When we signed up to follow Jesus, did He really ask us to give up everything for Him? Do anything for Him?Be His for life?
4 Who has gathered the wind in his fists? Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son’s name? Surely you know!
In, The Chosen, Season 1, Episode 2, Mary Magdalene tells Nicodemus, “Of this one thing I am sure. Before, I was one way; afterward, I was another, and the only thing in between was Him [Jesus].”
Mary was giving her testimony. She was telling what Jesus did for her. Without any other training, she gave the best proof for the reality of Jesus. Nicodemus could have argued with her about the law, but he couldn’t ignore her experience.
Baptists are leery of “experiences”–and with good reason. When it comes to spiritual experiences, they had better be grounded in Scripture. Otherwise, they may need to be considered simply an emotional experience, or quite possibly, heresy. At the same time, our salvation is based upon an experience. It just happens to be Scripturally grounded:
- The Spirit opens our eyes to the fact that we are missing something, which is a relationship with God the Father.
- Our awareness of our sinful state is not as important as wanting Jesus in our lives. Many people respond to conviction of sin and our need for a Savior, but there are many people who are desperate to know Jesus and are willing to give up anything to know Him. Which is right? They BOTH are!
- Technically, we don’t have to ask Jesus to forgive our sin; it was paid for on the cross. What He really asks of us is for us to trust Him and follow Him. Our response to the Spirit’s request/invitation is the experience of salvation. It is when the Holy Spirit comes into our lives and regenerates us, quickens us, and breathes new life into us. We are born again!
Following Jesus means being with Him, learning what He teaches, and doing what He commands. As we consider following Jesus each morning when we get up (not for salvation, but for relationship), may we remember Paul’s testimony:
22 “And now I am bound by the Spirit to go to Jerusalem. I don’t know what awaits me, 23 except that the Holy Spirit tells me in city after city that jail and suffering lie ahead. 24 But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God. Acts 2:22-24
What lies ahead for us? We don’t know. What we DO know is that wherever we are and whatever happens to us, He is with us and is leading us. More than likely, our circumstances are designed for us to be in a certain place to meet a certain person. We must be ready to live as He tells us to live and speak what He tells us to say. Here again, it probably has something to do with our testimony, our experience with Christ, that they need to hear.
Are you prepared to share your story? The power is not in the presentation; it’s in the story itself. Make it about Christ and He will use it for His glory. You will shine like stars in the universe (Philippians 2:15).
Abba, I thank You for the day You came into my life and made me Your child. I promised then to follow You always, and–except for a few months of confusion in my youth–I have done so, not because of my goodness, but because of Your faithfulness! May I be willing to share my story with people with whom I come in contact, especially those with whom You have connected me. Use me, Lord; I am Your willing servant. Amen.