My Journey with God
Serving and Trusting Him
Over the years, I have learnt of the posture we ought to have when we serve God. Some Christians may think that to serve God, we must be perfect individuals. On the contrary, if we think this way, we could lose the joy of serving or simply forget that we are serving God.
When we serve God, we are on a journey of obedience and transformation. It calls for us to sacrifice the time, energy, and resources that God has graciously given us, so that we may in turn be a blessing to others. Each decision we make to surrender and submit to Him enables our faith to grow stronger.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Prov 3:5-6)
We may sometimes fear that we cannot trust anyone, not even God. But God knows what is best for us. He loves us and desires to have a relationship with us. I have experienced firsthand––through many events in life––how journeying with God has brought me joy and success. Despite challenges, I walk with and serve God because of what He has done.
“My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth” – Psalm 121:2
My Mother’s Salvation
My mother’s salvation was one particular challenge that God had used to strengthen my faith.
I come from a non-Christian family and my father was a freethinker. My brother was an active church member and I saw the joy he had in him. He was the one who brought me to a cell group, which then led me closer to accepting Christ.
Shortly after accepting Christ, I had planned to get baptised on 24 December 1989. I wanted my mother to get baptised as well because we felt that if she accepted Christ, my late father would follow suit. To our surprise, she agreed to join us. We continued praying for her; but as we were preparing to go to church the morning of the baptism, my mother suddenly said she was unwell and expected us to call it off.
I felt strongly that the devil was at work and decided to anchor on the verse: “What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom 8:31). She eventually said we could go ahead without her, so we proceeded. I, my wife and our young children were baptised that morning.
What followed was a series of unexpected and uncalled-for troubles from my mother. There was no peace at home. We questioned God and wondered why He would allow this to happen even when we had obeyed Him. God then reminded me of the One I could turn to for help. The Bible says “My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth” (Ps 121:2). God is always watching over and protecting us. We continued to pray and as time passed, the troubles subsided.
I was again reminded of God’s two greatest commandments: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” and “Love your neighbour as yourself” (Matt 22:37-39). I took a step further to love my enemy, who in this case was my mother. My mother saw that we continued to love her despite her unreasonableness. Gradually, she began to open up and even accepted invitations to join church outreach and fellowship gatherings, such as Christmas celebrations. Soon after, she also started attending church camps and services. God really answers prayers. Praise the Lord.
My faith grew stronger in getting my mother to accept Christ and be baptised. In this journey, I requested many prayers. That went on for years and as I was tired and slowly giving up, God moved in quickly to show me that salvation belongs to the Lord.
“I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” – 1 Corinthians 3: 6-7
God sent His workers through a dialect-speaking team from a church to visit my mother. In the team, there was a Peranakan lady who could speak the same dialect as my Peranakan mother. Her care deeply touched my mother. Since postponing her baptism 28 years ago, my mother was baptised on 24 December 2017. Again, Hallelujah! Praise the Lord.
Journeying with God is not one-way traffic; it is not just about what we can get from God. We are walking beside Him and sharing experiences that can result in a powerful testimony for us to be witnesses for Christ. Hence, we need to respond to God by serving Him.
But it is not always easy to serve God because of how He expects us to treat others. In my case, I had treated my mother as an enemy, blocking my access to Christ. It may be easy for us to love our family and friends, but when the bible talks about loving our enemies too, we may find that a rather difficult thing to do.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Matt 5:43-45)
Perhaps we need to ask ourselves: are we ready to journey with God? We should all look at doing God’s will in our life. It is a journey in which God transforms our head knowledge to heart knowledge. It is a journey where our faith, hope, and love are tested; a journey where people’s lives are transformed to be more and more like Jesus.
Lay Leader and Lay Preacher, Grace Methodist Church
Member, CAC Board of Communications and CAC News Editorial Committee