Monday, October 14, 2013
Inspirational Mondays - Ian Harper
1. Why did you choose Christ?
t's actually a pretty long story. As weird as it sounds, I don't really know when I was saved. There were three instances it could have been. Either it was when I was four and prayed a prayer and didn't know when it was. Some would probably say that's when I was saved. Then there was camp in 8th grade when I had a more spiritual/emotional experience and re-prayed that prayer "for real" but then I became really legalistic about my faith and had no real understanding of the Gospel. Some might say that it was there though. Though, my sophomore year of high school I ditched the faith and went through a year of atheism. The summer after that, I really didn't want to be a Christian but God started melting my heart and bringing me back. It's hard to explain, but I didn't really choose Him. He chose me.
In my life, by 19, I've already experienced some pretty crazy things that most people haven't and would never want to. God started showing me that he was there throughout all of that, guiding me, protecting me, molding me, putting me through tough life experiences early on for a reason. After a while, I couldn't resist Him anymore. I had to give in. C.S. Lewis said this about his conversion, "I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England." And that's kind of how I felt. I couldn't resist God anymore and I had to give in and admit that He was who He was. In the end, Jesus had his way with me.
2. How did you change?
I changed a lot actually. On a surface level, I went from a very pessimistic person to a very optimistic person. I realized that God was doing a work in the world and that was something to have joy about. I started reading the Bible like none other and watching sermons and reading other books outside the Bible about God and the Bible. I started telling everyone around me about all that I was learning. I lost a few friends but several people really caught on to it with me. In a deeper since, though I'm definitely not perfect at this, love became easier for me. Forgiveness became easier for me. Joy became easy. All of the traits of Jesus started to just become natural. The fruits of the Spirit really started to come alive to me and, though I still fail daily, I'm closer than I was to how God intended me, and us as humans, to live. Even though happiness comes and goes, Joy always remains. Jesus did a work in me, there's no doubt about that. I'm nowhere near perfect, but thankfully the Spirit isn't done with me.
We hope your were inspired! Enjoy your Monday! Interested in learning more about us? Click here to learn "Why We Change" and click here to read "How We Change".