I suppose you can call this a continuation of my previous post Cut the Act but a thought popped into my head while at work not working. Is there a particular reason why so many people are afraid to take the plunge? What’s with all the lukewarm, not yet, not now nonsense, those generations of people get into when it comes to a discussion about entering into a relationship with God? The answer has resurfaced many times and it goes: our circumstance. Many, me included, blame our circumstances, our past, and our actions and use them to stall. We think we are not yet good enough, not deserving of such love and peace and blessing. We mask it as freedom, call it lack of self-control, and call it experimentation, a mistake. We blame our sin.
“19 I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. 20 But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.” Romans 7:19-20
I got baptized May 1st 2016, prior to that moment I was just not living the life I knew I should be living. Don’t go thinking I was a horrible person, I just didn’t consider myself to having the cleanest record on hand. I knew I should get baptized, but I just wasn’t ready. I didn’t want to take the plunge in public and then end up still living a life of sin; I thought it would just defeat the purpose. I wasn’t thinking of God’s grace but just my sins. Every time baptism time came around I would look at all the people taking the plunge and just feel so happy like “wow, their lives are about to change!” I would float around in the back and watch in wonder and just feel so drawn to the whole atmosphere that was basically a new life. I really wanted it, just not yet. In my head I still had loose strings I had to tie up before I went all in. I wanted to make sure I was going to be like absolutely righteous so that I would not disappoint God you know. In my head I was better off living not yet baptized because if I make a mistake I wouldn’t be as hard on myself than if I did after I just told God and the world that I’m all in. In my head that decision meant you had to be ready to be perfect! I just wasn’t ready, I was missing the point. May 1st came and once again I was floating around during first service in amazement as people were getting baptized. A friend of mine came to me and was like “What’s stopping you?” I told her I wasn’t ready, I wasn’t prepared. She was like, “What do you have to be prepared for? You will never be prepared” I just looked at her like I’m not ready and started making up every excuse I could think of about my hair, my clothes, and my family not being here. She looked at me and simply said “Ok, you’re getting baptized today”, and then walked away. I went to the next service and as the service was going on I just knew today was the day, I felt God say “be obedient, don’t look at the past; you are not your sin.” On May 1st 2016 I made the best spontaneous decision ever because I chose to be obedient and separate myself from my circumstances.
In no way shape or form did I become an angel like I assumed to, but every day brought clearer perspective, peace, and more joy than ever imaginable. In no way shape or form will your actions change 360 (although it has happened), but there is so much more to gain, to live for when you just take the plunge. We have sinned and burdened ourselves but our sins do not define us.
“23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.” Romans 3:23-24
We are human for a reason and we are not made perfect. It took me a long time, even after I got baptized to not allow my sins to define me. I had to come to understand that I am not my sin. I followed in obedience because I recognized who I was following. I understood what He did for me when He died and that He already took my punishments, my sins and gave me true freedom.
25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, 26 for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he makes sinners right in his sight when they believe in Jesus. Romans 3: 25-26