Complacent Christian – Part 3 – To this day

Fast forward many years and many ups and downs that I will cover another time, we get to the present day. I am very much walking with Christ. Sometimes I’m vigorously sprinting, sometimes I’m reluctantly crawling. Sometimes I’m so hungry for the Word of God, sometimes I’m merely peckish, sometimes I feel like I am full. This is what this three part blog series is actually about. Feeling full. The truth is I can never be too full with God. When God is in it, there is no limit – ever. That’s even for those who know the Bible back to front and can quote scripture faster than I can quote Drake lyrics. I’m definitely nowhere even near to being that kind of person in my journey with Christ yet. I’ve fallen into laziness, relying on the fact that I have years of church experience and years of being in a church environment to get me through this Christian life. And it is not enough.

Here I speak with complete honesty. I have met someone who is an example of being absolutely hungry and thirsty for the Word of God. Someone who has not had the same positive life and church experiences as me. I love this person very much. I can honestly say that in the beginning, when I started sharing my journey to faith with him, and he shared his journey to faith with me, I thought it was me that had the passion and hunger for Christ all the time. Plot twist, it most certainly wasn’t!!!!

God has humbled me so much and allowed me to realise that me intensely studying the Bible, praying, fasting and living according to grace and the Word of God in one breath whilst relying on my upbringing and prior experience in another breath, when I perhaps feel down and deflated spiritually is not enough. This is not the way I’m suppose to live! Maybe this is perhaps where I fall into temptation?

I want to understand Christ more, I want to live in the truth of the gospel day by day, to glorify His Name and to live a life according the purpose that He has given to me, but the battle between spirit and flesh is ongoing and rather intense. This is not an excuse, but a reality. Fellow Christians, can you relate? Of course you can. This battle is written about in the Bible so many times – read Paul’s letters in the New Testament, it is a battle that is not and will not be hidden from us because it is so real to our very existence. But Christians are also called not to be of the flesh, but of the Spirit. In fact, we are told that we are not of the flesh, but of the Spirit (Romans 8:9). This indicates to me that is a choice, a choice that I will live to make everyday of my life, everyday of my life. I refuse to define myself as being a complacent Christian as I seek everyday to be more like Jesus.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7 NIV)

Love Always,

Shadz xo

Complacent Christian – Part 2 – Back to Christ

Growing up as a teen was difficult. I won’t lie, I can’t lie but during a lot of secondary school I didn’t connect with God, I was too concerned with friends – who weren’t actually friends, cute boys *eye roll*, my appearance, popularity, gossip and all the other things teen me indulged in. I used to be the kind of person to mumble something that mildly resembled a prayer before I went to bed each night, as some sort of recognition of God’s presence but during the day, it was all about me. I thought all the excitement of school and teenage life would be all I needed to live a cosy life. I’d keep going to church on side, because mum and dad wouldn’t just leave us home alone every Sunday, but I wasn’t really exercising my faith. My Bible had collected more dust particles than an old doll in an antique shop and I was pretty sure my prayers were as genuine as some reality TV shows I watched. I watched the relationship I had with God crumble right before my eyes, because I was too concerned with what everyone on the outside thought of me. I became so distant with my parents and my older brother because of my selfishness, my self-absorption and outright denial of having an issue in the first place. By the grace of God alone have those relationships now been fully restored to above and beyond what I could have imagined.

Around about the age of 14, I experienced the lowest point in my life so far. Call it a teenage meltdown, hormones, teen anxiety or whatever you like, I was low, and I was very unhappy. I’m not going to go into details about it, maybe another day, in another blog, but just know, I was in a very dark place. I didn’t call out to God in this time, I didn’t think He was there, and if He was, that He would be interested or that He could change my situation. I looked for healing in people and their approval, which could have never in a million years fill the void that was in the middle of my being. I went to a church festival at the age of 15 with the church my family had recently relocated to. It was not long after I had the complete breakdown, I think it may have been 2 or 3 days after it, but I went anyways, feeling broken and completely helpless.

I’m confident in the fact that I did not leave that place in the state that I had come. I felt the Spirit of God moving in me, literally, I didn’t know what it was then, but looking back in hindsight, I can confirm it was God. I was led to speak to this lady, to this day I cannot remember her name, but she led me into a prayer that allowed me to allow God in to change my life. I remember I was shaking heavily, I had never asked for prayer over my situation, I hardly spoke about it in full with anyone to be completely honest. Apparently I didn’t need to tell her everything either. She asked me straight away whether I had anxiety and whether I wanted prayer. I told her yes and yes please. So she prayed and I responded. From that moment, I stopped shaking and felt this inner peace that I only remember feeling at the age of seven when I came to Christ and was baptised. I felt like a child again, His child again.

I went back to school a different person, a new creation as the apostle Paul refers to it in 2 Corinthians 5:17. People noticed the change in me, some rejoiced with me, some weren’t too keen on it, which did discourage me and some were open to understanding why and how everything had happened. I had highs and lows throughout my journey as a re-committed Christian, lots of highs and lows. I still don’t always make the right choices – I have often made very wrong ones, to say the least. But I can honestly say that since that day, I never felt completely separated from God like I once had.

Part 3 is out now!

Love Always,

Shadz xo

Complacent Christian: Part 1 – Growing up “Christian”

These two words shouldn’t really co-exist. A Christian really shouldn’t be complacent. However, I can be very complacent….. and I’m a Christian. I grew up in the church, different church assemblies, but I was always in church. I know that doesn’t equate to me being a Christian. It doesn’t matter if I spent every spare minute I had in church. Standing in a church doesn’t equate to my salvation, nor does spending time in church equate to me actually being the person that God has called me. The fact that I was brought up in church does, however, add to the reason why I, personally, have become quite complacent. Here’s why:

Being in the church environment literally from my first days even breathing independently from my mother meant that I was always surrounded by the Word of God. As in always. My parents are both committed Christians with incredible testimonies of their own. Without a doubt this became the foundation for my understanding of the Bible and of God himself. Thankfully, being a Christian was never forced on me, or my three siblings. In contrary to many claims about kids raised in church being “brainwashed”, I can wholeheartedly confirm, that we were not! We were always taught that we were to make our own decisions regarding our faith as in the end it was going to be our choice. Believe me, we all have our own personal journeys and all four of us has made both a personal declaration and public declaration (through baptism) of our faith in Jesus.

I chose, as in actually chose to be baptised at the age of seven. Yes, I was young, I’ve been told that so many times, but I vividly remember when I first believed in God. I asked my parents if I could get baptised, assuming they’d say no, because I was young and inexperienced (my older brother was actually younger than me when he chose to get baptised!), but they didn’t say no. Instead they ensured that I knew what I was declaring and understood my personal reason for becoming a Christian. I was a bright kid, some would say I was years above my age, so I could honestly say I was ready.

Part 2 is published now – didn’t want to make the blog too long!

Love Always,

Shadz xo