The journey that we undertake as Christians is individual; and, like all journeys, there are various legs based on how close we are to our final destination. The first leg of the journey, the beginning, brings with it excitement, wonderment, and curiosity. The mid-point, or second leg of the journey, unlike the beginning, is usually where most of us get a little stuck. It’s where we have traveled just far enough to keep going, and a little too far to turn back. It is the lengthiest part of the journey; and, it is where all the complexities of our life begin their bombardment on our faith. The third and final leg is definitely not like the other two. It is the level we aspire to; it is the level where we know what we know, and like Job, nothing that has happened, is happening, or will happen can immobilize our faith. This leg can be the shortest, but it can take a lifetime to get there. Yet, at each level there can be bouts of anguish with our faith.
If you are a new Christian, you have accepted the call to be on this journey. The journey seems simple enough for you to maintain your faith. You are just at the beginning of the journey, ordering the steps of your new life, and eliminating those things which may conflict with your decision to be a Christian. But the truth is, God has not tested your faith as yet; you are simply in the first leg of the journey.
Maybe you are a Christian who is in the middle of the journey. You are still sitting on the fence. You routinely go to church out of rote; never really getting involved, donating time and money every now and then, and participating just the same. You are a “sorta-kinda” Christian; not completely out, but not fully committed either. You believe enough to keep you interested, and fear God enough to remain respectful. But nevertheless, you are still on the fence; a little committed, but still, a little confused.
Then there is the mature Christian, the one who has been fully committed in the past; but lately, you have felt a little listless. At times, you may be feeling that the journey maybe a little long and tedious; or, feeling somewhat tested and stretched beyond your own physical, mental, and spiritual capabilities. You may even be wondering why you ever really committed your heart and life to Christ. You've lost your job, your house is in foreclosure, and your family is acting like the devil is a family member.
What can you do? For each person the journey is highly personal, yet surprisingly, the solution remains the same. We may reach plateaus at each level of our Christian journey where we wonder about our commitment and how it pertains to our life. If it has already happened to you, you are not alone. It is the process by which we grow in our faith, emerging stronger for the journey, with the understanding that the race goes to the finisher, not the starter; or, the one standing on the sidelines.
Each of us will go through the journey. Each person has to walk their own walk of faith. Our individual trials and tribulations are custom designed to bring forth the best person God desires for us to become. Far too often we use each other as a barometer to measure how good or bad a Christian we believe we really are; not understanding that, it is through our individual trials & tribulations that we reveal our true and innate character. Although you may believe you have already arrived and your true character has been purged, God knows it will take a lifetime.
If you want to find out who you really are, consider your actions when you are desperate, under the gun, under fire, and being pursued by the enemy. Do you really know what you are willing to negotiate;—what you will offer for sale? Will it be your character? Could it be your integrity? Or, will it be your soul?
No matter where you are in your journey, stand firm in the knowledge that you can “Call on Jesus in the day of trouble, He will deliver you. And you will glorify Him!” The Bible says it; all you have to do is believe it! L.
Study Reference: Psalm 50:15, 2 Timothy 4:7-8
From:"The Journey." In The Master's Hands: 365 Daily Devotions For Everyday Living.
Copyright © 2014 by Lavona E. Campbell
photo: Sophia Whordley