The day I started climbing I was not a climber. I did not know what I was doing, and had no clue about technique, strength training, how to set up anchors, lead climb, etc. All I knew is I wanted to climb. So, I eagerly started, with no experience, and no idea of what to expect.
Over time, little by little, I grew stronger and learned what I needed to learn in order to climb to the top. As I began to concur the easier climbs, I realized I had more to learn in order to take my climbing to the next level. That is still the case for me today. I can safely say that even the experienced professionals continue to learn, grow, and work hard to become better climbers.
God has made us accepted in the Beloved. Ephesians 1:6
Last week we talked about how God promises in His word that He will strengthen and equipped us for His purposes and will. That means you do not have to get ready to move. You just have to move. In the process of obedience, God will strengthen and equip you for any assignment that you have been given.
As I pondered this, I thought about how this also relates to our salvation and surrender to Christ. I have talked to countless people who want to believe, and give their lives to Christ. There is often a road block in the way, preventing them from making that commitment. Most of the time that roadblock is something they believe they need to deal with, or give up, before making that commitment.
One of my favorite quotes is from Anne Lamott, “God loves you just the way you are… and loves you too much to let you stay there.” That means I do not need to do anything to earn God’s love. He already loves me. He accepts me, and forgives me, just as I am. Isn’t that incredible! But, here’s the kicker. Once you accept His free gift of salvation, the Holy Spirit takes up residence in your heart. Therefore, since your inner spirit is filled His love and presence, you cannot help but change.
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. – 2 Peter 3:9
For some this change happens immediately. I have heard stories of people immediately being free from the bondage drug or alcohol addictions right after accepting Christ. There are also many stories of new believers who concurred issues such as anger or chronic depression overnight. For me, the changes were gradual. I did not have some life altering epiphany that everyone noticed right away. Instead, as I grew in my faith, God kept exposing areas in my life that needed to be addressed. Like an onion, as one was pealed back and dealt with, another layer was exposed. Twenty years later, He is still showing me areas that need refining and surrender to Him.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will – to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. – Ephesians 1:3-6
What is my point with this? It is simple. Just as you did not need to actually be a rock climber to start climbing, you do not have to be perfect to surrender your life to Christ. God loves you. He has already forgiven you. He wants to surround you with his love and kindness. You do not have to make major changes in order to say yes, I want God’s love. He can handle your life, your insecurities, your issues and your problems. The good news is, He will walk with you, teaching you along the way and changing you from the inside. Slowly, as you study His word and surrender to His will, God will reveal the different areas in your life that need to be addressed.
I know that seems like a scary concept. Sometimes you may feel like you will have to give up your fun if you make that decision. That is not the case! There is freedom in Christ. However, when you accept Christ and the Holy Spirit moves in, your views change, your heart changes, and your desires change. With that as His foundation to work in your life, you cannot help but grow and develop into the woman God has called you to be.
that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that everyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. – John 3:15-17