Since becoming a Christian, God has worked some amazing changes in my life. In so many ways, my outlook has altered for the better and I’ve had the privilege of working in some amazing ministries. I’ve led youth work outreach projects, Alpha courses, I’m part of our church’s development team and most recently preached my first sermon. If you’d told me five years ago that I’d be involved in work like that (and be so passionate about it) I’d have called you mad.
But that’s the nature of the positive changes that God can make in people’s lives.
However, despite all of these positive changes I still sometimes “catch myself in the mirror” so to speak. It feels like my old inner self takes a good look at who I’m becoming and says:
“Whoa there! Who do you think you are to be leading people to Jesus or preaching sermon? Who gave you the right?”
You see I know who I was and what I was like before I became a Christian. I know who used to look back at me out of the mirror. There are aspects of my old character that I really don’t like and this is what the negativity uses as fuel. As my faith grows (and with it my trust in God) I am able to silence the voices reasonably quickly. It’s always a little unsettling though.
However, by way of an answer, I am doing these things because God has called and qualified me to do them. He also knows what I was like before and has forgiven me for it. The slate is wiped clean by Christ’s death on the cross, as it can be for all of us. My constant prayer is for God to use me more and more for his purposes and he has answered those prayers faithfully. I believe that God is a door opener and when we commit ourselves to him, he opens more and more of them for us. Doors into fantastic adventures that our old selves could not have conceived of.
As it says in the Bible:
“For I know the plans I have for you.” says the Lord, “They are plans for good and not disaster, plans to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11 – NLT)
I love this verse because it spells out that he really does have great things planned for us all. Plans for his purposes. But we need to be faithful in asking for his blessing and bold enough to step through the doors he opens. When we do that, we are growing into the people he planned us to be. We just need to keep strong, keep our faith and use it to silence those negative, inner voices.
He loves us all and calls us according to his purposes. Who are we to argue with that?