One Man with God

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Hey crew.

I’m doing something a little different with this one. Most of you would be familiar with my writing about the Bible. But a majority of you know nothing about me. Nothing about my story. Nothing about my life. Nothing about how I got to this point in history.

And I’ve got no problems with that. At all.

This blog exists to make much of God. It is the very fabric of this whole thing. I have no higher goal or prayer. That through these words of mine, you would come to know God more. That these words would simply compel and drive you further into God’s word. 

Not mine.

So. Working off the premise that God is glorified in our weakness. I want to do something a little bit different. I want to share with you a story from my life. It’s about a man I hardly knew. I never even got his name. But looking back, I realise how important this man’s actions were in my life. And how he challenged me without him even realising it.

Quick clarification necessary: I have always considered myself a Christian. And tons of awesome Christian men and women have come alongside me over the years. Pastors. Teachers. Grandparents. Friends. The best parents in the world. But it was the actions of a man I hardly knew that challenged me to get baptised.

Mystery set up. Let’s get into it.

________________

THE STORY

It all started with cycling.

Before school everyday I would be out on my bike. Pedalling away along the esplanade. Sweating it out as the sun came up every morning. I aspired to be a pro – racing in the Tour De France, cranking it up the inclines of the Alpe d’Huez. And so I joined a cycling group. I was pretty nervous about it at first. Being the new guy. I remember just being super anxious to get the approval of the group. Eventually, I did.

A couple of them starting calling me the “crazy bastard”. I got the name for one reason: I was the only person who rode through winter without any long sleeves or thermals on. I loved the nickname. Because I also happened to be one of the youngest in the group. So I totally adopted this whole idea that I was some young rogue or something.

Especially because I wasn’t shaving my legs at that point.

So I started riding with the “fast group”. And over time, I began to stay with them for longer periods of time. I soon realised that in a cycling group, your legs can do a lot of the talking. And so as I got better, I felt like I was accumulating some social currency.

I remember a Christian guy joining our group. Probably somewhere in his 30’s. Really nice bloke. Great to talk to. Remembered stuff you told him. Could tell a joke. Had an epic African accent. But I noticed (even as a young 15-16 year old) that this guy had two things working against him in our cycling group. One – he wasn’t the best cyclist.

And two – he was very open about his faith.

In terms of social currency, this guy didn’t have a whole lot. To put it nicely, nobody really shared his passion for missions and work with the church. He didn’t mind though. Didn’t bother him. If given the chance, he was always talking about God, or the church, or some sort of mission work. It was clear that this God thing was a real passion of his.

And it soon became clear this God-thing was problematic with the group.

It took a defining moment. We were cruising along as a group, early in the morning, on the road to the Outer Harbour north of Port Adelaide. This Christian guy is doing a turn on the front. And one bright spark (sarcasm) is riding directly behind him. Sensing the moment, he leans back on his bike, and cups both of his hands – one outstretched in front of him, and the other over his right shoulder – as if he is holding a rocket launcher.

And then he just pretends to blow up this Christian guy.

The sound of laughter erupted from this group of men, as the Christian guy proceeded to  get shot in the back with a pretend weapon. I mean really childish stuff. The chatter that followed was less than kind about this guy. Suddenly everything was coming to a head. I remember it all crystal-clear. The whole time, I was riding about ten cyclists back.

Watching. Listening. Not saying a word. 

This was a pivotal moment for me. It forced me to think. I suddenly had a decision to make. As a Christian, I was not at all opposed to what this guy was so passionate about. But as a cyclist, as one trying to gain the approval of those around me, I found myself in a tight spot. I said nothing at the time. But I thought about this over-and-over for weeks. 

Who do I really want to be? 

I had two options. Christian or Coward. I could be like everyone else. Just get good at cycling. Just be a good person. But ultimately be a coward, take the easy route, and laugh at someone I actually deep-down admired. Or I could be like the Christian guy. I could choose to be open about my faith, and risk being mocked by the rest of the group.

5 months later, I got baptised.

___________

ONE MAN WITH GOD

One of the hardest things to do is to stand alone.

And at the end of the day, I was seriously impressed with this guy. With his ability to stand alone. Nathan Randall, associate pastor at our church and absolute deadset legend, has been known to say that one man with God is a majority”.

This man was that one man with God. He had a whole group of men laughing at him. He was alone. And he was in the majority. God stood alone with him. And for him, that was all the approval that he needed. He didn’t need the approval of the group like the rest of us did. And so he just continued on treating everyone the same way.

Far out that was cool to see. 

And I am convinced that God wants to meet all of us there. On the fringes, alone and ostracised, loving people that don’t love us. I could insert close to a billion bible verses here to back that up. But I won’t. I just want to take a moment to thank that man.

Mate. The chances of this falling into your hands are pretty slim. But thank you. Thank you for showing me that God is better. Better than cycling. Better than the approval of others. Better than putting up the facade of a strong exterior. Better than everything.

You have no idea the impact you made from that one action.

Thank you.

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45 thoughts on “One Man with God

  1. Heather Davis March 22, 2018 / 11:38 pm

    Wow, very nice.

    And what a fantastic reminder to mind our place as ambassadors for Christ everywhere, at all times, no matter the cost. Who knows when a stray spark of faithfulness might light a fire in someone else for the glory of the King?

    Liked by 4 people

    • Jonathan Camac March 22, 2018 / 11:45 pm

      Spot on Heather! Little did he know there was someone in the group – watching, taking notes, being seriously challenged.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Heather Davis March 22, 2018 / 11:54 pm

        And some years and an ocean later, others are still being challenged by the same unconscious act…

        Liked by 2 people

      • Jonathan Camac March 22, 2018 / 11:56 pm

        Too true! Not forgetting the other 10 countries his story has reached so far!

        Liked by 2 people

      • Heather Davis March 22, 2018 / 11:59 pm

        Wonderful! All for the glory of God. Thanks tons for sharing!

        Liked by 2 people

  2. fathergodlovesyou March 23, 2018 / 12:17 am

    Beautiful testimony, I had to lose myself to find Him all over again. I became a little complacent and noncommittal, then I lost all my friends 7 years ago. I realised that only without them could I start all over again and now both my husband and I have our own ministry. Praise the Lord.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Jonathan Camac March 23, 2018 / 2:21 am

      Wow! Sounds like it has been a painful experience – but then, on the other hand, looks like it has ultimately worked for good. Not all that surprising when God uses all things hey? (Romans 8:28)

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Mia March 23, 2018 / 1:21 am

    Powerful story that is still having amazing repercussions worldwide! More glory to God! ❤️

    Liked by 3 people

  4. heyjude6119 March 23, 2018 / 1:27 am

    Jonathan,
    This was a very inspiring story. What a witness that man was for God. It would be interesting to know is anyone else in the cycling group was affected by his life. A good reminder for us all. And I love how you pointed out, God is the majority and when He’s with us, we don’t need anyone else. Amen!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Jonathan Camac March 25, 2018 / 11:33 pm

      Well said Jude. It’s is still a great reminder for me today! I often still feel like a real coward when it counts. I think we all regularly need to be reminded, and really deeply know, that with God we are always in the majority. Thanks for your time!

      Like

  5. johananj March 23, 2018 / 3:27 am

    This is sort of the modern day persecution in the cities. People don’t hit each other or kill because we have laws for that. But people do mock, and they do that a lot, even though deep inside they know that they are not being true to themselves. 🙂

    I was reading Romans 5 yesterday and it says; “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”.

    Our hope wont put us to shame and we are able to do stand up for God because of the Holy Spirit 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jonathan Camac March 25, 2018 / 11:36 pm

      Yeah that’s probably very true. Although – let’s not forget that real persecution is very much at work in the world today! Love that passage from Romans 5 too. I’m in the process of memorising Romans at the moment, and apart from Romans 8, that part in chapter 5 is right up there with the best bits 😉 Thanks mate!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. quantum of thoughts March 23, 2018 / 4:57 pm

    This spoke to me in a lot of ways! thanks Jonathan! I want to be that man who was bold to stand up for his faith.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Jonathan Camac March 23, 2018 / 7:13 pm

      Good to hear! Definitely not an easy thing to put yourself out there like he did. I’m glad people like him are willing to stand up and be counted. We can all learn a lot!

      Like

  7. alimw2013 March 23, 2018 / 8:06 pm

    Such an awesome testimony.. I took the hard road and fell into peer pressure through my teenage years until my late twenties so my story includes regret and mess, but through God’s mercy and grace and my obedience to His calling I’ve been redeemed…Praise Him!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. biblicalbacon March 24, 2018 / 1:01 am

    Wow. Just wow. While I am sure he does not require or even anticipate any thanks, it is the power of our Father within your testimony that carries His Spirit. Thank you for sharing your testimony.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. A Response March 24, 2018 / 5:14 am

    Thanks, Jonathan. I really appreciate getting to know you more through your story. Keep doing what you are doing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jonathan Camac March 25, 2018 / 11:42 pm

      Appreciate the support mate! Glad you got something out of the change of pace with this post.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Sheila Llewellyn March 24, 2018 / 2:24 pm

    Beautiful story, thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. gpavants March 27, 2018 / 6:02 pm

    Hi Jonathan,

    Man, brother, thanks for telling your story. I am a biker, too and know the challenge you face. May the Lord give you the boldness you need whatever road He put you on. Keep sharing your story! In Christ,

    Gary

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jonathan Camac May 3, 2018 / 4:55 am

      Appreciate this gpavants! Awesome prayer that I need regularly – for boldness. Probably most of us do. Thanks heaps Gary.

      Like

  12. oshamebinum March 29, 2018 / 4:00 pm

    The crew is saying hey right back Jonathan…
    Thank you for reminding me about how being with God is a majority.
    This is so superamazing a testimony.
    Thanks for sharing Mate😀😀

    Liked by 2 people

  13. MLS April 3, 2018 / 11:52 pm

    Be careful when people like and approve of you (Luke 6:26).

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jonathan Camac April 20, 2018 / 8:08 pm

      Appreciate it thereallifechristian! Thanks for taking the time to read it 🙂

      Like

  14. Jennifer Arimborgo May 3, 2018 / 4:49 am

    I love both this story and the way you told it. Thank you so much for sharing transparently — this definitely does point us towards the Lord and His ability to get through to us, just the way He needs to!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Stefan May 4, 2018 / 5:23 pm

    This is encouraging, Jon! I really want to be that guy. Little did he know……that I would be encouraged by him. I believe God has used you in a way to honour what he did. God bless you, bro! Love this!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. reasonsformyfaith May 18, 2018 / 3:11 am

    I LOVE THIS! It’s wonderful to know our actions can so powerfully impact others, even when we can’t see it! I am choosing to be a radical stand out type of Christian, and I’m so blessed to hear that one man like that impacted you so deeply. Praise God.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jonathan Camac May 28, 2018 / 11:43 am

      Love it! Thanks heaps for sharing all that reasonsformyfaith. It truly is amazing how the actions of one can stick with you for such a long time.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Tom May 28, 2018 / 1:29 pm

    Thank you for sharing your testimony. It is sometimes difficult to stand alone among people, but we can always know that God is always standing right there by our side. He never leaves nor forsakes us. Thank you for sharing this! May God pour out many blessings on you in this journey with Him.

    Like

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