and drag me headfirst fearless…
My freshman year of college I was so excited and afraid. I knew it was God who I was serving and I knew tangibly how I wanted to change.
It was freshman year of college when I realized that I was being selfish with my faith. I had been content for so long with having my relationship with God, and I didn’t think much about sharing it. I didn’t really talk about my faith with my friends at school, and I didn’t even talk much about my relationship with God to my friends at church… I guess it was a part of the whole “solitude makes you stronger”, “needing people is for the weak”, “I’m independent”. Then He slapped me in the face and told me I was wrong.
How could I not share this love for Christ? How could I be so selfish to keep it all to myself. How could I hate people so much that I didn’t want them to have a part of that overflowing love and peace? How could I not have seen that we were made to be relational beings for ourselves, and for the … well pretty much fellowship period exclamation point (I’m kinda tired right now and words seems to be running out of my brain and fusing with passing air molecules)?
Anyway, it was then that I realized I need to be outspoken! Christ isn’t another part of us that we can hide away when we feel like it. We ARE Christians, Christ is a part of who we ARE, we are the “new self which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of it’s creator”!
I like tangible goals. My goal freshman year was to always offer to pray. I love to pray (and I don’t like to use the word love that loosely). I love to talk to God. Since about my junior year in High School I would pray all day. Any moment I had to my own thoughts, well… I guess they wouldn’t just be to my own thoughts, because God would be right there in the conversation. So why then would I be embarrassed to pray for dinner or pray to open the night, pray to close the night? FEAR OF MAN. Ooooh, that’s bad. So I decided to get rid of that fear. I prayed about it. He took my hand, I jumped in. I was fearless.
Whenever I reminice with a group of christian friends about some of our first impressions of each other, they always tell me how amazed they were that I was so ready to pray. There was a point when I went to visit one of them for their Birthday. We went to a Japanese restraunt with about 6 of his friends from High School. God tugged at my heart, this was it. This was the ultimate test of the quarter, you are a Christ follower no matter what the situation. I asked if I could pray for dinner. They let me. We all bowed our head for a little and I prayed. I prayed for dinner for 3 christians and 6 non-christians.
For some reason we seem to feel more comfortable praying for something if the number of Christians out numbers the number of non-christians… or if it’s close, that’s ok too. Why should that be? If we ARE Christians, I mean, if that’s really apart of who we ARE, shouldn’t we pray “even if we were the only one, who wants to [pray]” (from an Amy Grant song… except the word was fly instead of pray… same idea). A long while back I wrote a post (no longer here) about being the minority of one. Jesus did was was unpopular. Jesus hung on the cross alone. Just because no one else seems to think your right, it doesn’t make you any less right (unless you were actually wrong to begin with). If praying is the right thing to do, then DO IT.
After I was satisfied and I knew for myself that I had no fear in praying aloud, and the ultimate goal had been reached; I stopped offering so often. It’s not because I don’t want to, or that I’m afraid again, it’s because I want to give other people a chance. For that short while, I had so much joy and experience blessings from God each time I prayed aloud. Why steal that joy from others? Unfortunatley not as many others see it as a joy. I don’t know if it’s the right tactic, but I wait till the veeeery last moment to see if someone else will offer to pray, not because I don’t want to, but because I want them to find that part of their faith as well. I mean, I understand that some people are still afraid to pray aloud… it’s ok, their time will come (though I do encourage it to come sooner than later). I must say, sometimes I’m selfish and just announce that I’m going to pray without giving anyone else the chance to.
I guess this is why I hate it (not dislike with a passion, but actually hate as in it makes me fustratingly angry, as in the last time I heard someone do it, I felt the heat rising to my face and had to calm down… that doesn’t happen a lot to me) when people thank others for praying before they’ve actually prayed or offered to pray. What does that say about our love of God and our love to pray? It basically says it’s non-existant. It’s become a forced habit. If no one wants to pray for the people there, well then don’t do it. If you don’t love the people there and if you don’t want God in your life enough to want to simply ask Him to be a part of your time, well then don’t ask Him. It’s just making you look Christian without being Christian.
For you have died and are hidden in Christ with God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory… He IS your life. You can’t hide who you are. So what does that say about you right now?
Are you empowered by God? Does His love make you fearless? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
There are so many things we can be afraid of, but God lets us hide in the shadows of His wings… unfortunately I’m usually still afraid. One day I’ll be able to say for sureity that He is enough. Right now, I want Him to be enough. But just as God in His perfect knowledge knows, I am sinful.
It’s always good to remind ourselves of the lessons God has taught us so we don’t back slide. About two weeks ago, I realized I was afraid to share the gospel to a group of people I knew were already Christians. I started back sliding. I need more friction under my feet.
Tonight’s message at AACF is about the necessity of prayer. The title is “Thirst”. The speaker is Rich Katakawa. I can’t wait to hear what he has to say. “THIS, IS THE BIBLE” 😀