I have come to believe that the only life worth living is the one lived with Jesus Christ. Unless He is the center, everything is pointless. I probably would have told you this two years ago if you had asked me, but it would have been out of obligation, and not from true belief. My faith in God began with one simple observation. It was that obeying the commandments of God will bring a person what I consider a “good life”, or a life with healthy relationships and good work ethics. My recent studies in psychology support this. For example, a child succeeds when they are loved and affirmed by others. Life experience teaches me that honesty and love and obedience result in the most enjoyable times and true friends. These types of behaviors are all biblical. But, the same book, the Bible, that imparts such profound wisdom on living, also asks that I be willing to leave my family and familiar surroundings for God. He asks me to drop everything and “follow him”. For myself, I did not think it was appropriate to take seriously the suggestions of the Bible, even if it seemed to lead to a “good life”, unless I also believed these strong instructions. For me, it was either all going to be true, or none of it was worth looking at.
I have come to believe the entire Bible as truth. If this is not true for you, give me a minute to explain why I’m not crazy. Faith in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, is something I struggled to accept. It all seemed fanatical. No matter what question I had about faith, no Christian was willing to consider the thought God did not exist. If I was going to believe, I needed to see God work, and in my life. I knew that if I was going to see this God work in my life, I would have to spend some time at least pretending He really did exist. I was going to have to test out really praying with the belief that I was going to be heard and receive an answer. I was going to have to get specific with my prayers. I was going to need to be willing to take risks and follow what I believed God was telling me, even if the instructions seemed to go against my own expectations of life.
The results have not been disappointing. I experienced a freedom when I realized I did not have to figure things out on my own. When I need to make a decision, I can pray. Entering something with the belief that it is God’s divine will puts a whole new aspect on a situation. Secondly, it has taken me places I never could have imagined I’d be, such as a year between high school and college for missions, and now at a school in Michigan, one I had not even considered. In my test run of God, He has passed.
It has been a long road of questions and doubts. Is my belief one that I have tricked myself into by saying it over and over? Do I simply look for confirmation that He exists? I have come to understand that unless I jump off the cliff, I will never experience the freedom of bungee jumping and won’t know if the cord will really hold me up. I can get as close as I want, but in the end I will have to jump and fail, or have the ride of my life.
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