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31 October, 2012

He Chose Me Not The Other Way Around


WHEN Christ started dealing with me and I began to experience a spiritual growth that defied my imagination, I still endured a gamut of emotions. One of which was isolation from other Christians. I had no idea that growing in Christ was such a dynamic life. I was so ignorant of the fact that Christianity in the Bible is something that the Holy Spirit works within us—for real—so real, in fact, that the process of demolition and reconstruction caused a complete metamorphosis. When this happened, I no longer saw life as business as usual. I changed spiritually into something else that I had no control over nor was able to slow down. There was some confusion, a result of my ignorance of what true Christianity was all about. I didn’t know that the Holy Spirit could be so animated in us.

I sought for some kind of mentorship to help me understand what was taking place within me—all in vain. God is so good, even when I did not know where to turn for answers. Somehow, however, I came across a document from A. W. Tozer entitled “The Pursuit of God.” As I read this book, I had a ‘eureka’ moment. I realized I already knew about God in the Bible, I knew about Him loving me first, I knew about Him wanting me to be closer to Him, and so forth, but there was a deeper knowing I still needed to understand and live out. I understood, finally, why I was suddenly walking around as if I had another set of eyes on the inside. I understood that I was privileged to take a peek beyond the veil, and somehow to some extent, I knew I had to buckle up. From reading Tozer’s material, I understood that God was simply leading me to a place where I would understand what true and practical Christianity looks like on a daily basis. Later on, I understood as well that the need and obsession I had in wanting to understand what was going on with me was so that I would be able to cooperate better and join the Holy Spirit in the work that was taking place within me.

While we are blessed in North America to have countless Christian books and authors, what we lack are books that spell out this radical Christian life we are called to follow. While it is understandable that we cannot limit God and that the Holy Spirit works within us through different approaches, trials, intensities, and duration, we nevertheless go through the same preparation in the soul—the same narrow gate, the same kind of dark night of the soul, the same process to break our stiff necks and prepare us for intimacy with Him. So, while I found solace in reading the classics and Puritans books, I found my soul longing for fellowship—even if only through books—with people who were living this kind of life right here, right now, and in this century. I have no doubt that there are Christians in this century, very close by, who have experienced what I experienced. We lack twenty-first century Christian manuals from writers who are not afraid of being bold with a pen. Because they have been with Him, they are not afraid of being labeled, or criticized harshly due to the demands they put on their readers, or of being persecuted either. Let’s face it, most professing Christians today are not interested in hearing any message that goes beyond tickling their ears. As the Holy Spirit taught me, this kind of boldness is overdue in the times that we are living in now. We need to dismantle any excuses they might have. I personally have been through it, so I know with all my heart that a lot of Christians have no idea of the deeper Christian walk with God, largely because we are not being taught about it. If God had not gotten hold of me, then “I did not know” would have certainly been my excuse when I finally saw Him face to face. I can say with certainty that this book is not for the faint at heart and neither for those uninterested in changing their lives with God.

Thus, the wilderness series is exactly that…it fills up a gap. I have no intention of promoting the mystical side of Christianity. We have way too many people in the pews seeking for experiences in place of knowing God. My hope through writing this book is that the reader would come to understand that the only formula to this wonderful and adventurous Christian life is truly about seeking the Kingdom of Heaven. Only then will everything else that this life entails will be provided for us. It is about going on to claim the fullness of the life that He promised to us in the here and now. It is also about living our full potential as empty vessels in Him through complete surrender and utter trust. We go to Him in complete dependence, like a child trusting his daddy for the known and unknown needs of this life. It is yielding to the responsibilities God has given to us and to the future He is rising us up to meet. It is about living a life utterly abandoned to the Master for His use.
It's time that we stop denying true Christianity for what it really is and start living like people who have truly received Christ fully inside. Being a Christian is about becoming the same Christ that walked the earth in His humanity. So let’s forgo the excuses, the feel-good pat on the back Christianity that most of us have been living, and move forward in Him who died so that we might have life in abundance.

May the love of God finds your heart. May you be blessed with a burning passion that engulfs your heart so much so that the only step left is to go forward with no fear and no looking back straight into daddy’s arms.
With all my love to my brothers and sisters in Christ,
M.J. André

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