Think about the first time you had ever had to make a crucial decision. A decision that would potentially impact you for the rest of your life. The kind of decision that people tend to think about for months on end, only to come to the conclusion that they don’t know what to do. Do you have a moment that stands out?
For me, it was which candy to buy from the convenience store with my parents money.
While it may not have had a lifelong impact, I was forced with a decision. Of course I couldn’t buy everything, so I was faced with a choice – life is filled with choices.
Perhaps the most impacting decision I have made was to marry my wife. Sure, I hadn’t had any second thoughts or doubts toward the situation, but it absolutely would affect me for the rest of my life. The most intimidating decision we made together (thankfully I didn’t have to make it on my own), was purchasing a house.
Did I ever get to the point where I could say, “Man, I feel ready to be married. I know exactly what I’m in for”? Absolutely not. But one of the the exciting things in life is getting to figure it all out as we go, making many mistakes along the way.
If we take this concept and look at it through the lens of faith, the same thoughts and doubts fill our mind. Recently, I was watching a sermon by Carl Lentz about how we, as Christians, should be evident in the streets and make our streets the home for ministry. When he was 19, when he accepted Christ, he was told that he should gain more Bible knowledge and credentials before ministering to the lost and sharing the love of Christ.
Something about that didn’t sit right, so he did what he thought he should do – he started to pray. He prayed for his friends and those he was close to who didn’t know Jesus. One by one, over the next few months, he saw each person he prayed for come to Christ and start attending church on a regular basis.
In John 14:6, Christ makes it blatantly obvious, stating that, “…I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” We are given a decision, right there, of what we are going to do with the gift of salvation, the greatest decision we could ever make.
Yet, I still see people with the excuse that they are not ready. For some reason, we feel a need to get our life cleaned up before we can enter into a relationship with Christ. He wants us, exactly as we are, to come to Him and allow Him to do the work in cleaning up the trash.
Once we take the leap of faith, the decisions don’t come to an end. We will still find ourselves standing at the crossroads quite frequently. Are we ready to get baptized? Are we ready to talk to a stranger about what we believe? A friend? A family member?
How about this one: are we ready to give up the thing we know is keeping us from completely and utterly submitting to Christ?
Sometimes, all it takes is the faith to take the first step and trust that God will carry us through. “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). If we have faith – true faith – we are putting our trust in something that we have no control over.
When my three-year-old son told me he wanted to jump off the diving board at the pool, I would have put money against the idea because I was so sure he would back down. As he stood at the edge of the spring board, he was forced to trust that I would catch him. His hesitation and uncertainty of a new activity is totally natural, but the decision he makes from that moment, as he stares down at me in the deep end of the pool, shows how much trust he truly has in me. He was left with two choices: jump or don’t jump.
The excitement that welled up in me was incredible – so incredible, in fact, that I can’t put it into words. His excitement to jump again, as well, was off the charts.
Instead, if we put ourselves, filled with uncertainty, on the wobbly spring board and have God in the water, He is there waiting for us to jump.