Some of us were taught salvation is an arrival. But really, it’s a ride. And if we if we take our seat, not passively sit-back-and-be-a-passenger, but actively and willingly participate with the Spirit of God, fear of the unknown threatens us. “You will die, either of embarrassment or of a heart attack,” storm the words of Fear.
We can obey Fear or we can become a people of the wind.
For some, this comes easier because they don’t have years (decades, even) of former training standing in their way. They just accept everything. Swallow every lump of God’s goodness, grace, and Spirit, as if it were honey that sweetened their soul. For others, it’s a process of removing layers like an onion peeled, skin after skin, with its pungent odor and juice uncomfortably sliding down in tears, but tender and necessary.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” James 1:5 NIV
I remember at nine years old, going forward. I dislodged from my wooden pew at Calvary Baptist Church. My patent leathers shoes walked me past the bowed heads. I loved Jesus, this man who died on a cross, loved Him will all my heart. I kinda felt sorry for Him too, how He had died for me and all.
I said a salvation prayer and not long after, in the Pastor’s office, I sat near him as he leaned over to make sure I really knew.
And then I was baptized. But it wasn’t like the ones I’d later read in Acts as an adult. Not much was mentioned of those kind when I was young.
Salvation was simple. Receive my get-out-of-Hell card, then I was a Christian, just like that. Read your Bible, do what Jesus would do, cross the threshold every single time the church doors opened, and that’s how I was to live a godly living.
Except I didn’t read the Bible. Why would I? Someone else did that for me every Sunday morning, evening, and Wednesdays evening. Over time, I became somewhat comfortable. Complacent in allowing others to do the work for me. Until, I quit all together. Why bother? I had my ticket.
But one day, around the age of 27, I decided to find my own answers. Something had snapped inside me as if a dry desert suddenly took up residence. I was thirsty. I was hungry. I wanted more. No, I needed more.
In my need, I became liberated from my own mental constraints. Doctrine isn’t bad, in of itself. Boxing God in, with limited boundaries inside a doctrine, is.
I set out and scaled walls, peering over to see how big this God could be. I searched out His wisdom. Turned tables looking for nuggets of treasure. To this day, I’m still a gold digger. Once you start, you’re certifiable.
I didn’t know at the time, this is the way to the power of a spiritual life. All I knew was I had to know everything I could know about a God I didn’t know all that well.
It’s that hunger and insatiable thirst that floods our senses, filling hidden crevices within our soul. We only know of appetite at the time. At first, it stretches before us like a bottom-less pit. But eventually we find solid ground as we become saturated. Seasons begin to cycle in and out of our spiritual life, learning more of who we are, of our faith, and how to survive in various spiritual weather.
I’ve always been aware of God’s glory in the physical world. But I’ve also been acutely aware of a supernatural one too. When scriptures became a well-spring of more than words, I began to know the Holy Spirit. He was revealed. And He counseled. With each passing bit of wisdom and grace, my excitement and discomfort grew along with it.
And yet, there’s more. There’s so much of God, we’ll never arrive at the bottom. He supplies a continual refreshing even when it’s so deep, we are unaware of the water below.
As we seek, the Spirit pushes darkness back and reveals more of Jesus. No longer an inanimate object or enigma, God speaks as if audible. We are content with this in-audible stirring, but if it came the other way, we’d receive it by ear too. The Trinity, a mystery of all mysteries, is accepted, each part of Him. The Holy Spirit becomes a Person, One who does not stick to safe lines and margins, egos or platitudes.
He’s call us out of our comfort zones. We don’t think it a coincendence when He also calls us, by name, onto choppy seas. We make it our job, from part desperation and part faith, to keep our eyes off the waves and straight on His face.
As part of the #Write31Days series, I’m writing everyday. However, I’m not publicly publishing every day. But I will be posting more often, 4 times a week, Monday-Thursday. You may find mistakes such as grammar or spelling errors. It’s the conversations that matter, right? Feel free to share your thoughts too.
To find the whole series, click here–Empowered by the Spiritual Life.