It is my privilege to also follow and read a number of blogs. This blog I am about to write is inspired by Ambition and Apathy and I just want to thank Hayley for continuing to write. Hayley asked herself, Why am I a Christian?
Today, I want to start by saying the reasons that do not make me a Christian.
It is NOT because I am intellectually superior to the next gal on the block and that I have weighed all of the evidence and have determined that this is the best way to live life as a human being.*
It is NOT because I was raised in a religious home.
It is NOT because I was baptized as an infant.
It is NOT because my husband perfectly shared the Gospel with me. **
It is NOT because I was desperate and in need of meaning in my life.***
I am a Christian by Providence, the grace of God was poured out upon my life. I can not take any credit for what Jesus did for me on the Cross. The Holy Spirit quickened my spirit, invaded my heart and gave me New Life. Just like a newborn baby does not understand their move from the womb of their mother to her arms, so a newborn babe in Christ does not completely understand what is/has happening/happened to them at the moment of New Life.
My response to this New Life was with much gratitude. I knew that I was a selfish brat. My eyes and ears were opened by the power of the Holy Spirit in order to realize that God was willing to give His Very Life up for me that I might be forgiven and given Eternal Life by His Own Blood. This wasn't just Good News, this was Great News. The one who led me to this birth place did not promise me anything but New Life.
Upon rereading what I just wrote, I see that this is the "how" I became a Christian but does not answer the question why? Couldn't I be anything I wanted to be? My parents told me that I could be anything that I wanted to be and the world caters to that mentality. My parents also wanted me to grow up and be a member of the religion I grew up in as well. (so I guess they even had their limits to the "anything") In the words of one of my children, "None of us choose our personality, our parents or the country where we were born. Everything we make choices out of is determined by something other than us." So, after being given New Life and learning to walk in it. I have discovered that being a Christian is the way to live in the Truth and that I am determined by God's grace to walk it out for the rest of my days.
Has this Pilgrim Road been a life of easy? Well, Christian means Christ follower and that means dying to self or as my friend Oswald Chambers puts it, "a willingness to go to the White Funeral," which I take to mean as laying down your own life and living for Christ. Jesus himself said, anyone who wants to save his life he must lose it. Have I had moments, dare I say seasons of wanting to throw it in my Lord's face and say no thanks, the Christian life is not for me? Yes, heartache and suffering are hard but His Grace is sufficient. Most of my heartache and suffering have been by my own hand, my sin and the Loving Hand of my Father has been there to restore, to forgive, to love me back into His arms. The suffering I have had at the hands of others has been minimal compared to my persecuted brothers and sisters. I have never renounced my faith in the One True God. Instead, I have gotten to know Him better and love Him more because He continues to reveal Himself to me. One thing for sure is that there has never been a dull moment.
My main reason for being a Christian is that in the light of the Glory of the Gospel it is the most authentic way for me to live. A number of the Christian Confessionals asks:
What is the chief end of man?
To Glorify God and Enjoy Him forever.
Living for His Glory, not mine own and Dancing for all Eternity. I am loved, forgiven, disciplined, lifted up, brought low, made righteous, justified, purified and made whole.
*I do however believe living a life of following The LORD is the best way to live.
**Dan did share the Truth of the Gospel with me.
***Even though I was desperate and wanted to live a meaningful life.