God will ruin my life
I don't know about you, but I've always been pretty convinced that God would ruin my life. I mean I knew he was technically "good" and that he supposedly loves me (along with everyone else on the planet). However good he may be, I knew that if I let him get too connected into my life that he would take over and ruin any hopes for fun, success and happiness.
This is a pretty negative view of God for a kid who prayed daily and participated in everything at church. But I did all of this holding God at arm's length. I didn't trust him. If I gave him too much access, he would ruin my life and for sure send me to a be a missionary in the deepest darkest jungles of Africa - forever!
So my strategy was to do JUST enough churchy things to keep him appeased and hopefully he would leave me alone.
In my last year of High School my mom wanted me to go to a large youth gathering in the region. I really didn't want to go - namely, because I was striving to keep God at arm's length and secondly because my Mom wanted me to go so badly. I still don't know why, but I registered and went.
At the Saturday evening session my paradigm of God was blown up. The speaker explained how Christianity is not just about us loving God and somehow performing for him to keep him happy. He seemed to be speaking directly to me! He explained that the first thing about the Christian faith is that God desires to love us! Personally! - that this is his first impulse towards us. This is why he sent his only son Jesus, to die on the cross to rescue us from sin, death and separation so that we could be fully restored and KNOW his love..
I was blown away. I had known why Jesus died on the cross my whole life - but the way it was explained I heard it for the first time in my heart! I felt like God was saying to me, “Angele do you really want to keep playing games, and keep me at arm's length. I love you. I don't want to ruin your life! I am life.”
With this message coming through loud and clear, I gave him a chance. I let down my barriers, "lowered my arm" to let him come close. I prayed and told him I wanted to trust him with my whole life. I immediately felt a release of freedom, love and joy..
I have to be honest over the years I've been faced with the same lie. "God can't be trusted! If I give him too much he's going to ruin my life!" I don't know why this fear of God keeps tripping me up, because every time I've given him more - he's given me a hundred times more in return. The truth is what Jesus tells us in John 10:10 , "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it to the full" So my friends, if you can learn anything from my story, please - do not be afraid of Christ.