"Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers." - VoltairE

"God is your Father, not your boss"

Posted by Anne Witton on Thursday, October 11, 2018 Under: Reflections

Recently I have been experiencing a bit of a dip in mental health. I went to the doctor and he said that I needed to take things easier, so I have been attempting to do that. I've realised that I don't find it very easy to relax and be still. I've even been working hard on trying to get better and trying to feel closer to God, but had been feeling flat and frustrated.

This weekend I was at the True Freedom Trust annual conference and God used it really powerfully to help me. I was apprehensive about going because I knew that I'd be around people all weekend, but I needn't have worried. It was wonderful to see all my friends and make new friends, and I was reminded again how special the community is.

There were talks by Stuart and Rob from TfT and guest speaker Simon Ponsonby. God spoke to me powerfully through all the talks and seemed to unravel the frustration and resentment of the last few months as he gently reassured me of his love and grace.

Simon spoke about the prodigal son story (Luke 15: 11 - 32), which I must have heard and read hundreds of times. I was challenged by the words of the elder brother who is so bitter about the outpouring of love towards his younger brother and resents 'slaving' away for his father. He has turned what should be a beautiful, loving relationship into drudgery and duty. If I'm honest, I can see some of myself in that. I am keen to be effective in ministry and do good work for God, but I think I'd become proud and self-sufficient which had sucked the joy out of my service. We often say that we can't do anything without God, but that's not really true. We can do lots of things independently of God, even thinking that we're doing those things for him. It's painful and humbling to admit that I'd been sucked into a 'slave' mentality and made my Christian life into hard work with prayer tasks and Bible study tasks and ministry tasks. Simon reminded us that "God is your Father, not your boss" and since then I have been rediscovering the joy of relationship with him (God, not Simon).

I feel like I've been an idiot, but fortunately, God loves idiots. I'm so thankful for my friends near and far who have spoken words of encouragement and rebuke, and who pray for me regularly.

And I'm ridiculously grateful for the ministry of TfT. It's had such a significant impact on my life and faith, since I heard one of the members share so honestly about his relationship with Jesus 23 years ago, before I was a Christian. I've lost count of how many conferences I've been to, but they're always the highlight of my year.

In : Reflections 

Tags: "mental health" tft "true freedom trust" "prodigal son" "elder brother" slavery father 


"loving god' commandment relationship 40th activity acts addiction adoption adultery advent aesop agapé android animation anxiety apologetics app apps argument aroma atheism audio ben folds bible bible characters bible narrative bible study bible trading cards big picture birthday blog body of christ book book review books busyness cat celebration celibacy celtic change charity chart child children christ christendom christmas chronicles church church history climate change coastguard colouring comedy commentary communications communion community compassion conference consumerism contemplation context conversation coronavirus covenant covid-19 creation creation care creativity cross crucifixtion cryptic culture cwtch daily prayer data day of the lord debate devotional diagram dictionary digital disagreement disciples discipleship discussion documentary easter ecclesiastes education effort elder brother emotion encouragement enemies environment environmentalism ethics evangelism event evidence ezekiel fable facebook fact check fair trade faith faitheism fake news father fear feast feeling fellowship feminism fiction film fireseeds flesh flourishing food foodbank forgiveness free freedom freshers fun fundraiser funny galatians game gay gay wedding genealogies generosity gifts giving god god's presence good good news gospel gospreflection grace gratitude great commission green growth guitar hagar health heart heaven hebrews history hoarding holy biscuit holy spirit home homosexuality hope hopelessness hospitality house hub humanism humour hymn identity in individualism infographic infographics inheritance insurance internet interview interviews ios jesus joel joke jonah joseph joy justice kindness kingdom kingdom of god law leaflet lectio divina legacy lennox lesbian levite lgbtq liberty library literal literature liturgy living out lockdown lord’s love lust magazine map mark mark's materialism matthew maturity meal meditation meditations memory mental health ministry mission missionaries moody moral morality move murray music nation new creation new year newcomers news non-fiction north east old testament online outreach palm sunday parable passover peace pentecost persecution perspective philosophy photo photography piano picture this thought podcast poem poetry political correctness pool night possessions post-christendom poverty power praise prayer prayer requests preaching presentation presents priest princess anne priorities prodigal son productivity project prophecy protection provision psalm publicity puzzle questions quiz quotes reading rebellion reconciliation redemption reference reflection relationship relationships relativism religion remembrance repentance rescue resource resources rest restoration resurrection retreat review reviews riches right and wrong royalty rules rush sabbath sacrifice same-sex attraction sarah scholarship science screens scripture scripture engagement secularism seed self esteem sermon sermon on the mount sex sexuality shalom sharing faith shopping showcase significance silence simplicity sin slavery smell social social action social media society software solitude song songs sonship soularium sources speaking spiritual gifts spirituality sproul spurgeon stations of the cross stats stewardship stone story stott student student life students study suffering supper support support discovery talk tech technology temple tft thank you thanksgiving theology time toby tools top trumps trading cards training transformation translation treasure treasure hunt trivia true freedom trust truth unity update utilities value video vine visual walk war wealth website websites wesley witnessing women words world worldview worry worship worth writing wrong wycliffe youtube ywam

Living Out is registered UK Charity no. 1165572
The Baptist Union is Charity no. 249635