Finding My Way

After joining the church it was a course of total involvement. It might be better stated that a course was set for me. I don’t think I really thought about doing this or that. It would be more accurate to say that I was a compelled man. It was sort of like breathing. Laboring in the context of a local church was not something that I spent a lot of time thinking about as far as should I do it or not. It was more instinctive now.

What I did think about was what are the things I should be doing. Doing was a natural, unaided response to the gospel. Finding my niche, working out my salvation and/or using my peculiar gift-mix seemed a normal response. How has God gifted me? What was he calling me to do? What would be my life trajectory? I had no goals, ideas or particular interest in doing anything. I think my thing was merely to be available. I kept my ears to the ground, listened to every word spoken, watched my friends for clues and begin to conform to those who were a bit further down the path than me. I was a learner. This mindset was not something I had to actively talk myself into. I was a new Christian and a Christian thinks, speaks and acts a certain way. There was something in me that was pushing me down the “Christian track”. I suppose this is one of the evidences of being a believer. Christians do certain things or possess certain things; not because it is a learned behavior, but because God is actively working in you to compel you toward something. I was being borne along by the Spirit of God, I suppose.

For example, I remember hearing my new pastor, Gerald Medlin, make mention of baptism. I don’t remember if this was through a sermon or a passing comment to another person in the church. I do remember that I needed to be baptized however. It was a fearful thought. I was thinking that I had not been baptized and if I don’t get baptized I would go to hell. Needless to say I had not thought through the doctrine of salvation. I didn’t know there was a doctrine of salvation. I never heard the word doctrine for that matter.

I thought about the baptism thing a lot for a few days. Was I a believer? Did I need to get baptized? What would it mean if I died before being baptized? Would I go to hell? Was I walking in disobedience? It wasn’t long before I sheepishly went to Gerald and asked him about it. I don’t remember what he said in response, except to say he relieved my fears. He said I could get baptized and I didn’t have to worry about it altering my salvation if I had not been baptized. This was a post-salvation act of obedience that didn’t change the fact I had been born again. It was a dreaded conversation to have, but fortunately he was a patient man.

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About RickThomasNet

Rick Thomas leads a training network for Christians to assist them in becoming more effective soul care providers. RickThomas.Net reaches people around the world through consulting, training, podcasting, writing, counseling, and speaking. In 1990 he earned a BA in Theology, and 1991 he received a BS in Education. In 1993 he was ordained into Christian ministry, and in 2000 he graduated with an MA in Counseling from The Master’s College in Santa Clarita, CA. In 2006 he was recognized as a Fellow of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC). He also received certification from the International Association of Biblical Counselors (IABC). His organization is a training center for IABC.

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