"There's something absolutely strange about the idea that there is a spirit that lives in a believer that has the power to not only remove things from us but to place things in us that change our behavior.”
(Jesus send those words to my toddler!) Is it just me? Or is this not something that's like super weird? Now, there are a lot of things about God that I read in the Bible that cause me to think, "Yup, I can see why people think Christians are crazy. We believe in a God who does things like walk on water." Which in the natural IS crazy and completely impossible but we also know that in the supernatural there's nothing God can't do; including a radical behavior change in His people.
I chose to change my life and become a Christian while I was in college; which is pretty much the worst, yet best, timing. There I was planning my next big dorm party when Christ showed up and changed everything I thought I knew and placed in me new thoughts, behaviors, and beliefs. I remember sitting down with one of my college roommates and having a conversation like this:
"Maryann! I missed you! How was your Christmas break visiting your family?"
"Well, I'm a Christian now."
"What? Um ok. I mean congratulations? I don't know what you want me to say."
"No, it's weird. What you said is probably appropriate. But yeah it's like a real thing, I feel different and I don't even know how that's possible."
And that was the truth. I didn't know how it was possible to feel so completely outside of myself.
To think and see things with new eyes.
To realize there was a whole other piece of life that my mind was just opened to.
Suddenly within me lived love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control…the fruits of the Spirit! Faithfulness was the one I was most shocked by. Faithfulness is tricky for people of my nature. I had always proven myself faithful in my work, my schooling, and my friendships, but my faithfulness in relationships? Yep, that was basically non-existent. And now that I was in a relationship with God, I was just waiting on the moment I would fall on my face like a girl wearing high heels who trips on her dress and falls face first. Yet, there I was time and time again saying no to others and saying yes to God. Which honestly is CRAZY. I said NO to desires that I once thought would fill me and said YES to those I now knew would. I was shocked that as these opportunities arose to leave God, I wasn’t- I was choosing to prove myself faithful.
And really that's the point I'm trying to communicate here. God is continually going to remind you that your ability to choose right from wrong is in you because His Spirit is in you. That your love for people isn't because of the awesome heart you have; it's because you are faithful to God and He's chosen to be faithful to you. If you're reading this, I NEED you to know that choosing God is far and beyond weird. It’s not in the nature of our hearts to be open to the pruning of ourselves. It's not innately human for people like Evan, Angela, Kendall, and Jessica to serve at such high-capacity with little to no praise and a lower paycheck than most people. It's not natural that we believe in a God who was born in a manger, who deeply loves the least of these, who commands that we "go on and love your enemies and forgive them 70 X 7 times." All of those things are counter-cultural, but I've seen Him prove himself faithful to me, I've experienced the truth of His Word, and I've walked in His faithfulness. But not because I'm good and it's not even because I drank enough coffee that day! It's actually because God gave me a gift and a piece of that was His faithfulness. So I ask you to walk in that faithfulness with me and to encourage those exhibiting great levels of that faithfulness, such as the Club Christ team, to continue. We know what He can do through them!
Written by Maryann Flynn, former Las Vegas Center Director. Maryann lives in Florida with her husband Shaun and their two children. She is prone to clumsiness, passionate about Jesus, and patiently waiting for Taylor Swift to go on tour again.