It’s Different Than I Thought

Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” (Proverbs 16:3, ESV)

Charles Simeon in a sermon on Proverbs 16:3 said, “the very instant we commit our works to God, ‘our thoughts become composed, and peaceful, and “established.” Established! The peace we enjoy when we know that our lives are established on the solid foundation of Christ’s Word.

Christ’s love overcame my sinful and bitter heart when I was only sixteen. I’ve never turned back, looked back, or held back since I committed my life to him. Zeal for the Lord did consume me. I plunged head first into trying to do what I thought a Christian should do. Witness, pray, worship, fast, abstain from anything that would hinder my walk with Christ. I made a lot of foolish mistakes. They were my mistakes and not the mistakes of others. I just wanted to be a passionate follower of Christ.

Once in high school I made a list of all the things a Christian shouldn’t do. I marked them in my Bible. I focused more on the don’ts than the dos. I soon discovered that focusing on the negative will keep you from focusing and achieving what Christ calls me to do. And even though I didn’t know much, I still remember praying with friends to give their hearts to Christ, praying with hippies in the parks, and soon receiving invitations to preach as a teenager! Even though it was not my nature to confront people, it was somehow what I thought God wanted me to do. I didn’t do it very well, not by a long shot! Oh my goodness, sometimes, I’m embarrassed remembering. Sometimes I laugh. Sometimes I pray that people didn’t reject Christ because of my ineptness. God bless those patient loving people who listened! God bless my parents!

God also blessed me with friends who saw my enthusiasm and influence being squandered through a legalistic approach to my relationship with Christ. They taught me that Christ loved me whether I was “good or bad,” to focus on love and not judgment, to be a servant, to look for where I could help, and not speak ill of others, especially if I didn’t think they were living like I thought they should. These friends were older, some of them elderly, but they were showing this enthusiastic but misguided young man, the love of the Father in heaven.

Now 37 years later, life looks so different than what I thought that night so long ago. I have so enjoyed the life, marriage, family, friends and ministry that God has blessed me with. I’m peaceful, composed, but most of all established in Christ.


One thought on “It’s Different Than I Thought

  1. Pastor Clanton. We are free of legalism 🙌
    Have a wonderful time at Andrew’s wedding 💒

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