Think back with me to the moment of your salvation. Not the general phase of life or the rough age you found yourself at, think back to the exact moment. If pressed you could probably describe in pretty vidid detail what that moment looked like, who was there and what you felt.
I remember my moment pretty well. My mom had been watching a tele-evangelist that evening. I had been in and out of the room, not consciously watching, not consciously listening. As the program was ending, I remember crawling up in bed with her and consciously tuning in for the first time. I don't remember the exact words that the preacher was giving for the altar call but I do remember the choir beginning their song and my eyes inexplicably welling up with tears. I couldn't figure out what was happening. Why was I crying? Where had this emotion come from? My mom, the most tender hearted, obedient woman of God I had ever known immediately diagnosed my sudden rush of emotion. She looked at me and asked, "Why are you crying?" When I failed to come up with an answer that made any sense, she responded with, "I know exactly why you're crying."
There by her bedside, we knelt and my mom walked me through what I had heard a thousand times before as a church kid, but for the first time understood for myself. I was a sinner in need of a Savior. God loved me so much that He sacrificed His only son to be that Savior and that upon my confession of faith, my dirty, filthy slate would be wiped clean and God would grant me forgiveness. I didn't deserve it. I hadn't earned it but still God was making this offer and it was mine for the taking. That night, by my mother's bedside I took that offer.
I remember rising up from my kneeling position and feeling as though a tremendous weight had been lifted from my shoulders. It wasn't a weight I had ever identified or recognized before but I now knew that it had been there but it was now gone. I remember the phone call that I made to my grandmother only moments later, telling her of my decision and hearing her tell me how proud she was of me and the life I was choosing to live from that point forward.
As I think back on that moment, I'm disappointed that I over complicated my relationship with God over the years. Things got messy, I lost my focus, I stopped being intentional, I allowed other things or people to sit on the throne of my heart. I never stopped claiming Him as Savior but I often stopped short of fully embracing Him as Lord.
At times I wish I could go back to that moment and tell myself to watch out for apathy. I wish I could tell myself about the importance of discipleship and the importance of immersing myself in Scripture and prayer. I wish I could warn myself about the pitfalls that seemed like a million miles away at that moment. In that moment, nothing mattered more to me than the decision I had just made. I was His and He was mine. I wish I had fully understood what my role in the relationship really was.
Paul says it like this in Colossians 2:6-7 says, "And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness."
My job, your job is to continue to follow Him.
My job, your job is to let your roots grow down into Him.
My job, your job is to build your life on Him.
I'm challenged to return to the simplicity of truly following Jesus. I'm challenged to get rid of all the extra. I'm challenged to go beyond the trappings of Christianity and to return to Jesus Himself. Following Him. Growing in Him. Building my life on Him. Be encouraged and keep moving forward. -Andy