In recounting God’s work in my life, I rejoice in humility at what God has saved me from while also lamenting the missed opportunities and my blatant disobedience. My testimony usually leaves me parched and thirsty for His continued sanctification of my life.
I have always been blessed with a vivid knowledge of how the Kingdom of Heaven works, God’s will for His people, and the order and truth of His creation. Growing up, all signs led to God: pass Go, collect 200 dollars. One needed only to obey and obey in love. I wish I could say that I did obey. In my past, I blindly and lazily let others tell me what having faith in Christ meant and how my worship should be. During adolescence, I observed the walks of those who I knew professed Christ, as well as my own walk, and saw that it did not match up with what I knew of God and what I had read of Him and His people. Discouraged and much alone, I concluded that either I must become perfect and be a pastor or give up. I thought, “God deserves all of me at my best or He wants nothing to do with me.”
So I did give up.
But God didn’t!
I spent my teen years absorbed in pride. I remember very vividly after many positive accolades my friends gave me, I internally boasted, “I, Donovan Henrikson, have such great love.” And, like when a large wave hits you unaware and you go spinning rolling over and over underwater, God screamed both furiously and lovingly, “If you love so great, then how much more is My love? For you? For all?”
Around the same time, a buddy of mine hugged a girl I was interested in, and I had a pang of jealousy. Bringing this up to God, I wondered why the level of my jealously felt improper for the small act that was committed. Through revelation He explained that it was so that He could show me how much He is jealous for me. When my worship/time/energy goes to something other than my Creator, God pangs with jealously.
Towards the end of high school God kept making Himself more and more known to me. At first I only sought God out of reverence and fear, trying to be Christian by my own power. Jesus was less of a savior and more of a means to an end for me. Through a few big events (mother, then father separating and later was left alone) and many smaller events, God taught me and brought me to a place where I relied more and more on His power. So much so, that at one point I remember telling a friend right after high school, “There is no turning back. I will have to give Him my all.” Through His word and with much of His patience and grace, I finally gave over myself, my will, and my plans. I want nothing more than to be like His Son. God did teach me that I will have to be perfect; but it is only possible because His son offered Himself to us, and by His sacrifice I can be reconciled and transformed.
It still took me a year or so to find what God has for me in terms of a vocation. There was much hesitancy on my part as well. I knew subconsciously that God wanted me to be a shepherding type. Some of the last things I wish to fight are being power hungry or to in anyway misuse my influence. Reassuringly, God has helped me to have faith that He knows me better and that I will serve His kingdom honorably. With growing faith and close Godly people giving counsel, I now believe that God has made me to be a teacher. I love watching people grow in Christ, investing in them, and am very passionate about sharing the life-transforming words of God. Seeing God work through his truth has always lit me up. In the endeavor to become a teacher I looked through over a hundred Christian schools. It was really important to me that I not just study God, but live a life worthy of Him, and where I went to school needed to reflect that. Not only did Eternity Bible College have a strict ministry requirement, but the personal investment by the administration and faculty stood out amongst the rest of the schools.
“I am not the man I ought to be, I am not the man I wish to be, and I am not the man I hope to be, but by the grace of God, I am not the man I used to be.” This paraphrase of John Newton just about sums up where I am now and where I will be for some time. Through the loving investment of the Church and EBC, I look foreword to a growing passion for God, His people, and the work we get to take part in.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.