Meeting the Savior is more important than gaining salvation. Consider it a by-product; it’s what we get by knowing Him.
32 “Now then, my children, listen to me; blessed are those who keep my ways.
33 Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not disregard it.
34 Blessed are those who listen to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway.
35 For those who find me find life and receive favor from the Lord.
36 But those who fail to find me harm themselves; all who hate me love death.”
Did you notice that it’s all about finding Him? And this is Old Testament! Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28. It’s all about the relationship.
Today, we look at the first category of spiritual growth, the spiritually dead. We come into this world with the blood of Adam in us, which means that we are born into the same spiritual condition of Adam: Sans-Spirit (without the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives). The Lord continuously works with people to bring them to a place of awareness of this vacuum. What we do about that vacuum once we perceive it is according to each person. This choice is called, “free will.” God will not force a person to trust in Him, even though there are a few people whose testimonies may seem that way, like John the Baptist, who was filled with the Spirit even while in his mother’s womb (Luke 1:15). Our choice to trust Christ is made outside of time with a corresponding place inside of time, or on the timeline. God, who lives in the ever-present, is both places at once; He is always NOW. It’s what “I AM” means (Exodus 3:14). Therefore, God knew that John would trust Him. King David is another example (Psalm 139).
The problem is that we have an enemy, Satan, who comes to us and gets us to doubt God. Because we have never experienced Jesus in our lives through the Holy Spirit, we tend to lean toward wickedness (doing things without regard to God or His instructions and commands). Satan gets us to focus on what feels good (pleasure), and leads us to believe that we can be our own god (1 John 2:16). What we don’t realize is that we are actually serving Satan; it’s a deception. We cannot serve two masters, but WE WILL SERVE SOMEONE (Matthew 6:24).
What God wants a person to realize is that it is not in the fulfillment of pleasure that completes us, nor in human relationships. It is in a personal, intimate, and ongoing relationship with God the Father through our Lord Jesus Christ. He becomes our Source of love, joy, peace, hope and grace. Once a person has experienced these fruit of the Spirit that flow from His person, “the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace” (the refrain from, “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus”).
His forgiveness awaits anyone who will turn to Him. He has paid the price for our sin (our wickedness, selfish desires, rebellion and treason). Why? Because He wants us back! It really is that simple.
For those of us who have turned to Him and trusted Him as our Savior and Lord, we rejoice every time we go over these truths. They warm us up all over again! Let us praise our Father and His Son for such a wonderful salvation.
Abba, I give You praise for Your wondrous salvation through Jesus. I realize that it’s not salvation that I sought, but You, Jesus. You are my Savior. Going to heaven when I die is a by-product of my knowing You. In fact, all death is to me is a removing of the barriers that keep me from experiencing You more completely. May You reveal more and more of Yourself to us through prayer, Scripture reading, and spending time with the rest of Your body, the Church (Ephesians 1:22-23). We love You. Amen.