The wonder of it all
There was a baptism service in church today. Each person was given an opportunity to share something about their journey before they were baptised. Their very demeanour told a story of joy, hope, excitement, of wonder and awe. Something amazing had happened to them and you could see it on their faces, hear it in their voices.
They spoke about the emptiness within, the struggle to find purpose and meaning. They spoke about the road not taken, the missed opportunities, the mistakes that led to disappointment and despair. And somewhere in the midst of their struggle, they encountered God in Christ and suddenly everything changed. Burdens were lifted, chains were broken, new beginnings were formed.
It was clearly a deeply emotional moment but also a moment of deep spiritual revelation for them. There was an intensity about them, a newfound passion for the One who saved them and there was no holding it back.
What an amazing thing to behold, how wonderful it is when a sinner comes to Christ and for the first time knows that he [or she] has been set free, that he has found favour with God and is forever linked at the heart with God in Christ.
But… what happens to this joy, this sense of excitement, wonder and awe, this intensity of passion and revelation? How come we don’t see this intensity in Christians years later? Yes, there’s a maturing in faith, often a steady commitment that has proven itself over the years but where’s that joy and excitement? Aren’t we supposed to go from glory to glory, from joy to joy as we grow in the knowledge and experience of God?
I see in the lives of so many dear saints of God whose names are recorded in the pages of the Bible and beyond an intensity, a passion, a joy that endured for a lifetime, through thick and thin, through hardship and trial. They never lost that; in fact it grew in intensity with the years. The older they got, the more passionate they became. Come near to them and you’ll instantly feel the fire in their bones. Isn’t that the way it should be when one comes to know God?
I think the worst thing that can happen to a Christian is to lose his spiritual fervour, his excitement, his wonder and awe of who he is in Christ. A Christian without that intensity of passion for Christ is a surely a great paradox!
The Lord said, “The fire on the altar must be kept burning; it must not go out. Every morning the priest is to add firewood and arrange the burnt offering on the fire and burn the fat of the fellowship offerings on it. 13 The fire must be kept burning on the altar continuously; it must not go out” [Leviticus 6:12-13]
We have a charge to keep, you and I, a fire to fuel with the wood of fellowship and offerings – of ourselves, our time, our service, our hearts.
Are you more on fire for God today than when you first came to Christ? Is the joy of your salvation still evident in your life? Perhaps we need to remember, to go back to that first encounter with Christ and recover that wonder and awe again….