Leaving the Past, I Press on to Live the Christ in Me
“Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:13-14).
If you need to assess the character of a person, measure them at end of their journey to see how far they came and the growth that was accomplished.
I ask those who hear my teaching to grab hold of the in-Christ message which I have preached in the latter part of my life, the understanding that resulted from 70+ years of the Holy Spirit's lessons, and not get distracted with my earlier immature stages. I urge believers to learn and follow Christ, not to follow or elevate any man. Warren Litzman is just a vessel for Christ to work out through, hopefully now a better vessel, more united with the Christ in me than in my earlier ministry days.
At my salvation, I became a completely new creature. Since then, I have grown through many stages of understanding and challenges, as do most Christians. I’ve learned through trial and error to trust God even in the darkest times of my life.
I have had two hells in my life.
#1. My first hell was caused by my own sins and mistakes which caused damage and hurt to many people. I apologized at the time to a room full of people, but to others who never heard, I am sincerely, regretfully, and heart-brokenly sorry for the pain I caused.
At the peak of my career, pressures mounted; and I crumbled under the weight that fell on me to raise the money and keep the programs operating for our large church. We could not pay for our enormous church building and campus; we couldn't fund our radio and TV stations. I depended solely on my own efforts, became overwhelmed, and lost my trust in the Lord. I forgot that it was all God's ministry to begin with, and He would determine the outcome. I have learned great lessons from those events.
#2. In my second hell, I thought God would never use me again. When I received His forgiveness and faithfulness, amazingly, He called me to His service again. He began to open doors for me to preach Christ and to establish Bible classes. He proved His love and grace were greater than my failures.
Humans are never worthy or righteous by their own life or their own efforts. Only Christ in us makes us worthy and righteous. While we are blessed by God's immeasurable grace, we must emphasize that grace is never a license to sin. If we continue to walk in the Spirit, we will not fall prey to the weaknesses of the flesh. So, we must remember to stay mentally connected to God in our earthly walk, knowing we as born-again Christians are one with Christ.
I thank God for His grace. Despite my mistakes, God still used me for His purpose and His message. It is His custom to use flawed humans; He uses broken vessels today just as He has throughout history. In our brokenness, His mercy, love, and power shine through, despite our failures and sins. He makes “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28).
I have learned not to look for perfection in people's lives; God can use them in their brokenness as He does for so many who minister to the world. I have not let my failings hold me back from serving the Lord; instead, I answered His call. God does not wait until we are perfect to call us. The Bible attests of many flawed servants God whom He was still able to use. Failures are in good company.
"For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me" (1 Cor. 15:9-10).