"Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers." - VoltairE

"God is your Father, not your boss"

Posted by Anne Witton on Thursday, October 11, 2018 Under: Reflections

Recently I have been experiencing a bit of a dip in mental health. I went to the doctor and he said that I needed to take things easier, so I have been attempting to do that. I've realised that I don't find it very easy to relax and be still. I've even been working hard on trying to get better and trying to feel closer to God, but had been feeling flat and frustrated.

This weekend I was at the True Freedom Trust annual conference and God used it really powerfully to help me. I was apprehensive about going because I knew that I'd be around people all weekend, but I needn't have worried. It was wonderful to see all my friends and make new friends, and I was reminded again how special the community is.

There were talks by Stuart and Rob from TfT and guest speaker Simon Ponsonby. God spoke to me powerfully through all the talks and seemed to unravel the frustration and resentment of the last few months as he gently reassured me of his love and grace.

Simon spoke about the prodigal son story (Luke 15: 11 - 32), which I must have heard and read hundreds of times. I was challenged by the words of the elder brother who is so bitter about the outpouring of love towards his younger brother and resents 'slaving' away for his father. He has turned what should be a beautiful, loving relationship into drudgery and duty. If I'm honest, I can see some of myself in that. I am keen to be effective in ministry and do good work for God, but I think I'd become proud and self-sufficient which had sucked the joy out of my service. We often say that we can't do anything without God, but that's not really true. We can do lots of things independently of God, even thinking that we're doing those things for him. It's painful and humbling to admit that I'd been sucked into a 'slave' mentality and made my Christian life into hard work with prayer tasks and Bible study tasks and ministry tasks. Simon reminded us that "God is your Father, not your boss" and since then I have been rediscovering the joy of relationship with him (God, not Simon).

I feel like I've been an idiot, but fortunately, God loves idiots. I'm so thankful for my friends near and far who have spoken words of encouragement and rebuke, and who pray for me regularly.

And I'm ridiculously grateful for the ministry of TfT. It's had such a significant impact on my life and faith, since I heard one of the members share so honestly about his relationship with Jesus 23 years ago, before I was a Christian. I've lost count of how many conferences I've been to, but they're always the highlight of my year.

In : Reflections 

Tags: "mental health" tft "true freedom trust" "prodigal son" "elder brother" slavery father 
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