I did find Him, in a life changing explosion of peace when I was 14. Wrapping my heart around his Word, I began to notice that I could take Him with me everywhere, not just in church. He belonged to me, and I belonged to Him. When you are following Jesus, you walk in step with leaders who help guide your steps. But, if they lose their way, you've got to look around them to your destination. Sometimes people in church let go of God...and not always just temporarily. I firmly held onto the fact in my heart that it didn't matter what anybody else did, my deal was with God. Afterall, if you are following a person, and he falls, you have to keep walking, with or without him. You can't give up just because someone else tosses in the towel. I tried hard to hold onto Jesus, and keep my eyes on Him. Even when I strayed, His love would draw me back.
Though my early years had been in a couple of different denominations, since the age of 14 I had been in one single organization. But, I knew that a denomination won't assure your track to heaven, since the true church is the larger body of Christ, and not an earthly body. I began to hear teachings that weren't Biblical in the last few years. One such teaching was that you could have no anointing from God seperate from what came from your pastor. The illustration that was used to teach this was the fact that when Aaron was anointed with oil, the oil flowed from Aaron's beard downward. So, it was supposed that this meant that anointing flows downward in a chain from God, to the pastor, then to the Christians in the church. I never believed this, since I knew from personal experience that God spoke to me, often, and in many cases without telling my pastor, like when I felt a desire in my heart to go to nursing homes and read the Bible for elderly residents with failing eyesight. That never came through my pastor, or any other person. Like it or not, every individual has direct access to God, and this is the whole reason for Jesus' death on the cross, so that we could boldly come to the throne and ask God, and hear from God. Jesus is our High priest. Otherwise, we might as well break up the altars in a church. Why even pray to God. Pray to a man I suppose instead.
A troubled man fell asleep with his head on a rock one night. He had family problems. His brother hated him with good reason; they had competed for everything. While sleeping, this man Jacob dreamed a ladder reached from him to heaven, and angels of God were ascending and descending. I love that scene because of the picture of access it paints to God. We cannot be restrained from the doors of heaven. In the business world, we hear people complain of glass ceilings, where they can see the "top" but can't seem to climb the ladder. It shouldn't be like that in church. An old testament prophet saw messengers from God coming from between mountains of brass.
Zechariah 6:1 And I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came four chariots out from between two mountains; and the mountains were mountains of brass. These mountains were not only barriers... they were brass. But, God can bend brass...Isaiah 45:2-5 I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron: And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel...I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me. I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:
It really never mattered in the scheme of things, which way the oil flows, since I usually follow, and the oil was flowing on me, too. I only cut my own trail when the path is blocked. I found myself at a cut off point though, over a year ago when I began to visit the church that my husband and I attend now, with him. We were attending both churches for a total of 3 services on Sunday while we dated. We believed that God would lead us to a decision together if and when we should commit to choosing one. But, Aaron's beard got in the way...or rather out of the way. I was advised in counseling that if I went to a church that taught different doctrines than those my church taught I would be commiting the "sin against the Holy Ghost." This errant teaching, along with other factors only made the choice of churches easier. You have a choice...do you attend the church with the brass ceiling, where only certain people can reach the oil of the spirit, or do you attend the church where the oil flows freely on all?
And, therein lies the problem...the problem of brass ceilings. Do you really believe that God is limited by a denomination, or a doctrine or creed? Do you think that access is restricted, and that we need to get our hands stamped at the door when moving from one "organization" to another, in case we need reentry at a later time. Do you believe in God now...or do you believe in Aaron's beard? The answer is always Jesus. I refuse to allow people to tell me I can't have God without membership in a particular orgainization...which is what you have done if you have sinned against the Holy Ghost, (you've been denied belonging to God any longer.) The door didn't hit me on my way out, which has to be the attitude of a Christian. You can't run fast enough from false teaching.
Where am I today, for those who wonder? I've broken through the brass ceiling. I am standing under the free-flowing oil of the Spirit of Pentecost!