Devotion by Ben Houser – Seeds Family Worship Missionary
John 3:36 “Whoever believes in the son has eternal life. Whoever does not obey the son shall not see life but the wrath of God remains on him.”
I grew up in a Christian home. My dad started Seeds Family Worship. My parents were always encouraging me to be closer to the Lord. We would do devotionals throughout the week and discuss the Bible together. When I was ten I chose to follow Jesus and was baptized, but at that point in my life I didn’t understand the Gospel and the love of Christ enough to truly know what kind of decision I was making.
In high school, there were new pressures and choices presented to me. I felt pulled in many different directions, torn between these new pressures and my home. I decided to check out some of these new things and see what all the hype was about. I became involved in drugs and alcohol and I was confused about my identity. Your identity is who you are, and it is displayed in the things that you choose to do. I didn’t know my identity as a follower of Christ. Everyday I would go to school and hang out with my friends and I would be a different person than who I wanted to be. That eventually led me into a state of confusion and sadness.
By my junior year I was far from walking with the Lord, rebelling against my family and God. I wanted to do things my way, out of selfishness and pride. I also wanted my life to change, yet didn’t know how. That summer I was invited to a camp in Park City, Utah. I didn’t really care about the camp or the activities, I only wanted to be with friends and have a good time.
Throughout the week God began to show me things about Himself that softened my heart towards Him. On the last day a woman named Olivia taught us about our identity in Christ. I found myself that afternoon at the front row of the room leaning in to hear what she had to say. There came a point in her message where she handed out notecards. “Write down on one side all the things you think about yourself.” For the first time in a while, I tried to get real honest with myself and wrote down things that I thought about me, things that ran through my mind everyday, things I didn’t want to admit about my identity.
As I poured my heart out on the notecard I could see my sadness and emptiness. I wrote things like, “I don’t belong in this family,” “I can’t lead people,” “Does God love me?” “I have no purpose.” I began to weep out of confusion and guilt. I could see my need for a savior in the words that I wrote and I knew that I couldn’t live that way anymore.
Olivia then told everyone to flip over the card. She said to ask the Lord what He thought of us and who He created us to be. As I turned over my card I saw a blank page, a fresh start. As I prayed, I put away my pride, humbling myself before the feet of Jesus. I asked him, “Lord I am confused and lost, please forgive me for the things I’ve done and show me who you created me to be because I don’t know who I am anymore.”
In that moment God spoke to me. As I wrote on this side of the notecard I wrote things that I never thought I could. The words that poured out of my pen were beautiful, filling up the whole page saying things like, “You are my son,” “I have great plans for you,” “I have placed you where you are for great purpose,” “You are loved.”
As I saw God’s words on this side of the card, my life was redirected and God changed me forever. It was in that moment that I felt a fresh sense of new life in Him.
Since then I have known my identity in Christ and now I get to seek God’s word in Scripture and be a missionary each and every day. Life with Christ is better than anything I could have imagined and I am so excited to see what he has in store for my future in serving Him.
What is a statement that you often repeat to yourself that you’d like to change? If anyone shares, brainstorm positive, biblical statements to counteract it. Don’t force anyone to share.
God, help us to believe in your power to change us every day. Help us to find our identity in you. Help us to trust you to change our thinking where we are wrong. We believe by faith in Jesus and trust he will reshape and renew our minds today!