A Decisive Moment
26 Nov 2019
I grew up a fairly cynical kid; I attended a Catholic primary school for about 12 weeks and my clearest memory of religious classes was writing a controversial limerick about the school’s patron saint. When I was about 11 or 12 I started calling myself a Christian, but my ‘Christian’ life throughout high-school was characterised by a sort of self-righteousness for the first few years and then a paralyzing guilt for the following years, as I began to realise that I was just as bad (or worse!) than the people I looked down on.
During my time at Sydney University God gave a decisive blow to my religiosity. I became friends with a bloke who was working for Campus Crusade for Christ, and was impacted by the reality of the experience of God in his life; he spoke and lived as if Jesus was really present in his day to day life. I began to be convinced that absolute surrender to Christ is the only real Christian life, but there were things that I felt scared to hand over to God. However, at a mid-year conference in 2008 I had a really powerful experience of surrendering to God. As I walked outside and looked into the starry sky, the world seemed to have been reborn; I went down to the river and raised my hands and joyfully sang ‘God of Wonders’, in what seemed to be the first genuine moment of worship in my life.
That was the decisive moment. After that, it was just figuring it all out. I found myself with a new power to be less focused on myself and more focused on those around me and their needs. My life began to become more ‘integrated’; a life of integrity based on responding to the grace that God had shown me. I saw the way that the Cross was God’s solution to take away the guilt, shame, fear and pride that is pervasive in both the secular and the religious world. Jesus’ concerns increasingly became my concerns, and a foreboding sense of doom that I had sometimes experienced began to be replaced by an anticipatory sense of joy.
The way that this has all worked itself out practically over the last 5 years has been in cross-cultural ministry in remote parts of the Peruvian Amazon. I came here with the desire to see people transformed by the gospel, leaving behind ritual and religion and beginning to walk in a loving relationship with God through His Son and by His Spirit. Also to see communities transformed as the gospel takes root and changed lives lead to changed families. It´s a joy to experience these things.
-Tim, a Pioneers worker serving in Peru.
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