I’ve been thinking about my journey, my steps toward God that started in 1984.
Does God Exist? This sounds kind of simple, but I had gone to church for almost 12 years and never really confronted that question.
If He Does Exist, What Does That Mean? If God exists, how would I know what that would mean to me? Over time and through several experiences too long for this post, I was confronted with one of the critical questions about God…
Was I Separated From God? I had sat through enough sermons over the years to know that one of the critical components of my possible relationship with God was I didn’t have one because of my sins. For a long time, I didn’t really confront what that would mean. At some point, I became aware that my separation from God could mean an eternal separation unless there was an answer to that separation.
Does God Provide A Solution To My Sepatation From God? The simple answer is yes, but it wasn’t an answer I wanted to confront. I would have much preferred to ‘work’ my way into an eternal relationship with God, but it was becoming more and more clear that wasn’t the solution – it’s wasn’t possible no matter how hard I tried. The solution that God provides is he sent his son to pay the price for my sin. He bore my separation from God by dying on the cross and then rising from the grave three days later.
Did I Believe And Accept God’s Solution To My Separation From Him? At a weekend retreat a woman Episcopal priest talked about how Jesus’ disciples ran away in fear when he was crucified on the cross. I understood that fear. Then, she said that 50 days later they were completely changed and were willing to go to the ends of the earth to tell about Jesus and even willingly go to their deaths. This seemed totally out of my world view. Finally, she said that the only thing she could think of to make that kind of radical change was they enountered the risen Christ. It was if God hit me in the forehead and said, “It’s time to either accept Jesus’ resurrection or completely reject it. You’ve been sitting on the fence for too long.”
My Final Step. I wrestled with this choice for almost a month. Finally, one night, after Betty had gone to sleep, I said, “God, I’m tired of doing it my way. I’m ready to do it your way.” Then I went to sleep. Over the following days and weeks it became clear that something in my life had changed. The Bible, which had been boring and cryptic became open and something I wanted to read and learn from. I began to see my role as husband, father, friend, P&G employee, etc. with new eyes.
More Steps And Still Stepping. After accepting Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross I came to understand that I had accepted him as my Savior. He paid the price of my separation from God and enabled me to begin a new and very real relationship with God. Ever since I have been encountering more and more steps as I am learning to accept and follow Jesus as my Lord as well as my Savior.
I am so thankful that God led me on this process of taking each step as it came.