Reprinted from By Your Fruit, Young Christian Magazine (August 18, 2018)
In this interview with Anthony Rush Jr., we discussed his life as a man who is in active pursuit of God. Anthony discussed his experiences with marriage, college, and career. He also talked about the biggest lessons he’s learned in his walk with Christ and some important reflection points that we can all consume and think about in our own lives.
One thing that made me interested in interviewing you was your transparency. You didn’t try to uphold an image to your audience and like a post you said “I AM JUST LIKE YOU”, you talked about being human and having flaws, and etc., so for people who may not know you where did you grow up and how much of your city made you into the person you are today spiritually?
I grew up in Peoria, IL. A few hours south of Chicago. My city is everything to me. I love my 309 people and I would not be who I am today if it were not for that place. I encountered so many things good and bad that I had to decide early on what kind of person I wanted to be. Although I was never the party type, or gang banging type I still knew those people and were cool with them. It took me a while to fully embrace who God had called me to be, but I am glad I did it. With that being said I had so many people who looked out for me spiritually because they knew how easy it was to be in the streets. They knew how easy it was to end up in that “wrong place at the wrong time” situation. My family made sure that they kept me and my friends always prayed up and learning about God whether we wanted to or not.
You also talked about how you fully accepted Jesus during your sophomore year in college and I can relate because that’s around the time I did as well right before I transferred to Winston-Salem State University In North Carolina, so can you talk about how that college experience helped grow your faith?
I think I just got to a point where I hit rock bottom. I just was not happy with who I was when I looked in the mirror and I knew God was calling me to change 100%. I had been trying to do things on my own for so long; and God just told me let me do this and follow me, so I said yes, and it was the best decision I’ve ever made. College was a time where I had to make decisions on my own. There was no more Mom or Dad there to guide me every day. I had to put my big boy pants on and decide if I was going to take full advantage of the opportunity to grow the right way or just continue to try to coast like I always did.
What have been some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned with your walk with Christ?
Man, if I could just sum up my faith walk in a phrase it would be: “Keep walking, don’t stop.” Growing up I experienced some things that kind of scared me in ways that affected me in ways I did not realize until transferring to a Christian college. My faith was challenged, temptations were everywhere, and I had to decide who I wanted to be. My biggest challenge has always been consistency. I struggle with being so laid back, that it can get me in trouble. But experiencing those things and seeing God come through for me every single time has shaped that phrase for me. If I keep walking God will guide me. He always has, and always will no matter what.
You mentioned that Romans 12:2 KJV is one of your favorite bible verses and it says “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” That’s such a great verse. Can you talk about not conforming to the world and how to stay focus on God’s Plan for your life?
Man yes! I love that verse, I held on to that verse in college when I decided to take it seriously and allow God to have me fully. I think it is important to stay consistent in prayer and constant communication with God. When we are in tune to the Holy Spirit we don’t allow a hole for the enemy to work with. It’s not that easy, but I find it to be so helpful. I also think surrounding yourself with a community of people who have the same mindset as you is crucial. That is definitely one of the reasons I’ve made it thus far. I had a great group of guys I could confide in and show my dirt. There was no judgment or hiding we all put it out there and were in the war together.
You stated that “Getting to share the love of Christ and his Word on a daily basis with the youth is a dream come true. Do you feel helping the youth is your purpose in life?
Yes, I definitely feel like God has called me to share his love and message with the youth. Before I moved to Dallas, I did it in Kentucky for an incredible place called Love City. The youths are the future leaders of this world. I feel like, especially for our young African American males they need to see a positive black man who loves Jesus. They need to see that there are other ways to find happiness and love without making tons of money or having tons of women. They need to know they don’t have to run the streets, that there is a creator who loves you and has a plan for your life and I’m here to help you find that out.
I’ve noticed that you aren’t shy about representing God through your style, so with so many businesses out there, how do you find great Christian apparel and what are some of your favorite brands?
I love seeing Christian businesses man. I love when they proclaim the name of Jesus boldly and aren’t afraid of it. I just try to really look at what they are presenting through the images and captions they post. I think you can kind of tell most times when someone’s trying to make a quick buck. But, I have a lot of friends who rock with the brands I rock with as well so they kind of makes it easier for me to say: “OK yea I can rock with them.”
What Christian artist are you currently listening to?
Man, I listen to so many Christian artists, but if I can name a few I’ve been bumping heavily it would be : Beleaf, Andy Mineo, Nobigdyl, Aha Gazelle, Lecrae, Wordsplayed, Social Club Misfits, NF, Dave Asaph, Propaganda, and Ty Brasel.
I’m currently newly married, so can you talk about your role as a husband and how your relationship with God has changed since you became married?
Being a husband is a constant learning curve man. I think as a husband our roles change every day. We are to be a leader, a lover, a forgiver, a helper, a listener, and the list goes on. Throughout the last two years of being married I think being able to see where you can adapt and how you can help within every moment with your wife is our job. Marriage is such a rewarding and fun opportunity to experience. I think that is a perfect example of how God works with us. He is all of that to us no matter what and that is how we are to be with our spouse. Love knows no boundary or end. So, we must strive to be what God is, love.
In one of your recent posts you talked about “Self-Reflection is Vital” and the trueness of being uncomfortable. Could you discuss what you were feeling at the time?
I think I was having a heart check. For me it is very important that I check myself to remind myself that I am nothing without Christ. I’m not saying that I want to tear myself down but I want to humble myself constantly and allow God to be the head of everything I do. For me the more I do that, the more I remember to be in constant communion with the Lord.
Lastly, where can people reach you on social media?
People can definitely reach me on IG. Instagram.com/rushanthony. Soon I’ll have a YouTube up and running as well so people can reach me there to.