Written by: Kelli Tackett
As a child, growing up in a Christian family, I felt as if I knew everything about Christianity. You go to church every Sunday and Wednesday, open your Bible every now and then, pray before your meals, get saved and baptized, and then, when you died, you would go to Heaven. In my head, that was all I needed to do to be a Christian.
However, I had never experienced a full transformation in my life. I continued to live in fear, always worried about every small situation. My church went on several retreats, and without a doubt, every time there was an altar call, I would go up crying, wanting prayer. I never felt the peace that everyone around me spoke of. I lived in a negative state of mind, rarely uttering a positive word. I longed for people’s approval and tried to validate myself through relationships. To some, it would be hard to distinguish if I was living a life for God or just trying to be a good person.
It wasn’t until my eighth-grade year that I truly understood what my faith meant to me. I
was in Sunday School with three of my friends. We were discussing the Holy Spirit and how He
will place things on people’s hearts. Someone asked our teacher if the Holy Spirit had put
anything on his heart for us. He proceeded to go around the room, telling my friends about how
they were growing in Christ and the plans God had for them.
I grew with excitement, waiting with anticipation for what the Lord had for me. The others had only been attending church here for a few months, but I had grown up here. This church had become my home away from home, and its people were my family. I just knew that the Holy Spirit had given my teacher some wonderful prophetic word for me. However, I was wrong.
“Kelli,” my Sunday School teacher stated, “you do not know who you are in Christ.” That was it. Everyone else had these great words spoken over them, and I… I had no clue who I was in Him. This statement laid heavy on my heart for the rest of Sunday school. As we began our worship service, I could not shake that sentence out of my mind. My preacher began his sermon, yet I found it difficult to pay attention.
My mind was consumed with one thought, “What do you mean I don’t know who I am in Christ?” I began to pray. “Lord, I do not understand what you mean. Please give me something. Tell me who I am in you.”
Suddenly, my preacher began calling on people in the congregation words of
encouragement from the Lord. Without hesitation, he spoke to a few members and eventually
interrupted my prayer to proclaim, “Kelli, you are a child of God.”
Instantly, the peace that surpasses all understanding overwhelmed me and I knew. I am a child of God. It was then that I truly received God and believed in Him (John 1:12-13). In that moment, my life was transformed. I began bearing good fruit for God’s glory (Galatians 5:22-23). I felt a love for others that could be explained by nothing other than God (1 John 4: 7-10). I found a joy built on Jesus and not on circumstances (Philippians 4:12-13).
God gave me peace over every situation, and I knew that if I trusted God, He would take care of me (Philippians 4:4-7). He gave me a new boldness, along with opportunities to use this boldness
such as leading a Bible study and loving on complete strangers (Deuteronomy 31:8). He revealed to me the difference between a religion and a relationship.
But most importantly, He showed me that what I do won’t transform me, only Jesus will. You can go to church every Sunday, read the Bible front to back, and help anyone you come in contact with, but none of that will matter if you do not have Jesus in your life. You are saved by grace through faith. Oh, how thankful I am that He has transformed me into a child of God!
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