Monday, February 9, 2009

It's Just that Simple

Today my son, Andrew, took a huge step in his walk with the Lord. Andrew was water baptized at Calvary Chapel in Cheyenne, WY. He had been asking me about being baptized for probably the last year or so. He really didn’t understand it, so we never really gave it much thought or consideration. A couple weeks ago, it was announced at our church, Element Church, that they would be having another water baptism on 8 Feb 09.
As soon as we left church Andrew was on it. He asked if he could be baptized. We sat and talked about it, so that I was sure he knew why he was doing it and what it meant. He told me that he knew it was to show people that you have accepted and follow Jesus as your savior. We talked about how it is a public confession of your faith and that it symbolizes, dying to your old self and being buried, then being raised up as your new self, just as Jesus died and was raised. That conversation only served to get him more excited about the idea. So on Thursday, I spoke with Jeff (our churches lead pastor, but also one of my mentors, coaches and one of the few men I look up to and respect very much), and he said he would be glad to as long as Andrew understood the importance of that very significant act. He did, so Jeff said he would. Andrew had been waiting all week for me to talk with Jeff, so when I told him his name was on the list, he replied “YES” and did one of those closed fist, arm pump moves that usually accompanies those type of “yes”.
Finally the day came. On February 8, 2009 at about 4:20pm, Andrew made his public confession of his decision to follow our Lord, Jesus Christ. I cannot, as much as I’ve tried, for life of me put into words just how proud he made me and the awe that I felt by that simple act. I’ve always known just how important water baptism was, but I never understood it the way I did today. Part of that may be because of the spiritual growth spurt I’ve recently went through. There is NO doubt in my mind, I have a deeper and more intimate relationship and understanding of our God then I’ve ever had in my entire life. But I think the fact that it was my boy that made that decision made me understand it different. I think too often we, as adults, try too hard to make everything more complicated than it needs to be. Maybe we feel the more complicated the more grown up it is, because then it’s an adult thing and only we can understand it. But the fact is that so many things in life are simple. Andrew didn’t need to have some philosophical or theological discussion about water baptism for him to know he wanted to do it. All he needed to know was that Jesus did it and it’s just one of the ways we can be like him. That’s it. It’s that simple.
It sheds a new light on what Jesus said in Matthew 18:3. He said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Obviously he did not mean to act like children, but to think in simple ways as children do. I think with that verse and seeing the simplicity in my son's act helped me realize the secret to how you achieve a deep and intimate relationship with God. The relationship that I always saw others had and that I so badly longed for.
So I figure I’ll share it with you… Are you ready? Brace yourself… Here goes. The first thing you need to do is, TALK TO HIM EVERYDAY, by PRAYING. The second is, LET HIM TALK TO YOU AND LISTEN, by READING THE BIBLE EVERYDAY! Praying and reading the bible everyday!!!! It’s that simple. What a concept, who would’ve thought. Those two little actions set the foundation for everything else. Reading the Bible provides God's direction for you. It also provides His comfort and reassurance that he loves you. It provides the blue prints to build a fulfilling and God pleasing life. The Bible provides the truth you NEED to hear (not always what you want to hear) and the knowledge on how to apply and share that truth. Earnest and consistent prayer provides the platform to build faith and trust in God. It gives you an avenue to lament when things go wrong and rejoice when you are blessed. Prayer also changes the way you think and the way you handle every situation.
I know if you follow those two steps, the results will be immediate and amazing. I know from personal experience. The trick is you can't just read it like any other book, you have to seek God's face. You have to really get into the word and ask God to show you what he wants you to know. When I started, it was like God had been waiting to talk to me all these years and he had a lot to say. On that Sunday I first started praying and reading, I was amazed and blessed immediately…I still am everyday and I’ll NEVER go back!