I got saved when I was a little girl, but realized that I had to personally surrender my life to Christ and make the decision to follow him everyday when I was 16. And so I did, rededicated my life to Christ at 16 and started the wonderful journey of a Christian. The reason I found it necessary to rededicate my life to Christ was because I saw how I was not really living for him but was using him as a spare access to things I wanted. I would ask God, "can I have this...or that?" and I thought God was this "Santa Clause" who distributes things that I want and then it's up to me to do with them whatever I felt like doing.
I found out that was not true and saw my need for a savior at a critical time in my life. After that full surrender to Christ, I won't be lying if I say I remember mostly everything that he did in my life. I suddenly stopped asking him for material things and started desiring to know him more and to live for his glory, because life made sense with him. Although, that was good I still found myself wanting spiritual things. You might say, "Mekdes...isn't that what you're supposed to do?" well, yes and no. I wanted to have all the spiritual gifts so that I could "help" people, but after a hard look into my heart I realized that my desire was for people to want me because I would have all they needed. That in a way is very selfish because instead of directing people to Christ, I wanted to indirectly bring them to "ME".
Hmmmmm........it took a lot of ups and downs and a looooooooong trip in the "wilderness" to realize what I was doing wrong. I had not found my true identity in Christ and believed that I was who he says I was so I needed more attention from others. The truth is that I had mis understood who Christ is and what it means to follow him. It's all about him........IT IS NOT ABOUT ME AT ALL... whether people know I exist or not it doesn't matter. What matters is that he has purchased me with his blood once and for all and there was nothing I did to deserve his love nor is there anything I could ever do to not deserve it.
When it comes to ministry what God cares about is whether people are ministered to through the Holy Spirit that resides in me, to come into the knowledge of Jesus Christ and to allow him to take their hearts captive with his unconditional love. Not whether they think the songs were awesome or the pastor was incredibly annointed. Who was I kidding, I can't out do God, he's the creator of all the gifts I have so no matter how hard I try I can't impress him. He's not gonna go "ooooooooh when you used that verse...girl that was just so smart of you!" He knows it all. In fact, HE layed it on my heart to share with others and care for others.
Then, he took me to Glatians 2:20 "I've been crucified with Christ and I no longer live but Christ lives within me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me" a verse that seems so short but has soooooooooooooooo much truth tucked into it. It took me two years to understand and start living out this verse.
The past 2 years I've been munching on this verse trying to understand what it means to live by faith through Jesus Christ who gave up EVERYTHING that I may live life abundantly! You know....it was hard! It is a hard thing to try and understand how simple it is. I know a bit confusing too :) Being a Christian is to live through him and let your sinful nature die...completely be taken over by the Holy Spirit. It is a work in progress, and it's not something you and I can achieve by doing, doing and doing. No, his grace is sufficient...so you may ask "am I supposed to be a passive Christian and even flirt with sin at times?" No, again! Because the Holy Spirit resides in your heart, you are drawn to him immediately. That doesn't mean you're not tempted to sin, believe me you are and you will at times fail, but when you fall instead of beating yourself up about how wrong you've done, let the unconditional love of your savior shower you and affirm that your sin has been cleansed by his blood. That's understanding his Grace.
I'm so glad the one whom I rely on to help me accomplish this goal has promised never to leave me nor forsake me.
If it was up to me, I would have given up a long time ago; when it became clear to me that he was not "santa". Isn't God so gracious and so loving? Who would ever put up with someone like me, knowing my heart, & my immediate response to be persuaded by the world and it's agendas? but he who cares for me has found a way for me to fall in love with him over and over again, whether it's a time of trial or peace, wilderness or answers, confusion or clarity. He is always there and whispers in my ears " I AM". He is the Lord Jesus Christ, He is the author and perfector of my faith, He is the only one I can trust and need to finish this race, He is the Alpha and Omega, He is my father, He is my teacher and my life coach ;), Not I but Christ!
Love you Lord!