30 years ago I decided to follow Jesus after hearing an altar call by Ron Hutchcraft at a big Youth for Christ conference in Washington, D.C. In my youth I assumed - for reasons I still don’t understand - that I was now on the path to a better life. Jesus was with me, and that meant my problems would start to go away and I would gradually overcome and be victorious over sin… just because. Yes I suppose I thought reading my Bible, praying, going to church and sharing my faith with others were in that mix, but I really, truly believed that sanctification basically just happened.
Imagine my surprise when, well, sanctification didn’t just happen. In fact, when I got to college and started making friends who were not believers, I found that many of my indwelling sin issues actually intensified, and that following Jesus took far more commitment and intentionality than I realized. I liked life to be easy, and by default ran away from anything that was hard. Giving in to sin was easy; following Jesus was hard. Guess which path I decided to follow at the age of 22…
I found a great devotional for this Friday from Leroy Eims of the Navigators (a wonderful discipleship ministry) called “Our Transformation” that talks about the journey of the Christian as we grow in Christ. He says:
Spiritual growth does not automatically happen with age. It comes only as we yield to the Lord, obey Him, and are transformed into His likeness.
Growth doesn’t just happen; it’s the result of an intentional decision to follow in the footsteps of our Savior, one day at a time.