My childhood and adolescent stages became so much about the church, that I had to sit back and question, when do I get the chance to have a relationship with the God of the church? How did my faith apply to my everyday challenges as a young believer? How did my faith apply to the kids encountered when in school? How did my faith apply to the social issues that affect my generation? How did my faith apply to the natural talents and gifts I was given by God? How do I use the tools God has given me, such as the gift of rap and song to change the world? How do I use my basketball skills to change my surrounding environment? These were all questions that I pondered while growing up, but never got the chance to ask because the church didn’t have the answer for me.
I had to learn that it isn’t the faith in the church that makes your life pleasing to God—it’s the faith in Him that makes your life pleasing. Hebrews 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” All my life the assumption was, come to church and it will all be alright. When the reality is coming into church has no power if the God of the church doesn’t come into you.
I’ve also learned that people will always want to confine you to their expectations of you, but if their expectations for you don’t align with God’s plan for you then what they feel doesn’t matter. A friend once told me “if they didn’t design you, then they can’t confine you.” Words that will resonate with me the rest of my life. People said that Christian Rap isn’t of God and that I shouldn’t do it, yet its gotten me on TV and across this country, effecting change in people’s lives. People said I shouldn’t go to College and live on campus as a young minister because there was too much temptation, yet by the time I graduated college people who were not saved and not attending a church when I got to campus, ended up giving their lives over to God and accepting Jesus Christ as their savior. So its not about what people try to confine you to be, its about what God has designed you to be.
I’ve come to the understanding that in order to find significance and purpose in life you can’t look outward, you must look inward. And though other people said my purpose might be one thing, I found that it was completely different when I looked on the inside of me. I feel that my assignment as a minister, as a young husband and father, is to shift this generation from selfishness to selflessness. And when we stop turning up just for two seconds and turn down just a little bit, we can find the peace of knowing our purpose. It wasn’t until my wife became pregnant in 2014, with our first child that I had to settle down and really discover there is no greater way to show true value, than to give your life for someone else. This is something THE CHURCH didn’t teach me, but God did. Nothing makes you more selfless than marriage and children. It is through my wife and daughter that I realized a lot of the self consumption we see in our society, from the EXCESSIVE SELFIES to the statuses and tweets about YOUR LIFE are really just a reflection of our generation’s mindset…Its an attempt to find value and significance. We’ve become so self absorbed that we’ve lost purpose…because contrary to popular belief, purpose usually entails that you give some of yourself for somebody else. Just like Christ did. I charge you to invest in the next generation by Teaching them the word of God and planting seeds that will flourish into fulfilled purpose. Teach them that they matter and that they’re important. Teach them that they’re valuable in the sight of God and teach them to love others as we desire to be loved.
And if you are reading this and you have not accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as your savior, i urge you to repeat this prayer.
“Heavenly Father I acknowledge that I am a sinner. I acknowledge that i have not done everything perfect. But I ask that you forgive me. I accept the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Savior. I believe that Jesus Christ is Lord and died so that I may be forgiven and live again in your kingdom. I believe that He was resurrected from the dead just for me. Flaws and all, take me as I am and help me to fulfill my purpose in You. In Jesus’ name…Amen”