Is it just me or are we taught that we “come to the Lord” only once in our lives? Once found – eternally connected
Which is quite a scary thought: one shot at getting it right! How often do I get it right first time with anything in my living? Like never … !
I smoked for many years. And over the years made several sincere attempts to give up. And each time I failed. And each failure convinced me a little more each time that I couldn’t stop. Then I met a doctor. One who didn’t dismiss me with the usual, “Oh I see you smoke …“
Instead he treated me like a good human being … he told me that on average it takes smokers 6-7 attempts to stop for good … and he diagnosed whatever ailment it was and sent me on my surprised (and confused) way with: “So don’t give up giving up.”
Why are “most Christians” like “most Doctors (and smoking)”? You only need one chance to make it stick!
Because looking back I have “come to Lord” (and then wandered away again) at least five times. Each time was sincere. Each time it was invigorating (for a while). Each time I wandered away (after a while). And each time it taught me I could never be (properly) saved.
My experience is that we don’t talk like this much.
Because I was taught that we come to the Lord – and “that’s it” – I am saved forever! And I now have no idea what “saved” actually means. Because I became a backslider and the backsliders are never “our fault”.
Except now I wonder if they are – I wonder if “we Christians” create those “backsliders”.
Because just like becoming a non-smoker – becoming a Christian is scary. And the teaching / perception / reality / unreality / culture is full of “must not” and “can not” and “should not” – so full of burden and sacrifice and obedience – stuffed full of believing and behaving “the right way” … So full that I actually missed the fun of “sinning”.
I was taught so much to focus on not “sinning” that I resented giving up “sinning”.
(most of which I never regarded as “sinning” in the first place – nor still do).
And I now know that “coming to the lord” is not about giving up “sinning” (whatever that really means) – it is about really living – it is about being who I was before – just with some bits added and some taken away. It is another adventure – another journey (just like “giving up smoking” still is).
So to anyone who is curious about all this God Jesus Holy Spirit coming to the Lord being saved and sin no more stuff …
It’s not what you are told. It’s not “giving up” anything. It’s not all that “burden stuff”. It’s not even having to go to church. It’s none of the “corporate brochure stuff”. And what I have come to experience for myself is this.
Perfect love and perfect patience accepts change … expects change … loves change and invites change. My Lord has been there every single step of my life – never demanding – always waiting – never telling – just quietly suggesting – and never ever forcing me to do anything. So – just like not smoking is my daily choice – so too this “choice” every day.
At the moment (NB: 2013) when we speak he is mostly concise. He lets others use words. Mostly he just says a quiet “yes” or “no” when I ask. He lets me find out why for myself – and that may be through someone else, something else … It may be me connecting something which happened years ago to something happening now. He has infinite ways to connect the dots – and infinite patience whilst I do.
Who else will you ever have in your life who does that so perfectly? Could anyone else in your life ever come even close over your whole lifetime?
I became a non-smoker many times, and I became “a believer” more times than I thought I was allowed.
God Soft Hands Jesus never expects me to get it “right first time” …
So why do “we”?
(“untuned” original posted on September 27, 2013)