to doubt existed. In all my religious schooling, no one had ever opened a Bible or suggested we read it. Because of that, when it came to the Bible I was a blank slate. I had never read it. I had no biblical references in my heart to draw from. I only knew Jesus was born in a manger and died on a cross. As a young adult, I was occasionally questioned and challenged in what I believed. I was embarrassed that I didn’t clearly know! It became my quest to develop some meaningful philosophical view of life.
It didn’t take long for me to want to ditch the concept of God because, as I said, it was too difficult to maintain a one-way relationship. I wanted to love the God I was taught to love, but had no real idea as to whether He existed. If there was one, he must have been to busy for me. That was what it felt like. So, I began to allow myself to doubt God. I then began to verbalize that doubt. It didn’t take long before I began to philosophize that doubt into my first attempt at professing atheism.
That seemed and sounded good for a while. It surely released me from any guilt. Once I was released from God-guilt, I only had to deal with the guilt others tried to impose on me. I learned how to philosophize and deal with that also. The problem with being an atheist was that even as I talked about it, I didn’t really believe it. Somehow, I knew deep down in my heart that there was a God. I only had to look at the beauty of creation to know that. I didn’t really know what being an agnostic meant so I couldn’t use that term until I understood it. Once I did, I shifted my philosophy and words to accommodate that.
There is much more to tell, but what I really wanted to get to was this—deep down I always knew there was a God but I didn’t know how to come to know Him. The greatest thing I did right, while I was thinking wrong, was to stop saying There is no God. My heart knew there was. I just had to find Him. I stopped saying there was no God and I sought for Him. I would ask others and tell others, I know there has to be a God.
This was the greatest thing I ever did right while I was thinking wrong. It was important because by not denying God, it kept the door open to actively seek Him in my heart. Even while I was living like the devil, I’d be thinking, There has got to be a God.
One day, everything came together as the Lord put the right person in my path—Sharon Page! We stumbled into a conversation about God. She knew the Bible well and could walk me through it for answers to questions I thought about all my life! It was amazing! That helped the lights come on for me. I discovered who Jesus really was and found out I could have a personal relationship with Him and that it was anything but a one-way experience. It changed my life forever!
There are many people out there today that have grown up with what they would view as a religious life more than a relationship with God. They haven’t had their personal encounter with Jesus—the Creator and Savior of their life. They don’t know the feeling of God talking back to them. They want to know the truth. They want to do what is right. They just haven’t gotten to that point yet. Whoever you are, I don’t judge you. I understand you. I was there. My prayer is that during this time, you’ll do the right thing as I unknowingly did. Don’t deny God. Seek Him! Ask Him to reveal Himself to you. He makes this promise this to you: Deuteronomy 4:29 “But if from there you shall seek the LORD your God, you shall find Him, if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
If you do this, I can assure you that one day you will have met God. He is the one who put the desire for you to know Him in your heart. He will lead you to Himself. And when that happens, it won’t be your parent’s or priest’s, or pastor’s experience. It will be your own! I pray for that wonderful day to come! The reason I’ve been writing this past 19 years is to help people like you, discover and learn of the magnificence of God’s love toward you while you continue your journey and quest! And don’t be mad when I say this but… Jesus is who you will encounter in the quest. That’s for you to find out!
And for those today who do know Jesus but want to draw closer to God, or have questions or need help from God, the answer is the same. Seek Him. Open your Bible, pray and ask God to speak to your heart and lead you and He will! He will love you, help you, and be your God!
JESUS! Acts 4:12 “There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” God’s Road to Him
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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