Jesus hasn’t just transformed my life. He transformed life itself.
I came to the realization that if Jesus was a real man in history and if His life is undeniably true, then the living God is also terrifyingly real as well – a terrifying yet unexplainably relieving notion at the same time. My entire existence was shaped by this reality that I felt I knew very little about, but somehow, I had felt an aching longing deep within my soul to know more. The psalm of David perfectly proclaims this: “…My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water.” (Ps. 63:1)
My understanding of what it means to be created in God’s image has changed the way I understand myself. It’s one thing to know the basics of Christianity which can be summed up in maybe a few scriptures: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rm. 3:23) and “For God so loved the world he sent his only begotten Son…”(Jn. 3:16) and “the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rm. 6:23). All of the Sunday school memory verses that had been planted in me from childhood were great to begin with.
But, as the author of Hebrews pleads, “…let us stop going over basic teachings about Christ again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don’t need to start again with the fundamental importance of repenting from dead works and placing our faith in God” (Heb. 6:1).
And so we have – moved on from basic teachings to a mature understanding of faith in Jesus, that is.
Being saved is only the beginning. Understanding the power and authority that comes with being created in God’s image and restored to His presence by His living Spirit within me was the next critical stepping stone to living out my life to the fullest potential of what God has placed in me and charged me with. In the first three weeks of teaching, my eyes were opened to the realities of God’s Kingdom and my place in it.
Next came the whispering of the Holy Spirit bringing revelations about the ministry Jesus set forth for His disciples. What I have learned in action is God’s sovereignty and ownership. I’ve been created by God and He created me for Himself. BY God, FOR God. All things have been created by Him and He is ruler over all things (Jn 1:1-3, Mt. 28:18). In that very same notion, these statements are true of Jesus Christ as part of the trinity of God.
When I say I am in ministry, it is not for the sake of helping others just to help. I am a part of Jesus’ ministry to the Father. Jesus didn’t come only for the people; He came to bring God’s people back to the Father Himself (2 Cor. 5:18-19). He came to work for His Father, not for His people (Jn. 6:38). The people are the work, not to whom the work is done.
My part then is of glad surrender to the good ways of my Lord for it is not my life that I am leading, and it is not my world that I am changing. So, I better have perked ears to listen and ready hands for action because His ways are far greater than mine and I don’t want to miss a minute of it in my midst.
Therefore, when I am asked, “How are you equipped to fight for justice?” I will reply, “With holy obedience.” Pure and simple. For justice does not come from me. I do not create or decide what is just; I am merely the physical catalyst for it. I can fight all I want to make the changes that I think will benefit people most, but I would be pulling on an endless thread, never to see the end unravel. To borrow a phrase from the great Christian author, Oswald Chambers, all my effort alone would do is ‘enable [me] to rearrange and systematize the problems but [I] cannot solve the problems.’ If I begin to solve human problems by looking at the humans in the problem, I am only going to find myself back at the beginning of the problem – humanity. ‘There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death (Pvb. 16:25).’ That path is the way of following man. There is only one path that leads to life – Jesus (Jn 14:6). And so I’ve learned the purpose of my life is laid out for me in my identity in Christ and lit by the Word I study (Col. 3:3, Ps. 119:105).
I’m no longer telling my story and finding God’s place in my life.
I am telling of God’s story and finding my place in His life.
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