I made the decision to follow Christ 30 years ago this month. I was 9 years old at the time. I wasn’t forced. It wasn’t shoved down my throat. I wasn’t scared into it. It happened as I was being read the story of the crucifixion of Christ. There came a point that I just knew. I knew I was dirty. I knew I was a sinner. Keep in mind that I was 9 and a good kid. The worst thing that I can recall at the time was the occasional fight with my siblings. I had no interest in doing “bad” things. I didn’t see the need to do them. Yet, at that pivotal moment in our living room, I knew. Even at that young age, I knew that it wasn’t so much as the act of sin that made me a sinner in need of a Savior, but that I was born into it. I knew that I was filthy in sin. Nobody had to tell me. It broke my heart this knowledge that, even though I did nothing to deserve it, Christ suffered and died for me. Nobody had to tell me so; it occurred to me that this was the truth
This was the path I chose to follow and at times chose to walk the other way. The other way was some of the most empty and painful times of my life. Not because my life was nothing but punishment, but because I still yearned for Him. When I finally made the decision to turn around and walk right back to Him, He was there….waiting. I’ve not turned my back on Him since.
I doubted my beliefs. It all seemed sometimes so crazy to believe, but time and time again, He was faithful in every aspect of my life. It was always Him who I called to in my darkest of moments and it was always Him who met me right there. He’s not a figment of my imagination or a manifestation of a weak rationale. He is real. He is here. He is my God.
Because He is my God and I have surrendered my will and my rights to my own life, I have to call the things that He calls Holy, Righteous, and Good…Holy, Righteous, and Good. And as much, I have to call the things that He declares sinful, dark, and wicked, the same. I cannot take the pleasant aspects of His Word and ignore the harsh aspects. I refuse to disregard the Bible because it doesn’t comply with the world’s standard of living. The world doesn’t have a standard. The world fluctuates and changes at a rapid rate and doesn’t even have truth to stand on…other than whatever feels good at the time. The problem with the whole feeling good thing is that it’s short lived. It dies because it is an unsatiated beast that tries to satisfy itself with one thing after another; be it lifestyle, trends, materialism, ambition, lusts….only to become disenchanted and needing more. The world and it’s “standard” can only offer hopelessness.
My God offers hope. He offers sanctity of life. He offers stability, love, peace, and joy.In Him, we get a steady grounding so we don’t have to be tossed about with the ever changing chaos in the world. He offers a future of life and passion. He offers redemption from our past mistakes and failures. He offers acceptance where the world has never known truly how. He offers these things in replacement of all of what the world says is your right to have and deserve to have. You can have what He offers or you can continue to hold onto what the world offers, but you can’t have both. What the world gives including its ideas of knowledge, justice, and happiness are falsely centered and have no grounding. It has no place in the kingdom of God, so you can only choose one side. He won’t force it from your hands, but will ever continue to wait for you to let go of the world and grab onto Him with both hands.