Now that I’ve sat down to write this I really do not know where to start. Now that may seem strange to some people because for them there was a definite date and time when they became a Christian and they can always look back to that. However, I’d say that for me my Christian faith has been more of a journey; and I’m not altogether sure exactly when that journey started. It probably started when I was at primary school and learning about God at Girl’s Association, Sunday School and Church. At that stage I had been told that I needed to ask God into my heart and that Jesus had died for my sins. I didn’t understand what it all meant, but it did foster in me an urge to read my Bible and find out.
So, ever since I was 9 or 10 I’ve been reading my Bible. At some stages of life I did that a lot and at other times, not so much. Sometimes I felt close to God and other times not so close. However, I think a lot of the time I did it because I thought if I didn’t do it I couldn’t be a Christian. And when I didn’t read my Bible, I lived in guilt thinking that to follow God I wasn’t keeping my end of the bargain.
I think I had missed the main point somewhere. The fact that Jesus died for my sins. He was punished on my behalf and what I needed to do was to trust in him. However, I think this was difficult for me to get my head around because, like everyone else, I was so used to working for anything I wanted in life. If we want a good job – we are told to work hard at school. If we want a nice house and car we must do well at work. If we do something wrong, we must accept the consequences and the punishment. Therefore, to realise that to be a follower of Jesus the hard work has already been done for us, the punishment for our sins has fallen on someone else – well that is not easy to get our heads around.
However, when I accepted that, it was almost as if a weight came off my shoulders. No longer is being a Christian all up to me. No longer is it a list of rules to follow. I just need to trust in Jesus and the rest will follow. I’ve found that after trusting Jesus and accepting that he has done what is needed for me to have a relationship with God, keeping his commands has become much easier. There is more joy in reading his word, in trying to love as he loved and trying to live as he lived.
As it says in Zechariah 4 v 6 it’s not by my power but by God’s Spirit that I need to live.