I wish that people weren’t so afraid to try God.
I mean so much so that they are living miserable lives, yet still won’t give something a real shot that they’ve never tried. And I mean I get it. I was there. I felt like I had life under control and then I found myself in a dark place with everything to be happy about but not feeling happy about any of it. It was in that space that I thought to myself, “what haven’t I tried?” I had never given God the opportunity to be the true Lord of my life. The moment that I submitted to His will, some painful things happened, some things from my life that I desperately wanted to cling to faded away, but what I found in the midst of confusion and falling apart was invaluable.
What I found was joy. Not in this way where every hardship in life is somehow going to disappear. That is just foolish and that’s not how life works. As you begin to know more about the word, you understand exactly why it is the way it is, but I digress. At the end of the day, life was still happening all around me, but my ability to cope has drastically improved.
So here I am, because I decided that I really didn’t have anything to lose, I am in the best and most happiest part of my life that I have EVER been in. It’s because I decided not to be so afraid to try God. It’s because I stopped fighting this make believe notion that somehow Christians need to be these perfect people. And because I was open to everything that God was revealing about what I may need to change, even the deepest and ugliest parts. I realized that as great as I may have thought I was, with God I was better. For that, I am ETERNALLY grateful.
Sometimes when I hear what people think about the church, I cringe. People think trying God means never having fun. People think trying God means that they have to be perfect people. People think that trying God is spooky. But it also made me realize that people can be deathly afraid of actually being better people.
I love that at my church, Authentic Life in Philly we say, “Come as you are and be transformed into who you are called to be.” Meaning, we take you any way you come. But the reality here is, when you are doing this Christianity thing the way that it was intended, there is NO WAY that you will continue to be the same person you were. The love of God will change you. AND IT SHOULD. Sorry I’m capitalizing, but I am so passionate. LOL.
CLICK TO TWEET /// When you are doing this Christianity thing the way that it was intended, there is NO WAY that you will continue to be the same person you were.
Why are we afraid of what being our best selves means? I mean this manifest itself in various areas of our lives. Why are we complacent with being terrible husbands or wives? Why are we complacent with bad habits that may lead us to untimely deaths? Why are we okay with having no compassion for people worse off than us? Yes being a believer of Christ makes you responsible. For how you carry yourself, how you think and act, how you treat people and most importantly how you treat yourself. But WHAT is wrong with that? What is wrong with love?
It’s so important to me that we begin to separate the religious doctrine from what it actually means to love God. I mean have you read the new testament? JESUS himself was not about that religious life. This man was flipping over tables in the temple like WHAT ARE YALL DOING? I promise you. What I realize about the time that I was so adamant about not believing in God was that I knew NOTHING about it. I knew what I heard people repeat. I knew what TV said about Christianity. I was the third party. I was the last person in a terrible game of whisper down the lane. I was consuming the gossip of what God was as opposed to literally just picking up the daggone book for myself.
So many people make these judgments about what Christianity is when they have either never tried it or they have let people, mere humans, get in the way of their personal relationship with Christ. Knowing what I know. Feeling the love of God like I have felt it, I will be darned if I let a person tear me away from that. I implore you that there is no longer space for fear because your relationship with God is a matter of life and death.
CLICK TO TWEET /// There is no longer space for fear because your relationship with God is a matter of life and death.
As Christians, I will tell you, sometimes we are literally afraid to ask people about coming to church or truly express our faith because of the terrible portrait that has been painted. But I will tell you what. I can’t be afraid much longer. I have to talk about the goodness of God because what I KNOW NOW, about Him, about His Love, about His provision and His guidance, I cannot keep it to myself. Because I want that for you. Because I love you with the love of God. I love you because He loves me. And if I ever want to truly show Him how much I love and appreciate him, then it is my DUTY to love you.
You may say, Ashley, I tried it and I’m just not into it. And I can say, well at least you tried. But I promise you that if you haven’t, get on your knees right now and say, “Lord I accept you as my savior and believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose again.” And you are on your way to a journey that has given me inexplicable peace and joy. That has helped me in the darkness moments like driving to the hospital not knowing whether my father would live or die. Like making a way out of no way when our accounts were saying $0. Like finding a lump in my breast that turned out to be malignant. Like giving me the opportunity to marry my best friend in life. You cannot tell me that God is not real.
I need you to not be afraid. I need you to understand that the best version of yourself is waiting in the love of God. I need you to understand that you have no idea how much time you have here and that it can either be spent in agony and confusion or in peace. Don’t let fear or people be what stops you. Open up your MOUTH and say to God. “I don’t know you. But I want to. Help guide me.” And I promise you, He hears us.
There is nothing to fear. In loving God, you have already won. And there is something amazing on the other side of His love. God’s love has changed me forever. I will fall short. I will have good and bad days. But I am dedicated to the work that is needed to get to that gate and have Him say, “Well done, my faithful servant.” God is good yall. All the time.
Scriptures to Reference:
"This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curses. Now, choose life so that you and your children may live." Deuteronomy 30:19
"Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns before others, I will disown before my father in heaven." Matthew 10:32
"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:2