By Grace Alone

Jimmy Chakanyuka

[Jimmy Chakanyuka came to spend a year with us. From Zimbabwe, Jimmy joined our discipleship programme, Doulos, and reflects on his year]

Hosanna Lord come to save us.

Looking back at the past ten months I can see how God had perfectly planned everything so precisely for me to see how big he is. He knew exactly what he wanted to deal with in me. I had subtly started believing that we are saved by grace plus merit and faith plus works. This created a subconscious anxiety of not being good enough. The idea of maintaining a reputation consumed everything I touched as I was never at rest in him.

I had my eyes fixed on working FOR God, such that I felt I had to catch up to what he was telling me to do all the time. God felt like a hard slave master who only commands leaving us to fake it until we make it, this produced frustration when I felt he did not keep his end of the CONTRACT. There was no hope for me, for every word of knowledge that came to me became law: a further burden of something I had to do. If I kept the new law I fed my pride but, if I did not keep it I fed my anxieties, but praise be to God. “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him” 1 Corinthians 2 vs 9. God, through the story of Chasing the Dragon, a story of how Jackie Pullinger was used by the Holy Spirit to bring revival in Hong Kong’s drug dens, gave me a new appetite for the Holy Spirit and the gift of tongues. A desire which he fulfilled one Tuesday evening in our development group. Our Friday conversations with Jamie challenged the core of my beliefs and pushed me to dare challenge God, which ultimately led me to see that God seeks one who dares to come to into his presence.

Not all Doulos teaching hit me straight to the heart, but the majority came as the right medicine to deal with exactly what I needed at that moment. It was as though God would touch a nerve during the week and heal it in his own unique way. In the shade of my trainer’s guidance, l was refreshed and got a new desire to serve with the right heart. At the end of each day, I could go home and rest, but God never slumbered. He kept working in me even more, I guess he is the king of everything, even working from home. My host were the perfect incubator for me to grow.

Each day brought new connections through Castle Point, The Coffee Shop, or The Vibe. With each connection a new challenge came. I had to move out of my comfort zone to create relations, but I was well equipped with nudges from the Holy Spirit, something that had been drilled into me everywhere I went in the Lifeline community. This does not mean the fear was gone. No, I was still scared of the future: what my life will add up to, how I will handle situations when l don’t have control. One such fear was coming back home to an economy that is so volatile. However, thank God for the lockdown. God finally made me slow down and start reading. The Heavenly Man was recommended to me, and God started a new thing in me. I wish I had time to go deep into the detail of how He did it, but that’s a story for another day. It would be easier to give examples of what he has done.

For Matrix fans, I feel like Neo in the Matrix when he gets the revelations of what he has within him and the potential of what he can do becomes limitless. For The Lord of the Rings fans, it was as though God had made me like the walking tree, ‘Treebeard the Ent’, and directed me to the river of life. For Disney fans, God came to my window and took me on a flying carpet ride and showed me how he was in control and the world he had created for me to flourish.

As I conclude, I say Hosanna once again for as I go through my notes I see how inadequate my words are to express the gratitude l have for what God had done through all of you. I was searching to fill a void with my own strength, but Jesus came down to celebrate that void, as it was just big enough for him to live in. God is faithful, trust in him with your last breath.

Hosanna Lord we praise you for what you have done.