I grew up as the sole child of two ministers and attended church regularly. I went to a Christian pre-school, primary school and secondary school. My immediate family and close relatives all believed in Jesus and made Him the Lord and Savior of their lives and faithfully attended church services every Sunday . It felt like I was branded even before I was born, like my path was set out for me and I was not to even consider straying from it. I wasn’t given the option to choose otherwise or to become involved in ‘any foolishness’ according to my parents .
However, although my upbringing seemed to suggest that I was a Christian, I was not!. My friends were the regular unsaved church goers, and my mind was focused on my fleshly desires and anything other than representing the God to whom I owed my existence. But I was still the smart, little church girl everywhere I went; I really could not hide it. Apparently, everyone saw a halo over my head , not my friends, of course, but everyone else. And I really did not mind this, I used it to mask my unclean heart. “She would never do that, her father is a preacher”, people said, whenever it was suggested that I had misbehaved, in anyway , but I was no saint. Even though I knew what I was doing; playing church and harboring an unclean heart, I really didn’t understand what I was doing.
It was , during a vibrant Carnival season much like this year’s, while I was in camp that I really understood what I was doing. Camp is usually a place where persons have close encounters with God. The camp program usually consist of sessions which take place very early in the morning, which are called devotions, and more sessions during the day..... During devotions, we examined various passages from the Bible and the word of God was also shared during the other sessions, The Bible says that “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17), and it also compares God’s word to a mirror which allows us to see the conditions of our hearts (James 1:23). As God’s word was shared at various sessions, during camp, I began to see how much I needed God and how contrary the life I was living and my actions were to His word.
During this time, I saw who I was and I got a wakeup call. It brought tears to my eyes when I realized that God took His time and crafted me, and time again He placed me in situations where I had to face Him . He went through all that trouble just because he loves me and wanted me at His side. What had I done in return? I had “two-timed” God. It was at that time, when I saw that I had been selected by God to serve Him, that I was chosen, I began to see who God really wanted me to be and decided to change. I no longer wanted to continue playing games, and decided that it was time to get serious.
All that I had done in the past was done, because I had no idea who God called me to be or who He really was. I wanted to rebel from the ‘kill-joy’ environment that I was in. But God is good, and He showed me who I was called to be and what His purposes were for ,my life. It propelled me to give my life to God, for real. I had repeated many prayers in which I surrendered my life to Him, before, but this one (one which I said at camp due to the experiences I had there)…I didn’t even have to repeat, it was my own.
Sometimes we are blinded to our own state, we are not able to really see who we are and what we have allowed ourselves to become by drifting away from God. But God is earnestly trying to get our attention so that we can know who we are in Christ Jesus, so that we can represent Him. Many of us deny God at school, work and other places and we aren’t even aware of what we are doing to ourselves, or of the implications of our actions.. Let us choose to put a smile on God’s face every day. Leave who you were (the self who was ruled by sinful desires) behind you and explore who you are in Jesus.
Gabrielle Mallet -
IVCF Costaat President (2013-2014)