“You can not be too aware of the inward and inbred evils you complain of but you may be improperly controlled and and affected by them. You not only express a low opinion of yourself but also too low of the person, work, and promises of the Redeemer” — John Newton
Chinese students I have been meeting constantly ask me, “Why do you follow God?” My answer to these weary students goes something like this: “I didn’t always follow Him even though I grew up with Him. I was always in church and there came a point in my life where I questioned His plan and timing for my life. I got mad at Him and thought I could run my life better. In college I did the fun things. I drank, smoked, fooled around which led me to a life where I felt lost and alone. I had a life with no purpose. When I realized I was an addict, I decided to go search for answers from God. Over time as I learned and saw the life Jesus offers and lived, I realized I needed Him more then what life can offer.” I usually get a response with them stating I am very passionate about God or that’s good for me. It takes every fiber in my body to not shake them and make them believe He is for them too. That is why I have my safe place here to rant and express my shaking. How I forget, well it still haunts me – the life before, how I truly never wanted to draw near to God. Now I’m all about Psalms 73 because it explains why I do what I do, well part of my actions,
“But for me it is good for me to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works” — Psalms 73:28
I should be ashamed of my thoughts of wanting to make them believe, since looking back at my own walk it was and still is a process. Christians like to take the credit for the saving of an individual when all along it is the power of His Spirit and His truth that calls and saves. I’ve yet to see a Chinese student become saved after hearing God’s love and truth flow through my mouth. I have not lost faith in Him. I know it will happen during my stint. And if it doesn’t then He used me to throw the seeds and prepare the soil for others, which is okay.
I will say the closest I have seen the Spirit so far is during corporate worship and my first meeting with Charry. Hearing the Chinese worship God is just one of the most beautiful things in the world. Whether you are engaged or just witnessing, there are no words to describe the pure love these brothers and sisters offer to our Father. I’m planning on sharing this experience in my next newsletter. Hearing them just brings to mind Revelation:
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number,from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” — Revelation 7:9-10
My first meeting with Charry was just as great! He and I got dinner and just talked. He knows about God, but sometimes with Chinese it’s hard to discern whether they believe what you’re saying or are following even though they will say a hundred times, “Yes I know.” I think they understand the American culture in that aspect very well. Anywho, He and I were talking about why I follow God. From there I asked what holds Him back and He responds, “I waste my time with unimportant and busy things compared to God.” Damm, this dude has some insight. From there we talked about those things and ways to let it go. I prayed for him then had him confess his guilt and ask for God’s spirit and Jesus to help him. To help him let go of those things and keep God first. Charry asked me if it was okay that he prayed in Chinese haha slowly teaching him God does understand mandarin. Listening to Charry pray, you could feel the Spirit around us, giving him hope and love! Seeing Charry’s face was awesome. He left our meeting with a spring in his step.
So each Sunday night after fellowship what we call church my friends and I have a ritual of going onto the roof our apartment to just shoot the bull. Viewing the island from the roof (dong in Chinese) brings a great calm to my soul. Why, you may ask? Viewing the island asleep with the moon shining bright, I don’t think any picture will ever describe the calming the dong provides. Also you can’t forget my company and the spirit I’m filled with. haha. Each Sunday we get to see a different phase of the moon, which I love that fact.
Thoughts that hit me while staring at the moon: You know it doesn’t produce its own light. It relies solely off the sun for its light. A perfect example to us, Christians, regarding God in our life. Each phase seems to be like our own faults, doubts, and desires that creep back in and block out the light. Just like the moon’s cycle we will never be perfect enough to produce our own light, since we were created to be a reflection of our Creator and Savior in our life.
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” — Romans 8:28-29
I will spend my life time and eternal life knowing God truly.