Confession Of A Preacher
The Lord has me on a brand new journey of freedom and revelation concerning the true gospel of Jesus Christ. For many years now I have honestly struggled to find true joy in Christ because I had built a system of beliefs in my life that mostly reflected the law of the Old Covenant and not revelation of the New Covenant. I was under my own version of the law, always wondering have I prayed enough, is God pleased with me, or am I anointed enough. Each time going to the pulpit wondering if I had performed well enough for God this week for Him to come and confirm His word and move through me. This has been my struggle for the past 8 years.
Some preachers would never admit this or even share these things publicly. But I feel led to, in order to help set other people whether ministers or volunteers in the church free from this legalistic mindset. I don’t think I did this on purpose, nor do I think that the way I was raised to think this way was on purpose. I place blame on absolutely no one person. I honestly wanted to love God with all of my heart, soul, and strength, but at the end of the day it didn’t cut it. I felt unworthy, never good enough to be used, in spite of the fact God was using me I couldn’t understand it. I thought well if I memorize enough scriptures, if I pray long enough, whatever it takes I want to be used. But no satisfaction!
2012 was one of the most difficult years for me, especially during the fall season I came under a lot of stress financially with a lot of changes on the horizon. It eventually led to anxiety attacks which were so numbing that I thought I wouldn’t make it through the year. Then one night after I preached I just fell in the altars asking for God’s grace and power to lift me out of this horrible pit. People were being saved, healed, and touched by the power of God and there I was numb to everything. In that moment God began to deal with the religion that I had built my life upon.
I realized that in 10 years of walking with God and 8 years in ministry that I could preach Bible prophecy, Holy Spirit baptism, and healing but I did not have a firm foundation on the finished work of Jesus Christ upon the cross. I didn’t have a revelation of God’s love for me, I constantly felt like God was displeased because I hadn’t obtained saint status praying hours each day and seeing people saved on a daily basis. I did not have a revelation of the grace of God. I come to realize I was an old testament saint living in a New Testament church. I was bound by the law trying to earn everything Jesus paid for through my own works. I set aside the grace of God and tried to serve God out of my own power. Galatians 2:21 declares, “I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”
This was the saddest part that I have to admit. I grew up in church all of my life and never really knew the true gospel. I heard that Jesus dies for my sins and would forgive me of my past. I heard that Jesus had been raised from the dead which declared Him to be Lord, but what did that mean for me? It meant forgiveness of sins and then from what we were taught, Jesus saved us and then we were responsible for keeping ourselves clean, pure, and holy. I got saved by grace and then returned to the law for justification. This is where I failed. No one taught me that Jesus died and gave me a position of righteousness that was not impacted by my behavior or failures. The position of righteousness came through faith and by the power of God’s grace. No one told me that while I was yet a sinner Christ died and that I did not choose Him but He chose me.
The gospel is so much greater than what I could put in this one article but I have committed from this day forward to preach, teach, write, and share this fresh journey I am on with the Lord. The gospel is good news and in this generation we need it! So here is my confession:
I have been under the law most of my Christian life, basing my salvation and everyone else’s by their works. I built my spiritual house backwards by putting transformation before the foundation. But this day I choose to believe in the fullness of the Gospel, that His love for me is unconditional, that His mercies are new every morning, and His grace empowers me to live above the law. I will walk in true joy, peace, and righteousness that comes not from my works but through the finished work of Jesus Christ.
One day I will look back on this post and realize this was a post that was a clear sign that my life is forever changed. Today I am assured of my salvation and the love of God for me. I will declare the goodness of the Lord and the true identity of the church. I will not expose the dirt only, but I will mine for the gold that God has placed inside of each earthen vessel. I will boast of God’s love for me and His church!
Here is to a new journey. So let us learn and grow together in building a sure foundation that will cause us to be a mighty spiritual house for God’s presence! I believe we can walk in holiness, purity, and fullness through God’s good news!
By: Mark Casto