"Instead of bringing the me I want to be to you I’m bringing the me I am now. I still have unholy desires, I don’t want to want them, but there are times I do want them and pursue their satisfaction. I have weaknesses I feel lonely at times I want to be liked by others, The turmoil isn’t whether I am free or not but whether or not I am willing to walk in that freedom, the door to the prison was removed as soon as I accepted Christ as my savior, but I find myself staying in the open cage freedom is there but I stay in the familiar surroundings of my cage, I walk out and enjoy spurts of freedom but return to the cage. Sometimes the returning is produced when I start to lose myself (the me I’ve known for so long) when personality starts to change. If the flesh is dead then personality will change I can’t hang on to pieces of myself and enjoy the freedom that comes from full pursuit of God. I can’t fully pursue God if I’m standing stationary in my cage. Pretending to be free doesn’t make me free, professing to be free doesn’t make me free , it’s Jesus who makes me free, the bars of my prison is made up of the pieces of myself I’m not willing to let go of, the shackles are unlocked no longer holding onto me but I find myself holding onto them, the war between who I’m to be and who I was is fought on the battleground of who I am, discovery of the person I am in your freedom is daily, your freedom is so great it takes a lifetime to realize it, like a mansion with many rooms and each new day I can open a door to a room to discover the treasure inside everyday brings opportunity to discover who I am in your freedom. My past doesn’t tell me who I am, but it is your word. God I let go of who I’ve been and even who I am, and ask for you to help me to discover who I am in your freedom, change what you wish to change create what you wish to create and when things get tough when I’m struggling to let go give me the strength and remind me of this time with you."
I have learned from experience in many ways, but the best one I have learned from is my relationship with Jesus. I used to doubt God's love for me and if Jesus really was the Son of God. Over and over, I would ask my family members questions about Jesus, and I would always get the same answers.
My family would tell me that, "Yes, God does love you, and Jesus truly is the Son of God." Their answers would never waiver from that. To me, my situation seemed to be like a scab (that may be kind of gross) but the more I picked at it the worse it became. I wanted to believe, but just like Thomas, I had honest doubt.
The devil would torture me with thoughts like: God doesn't love you, Jesus is not the Son of God, and God is lying to you. These thoughts would be so bad that it would cause me to have bad dreams. God finally helped me to realize how much the devil wants to destroy me and how Satan doesn't want me to be a witness for God. Any way that he could defeat me and mess with my mind he would do it, because he knew that if he could cause me to have doubt then I couldn't be the light to others that God wants me to be.
Finally, I was able to believe with my heart and not my head. God wants me to talk to Him and ask Him for help in every situation I face. Even in the small things that I may seem to think aren't big enough to ask God about, He wants me to. It is His desire that I talk to Him.
I have recieved a book for my birthday this year that has helped me alot. The title of it is "Jesus Calling." Through reading it, I am learning to put my faith in God, and not my works. Proverbs 3:5-6 tells me to, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." When I don't understand, I will trust Jesus. In John 20:29, Jesus says, "Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." John 10:10 says, "The thief cometh not but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." Jesus did come so that I could have life and have it more abundantly. He wants me to live a victorious life, and to remember that greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world.
God has helped me to learn from this, that my family's answers were always the same because God is always the same. He never changes. His love for me never changes. He really is the Son of God, and He loves me with an everlasting love. These experiences have helped me to realize that by prayer and Bible reading, as in Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things, through Christ which strengtheneth me." Life is a journey that I am on and it is by the grace of God that I am now able to write this. I want to give God the praise, honor and glory because no one else loves me like He does.
-Colten Bass age 15, May 2014
People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered;
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God;
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. Psalms 23:1-6