Before I was saved I went to church every Sunday feeling and sometimes looking like Saturday night. I wore the saved look quite well on the outside but I knew my inside was all messed up. However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, she does not belong to Him (Romans 8:9 NASB). I did not belong to God; I was an imposter. What a horrifying discovery!
When I first confessed my sins to God, asked for forgiveness and believed in my heart that Jesus died for me I was saved. I didn’t really understand the real concept of being saved but I knew I did what the pastor told me to do. So, I was saved. Growing up in church I saw my share of “Saved Folk.” “Saved folk” made being saved as simple as 1-2-3. Nobody told me after I finished crying, repenting and praising God for changing my life I would have to go back and live in this world. Change your life. Turn to God and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, so your sins are forgiven. Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38 MSG).
I thought living saved was going to church almost every night, fasting every time someone said I should, placing a Bible on my dashboard so everyone could see, never changing my television from The Word Network, listening to Inspiration 1390 and thinking my ears would fall off if I listened to anything else, quoting Bible scriptures (not living by them), wearing clothes that were too big and greeting people saying “I’m blessed and highly favored.” I forgot that I still had to go to work, deal with unsaved people and live in this world. I became so superficial because I thought that was what being saved was all about. I had not yet learned that living saved was an inside job.
I thought I was doing everything right. God has a funny way of opening your eyes. Someone close to me crossed me, meaning they did something to me that triggered that temper I thought was gone because I was doing everything right. I was ready to put down everything for just five minutes to show them that I still had the “Old Sheka” stored away. After I revealed the “Old Sheka” I was convicted. Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything- and I do mean everything- connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life- a God- fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you (Ephesians 4: 22-24 MSG.)
After my conviction I went into prayer and asked God, “How could I convert back to my old self because someone made me angry or crossed me? I told God,“I know my life has been changed but I don’t know how I was at the place I worked so hard to leave.” God spoke to me and told me, “When you receive the gift of the Holy Spirit you are supposed to consult Me for everything. You are never to make rash decisions because of your emotions. You are never supposed to hold on to your old behaviors. You have to release everything old as well as the way you once dealt with controversy. You have to love and pray for my enemies.” Okay, that was a lot to take in, but He kept speaking.“ You had the look and everyone was so proud of you and where you had come from but I’m not interested in what man thinks of you and neither should you be. I’m interested in your heart and mind.” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16: 7 NKJV). Living saved is an inside job!
I learned that living saved is having a personal relationship and connection with God through praying (talking to God) and studying the Bible. While studying, I learned that I needed to internalize the Word and apply it to every part of my life. I learned that it really doesn’t matter what people think of me, what matters is what God thinks of me. I learned that living saved is an inside job!
Thank You for teaching me that living saved is not based on what people think of me but what You think of me. I thank You, God, for teaching me how to live saved. I thank You for sending Your son. I thank You, God, for letting Jesus die on the cross for me so that He could go to heaven and send down the Holy Spirit to lead and guide me. I thank You for teaching me that living saved is a lifestyle and a walk that must be maintained daily. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Ladies, I EMPOWER you to spend time with God daily. I EMPOWER you to get a spiritual makeover on your inside. I EMPOWER you to read and internalize the Word. I EMPOWER you to pray and develop a personal connection with God. Don’t spend another second worried about what people think of you and focus all your attention on what God thinks of you! Remember living saved is an inside job that you have to work on every second, minute, hour, day, month and year. Living saved is an inside job!
Mrs. Keviyona Ray is an ordained minister and co-pastor in training of The Christ For All People International Church. She is passionate about sharing the word of God with everyone she encounters. As a professional, Keviyona is a teacher for Chicago Public Schools. She loves her ministry of teaching and changing children’s lives. She is a devoted wife and mother of a wonderful daughter. Two of her favorite scriptures are Jeremiah 1: 5: “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations” and Proverbs 29:18: “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”