My journey towards a relationship with Jesus Christ began when I was born into a Christian family over eighteen years ago. Carefully and diligently, my parents taught me of God’s love as I grew old enough to speak and understand. They instilled in my mind the Biblical truths upon which I have learned to stand firmly, and encouraged me as I made the decision to follow Christ and ask Him to be the Lord and Savior of my life in December, 2000.
Matthew 21:22 states that “whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” It is this verse, along with Romans 10:9 that has made me confident that I am now God’s own child, saved from the punishment of sin. (That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9) Jesus is my Savior, in that He has paid the punishment for my sin, and made it possible for me to partake in God’s mercy and love. However, Jesus is also my Lord. This means submitting myself and my will unto Christ, giving God glory in everything I do and say, and putting Jesus first in every aspect of my life. To my regret, I cannot say that I have always done this consistently, or even often. Yet I am learning to rest upon my heavenly Father, leaning upon His strong arm to bear me up during times of temptation or trouble.
I realize now, that it is especially in the hard times that God has helped me to grow the most, and I can see His work in me, strengthening and sanctifying me in my relationship with Him. When going through a difficult situation, I’m often reminded of Hebrews 12:6-7, which states, “The Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son. Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?” Through God’s discipline, I have learned to love Him even more, and to love spending time with Him in prayer and studying His Word. Even though I constantly fail at honoring God when I am on my own, with Christ, I can succeed. If my confidence is in Him, and I am following His will, I cannot fail.
No longer am I on a journey towards a relationship with Jesus Christ; I am journeying through life together with Jesus in a intimate and personal relationship with Him. I am no longer living for myself, but for my Savior and Lord. “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20