By VICTORIA ROGERS
My name is Victoria Rogers. I am 16 years old and have just finished my sophomore year of high school. Because I was born into a Christian family, Christianity has always played a major role in my schooling, homelife and community. I have been enrolled at a Christian school since kindergarten, and my family attends church weekly. I’ve always felt encouraged and supported by my family members who have expressed to me the love of Jesus.
Relationship with Christ
From a young age, I believed in the existence and identity of Christ as God, but for years I didn’t understand the true extent of having a relationship with Him. This realization came to me in middle school when one of my teachers presented me with the “Michael Jordan” analogy:
Imagine you are a huge fan of Michael Jordan. You know everything about him: his height, his weight, who his family members are, how he dresses, etc. One day, you see him in person and greet him and talk to him as if he’s an old friend, but he has no idea who you are. He’ll just talk to you as if you’re another crazy fan. In the same way, we can know everything about God but not have a relationship with Him. A relationship with God means having daily conversations with Him as well as reading His Word with the intention of growing closer to God. We can say we know who God is, but if we don’t actually have a relationship with Him, we won’t understand who He truly is.
After being given this analogy, I decided to put in the effort to form a relationship with God. Choosing to grow my relationship with Christ was the most important decision I have ever made. I began by waking up each morning to read my Bible and by talking to God throughout my day. At first, it was difficult to get into a routine. I had to resist my desires to sleep later or get on my phone instead of reading, but as my understanding of God grew, I desired Him more and more.
Confidence in Christ
One struggle I faced as a new Christian was placing my identity in Christ instead of myself. I still had worldly desires, and I learned quickly that I could not resist those desires without God. Understanding our need for God to help us overcome the devil is crucial to building up our faith. Place yourself in the following scenario:
You live in a giant, impenetrable fortress. The enemy arrives to attack the fortress, but because the building is impossible to defeat, the attacker leaves. Now imagine that instead of trusting in the fortress to protect you, you step outside the fortress and, in your own strength, attempt to defeat the enemy. That would be sheer foolishness, and the enemy would completely destroy you. In the same way, God is our fortress, and we are protected when we stay inside the fortress. When we step out of God’s strength and try to face battles without Him, we face definite failure. Putting our trust in God is important because there is no victory without Him.
How can we apply this to real-life situations? By allowing the will of God to overcome our own. When we experience a feeling or desire for something that goes against God’s will, it is important to ask God to take that feeling away. For example, before making an ill comment or lashing out at another person, we should ask the Holy Spirit for patience and love. When we feel the urge to gossip, we should seek God to give us self-control.
Eventually, we no longer have these kinds of longings because our devotion to doing God’s will becomes greater than our desire to serve ourselves. Letting go of our worldly longings and seeking God above all else is a huge step in the walk of faith.
By giving into a life for Christ, I’ve had many wonderful opportunities to serve Him, and I’ve met amazing people who I may never have connected with otherwise. Today, I have no doubts about the future and no regrets about the past. Even though I have no idea where God is taking me in my walk with Him, I know that His plan is more beautiful than I could ever imagine.
As a believer, I can have complete confidence in God because of His love and perfection that exceed my understanding.
Victoria Rogers is an 11th-grade student at Hartfield Academy in Flowood. She lives with her parents and younger sister, and they attend Crossgates Baptist Church in Brandon. Victoria enjoys going out with friends and spending time in God’s Word. She plays the piano, likes to read and write, and is part of several school clubs, including mock trial and yearbook.