In 2005 my life journey had taken a dramatic new turn and I knew that I had much to learn. As I write my testimonial nine years later, I know that I still have much to learn. My hope and my belief is that as I continue to grow my relationship with God I will better understand the depth of His love for me. I will become increasingly aware that God loves me unconditionally in spite of the war that my flesh still wages with the Spirit. With God’s help, I am learning His ways to protect me. He leads and I follow in obedience. It will be through my submitted relationship with God that I receive daily the strength to control my flesh. If nine years walking with the Lord has taught me nothing else, it’s that I cannot do this by myself. Now I have help. The Lord is my strong foundation.
Here is something else that I learned. I am still prone to bouts of the same pride and arrogance that have plagued me for most of my life. But I am learning about the flesh in a way I never understood before. My little prayer to Jesus on July 18, 2005, began my transformation from within. I am learning how I have allowed the spiritual domain of Satan to have influence upon me in many destructive ways. I am developing a growing sensitivity to the destructive force of selfish pride and its seductive ways. I now have a powerful new ally in this inner struggle. When I depend upon God to strengthen me, this is really a lopsided war.
My relationship with Jesus feels new every day. I hope this never changes. Sometimes it seems fragile when I allow my flesh to rear its ugly head. To this point I had some very good advice from Allen the day after he baptized me… “I pray that you will be keenly aware of your new relationship with Satan. Like the serpent of old, he will seek to deceive you. He will tell you that nothing has changed. He will tell you to just look at yourself and you will see and hear the same you. I pray in the name of Jesus that you will know in your heart and be prepared to speak back to him with the authority of God’s Word and your Redeemer and say ‘Get behind me Satan…I listen only to the words of my Father.”
Finally, it was a challenging irony that my workplace was, at best, indifferent to the fact that I no longer defined myself by my job. I had become defined by the love of Christ Jesus. At worst my workplace would even reject me. While this greatly disappointed and discouraged me, it did not surprise me. My workplace was worldly and secular; however my new identity is heavenly and in Jesus Christ. I often felt like I had two lives; one life was my secular workplace and the other was my life away from the job. I often felt like I was juggling these two worlds. But I never lost my strong drive to be effective in the secular workplace for as long as I remained there. I think this honored Christ.
Nevertheless, in terms of my spiritual pursuit I felt the need to bring my two worlds together, my lives at work and at home. I desired to learn what a follower of Christ Jesus should be like in the secular world outside of family life. I desired that my faith might make a difference in the lives of my coworkers. How would I do this? What would this look like? These were the questions I faced in the months and years following my conversion. These questions remain part of my continuing journey. The good news is that I’m not in this alone. I am one loved by Jesus Christ. This is who I am. This is why I work, whatever the Lord might assign me to do.
Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men; knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. (Col 3:23-24)