The Jesus Moment

The Jesus Moment

Exchange the cold touch of religion for the warm embrace of Jesus
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Growing up in the Bible Belt meant that my family went to church every Sunday. Church and religion was crammed down my throat. Instead of developing a bad taste for those things, though, I started to investigate deeper into their purpose.

The word "church" for a lot of people has a negative connotation and is associated with past painful experiences.

When I started to question church and religion, it was because I felt discontent and unsatisfied with what they offered me.

Attending church every Sunday was not satisfying. I wanted something more meaningful than what religion had to offer me.

After many church camps, perfect Sunday morning attendance, and endless service hours, I determined that religion is not for me.

I don't believe in religion but I am a Christian and believe in Jesus.

Religion runs the soul dry. It demands your best and only your best. However, Jesus wants your worst, your weaknesses, and your weariness. For me, I had a moment, which I call the "Jesus moment", at FUGE camp the summer after I graduated high school.

I wasn't even supposed to be at FUGE that summer but God orchestrated the entire situation to place me right where I needed to be. I went with no expectations of the week except a terrible Bible study group like I usually got, miserable rec times, and cardboard-like food. The first day there, though, I could tell something was different than any of my past experiences. My soul was restless and my stomach was uneasy.

Halfway through the week, God had ripped through my low expectations and attitude towards religion.

On Wednesday night I felt God more strongly than I have ever before. I couldn't stop shaking and my stomach was in a knot.

I knew he was calling me to something deeper than just my Sunday morning worship.

For someone who doesn't like showing emotion, it was hard for me to open up and be completely vulnerable with my church group that evening after worship. It terrified me to let them see me in my weakness because religion had told me for so long that that wasn't acceptable.

Jesus freed me by his love even in my imperfections so I didn't have to be concerned about the judgment of religion, other people, or even myself.

This is what I call my "Jesus moment." I would define the "Jesus moment" as the moment that I stopped pursuing religion and perfection and placed my life in the hands of the One who loves me in my imperfections. The "Jesus moment" isn't just realizing that God is real and that Jesus is alive. It isn't just, "being a good Christian" by going to church, reading the Bible, praying for others, and serving on a mission trip or two. It's all those things but after the "Jesus moment" there's a vital change.

The change is not unnoticeable but it's not unnerving.

Suddenly, you're completely vulnerable with a God who desires nothing more than your failures and faults.

Suddenly, you see God for God and you can't get enough. Suddenly, those things you used to do like read your Bible, go to church, and serve on mission trips become the highest honor and not a chore.

This change is almost indescribable. Everything you thought you wanted; everything you thought you knew; everything you thought was right fades away in the light of His glory. The "Jesus Moment" isn't just a simple confession of faith. It's the moment you deny everything you are and focus on the One who is everything.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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I'm A Christian Girl And I'm Not A Feminist, Because God Did Not Intend For Women To Be Equals

It is OK for me to not want to be equivalent with a man.

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To start off, I am not writing this to bash feminists or get hate messages. I am simply writing this to state why I do not perceive myself as a feminist.

March is International Women's Month and that is what has got me thinking about how I view myself as a young woman in the 21st century. I enjoy every day getting to soak up the world as a young lady, particularly in the South.

If you know me, then you know that I love and utterly adore Jesus. He is so perfect. He is everything. He is my whole life. Some people might say that I am a "Bible-thumper" or someone who has had too much Kool-aid and maybe I am, but I know who my Creator is and that He died for me, and that is all that matters.

In my young age, I loved to just sit in church with my parents and absorb all that God would deliver. As I have grown up, I have ventured off and joined a church that is different than my parents, so the responsibility falls more on me, but I love that. Since this era of independence began, I have thoroughly enjoyed taking ownership of my faith.

I spend a lot of time chatting with God, worshipping Him in all kinds of ways, and just diving deeper into His Word. Through all of this growth as a Christian, I have learned a lot, but something I have learned is a concept that some may not agree with, which does not surprise me.

I do not believe God meant for women and men to be equal.

There, I acknowledged the elephant in the room.

It is a shocker, I know, but I have some Biblical evidence to back up this belief that I have.

Let us begin in Genesis. God created man and then he created woman. This was two separate occurrences and order is key. He created Adam and then Eve.

Jesus treated women with grace and kindness, do not get me wrong. I mean just look at how He treated the woman at the well, the one who used all of her expensive perfume to cleanse His feet and not to mention His own biological mother! He has a truly unique place in his heart for women, but He also has special intentions for us in the world and in the family setting.

We are to submit to our husbands.

We are to be energetic, strong, and a hard worker.

We are to be busy and helpful to those in need.

We are to be fearless.

All of this is explicitly laid out by God in Proverbs 31.

We are not to be equal to our male counterparts. Jesus does not lay out the Proverbs 31 man, but He rather lays out the Proverbs 31 woman.

A husband or man is to be the head of the household as Christ is to the church.

A man is to love a woman so deeply that represents how he loves himself.

A man is to leave his father and mother.

Women and men are not equal in God's eyes, but they each represent Him in their own ways that the other needs.

If we were all equal, we would not need one another and therefore we would not need God. I am so thankful that we were not created equal. I am so thankful that God is so great that He could not just create only man or woman to represent His image. He is so perfect.

So, you see I am not a feminist, and it is OK.

It is acceptable for me to have this belief that God intended for men to lead women. It is also okay for people to have differing opinions. Writing this was not easy, but I know that not all people agree.

To feminists and those that are not, you are allowed to believe whatever you wish but have evidence to back it up.

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My Relationship With Religion Will Never Be Black And White

and that's okay!

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I was raised Christian let's get that out the way. Growing up in a small town I went to Awana (a children's church group Wednesday nights) and then once I was in middle school started youth group that night instead as well as a normal church on Sundays. If you would ask me from me being really young to probably around 15 I was all about church and building a relationship with God.

After leaving public school and growing my presence online and meeting so many people from all walks of life, I started questioning things.

Suddenly, I was immersed in this community with the best people who just loved everyone regardless of gender or sexuality or race and it was the place I was able to come to terms with something I had always repressed, my feelings towards girls.

I knew the moment I started talking to a girl named Laura that I had feelings for her I would normally have for a boy and because of the people I now had around me I just didn't suppress it. I identified online and eventually to family and friends as bisexual.

My questions started with wondering how my god this loving all knowing entity I had always known was un-accepting and promoted the exclusion of the LGBTQ+ community from the Christian faith. I knew that this community was full of the most loving and creative and beautiful people I have ever met and that was the start of me knowing my relationship with God would never be the same.

As I grew up and have become an activist for the things that mean a lot to me I have stopped attending church and have begun to see that I do not want any part in ANY religion that takes part in shunning anyone based on how they identify. I have been vocal about this to many people some more excepting then others but regardless I will never again take part in something that I myself am not 100% accepted within

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