Three weeks ago I turned 20 and it was a great joy to celebrate it with friends and family. I have gone through different experiences in my journey into adulthood that I would like to share with you. My prayer is that as you read through, you will be reminded of some things and learn others that I’m sure are going to be of help to you.
I submitted my life to the lordship of Christ on 18th February 2015. It is now almost two years and there is one thing I can confidently share with you- knowing and having Christ is the greatest treasure under the heavens. When all has been said and done, only one thing matters, to know Christ and gain Christ.
God calls us to an intimate relationship with Him. We are called to be before doing. Every doing must flow from being. Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10).” Life begins only when we Know Jesus as our Lord and Saviour.
I cannot put into words what God has done for me. He is my refuge and my stronghold- the horn of my salvation. I can endlessly go on and on about what He has done for me but today I am going to share some lessons God has been teaching me.
As you read, watch out for links to earlier blog posts I have shared that contain more about a particular lesson.
- Only one thing matters: Know Christ and Gain Christ.
Ecclesiastes 12:13: “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” In Don’t Waste Your Life, John Piper has written that, a life without God is a wasted life. We were created to make much of Christ and not for Christ to make much of us. What this simply means is that the primary reason for our existence is to glorify God. I have learnt that my single passion in life should be that God be glorified and exalted in all that I do. Other than that, I will have wasted my life and that is such a great tragedy. Apart from God, I am destined to destruction and only Christ can save me. John 3:7, Jesus says, “You must be born again.” Click on the link to find out more on why and how this is possible.
- God is either Lord of all or not Lord at all.
In Matthew 22: 37, “Jesus replied: “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”” God is not an addition to our lives, like a spare wheel that we need when in trouble. Before I got born again, I really struggled with giving God full control over my life. I wanted to have control over my love life, entertainment and future. However, the truth that I am either hot or cold convicted me to give my life to Christ. As I made the decision to get born again, I knew that I cannot claim to serve God and have my own way. It was clear that if I wanted to be born again, I have to give God full control over my life. I have never regretted this decision to follow Jesus. To some it may seem like there is no freedom in salvation but in true sense, salvation is freedom and walking in sin is slavery. Submit to God and you will experience true freedom because we are not under law but under grace.
- Do not follow your heart, follow God’s heart.
Jeremiah 17:9: “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” This verse reveals the true condition of our hearts. I have come to learn that my will and emotions are desperately sick. My sinful heart cannot be cured without God’s help. My heart desires what is contrary to God’s will and if I follow it I am going to be misled. My prayer is that God will continually reveal His will to me and that He will make me to walk in the path of His commandments. The only One who understands our heart is God, for “the LORD searches the heart and examines the mind (Jeremiah 17:10).” Therefore, follow God’s heart by submitting your life to Him.
- Guard your heart diligently.
Proverbs 4:23: “Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life.” The heart is the center of one’s inner life. It is from this place that a person does all thinking, feeling and choosing. Taking words of wisdom is of the greatest importance (they are life). Out of the heart flows all the thoughts, words and choices of a person’s life. “The good man brings good things out of the good stored in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the abundance of his heart his mouth speaks (Luke 6:45).” Therefore, I have learnt that I need to be careful of what I feed my heart and mind- what I watch, listen to and who I am around. I therefore urge you to diligently guard your heart.
- Discipline is the wholehearted yes to God’s call.
1 Corinthians 9:27: “Therefore, I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” The scripture above tells us that if we want to lead a victorious Christian life, we have to beat our bodies and make them our slaves. This means that we must learn to discipline our bodies by learning to control them in a way that is holy and honorable before God (1 Thessalonians 4:4). We must also put to death whatever belongs to our earthly nature- sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and covetousness (Colossians 3:5). “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it (Hebrews 12:11).” Therefore, let us beat our bodies by training ourselves to be godly (1 Timothy 4:7).
- God is concerned about every detail of my life.
Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him and who have been called according to his purpose.” God has and still is teaching me of His sovereignty in my life. There are times when I have experienced difficult moments and wondered whether God is watching and the scripture above has been a great comfort. I am learning that in every circumstance I go through, whether good or bad, the question I should ask is: “what does God want me to learn from this?” And not “why am I going through this.” Sometimes God allows us to go through difficult circumstances in order to make us be desperate for Him and in order to strengthen our faith. Therefore, take heart and be strong for God is in control and He is going to work out everything for your good if you submit to His lordship.
- Being a virgin is not enough.
Ephesians 5:3: “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.” This is perhaps one of the verses that really scares me. “There must not be even a hint.” This means that there must not be even the tiniest suggestion of sexual immorality. This could probably be a thought. This verse tells us that sexual purity goes deeper than the physical. It goes deeper to the actions, speech, attitudes, motives, desires, emotions and thoughts. Therefore, being a virgin is not enough. Purity is first and foremost a condition of the heart towards God. It is shocking but true that one can be a virgin physically but a whore at heart. The pursuit of purity has been a journey for me and a daily struggle but God’s grace has been and is still sufficient. God’s standards are high but achievable or else they would not be in the Bible. Therefore, let us pursue purity for He has called us to be pure just as He is pure.
- God’s timing is the perfect.
Ecclesiastes 3:11a: “He has made everything good in its time.” Many are the times I have heard this statement “God’s timing is the best” but still desired to be in a different season. God is teaching me that every good and perfect gift comes from Him and singlehood is no less a gift. As it is written in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, there is a time for everything. God is teaching me to be content in the season that I am in (singlehood) without yearning for more. This season offers unparalleled opportunity for growth and service that I should not take for granted or allow to slip by. One prayer I have is: “God, reveal as much of yourself to me while I’m still single. Reveal to me how much bigger you are than any other desire or dream I might have. Ephesians 1:16-19”
- Godliness with contentment is great gain.
1 Timothy 6:6: “For godliness with contentment is great gain.” In 2 Peter, we are warned to be alert against false teaching and to be careful lest we lose our stability. This is because there exists even in our time, a gospel that is false. You may have heard of a gospel that claims salvation to be a means to health, wealth and prosperity. The problem with such a gospel is that it is world centered- it focuses on the life lived here on earth, on storing our treasures on earth and getting comfortable now. Let us not forget that even though we are in the world, we are not of the world (John 17:14-15). Jesus died on the cross that we may experience and enjoy freedom from sin and that we may have life in abundance (John 10:10). He died on the cross so that our sins could be forgiven. It is time to pursue God for God and not for material possessions. This is like equating God to an ATM machine that we go to when we need something. If we get God, we also get His blessings which are according to His will.
- Trust in the Lord even when it seems so hard.
Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.” God’s plan for us is the best because He has the best intention for us even though it may not seem so at the moment. I have come to learn that even if things do not go my way, God’s plan is the best. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11).” God sees the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10). Therefore, He wants us to know that He never leaves us nor forsakes us along the way (Hebrews 13:5), in both the good and evil things we experience.
Thank you for reading through. I hope there are some new things you have learnt too. If you have any thing you would like to add, feel free to share in the comments section. You can also e-mail me. God bless you.