Eight years ago, I was a first year in University and I was really excited. I was starting a new phase and I was working towards my goal of becoming rich or so I thought. I had attended the Seventh-Day Adventist church from my childhood and I was privileged enough to find SDASM (Seventh-Day Adventist Student Movement) on campus. For the first time in my life, I saw young people who were on fire for God – they were dedicated to ministering to others and were living in obedience to the light they knew. I too began to have a yearning for such an experience with God. As I reflected, I saw how God’s hand had been guiding my life – how He had guided me and protected me from horrible experiences even though the year before I used the Sabbath day for studying and rebelled against attending church.
I eventually got baptized and it was the happiest day of my life. Now that I look back, I realize I was naïve – I thought I had figured everything out; I thought I could easily let go off my old ways in my own strength and I was self-righteous.
As the Lord began to work in my life, I was convinced I was the spokesperson for God – I was quick to point out other people’s wrongs and too slow to see mine. As much as I was drawn to God’s love, I did not know Him.
I was convinced I had to buy God’s love – if my dress was long enough, if I ate less of this and did that I thought I’d be God’s favourite; and whenever I erred, I felt so guilty and I was convinced He loved me less. But Scripture comforted me only for a while. At the same time, I was struggling with sensuality and sexual desires. I found myself drawn to romantic movies, fantasizing and I eventually began to watch porn and to masturbate, and that began a life-long struggle with sin. I would gain victory at times but after a long time, I would go back to my old ways and so as much as I claimed to love God, I found myself in the same shoes as Paul: For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate (Romans 7:15).
I also saw God as a tyrant who was always ready to see me suffer whenever I erred. I struggled to see Him as my father due to my distant relationship with my own biological father. I really thought God could not be trusted and I felt like He was constantly seeking to harm me. Whenever I got disappointed or hurt, I blamed Him, even though at times I was simply reaping the consequences of my actions. I used God as a scapegoat for my own mind stakes and failures. Three years ago, I had a life-changing experience. Although this experience brought so much pain in my life and led to so much brokenness, it led me to a closer relationship with God. I was led to see God as my Healer and Restorer, and He then became my confidant. It was then I came with God face-to-face. I learnt that He loved me so much that He was willing to risk thousands of years of being misunderstood just to save me. It was then that I understood that there was nothing I could do to gain God’s love: But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). This was a life-changing moment and it liberated me from so many myths I had about who God was.Not only has He healed me but He has given me strength to overcome pornography and masturbation. I now know I do not possess any strength and He’s the One who enables me – mine is to submit my will to His one day at a time. Click To Tweet
I can now confidently say that God is my Father and so much more. Through the bad experience I went through, I was able to see Him for who He is and I’m so thankful for His presence in my life. Not only has He healed me but He has given me strength to overcome pornography and masturbation. I now know I do not possess any strength and He’s the One who enables me – mine is to submit my will to His one day at a time.
I have also learnt so many invaluable lessons and each day I continue to learn. I will just mention a few:
1. We need God more than the previous day or the previous moment that just passed. We cannot afford to survive on yesterday’s prayers and experience. We need new strength each day.
2. We need a teachable spirit and humility – it is easy to deceive oneself, to think that you know and possess wisdom based on what God has revealed. The reality is, the more God reveals to us, the more grace we need. “To whom much is given, much is required.”
3. It is important to be true to yourself. It is important to take time to reflect and really think about who we really are, what are weaknesses are and where we need to overcome. It is important to commune with God through reading His Word and in prayer so that He may reveal who we are. Pride is dangerous! So is self-deceit.
4. The safest path is to seek God’s plan for our lives – it is important to realize that God has a plan about our lives and sometimes, we become so much obsessed with having a plan that we lose out what God is calling us to.
5. God believes in us – He sees so much potential in us regardless of our failures and how we view ourselves. He sees so much potential in us and He has endowed us with capabilities that are distinct. And above all, He enables!
6. We need to ask God about how to best use our talents – He knows where we can minister effectively and we should be humble enough to let Him dictate our usage of these talents. After all, we are but servants.
7. It is important to realize that we exist for a greater plan – more than eating and drinking; we exist to be the light and a reflection of who God is and we each have a soul to lose or to gain. It is easy to get caught up in the tangible things that we let them consume us so much that we forget our purpose in life. Knowing that we are God’s ambassadors enables us to not look at our current circumstances (joblessness, failure, lack, trauma etc.).
8. It is important to sever ties with anything or anyone that will jeopardize our relationship with God. God is enough so much that, even the very things that hold us back from living for Him completely, do not compare to the joy, fulfilment and completeness that we experience when we make Him our first and our last.
𝗪𝗿𝗶𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗻 𝗯𝘆: Mercy Msezeni