A couple of days ago I wrote about my conversations with some friends on Facebook about their struggle to make the commitment to follow Christ. Lately, I have also had a number of conversations with friends who have already made sincere personal spiritual commitments to Christ but are struggling with how to deepen their spiritual commitments so they can become more godly people.
For example, several of my friends are struggling with the issue of baptism. The Bible teaches that baptism is for believers. In the scriptures baptism was done by immersion under water as the outward expression of the inward cleansing of sin. Some of my friends have come to realize these truths about baptism, yet still resist being baptized. Perhaps it is the “embarrassment” of being baptized in front of others. Perhaps it is concern that they will offend their parents, who may have had them baptized as infants before there were old enough to make their own decisions for Christ. Perhaps it is simply the realization that once they go “public” with their “private” faith, which is what believer's baptism is all about, there is no going back. To these dear friends, I say, just do it! Christ commanded it and we are always blessed when we obey the commands of Christ. Why put off doing what we know God wants us to do? Baptism is another step in the journey toward a closer relationship with Christ. Just do it.
I have other friends, also strong believers, who struggle to make a commitment to a specific church. They resist the process of becoming official members of any church. Though there may be many reasons for this, it seems that most of my friends who are struggling with the issue of church membership all had terrible experiences in church business meetings in the past. They are afraid that if they join a specific church, they may have similar negative experiences. So they float around on the edges of various churches, drifting from church to church, being involved in some areas of ministry while avoiding the deepest levels of commitment that may take them into a spot where they could experience negativity from others. While I can sympathize with their fear, it seems to me that what churches need are a few people who have been through such difficulties so they can share the wisdom they learned from those experiences. That might keep such negative experiences from being repeated again and again. To my dear friends struggling with the issue of church membership, if whatever church you are currently attending is meeting your spiritual needs, then just join up. There are no perfect churches, but there are many good churches. Find a good church and work as hard as you can to make it a great church.
I could go on and on giving examples of other spiritual commitments that various friends need to make, but I think I have made my point. When God begins to call us to go deeper with Him, we can always find excuses to put off making those commitments, or we can press in closer to Him and walk in obedience to His calling in our lives. We will be happier and more fulfilled in our lives when we choose to walk in obedience. So, just do it!
Sometimes we just have to accept the reality that it is time to come out of valley of decision and make a choice. When we climb out of the valley, there is only one place to go, and that’s up! We can climb mountains and view the world from a whole new perspective if we let the Lord guide us. Let’s stop making excuses. Let’s say YES to Jesus. Let’s pass through the valley of decision and climb to the mountain top with Jesus today!