When Moses was forty years old, he decided to visit his own people, the Israelites. – Acts 7:23
Well, this will be the last Wednesday Morning Devotional I will ever post in my thirties. Next Wednesday, I will be forty years old. I am not someone who dreads getting older. In fact, as long as I continue to grow in wisdom and knowledge of the Word of God, I embrace it. What is any person’s life anyway? It is a vapor that appears for a little while, and then vanishes away (James 4:14). I have learned that the only things in this life that really matter are the things you do for God. The things of Him last forever.
In the first decade of my life, I simply learned that God exists. My mom took me to church every Sunday. I learned very little, but I did learn that people go to church because of their belief in Him.
In the second decade of my life, I learned that God sent His son, Jesus Christ, to rescue me. At a small Baptist church in Salem, SC, I learned of Jesus’s death on the cross. I learned that He became the perfect payment for my sin and gave His own life so I could go to Heaven. I was too afraid to receive Jesus in front of everyone, so I met the youth leader in private and asked Jesus into my heart. I wish I had drawn near boldly. Because I did not, I cared what others thought and tried to do that awful thing where one serves God and serves the pleasures of this world.
In the third decade of my life, I didn’t like where I ended up. Sexual immorality had left me heartbroken and empty. Materialism had left me always wanting more. Entertainment left me singing about Hell instead of Heaven, and actually paying money to watch gross immorality. I had even let video games just numb my mind and keep me from what is really important. One day, God showed me all of this. I was broken for the first time in my life. Weeping next to my bed, I bowed the knee and asked Him to save me. This time it wasn’t salvation from Hell, but salvation from the life I was about to continue living. Over the next year, I read the entire Bible for myself, severed many toxic relationships, and began to obey God. When I met my wife, Tonya, she taught me that it wasn’t just about just following rules; it was about being in a real deal relationship with Him. She taught me that He really does forgive us and really does love us. I am beyond thankful that she has daily been a picture for me to see of what it looks like to love God and trust Him.
In this last decade I became a daddy, which has exponentially taught me about my relationship with my Heavenly Father. I also became a pastor. Officially, I have been a pastor for one year. I have learned that I still let what other people think affect me. I have learned that I still have a massive amount to learn. I have learned to trust God on more of a day-by-day and moment-by-moment basis. I have learned that I have absolutely no clue what I’m doing when it comes to being a pastor. I have never been this utterly and completely reliant upon Him. Giving up your independence to trust an unseen God doesn’t sound like a great thing in this dog eat dog world, but it is wonderful.
So, what will the next decade hold? I am praying for boldness. I am praying that I will discard man’s opinions of me and speak His Word boldly, powerfully, and without compromise. I want to see others receive the salvation that I have received. I want to make disciples. I want to hear stories of great and mighty things God is doing in hearts, minds, and lives of those around me. I want people to know Him, really know Him, and fall crazy in love with Him. I want to be a leader in the greatest awakening this world has ever seen.
What about you?
How has God grown you over the decades?
Where do you stand with Him?
What do you want to see Him do?