“CALLED TO FREEDOM” was the them of Cal State Fullerton & Cal State Long Beach’s fall retreat. Holly was the speaker for the weekend. Saturday evening, after her talk on how we have been called to freedom to help set others free, a student approached her to talk more about how he can experience freedom in his life.
Gunner is from a Catholic background. He shared that he is trying to find the “best version of himself”. He also was wresting with one situation in his life in which he felt very guilty and didn’t know how to get ride of the guilt. He also feared that temptation might lead him into the same situation again.
It was clear that part of his journey was him trying to figure out his sexual identity, but Holly didn’t want that to define their conversation. She chose to focus on how he wanted to learn the best version of himself instead. She explained that in order to learn that, we need to get to know our Creator and His intentions in creating us. We can only get to know Him when we have a personal relationship with Jesus. She emphasized that we can be raised in the church and know about Jesus but still not have a deep personal relationship that will transform our lives. He said that tonight hit him because he heard the stories of all the changed lives in her message: Christy the vampire, the madam in Santa Monica and Zhanna who heard Holly speak on a spring break trip. He realized that he had never had a defining moment of his life where he was transformed like these people.
Knowing he was Catholic, Holly chose to focus on Ephesians 2:8-10. “For by grace, you’ve been saved through faith. And this is not of your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
After reading the verses and explaining that we are only saved by what Jesus has done on the cross and not anything we do, she pulled out her car keys and held them out in her hand toward him and gave him this analogy, “I have a car that is fully paid for and I want to give it to you. What would you need to do for this car to actually be useful in your life?”
“Take the keys.” he said.
“Exactly. Too many times, people know about Jesus, but never actually accept him in their life so that they can live a transformed, purposeful life. Would you like to decide to follow Jesus tonight and truly put your faith in Him?”
With tears streaming down his cheeks he said, “Yes. I would.”
Holly then said, “This means you would want to choose to live your life according to the Bible and not culture or whatever worldly theories are out there. Are you willing to learn more about God and the Bible so that you can better understand who He is, who He’s made you to be, and how to live this one life you’ve been given?”
“Yes.” Gunner said, nodding.
“Awesome! Would you like to pray a prayer on your own or repeat after me?”
“I can pray on my own.” And he did!
Gunner is now being discipled by one of our interns and is going to join Matt’s Bible study on campus. Pray he will continue to grow as a man of God and walk in holiness and his true purpose in life!
Thank you for being a part of our ministry as we continue to trust God to reach this generation with the gospel!
Together for His Kingdom and glory,