When fitted with the armor of God, we will not be blindsided by the fiery darts of the Enemy. Past failures lose their power and present thoughts will not overrun me, for I am in control of my thoughts and I make the final decision on what I believe. The opinions of others do not bombard me, for I have decided to believe what God says about who I am- regardless of what I or anyone else thinks.
Dennis Jernigan, This Is My Destiny
I decided last night that I was going to do a “Coming out” post like Toxic to clarify a few misconceptions some of you may have of my person. This is the most honest post I’ve written about myself so far and I hope that it won’t be the last. So, here goes:
I’m a Christian.
I’m a church-going, God-praying, hopelessly-loved, mind-wandering Christian.
When the adjective comes to mind though, I’m not the first person I think of. To me, sometimes, that adjective and my name shouldn’t be used in the same sentence.
Unless the sentence, or statement, is a lie. Or joke.
Either way, I am probably not the first person that’ll come to mind when you picture people who ooze Christianity from every pore of their being. I’m not the Mother Theresa of Calcutta or the Amy Carmichael. No, you would not think of me as any of those remarkable Christian people.
On first look, there is nothing remarkably Christian about me.
This is where I redefine the adjective.
I am Christian because I believe in God but “even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror” so believing that there is a God is not enough. I have to believe something more than that.
I believe that this God loves me regardless of what you think and especially regardless of what I think. I believe that the minute I gave my life to Him I earned myself a one way ticket to Heaven. I believe that when he sees me He sees righteousness, not my righteousness but the righteousness of Jesus. I believe that He wants me to become more and more like Jesus. I believe that He wants me to preach about Him and if necessary use words.
“How can you believe in God?” you may ask, and “what evidence do you have that He truly exists?”
I have no other reason to believe that there truly is a God but this: Jesus was born in a Middle Eastern country over 2000 years ago. He called Himself the Son of God and He was brutally murdered by people that had come to the conclusion that Jesus was either truly the Son of God or a lunatic. And 2000 years after that bloody death, I sit millions of miles away from the place He was murdered and I am told passionately about Him by a man who is either raving mad or has experienced this Savior personally before. I choose what I want to believe. And I won’t go back on what I chose there and then if I had a million chances.
Now, your turn
No matter what you choose, I can only be one of two things: delusional or enlightened.
How can I be sure that I truly have a spot in Heaven?
More often that I’d like, this question comes up in my mind. Other times, it rephrases itself and comes to me like this: Ibukun, you will burn in Hell.
Since we have already established the fact that I am either delusional or enlightened, if you think I am delusional, you probably have stopped reading this already or you will do after this sentence. And if you think I’m enlightened, I want to share with you the assurance I have that I will not burn in a lake of sulphur: there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And those who, like me, belong to Christ Jesus are dead to this life. The new people that they are have been forever made perfect by the one sacrifice that Jesus made over 2000 years ago. This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun.
In one sentence, I am a new person. I’m not the Ibukun you have been around the block with. And even though some days I don’t feel new, the old Ibukun is dead and gone.
But if you claim to be a new person, how come you still do some of the things the old Ibukun used to do?
The Ibukun that did not know any better is dead, alright. There is no disputing that. The new Ibukun knows better but she doesn’t do better sometimes. Because, really, old habits die hard but eventually they die. And till those habits die, sometimes, I won’t always make right decisions. But I know that when I fall, or creep away from the truth, I know that I can always come back to this High Priest of mine that understands my weakness, for He faced all of the same testings that I do. This Jesus faced all of the temptations that I face on a daily basis. In His earthly life, He probably had acne as an adolescent. He probably had a major crush on a girl down the street. A girl down the street was probably crushing on Him. He probably worried about grades too. And I am positive that that doubts came up in His mind at some points while He was in His earthly body. This God is not out of touch with reality.
So I can come back boldly to the throne of this God and I will receive His mercy and find grace to help me when I need it the most. This doesn’t mean however that I can take this grace for granted. I cannot take one step forward, throw myself to the ground and reach out for a helping hand. There really isn’t much sense in that. There is no progress or growth in that and I won’t get very far in the journey that is this life if I do that. I probably won’t even leave the beginning point of my journey.
There are still some things I do not know about this God and there are some that I will never know. But what I do know is that I do not need to go to heaven first to have a deep relationship with this God. I want to have that ultimately real relationship here on earth so I can die knowing that I am going to meet an old friend and not a blind date. An old friend that calls the unqualified and names them qualified…one that shatters the mold that we have made for Him and meets us in the most unlikely places, through the most unlikely people. He was born in a barn filled with the stench of farm animals so many years ago and today, He reincarnates Himself in another barn; the author of this post. This God is the ultimate iconoclast.
So there you have it. This is what I am and this is what I have started living. This is who I am and this is what I breathe.