No One to Please but Him

No One to Please but Him

No one is too young to have a deep relationship with God; no one is too young to be changed by His Word. In this article, 14-year-old Faith Avila shares how knowing God and His Word changed her heart and showed her where her identity and purpose truly lie.

I grew up in a Christian family. I would consistently go to church and attend kids church but still questioned my worth. People’s opinions and perceptions of me held more weight for me than God’s Word. My parents would always tell me that I’m different, special, and set apart, but I never fully understood what that meant.

As a young girl seeking to find a sense of belonging in my friends, I would make many efforts in the past to change myself or aspects of my personality. I didn’t want to be different; I wanted to be like everyone else. Pleasing people became really important to me, even though the satisfaction was temporary.

Then God used someone to preach the gospel to me. I went through ONE 2 ONE (a seven-lesson discipleship guide) with that person and finally understood the weight of my sins—and the weight of what God did for me on the cross. I began to know Him more and found a sense of belonging in Him. I also slowly grew in my faith with the help of my family and the church community who guided me in my walk with God. They encouraged me and surrounded me with His love every single day.

Knowing the real message of the gospel did not just give me a deeper understanding of Christ; it also changed me. I became more aware of God’s overflowing love and saw Him in every blessing I received in my life. His word influenced my habits, decisions, and actions and made me realize that I shouldn’t work hard to please other people. I should just fix my eyes on God and seek Him in everything.

Seeking Jesus has made my life easier. Distractions come and get in the way of my relationship with the Lord, but His grace always enables me to stay focused on Him alone. No matter what difficulty I face, I know I should keep running with my eyes fixed on Jesus. He is not just my source of identity and purpose, He is also my source of peace, love, and comfort.

Now, instead of seeking approval, I speak blessings to the people I meet. Even in school, I always find a way to share the gospel and God’s love to my classmates and friends. I pray for opportunities to share with them how God changed my heart because it is always worth sharing. His love is always worth telling people about.

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.” (Romans 12:2, NLT)

No matter how young or old we are, the gospel can minister to us. It changes us from the inside out and reminds us that though the world might tell us lies about who and what we should be, our identity and purpose lie in God alone. We have no one to please but Him.

Renewed with a Purpose

Renewed with a Purpose

When you find yourself plagued with anxious thoughts, will you keep them all to yourself and retreat to a dark, lonely pit? Or will you turn to God and ask Him to silence all your fears? In this article, Franz shares how he accepted Christ in his life and allowed Him to replace his negative thoughts with overflowing joy, peace, and a renewed purpose.

Before I met Christ, I thought I was living a good life. I was an average student, but I managed to land a good career. I had the means to go to different places and live a life of reckless adventure. I should be happy. I should be okay, at the very least.

But I wasn’t.

For years, there had been a big hole in my heart. I tried to fill it with so many things, but each time I did, the hole would just grow bigger—until I could no longer ignore it. It engulfed me and brought me to a dark, lonely place.

Feelings of self-doubt and inadequacy kept creeping up inside me in spite of everything I had. It seemed as if something was terribly wrong with me. I kept comparing myself to others, feeling completely helpless over something even I could not understand. Before I realized it, I was already isolating myself and allowing the lies in my head to steal the remaining joy and peace in my heart.

After four months of constant battle and struggle, I consulted a psychiatrist who told me that I had clinical depression. I took several medicines that were supposed to make me feel better. But along the way, I just felt more sad. I could no longer sleep the way I used to, and more anxious thoughts filled my mind.

Just when I was about to lose hope and give up, my sister reached out to me. She, along with other relatives, encouraged me to step out of my isolation shell and helped me find another doctor who gave me the psychotherapy and medication I truly needed. After months of praying for and with me, she also convinced me to go to church with her and join a Victory group.

At first, I would just listen to the preaching without taking everything to heart. I would even raise my hand to acknowledge that I receive Christ as my Lord and Savior without meaning it at all. But as I continued to hear God’s Word, something different happened. I did not know that God was gently planting seeds in my heart. He was, bit by bit, taking away the clutter, removing the things that were blocking His light. Soon, I realized that I was not alone in that dark, lonely, chaotic pit. He was there all along, trying to reach my hand.

All my anxious thoughts were slowly replaced with His overflowing joy, peace, and love. Despite all my insecurities and self-doubt, God accepted me just the way I was. He had accepted me wholeheartedly even before I made a decision to receive Him in my life. There was nothing more humbling than that.

God’s love allowed me to see how precious I am in His eyes. It must have crushed His heart to see me give my negative thoughts the power to dictate my value and purpose. That was never His plan. His mercy and grace revealed to me that I am more than my fears and anxious thoughts. I am more than my insecurities. I am more than my depression. I am His.

With the help of continuous medication and psychotherapy, I am now close to full recovery. I am thankful to my family who helped me get the medical attention I needed, but I am more grateful that I got to know Christ. Now, I have a renewed passion to live—with a greater purpose—and serve my God.

I am currently serving in Victory Alabang as an usher. God’s grace has changed me from someone who spent days and nights wallowing in unhappy thoughts into someone who is ready to give out smiles to people. Every day, He continues to fill me with so much joy and peace.

There are days when I feel lonely and all the negative thoughts resurface, but God always silences my fears and assures me of His love—of my identity in Him. He also surrounded me with a church community who never fails to encourage me and point me to the Lord. He is my safe place, and my true refuge.

I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

(Psalm 91:2)

Indeed, only God can fill the emptiness in our hearts. Only He can quiet our restless thoughts. Our purpose does not lie in how we feel or what we think about ourselves. Our purpose lies in how God sees us. We are His, and He values and loves us more than we or other people do.

Discover Why

Discover Why

“The day you were born, God has already ordained a dream for you to fulfill.” In this blog post, Victory Greenhills senior pastor Dennis Sy challenges us to rediscover our God-given purpose to restore the joy and passion that fuels us to do what we do.