Last Sunday, I shared about a couple of milestone decisions in my life. First, on October 11, 1976, I made the decision to be baptized. As a fourteen year-old boy from an un-churched family, it was no small matter. I was bucking the family trend. (One of my older brothers once introduced me as his “little brother that’s ruining my bad reputation.”) I may have been ignorant of the finer details of Christianity, but I did love God and I did know that He expected me to make a commitment to Him. I had been listening, and I understood the process. Secondly, I had one of those life-altering moments a few months later while I was at church camp. I can remember standing on the pavilion just outside the mess hall at Camp Indogan while contemplating the direction of my life. I had begun to realize that just showing up once a week at church on Sunday morning wasn’t enough. God wanted all of me, and I hadn’t been giving it. I stood there…thought it over…and made a decision.
If I’m going to do this, then I’m going to do it all the way!I wasn’t going to just show up on Sunday morning to fulfill my worship obligation. I wasn’t going to hold back. Instead, I was going to go all out. I was going to attend all the functions. I was going to build the relationships. I was going to serve. I was going to share. I was going to be whatever and do whatever it seemed that God wanted me to do.
I wish I could say that I have always fulfilled that commitment.There have been times in my life when things got a little “frayed;” times when my spiritual walk lost its bounce. I have had times when I was racked with doubt about my choices and the validity of my decisions. I’ve had other times when I have nearly tossed it all in out of discouragement. Life isn’t always nice…it isn’t always simple. Sometimes, life is just plain hard.
The truth is that I have to remake that decision from the camp pavilion every day. Some days, I have to remake it more than once. It really is a constant thing. Jesus said in Luke 9 that it is a daily process of laying down your life and taking up His cross.“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23
There are days when I truly disappoint myself. I can only imagine how God feels. If only I could maintain that commitment without ever faltering! If only I could remember how bad it feels to falter…BEFORE I falter. The thing is…when I do crash and burn, so to speak…it’s just a matter of making that decision again.And, refreshment is on the other side.
“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus.” Acts 3:19-20I will again follow Him. I will put myself aside and take up His cross…again. I will serve. I will share. I will build those relationships. I will do whatever and be whatever He wants me to be. "Ahhhhhh." It’s like a cold glass of water after working in the sun all day!
It is so refreshing to get back on track!You, dear reader, stand where you are with your own set decisions before God. Some of you may need to make the initial commitment…turn to God…be baptized. Some of you need to decide to stop waiting and holding back, but rather to give your heart. And even, some of you may need to stoke that flame and rekindle the fire that you once had oh so many years ago.
Do you need a cold glass of spiritual water?It all starts with a decision.