Cadet Testimony: He Calls, and He Equips

“I would ask myself, ‘Why would God call a person like me when there are a lot of people who are capable of doing this job?’" by Cadet Ginikachukwu Onwuka

I was born into a Christian home to two beautiful people who love the Lord with all they are and have. It is evident that I was introduced to Jesus as a young child, participated in church activities as much as I was needed to. I knew who Jesus is and the awesome things He has done and can do. Before I knew Christ on a personal level, I had the opportunity of hearing stories about Heaven and Hell. Because I was terrified of Hell, I promised myself I would work very hard so that I could earn my stay in Heaven. As a young girl, I started volunteering to help in different capacities, thinking it will also make me feel good about myself. Still, I felt as if my life had no meaning and I felt empty. I had no joy or peace in my life. 

In 2007, I attended an Easter Retreat with my family at the church and while the pastor was preaching he read from Galatians 2:21, which says, “I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.” According to Paul, it is totally illegitimate to add requirements such as good deeds or rituals to the gospel of salvation. We are saved by grace alone, through faith alone and any inclusion of works conflicts with that good news. I realized I was a sinner who can’t save herself by doing good deeds. No one can earn his or her way into Heaven by being good because we are sinners, and that is why Christ died on the cross, giving us the gift of salvation. We can only trust in Him and depend on His goodness. That night I confessed my sins to God and asked Him to forgive me. From that moment, my life took a significant turn, knowing that I am not under the law but under God’s grace. Hallelujah! 

The motive for all my work and service changed. I do not need to do good deeds as an exchange for salvation. Instead, I do what I do every day as an act of worship to the One who has set me free from the power of sin and Hell through the blood He shed on the cross.

As a young adult, God began calling me to be a pastor. He spoke to me through a lot of people and in different situations. I found myself caring for those society doesn’t seem to care about, and all I wanted to do was tell someone about Jesus after getting to know them and building a rapport. . I knew deep down in my heart what God wanted me to do, but two things kept me away from submitting to God’s plan for me. First, I had the ambition of owning a business, by opening a music school, and nothing was going to stop me from achieving my dream. Second, I am an introvert to the core. How could I possibly be a pastor?

I began to focus on all my inadequacy: extreme shyness, always appearing to be frowning, enjoying being alone instead of fellowshipping with fellow Christians, overlooked by others, not good enough and neglecting the bright side of my personality. All of these bothered me so much that I could never see myself as a successful pastor. I would ask myself, why would God call a person like me when there are a lot of people who are capable of doing this job?

I had struggled with this feeling for years, but the Lord kept calling me until, in 2017, I answered the call to become a pastor. Though I surrendered myself to His will, I still doubted Him and wondered if He was making a mistake by calling a person like me. I went to the College of Officer Training with doubts in my heart as to whether I could ever be good enough.

As I continued to study God’s word more deeply, I began to discover that I don’t need to be enough, because He is enough. He calls us and equips us for the work ahead. There are pros and cons associated with any type of personality. I am sure that God can equip me to do what He called us to do (2 Peter 1:3). I have submitted fully to Him and am allowing Him to transform me so that I more closely resemble Christ. When my personality helps me in my journey with Christ, I give Him praise for the gifts He has given me. When my personality gets in the way of obeying God, I ask for His power to help me live beyond myself. Today, I do not feel the same way I felt 18 months ago because I can see how God had transformed me when I decided to trust Him completely and let Him use me as He will. God is using me for His glory and I love it.

I encourage you today to look beyond your personality and focus on what God can do through you. He created you the way you are and He knows you more than you know yourself. You do not need to be enough because He is enough. And remember, when He calls, He equips. All you need to do is submit to His will and say, “Here I am Lord, use me.”

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