I have always known about God. I knew that he loved me and that his Son, Jesus, had died for my sins. I genuinely believed that.
For many years of my life I knew about God like I knew about The Beatles or Mother Teresa or Michael Jordan.
Then one day my husband and I were challenged
to step up our commitment
from one of knowing about God
to deeply knowing and following Him.
The concept of such complete surrender gave me pause.
What would it be like to do what He commanded instead of what I wanted to do? No fun, I thought. I would have to do boring things like read the Bible. Sigh. God must have chuckled and thought, “You have no idea.” I am now fascinated by the study God’s Word, write a blog called Connecting Dots to God, and serve as Teaching Director for a Community Bible Study group. Pretty funny, God.
In spite of my childish reservations, I prayed something to the effect of, “I’m in, Lord. I give my life to you.”
My life changed in three surprising ways after that decision.
I had an immediate and intense desire to learn about God through his Word. I couldn’t get enough of it – still can’t.
With my growing understanding of truth, I could see the fallacies in which I had believed. Suddenly things that had made perfect sense to me before seemed foolish, or at least questionable. Such clarity was welcome and refreshing.
Finally, and most delightfully, in the light of the knowledge of God I discovered myself.
This was, and is, a big deal for me, because I had not had a clear sense of my unique identity. Therefore, I had lived according to what I thought others expected of me rather than what I believed or desired.
Oscar Wilde’s quote was true of me: “Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.”
I had behaved according to what I thought others expected of me rather than what I myself believed or desired. And I didn’t know how to find myself.
So God found me.
In the light His Word and his presence I began to think His thoughts, to adopt His opinions, to quote His passions. Paradoxically, the more I follow my Savior, the more I am free to be myself.
I had hesitated to surrender myself and my desires, which ironically were not even my own. God, in his great goodness, taught me that the only way to find myself was to lose myself in my Him.
I experienced the truth of Jesus’ words that, “Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.” (Mark 8:35)
In Jesus Christ I have found passion, truth and myself. You can too.