From: Without a shepherd – I Fought The Lord


How amassing is our GOD!!!

I was introduced to God at a very young age – I can’t actually remember a time that I never knew about him. My parents are Christians and were the first people to introduce to me to God. They read to me from the bible, took me along to church and Sunday school and girls group where lots of other people share with me about Jesus being the way to know God.

During my early years at high-school, I began to regret that I had ever been introduced to God. I didn’t want to be Christian anymore. I hated the feeling of having to be a good person and following a bunch of rules that didn’t allow room for fun. I prayed to God asking him to ‘unreveal himself’. I just wanted live life. So I did my best to push God out and welcome in the things that I enjoyed.

I gave up on God to pursue my own fun, affirming the bible which says: “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other” (Matt 6:24) The end years of high school and uni saw me love my life, the freedom of a young adult and hate God. I made the most of a disposable income, going to parties, drinking lots, taking drugs, and making a heap of friends who loved to party too.

Not only did I hate God, but my family also. The more I moved away from God the more I distanced myself from my family. I thought they were judgemental conservative and self righteous Christians who were out to ruin my fun. They however continued to patiently pray for me and invite me to church – which often only fuelled my anger towards them. I deeply resented them and wished they never introduced me to their God who was to me the ultimate partypooper. I was, however, more than happy to exploit my parents though for money, a car, university fees etc… It isn’t any wonder why one of my sister-in-law’s likes to call this my “princess-bitch-face phase”.

This phase continued into my time study of Creative Arts at university. While studying I had a part time job with my friends parents who toured with big bands. I got to help out as their assistant, getting a promo car ever now and then, meeting celebrities – some more famous than others, while creating events that were fun, ego-boosting, fast paced and exciting. I did my university internships in creative industries and was resolved to work in the arts whether as an actor or as a facilitator of the arts. I wanted to rub shoulders with the creatives and be sharpened by the inspiration and ideas they had to offer.

Even though I didn’t want God in my life and did my best to keep him out, I still told people that I was a Christian. I guess it was because I still maintained that Jesus was a real person in history and was convinced that I had some redeemable qualities that I thought still qualified me as Christian. Although there was no way Jesus was going to boss me about in life, I did think it would be okay to make the most of him as some kind of insurance policy that secured me a ‘get out of hell free’ card, when and if I passed ‘go’!

My attitude towards God at this time is best summed up by a comment by one of my boyfriends. We were arguing about the future of our relationship was heading… he said to me “YOU MAKE A MOCKERY OF YOUR GOD!” and that is exactly what I did! My boyfriends words still ring in my head so clearly.

I didn’t need God anymore, I was okay on my own. He added no value to my life. I felt He just condemned me, made life more difficult and I just wanted to get on with my life without the guilt. And so I’d pray asking that He would would leave me alone and “unreveal” himself to me.

Yet God didn’t seem to ever give up on me or answer such prayer. Instead, the glitter and sparkle of my world began to fade, in the light the reality of death that I had to wrestle with!

Since year 9, I have attended at least one funeral each year. The first funeral in this series of funerals was that of my cousin who died from HIV Aids related illnesses. It wasn’t until 6 years later when my friend’s dad who I worked with died suddenly that I felt God rip the rug from out under my feet and confront me with the fragility of our world and just how fickle I was to think I was okay on my own and that I had all the answers.

Not only was I grieving someone I cared about, I was also grieving the emptiness or purposeless of this world. I didn’t get it because I loved passionately everything I it had to offer. But, slowly I began to notice that all the things I got my value and worth from was fleeting and perishable. The things I loved and esteemed didn’t really last.

Around this time, I sheepishly accepted my brothers invites to church and hated going. I eventually started to take myself along finding a safe seat in one of the back pews and snuck out early in the last song to escape having to talk to people. It was there that I listened to people preach about Jesus. I was reintroduce to God and his amazing love.

Slowly I saw how my experience of the world matched up with exactly what the bible had to say about it. I live in a broken world, a place sick with sin, filled with pain, restlessness, and death. I was, and still am, in desperate need of a fixing, healing, comfort, purpose and life. With Jesus, the Wonderful Counsellor and Prince of Peace, I received all I needed, even as undeserving as I am. It is Jesus who can heal me from my sin, for he nailed my sin to the cross and I bear it no more. Jesus tasted death not only on my behalf, but for everyone only to rise again to bring us peace and and abundant life in his name.

I often question how I could let the fun things this in this world compete with the love that the God of the universe has for me. For so long I short changed myself, pursuing the created instead of the Creator. I knew I had to surrender to Him, to live a life that acknowledges that He is God and I am not. Even though I treated God poorly, He has loved me with an everlasting love that covers all my faults and sins of past, present and future. And the gift of the Holy Spirit enables me to keep on living a life in response to love that sought and found me. It is he who has changed my attitudes and hearts desires. He continues to remind me of all His benefits.

My first real taste of seeing the truth of Jesus, that had so radically changed my life, evident in the lives of others was while I lead on Summerfest with EVChurch on the Central Coast of New South Wales, Australia. It was serving here that God made it clear to me that all His creation has been made to make him famous and scream out to all people just how good He really is. My Father in heaven was working to reconcile all things to himself and kindly uses each of us to be agents of his work by loving on others – in word and deed.

After finishing Uni, I travelled to work & live in a remote Indigenous community where I witnessed a desperate need for the gospel. I returned to Sydney beginning work in a Magazine Publishing House, where I felt constrained in the many opportunities I saw I could and would like to serve in and thought about returning to remote Australia to help share the good news in places where the gospel was not being shared. I finished up at my job, declined a scholarship to do my Masters and took on a part time job working with children in before and after school care. This job allowed me to actively seek out opportunities to be useful around my church and spend time reading God’s word and striving to understand it better. God immersed me in all sorts of opportunities where I could make Jesus known and grow in my knowledge of him.

Jesus is truly better than the riches of this world.
Jesus is better than the sound of my friends voices.
Jesus is better than the biggest dreams of my heart.
And honestly, that is just the start!

From 2006-2007 I was on staff at St Matthias Church, Centennial Park as a trainee or apprentice pastor. From 2009-2012 I served as Community Pastor at Church by the Bridge, Kirribilli. In 2012, I completed a B Theology from Moore Theological College in Sydney.

I currently serve Jesus and his life saving gospel by seeking to ‘…live a life of love, just as Christ loved…”. Specific ways I am doing this are in marriage to my pilot husband Steve, by belonging to the family of God at Vine Church, Surry Hills and by my work with Geneva Push, an Australian Church Planting Network.

It is only by God’s grace and kindness that I am who I am today and that I get to do the things I am doing. Jesus is the one who drew me from the perilous pursuits of this world and united me safely to himself – captive but eternally satisfied and completely free to serve Him with every good gift he has given to me. I fought the Lord, but he won!

“live a life of love, just as Christ loved…” – The Bible (Ephesians 3:2)

 

From: Without a shepherd – I Fought The Lord

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