01/11/2013: Kirby Kendall Testimony
Well, my story isn’t something extraordinary. I’m just a small town pastor’s kid that grew up known as the “goody good.” I rarely found myself in trouble and was pretty good at avoiding arguments and fights. As I aged, my concern of my religion grew and overpowered everything else in my life. You might be thinking, “Wow, this kid had it all together”, but the reality was, I had no relationship with Christ because of my religion. My concern was about religion and reputation and not the beautiful relationship I could have had with Christ. But this religion based life didn’t change in me until a couple of months ago. August of 2012, I packed up, and went off to college. This was the most bitter-sweet moment of my life. I was finally growing up and having a taste of what it was like to be independent, but I was also leaving my family and my old life behind. Despite the bitterness of leaving my mom and dad, I was excited. I was excited to see what college had in-store for me. The school I enrolled in and still presently attend was known for matching up couples for marriage. Being that guy that never had a girlfriend because I had one crush all my life and never had the guts to ask her out on a date, I was excited to start fresh and meet my future wife! I found friendships quickly and focused on becoming popular. I made homecoming court and was doing well in my classes. Needless to say, life was grand. Life couldn’t have been better, but what I had in mind for my life was different from what God had in mind. About three weeks into school, God let me go to my flesh. I couldn’t feel him. For once in my life I had what I wanted but didn’t have God. I was struggling in my flesh and my mind was full of Satan’s lies. I searched and prayed for weeks, but I still didn’t feel my Lord. I started diving into the word and really started to study His word for the first time. I was knocking, seeking, and screaming out to God asking, “What do you want me to do God?!” Then, God spoke softly to me, “You don’t have to do a single thing, just have faith.” I was so confused. My whole life was about doing works for God and now it’s just about having faith? What? I was so lost, but then God brought me to Romans 5, and God showed me that Christ has already fulfilled all actions through the cross and now it’s all about faith. A light bulb went off in my mind. For once I felt the true presence of God. I began to focus on faith and not worry about school, girls, or popularity. I realized that I just have faith in God’s power and plan for me. The gospel had become alive in me. Now, I didn’t do works to impress God or come closer to God. The overflow of God’s love in me and the gospel brought me to the point where I just wanted to share and do the Lord’s will; it wasn’t a checklist anymore. I started to pray for opportunities to preach and God gave me the opportunity this past Christmas break. I finally found joy. Joy and true fulfillment came through what God created me to do, preach the gospel and expand His glory.
That is what I want to encourage you with. If you have faith in our amazing God and give Him your life, the religion check list will disappear and the love of God will overflow out of you. Your heart will fill with joy in the gospel and you will want to expand His glory and preach the gospel. Teenagers, don’t worry about having relationships on earth, focus on the relationship with your heavenly Father. Have patience, there is more joy in waiting for God’s best for you. Adults, have faith in your almighty God, and show your children what faith really looks like. Lead your children; the Lord has big plans for this upcoming generation.