I recently recalled two defining moments in my spiritual journey. Both took place at convention while I was still in the Work.
One was spoken by an esteemed older brother worker who proclaimed, “There are no Pharisees among us.” I immediately went to Matthew 23 in my thoughts and ran down that list and found myself time and time again guilty as charged. I knew right then and there that I was a Pharisee. Once I knew that fact, it changed how I viewed everything. I saw my own self-righteousness, my pride, my blindness. And I saw other fellow Pharisee’s. The group was no longer “pure” in my mind. However, possessing this knowledge answered some questions though. It made sense why the focus of the group was on outward things and rules were ever increasing, why grace was ignored, why appearance was everything, why some things were so harsh and not at all like Jesus. It made sense why at times I was so unhappy and judgmental.
The other defining moment was when a middle aged brother closed the convention in prayer. He did not have the last meeting nor even speak in it; and he wasn’t sitting on the platform. All of those things made it so unusual for him to be asked to close the convention in prayer. It was of God! The final spoken prayer carries a lot of weight. This brother said something I had never heard before in a prayer; he was telling God thanks for the convention and then he said, “Jesus, we have fallen in love with you more than ever before here.” That phrase caused my heart to leap with joy and I said a loud amen within. I loved what he had expressed. From that moment forward everything about my life, my service, my work, and my focus was all about Jesus. All about Jesus.
Thank You, Jesus, for every defining moment that has turned us more towards You and more away from ourselves.