My name is Tony Tate. I am a former musician in the United States Navy, coming back from a self-imposed musical exile. After leaving the Navy, I went through a divorce. I had no desire to play music any longer. I had no direction in my life, and most of all, I was lost spiritually.
It wasn’t the divorce or the fact that I grew tired in the Navy. It was religion that took the most out of me. It was the tiresome pursuit of trying to be good enough, worthy enough and trying to become and be something that I was not, and yet, already was, in Christ.
Finally, and reluctantly, giving up was the beginning of freedom. To the religious, this will seem wrong, like throwing away faith and belief in God. However, it is God that brought about the “throwing away” of my religion.
For me, religion is the thing that was in the way of truly knowing God. I have discovered the Love and Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and His relationship with His Father in the Holy Spirit. Everyone is created in Christ, and we share in his relationship with his Father.
It is Jesus Christ who is face to face with the Father. They are so close that the only way Jesus could describe it in human terms was being “IN” the Father, and the Father “IN” Him. And at the same time, we are IN Christ, and He (They are) is IN us. When Christ entered into humanity, we (all men and women) became one with God.
This revelation has been the new foundation of freedom and confidence to live life without fear of disappointing or angering some far-off “God.” When the Lord says that He loves us, it is not just a casual statement. His coming here as a man was an act of love. God allowed himself to be killed by man, demonstrating his patience and desire to be reunited with the people he created. The Lord seeks union with us, even though we resist.
With new confidence in the Lord, I have regained some desire to play music. I don’t know how long my passion will last.