I was a freshman in high school when I bought my first deer hunting license. My interest in bows and arrows had been coming for some time. It started by listening to cowboy and Indian stories on the radio in the 2nd grade. During my teenage years my hunting mentors were; my bow hunting high school shop teacher, Mr. Baker and Goldie Brown, an older, rifle deer hunter, who attended my Father’s church in Mio Michigan. My freshman and sophomore years in high school gave me encounters with whitetail deer with a bow & arrow in my hand. If space permitted I could detail each of those experiences like it just happened yesterday. That was 56 bow hunting licenses ago! The excitement of those hunts lives on within my mind. My bowhunting years have been a great journey.
The same should be true with the spiritual part of our lives. God made each of us with an appetite for spiritual understanding. The Bible tells us in Genesis, chapter three, that Adam and Eve followed the wrong mentor. It was Lucifer who persuaded them to disobey their creator. Consequently, they lost the glory of their creation because of their sin. Their sin has affected everyone since, and it even includes the natural world (Romans 5:12 & Romans 8:20-22).
Just like Adam and Eve we all have had influences in our lives for good and evil. What we do we these things affects our future; yes, our decisions follow us into eternity. Let the good influences win, recognize your sinfulness and accept the plan God has for your forgiveness. “For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” Ephesians 2:8.
I had serval influences that gave me interest in bows and arrows but I did not become a bow hunter until after I bought that first hunting license. Similarly, there must be a starting point in our spiritual life. There must be a time when we knowingly say, “Ok God, I am sinner. I don’t like the way my life is going, I’m sorry for disobeying your word and ignoring you. Please forgive me and let your righteousness through the life, death and resurrection of Christ become the power that changes me” (Romans 1:16).
As a person embraces the Gospel, its power is life changing! A simple point of beginning starts us on the trail to Christian maturity. Parents want their babies to grow up (change) into adults even though they are little people from the start. There must be a beginning. I was no less a bow hunter when I bought my first license than what I am now, however I’m more experienced and hopefully wiser now.
I believe that knowing a definite point of beginning in our spiritual life helps us finish well. It really helps if the going gets hard (II Timothy 1:12). My decision at age 16 to accept the life changing power of Christ and experience the peace of forgiveness did not give me maturity in my spiritual life. But when I started following God through His “Word” it gave me the trail markings to eternal success. If you never start you will never finish.
That reminds me of the Apostle Paul’s testimony to young Timothy, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only but unto all of them that love his appearing.” II Timothy 4:7,8.
Paul, because he started (read Acts 9:1-31) throughout his life and ministry he was able to say, “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes.”
How about you? Have you started in a spiritual journey with God? (Hebrews 12: 1-12). By CBA Founder Rev. David Roose