Jarrett  R.

Jarrett R.

from OK
Story #316
Hi, I'm Jarrett and am from Olathe, Ks. I and am a freshman at OBU. My background is found in the church community and a godly home.

This testimony begins in High School, yes I was saved from a very young age, and I believe I was truly saved here. In the 9th grade though, I was first grabbed by God. I remember vividly being convicted one night to read my bible alone and looking for passages about finding God's will. I was brought to Proverbs 16:9 that night which says, "A man's heart plans his way, but The Lord determines his steps." This is still my life verse and is applicable to almost every area in my life. Whether a situation is a good thing to be a part of or harmful thing to be involved in, God always opens and closes these doors, according to his will. We can plan and plan for our future, but if not prepared for in a godly way, plans will come crashing down. Instead of waiting on God to do something for us, we need to walk with him and let ourselves be shaped by his grace and mercy.

God has worked in my life in a way of stages over the years. Looking back, these different steps are very clear to me. The first is the conviction to start taking a relationship with him seriously. This next segment concerns identity, our identity in Christ. My old youth group's "slogan" if you will was "own your own faith". This means to grow out of your parent’s faith and to discover God for yourself. I'll admit, this never held so much significance until I moved away last fall even though I spent four years hearing it weekly. This "owning my own faith" happened through actual one on one time with the Lord and through many mentorships and examples from guys I still look up to greatly. A result from these these leaders was a leadership mentality. These positions came along in my school as well as in church. At the church, opportunities were everywhere and opportunities were taken. At school however, I failed at my position in an evangelistic aspect. This became clear to me when one of the guys I was close with told me he liked me because I was a "cool christian" who made my beliefs clear but never brought them up.

Ouch.

That hit me hard. The last thing you want to be is complacent in this faith, and I was revealed to be just this outside of church walls. So the point is, it was time to step outside of being a regular church-goer and gain an identity in Christ that radiates all the time, no matter where.

The next step God took me on is his calling. So we have conviction, identity in Christ and now God's calling. This calling from God can be described as an overflowing, dripping bucket of water being held above and then dumped, completely soaking me. Over the years I had many opportunities to go on mission to the lost. These were national and international. Always knowing that what we were doing was actively obeying God, It was never realized that God was showing me "drips" of his will right in front of my face. Then my senior year of high school arrives and I start praying for the will of God to become clear and I was suddenly drenched. As soon as I pursued this in prayer it became evident that God was calling me to the mission field. This is probably the scariest overall call from God but also so exciting! Missionaries get to obey a direct command from Jesus in The Great Commission and expand His kingdom. This lead me to come to OBU for a degree in Cross-Cultural Ministry.

The important lesson I take from discerning God's will is the necessity of going after it as if it needs to be discovered. Discerning God's will cannot be taken lightly, but with the upmost importance. For at least four years God was showing me what his will is for my life, but I was too distracted to take notice. All the while God was waiting on me. The beauty of being a Christian is the relationship it brings. But it requires us to be aware to God's presence in the areas we wouldn't expect Him. A move from God has to come from somewhere. So don't wait on a move from God, be a move of God.

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