Where is your relationship with Jesus? It’s a question that was asked of me and others throughout my trip to Guatemala and Honduras. It’s a question that’s probably not asked enough in the Church. And it’s one that is usually followed by, “It’s definitely not where it should be.” And while that may be a sufficient answer, it’s not usually the right answer. *(I have a disclaimer here about this whole “Relationship” terminology. If you’d like to read it, see at the bottom)*
Evaluate your life for a second. Think about where you were a year ago, 5 years ago, even 10 years ago. Now think about where the Holy Spirit has led you to this point in time? Have you grown? Have you learned? Chances are you answered in one way or another, “Yes, I have.” So while you may not have attained perfection, you have at least made (or God has forced you to make) steps towards a more holy lifestyle.
A crazy thing happened on my trip in Honduras; my camera was stolen along with a few stabilizers. Now let me be clear, when I lose my keys I also tend to freak out. I get so upset with myself when I do something stupid. I feel like I’m a little boy being yelled at by my Pappap for doing something dumb or being harassed by my classmates at school for saying something stupid. I have allowed my insecurities and imperfections consume me and my flesh pours out a volcanic eruption of anger and rage.
But that didn’t happen when my camera was taken from me. To be honest, I actually laughed about it a bit. Instead, I remained calm and began to sing, “My God is greater, my God is stronger, God you are higher than any other, my God is healer, awesome in power, My God!” I prayed in the Spirit and hoped that somehow the thieves would be convicted enough to return the camera and that they would come to know Jesus through this situation. And even if they didn’t, I told the Lord that I trusted Him to restore it.
There was no way my flesh could have reacted that way. A year ago I accidentally flew my drone into a branch and it fell 20 feet and broke. Granted, I was in a much different season of life being unemployed, but I completely broke down. I was yelling, crying, and had a total meltdown. So when I see how I reacted to this situation, I know that in some way my relationship with Jesus has improved because I’ve allowed the Holy Spirit comfort me rather than pushing the Spirit away. It was a moment of sadness realizing how far I had fallen followed by a moment of peace knowing that my trust in the Lord has been restored.
Sometimes we’ve come farther than we realize. I would encourage you to see how far you’ve come. And don’t allow people to dictate or ruin what God is doing in your life. There was a person who made a snide remark on my post and I’ll tell you, it took everything in me not to let loose on that person or write an entire blog focused on that. But I didn’t want to ruin what the Lord was doing through me at that moment. Instead, I let their words speak for themselves. You see, this isn’t about them, me, or my camera. This is about Jesus.
I don’t know why my camera was stolen. But I do know that I will give glory to God because He has been able to provide me with stability again, and that is more important than a camera. I know that God will provide me with a new camera because there is no doubt in my mind that this is a ministry He has called me to in this season of life. I know that even though he allowed my camera to be stolen, I was able to use my phone and backup camera to continue filming missionaries.
Where is your relationship with Jesus? I encourage you to find what Jesus has been doing in your life and share it with others. I am so guilty of not sharing my testimony and evangelizing to people. But if we truly want to see the hope of Jesus flood this divided and broken country, we need to begin with ourselves. We need to begin to see how Jesus has given us hope, and freedom, and forgiveness so that we can share it with others. Jesus didn’t say, “Go and hide your faith because it’s a private matter.” He said, “Go and make disciples, baptizing them and teaching them…” Who in your life needs to hear what Jesus has to offer? Find ways to spark conversations with them and begin by sharing how Jesus is changing your life. We can’t afford to be silent about what Jesus did, is doing, and will do any longer.
Empower people with hope this week!
*Disclaimer: I have recently taken issue with the phrase, “It’s not a religion, it’s a relationship.” I started writing about it about a month ago, but clearly, life has been busy. Nevertheless, I plan on posting about it in the near future. For the sake of this post, I didn’t mention it above but wanted to at least address my concerns with this terminology. I do not deny that when we follow Jesus we enter into a relationship with him. This is why I kept that word in this post. But I also believe that many people, especially Western Americans, use this phrase to justify certain behaviors. It may be a relationship, but it should look vastly different from the relationships we have with other humans, particularly in the technological age. But more on that in the future.
About Justin Boothby
Justin is a lifelong student who loves to travel, film, write, design websites, and life coach. Most importantly he loves to Pastor in all different kinds of ministry settings. He’s also an avid pizza lover, metalcore listener, and shot glass collector.