In my pursuit for Christ a lot has happened in just a short time; it will be four years this October that we turned our life to Christ. A lot of the things that have happened since then are good things in a worldly perspective. All of the things are good things in a Kingdom perspective.
Today I sit here and reflect on some of those things that have happened:
The first thing that almost always comes to mind is my kids. I am in a situation not much different that a lot of people when it comes to my kids. My middle daughter has moved out to see what the world has to offer her. While I do not agree with the choices she is making, they are hers to make and not mine. As it pains me at times knowing she is going down the same road that I did, she will have to experience and learn for herself.
I have a younger son that does not live with us. He lives with his mother in another town. As he grew older he also grew more distant. The closer I moved to God, the farther it seemed my son moved from me. We don’t talk like we used to and he doesn’t come and visit like before. Sure I could force him because I have legal right to visitation but that would only benefit me and my wife, pushing my son farther from me and farther from God. So I wait. I patiently wait and pray for him and his relationship with God. In the end, that is the important part. I send him text every once in a while just to let him know I’m thinking about him and that I love him.
This brings us to my oldest daughter. My oldest was born when her mom and I were only 18 years old. I had made the terrible choice to sign my rights over as a father and walked out of her life when she was only a year old. I know, not one of my brighter moments. When she was older and on her own, she sought me out. We would talk on occasion about life and my family. As time went on, we both got busy and stopped talking. We had reconnected about a year and a half ago but have since grown apart yet again.
I know, these are my kids and I should do any and everything to stay connected. I battle with that same thing. The deal is, in order to do that I would have to stop or pause my pursuit of Jesus. Without going into much detail, I would have to compromise. My relationship with God is not up for compromise.
In this journey I have also lost friends. Some of these I considered really good friends. Friends that I would do just about anything for, and them the same for me. Just like my kids, in order to keep those friendships I would have had to compromise my relationship with Jesus. That is not an option. Jesus said in Luke 18:28-30 (NKJV) Then Peter said, “See, we have left all and followed You.”So He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or parents or brothers or wife or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who shall not receive many times more in this present time, and in the age to come eternal life.”
Here is my thought on the whole relationship thing. God is light and anything of or from God is light. The world and the things of it are not. When you turn on a light in a room, the light doesn’t kill the darkness, the darkness leaves. It leaves because in order for there to be light the darkness can’t be present. Same with our relationships. As we draw closer to God the more we become His light to the world. As our light gets brighter, the darkness is going to leave. Hence the relationship changes. If we are truly pursuing Jesus the people that aren’t will not stick around. We will find ourselves in new relationships with people on the same path as us… a path toward growing in Christ.
I have managed to gain so many other things in this walk as well. I have been at my current job for over two years now. A job that pays pretty well and has good benefits. If anyone knows my history of employment, jobs have come and gone for me. I had either quit or for some other reason lost the job. I was almost always looking for something better. To where as now, I am content where God has me. Trusting in Him and His perfect will is such a relief.
My wife and I finally got married per the state and government. Before turning to Jesus, I always argued that it was another “trap” by the system. That as long as in our eyes we were married that that’s all that mattered. After turning to Him I still made excuses just different ones. Like “Adam and Eve didn’t have a fancy piece of paper to state that they were married.” I have sense learned the importance of the covenant in marriage. Not just with me and my wife, but more importantly with God. We not being married legally was a boundary between Him and us. We could not grow as we should until we fixed that.
I have gained new relationships with people that are focused on God and His Kingdom. People that will help me grow or have helped me grow in my walk with the Lord. I have learned that God will replace the things that the “world” takes away. Maybe not in the way that I want, or think that He should, but in His perfect way.
I would like to be able to say that after changing my perspective and turning to Christ that my life has gotten easier, but that would be a lie. There have been some really tough times. Times where looking back, God was molding and shaping me. As I said before about my kids, even as I type this, it is not easy to not revert back. I know that if I were to go back to drinking, partying and a lot of the old stuff that my kids would be able to relate and things would be mended. I can’t do that.
There was a really rough and rocky period with me and my wife before we actually got married. Things where we had to make choices. My wife or God. She had to make the same choices at times, me or God. We both realized that the pursuit of Jesus was more important than our relationship. We both chose God and in turn were able to choose each other.
It was hard for a while because people (friends and family) became so judgmental. So critical and mean with words and judgment. Some stopped talking to me all together. Whereas others turned to name calling like “false teacher” and “hypocrite”. I never understood how much my words affect people until then. I never cared about what others thought or said before. But to hear and read those things hurt, and if I let them will still hurt today.
What I have learned in this walk, in this amazing journey that my wife and I are on, is that we can only do us. We can only do what God asks US to do. We can only pursue Jesus for ourselves. Jesus warned us that to truly seek Him that the world will become our enemy. People will turn on us and people will leave us. We must be willing to lose everything to gain it all. If we have limits on how far we’re willing to go for God’s Kingdom, the devil will use that to destroy us. But God promises that if we put all our trust in Him and Him alone that we will win. Maybe not today, or even in this lifetime on earth, but to be with Him in Glory. Winning not by the world’s standards, but by Gods.
As much as a lot of people don’t want to hear this, being a true Christian, a true Christ follower, is not for the weak or faint of heart. To truly follow Christ we must be willing to sacrifice everything to follow Him. We most also surround ourselves with people on the same path. People to help strengthen us and people to hold us accountable.
If you want to begin this wonderful journey that is awesome! We are here to help in any way that we can. If you are on this journey and feel as if you’re walking it alone, we are also here for you. This is something that we must do together. Even Jesus didn’t even do it alone and He was God in the flesh. Feel free to contact us for anything. You can like our blog and Facebook page to stay connected as well. Be blessed.
In Christ alone