In our last issue, we shared some of Todd White’s story. A broken past caused Todd to reach out to a local church, where the love of God in one of their pastors spoke to him. From here, he spent time in rehab and fell passionately in love with his heavenly Father. His testimony is an amazing reflection of God’s love, and out of this, he lives to share God’s love wherever he goes. Here is some more of his story.
I’ve been possessed by the love of God since I got saved. I am possessed by the fact that God saw I was of great value so he sent his son. I am possessed by the fact that I am right with God and my Father is for me. I am possessed by the Spirit of God that wanted to live in me. I am possessed by the truth of what God says about me. I have a passion for Jesus and I will burn and light people on fire.
Free to be you, free to love
Life is not about living by what people think about you (or what you presume they might think about you). Life is about knowing what God says about you. Life is not about people noticing your gifts or receiving honour and respect from people. Life is about you knowing that your Father has noticed you. The strategy of hell is to make life all about you, but it will never fulfill you. The gospel sets you free from you, so you can find life and be who God created you to be. All God is asking you to do is to give up something you were never created to be, so that you can become who he says you are. God didn’t create you for you, he created you for him. Life is not just about you getting to heaven. If this is how you live, you will look at life and how hard it is and how bad it is and all of a sudden that will become your value system and you will go looking for love instead of becoming love. God created us to become love, to love others because we love God and we love God because he first loved us. God saves us from ourselves, he sets us free from ourselves, so we can be free from others and so that no matter what someone says to us, we love them unconditionally, no strings attached.
Take it seriously
Here’s my fear. My fear is standing in front of my Father one day and looking at all these people in a line that’s not the line that’s going to enter in, looking at people I could have spoken up to. I fear that. You’re not just cruising through life. Life is about being possessed by love itself.
Let me tell you about Bobby. Bobby was my best friend. After I gave my life to Jesus, I couldn’t stop talking about Jesus but my life didn’t reflect him. I was still living the same way as before, because I didn’t have any clue who I was and there was no relationship with Jesus. When I went into rehab, Bobby said, “Todd, haven’t you shown by now that Jesus isn’t real? You’ve been doing this thing for the last six months. Nothing’s changed. It would be better that you go [into rehab] realising that Jesus isn’t real. Let them help you.” When I was in rehab, Bobby had a brain aneurysm. He was still in a coma when I came out of rehab and I heard in my heart to go visit him, that he wouldn’t be alive the next day. So I visited and for thirty seconds, all my hypocrisy passed before me. I didn’t represent Jesus to him; it was condemnation and it was hell. Bobby died the next morning. But God took that condemnation from me. I’m not guilty, I’m not ashamed, I’m not condemned but I am convicted. Life is short. We are here to leave a legacy. If people can’t see Christ in you, they don’t want what you say you have. The world is looking for the real deal.
I talk to people everywhere I go and they make comments like, “you’re an evangelist.” My response? “No, I just love Jesus.” We’ve boiled this thing down and made it, “well, that’s your call – you’re an evangelist but I’m not like that, I don’t talk to people.” What?! If you got swallowed up by the love of God you’d be real happy about it so you’d tell everybody about it. You wouldn’t just come to church to celebrate him, you would celebrate him every day, everywhere you go and people would know you were a Christian. I’m not saying stand on your desk in your office and clap your hands and say, “listen everybody...” I mean that’s cool too, but you don’t have to do that. It’s about knowing who you serve. It’s about knowing who is with you every day. It’s about knowing that “the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world" (1 John 4:4:). People say to me, “man, you’re the real deal.” I don’t understand; it breaks my heart. We all can be the real deal. But we just haven’t all said,
“That’s it! I’m in and I’m not taking anything out. Here I am King. Show me who I am. Show me who I am because if you show me I will run with you, I will not grow weary. I will run, I am not afraid.”
I live with the burning passion and desire that every day I’m going to walk out this gospel and nobody that encounters my life is going to have any doubt that Jesus is real. The gospel shouldn’t be known just by its doctrine. It should be known by its passionate heart cry. It should be known by a burning desire for people around us to know it.
What are we doing with this kingdom of amazingness? We have a short time here and we are the resource of heaven. We can’t afford to be so heavenly minded that we’re no earthly good. We have to be heavenly minded so that we’re earthly incredible. This is not about ministry, this is about lifestyle. We don’t just become love part time. We become an amazing giver, not because that’s what we do but because that’s who we are. It’s time we wake up and see who we were created to be.
Story: Todd White
Todd White spoke at Cloud Festival NZ this year. You can check out further resources on his website lifestylechristianity.com. Excerpts used with permission.
1. Are you free to be who God has made you and free to love?
2. There are people who you know who aren’t Christians. Do they see Christ in you?
3. What temperature is your thermostat at with God? Is this reflected in your life?
4. Are you feeling convicted or condemned? Conviction may be healthy, condemnation is not. Talk to God about this.
5. What do you need to do to know more of the love of God and to be who he is calling you to be?
Photo Credit: Panbasil/shutterstock.com
Scripture: Unless otherwise specified, Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.