I love this quote and have found it to be so true, “Life can only be understood backward but it must be lived forward…….”
Twenty-six years ago and newly married, Bill and I moved to Columbia. We were so blessed to find a church home in Shandon Baptist. Dick Lincoln was the minister then and still is. His sermons were powerful then and just as powerful today.
Bill and I were young. We were so blessed to engage in a training course offered at church on “How to Share Your Faith,” called CWT training or Continuing Witnessing Training. Back then our church was not as large as it is now, and God was soooo gracious at that time in our lives to allow us to be personally led by Dr. Lincoln. We had homework to do every week. Dick would meet with us on Tuesday nights and we would go out and apply what we had learned. Looking back, it was one of those God-appointed times in our lives. I am 51 today and I still reflect on all that I learned from watching Dick meet perfect strangers, share his testimony and engage them in conversation with the purpose of sharing Christ.
Some of the fondest times I recall in the Front 9 of my life involve taking this course shortly after moving to Columbia. I learned and experienced a great deal in that time of learning to share my faith, my testimony and getting to know our pastor on that intimate level. I can honestly say, and want to share in this post, when you decide to commit your life to Christ and take a step further in your walk with Him, seek out a strong believer. Learn from that person and grow your own faith. There are always hurdles to overcome but the rewards are bountiful.
Today, when I go to church, I look for the smiling face of the man in the church choir who is there first, because God drew him to Himself. I had the privilege of participating in his journey to a relationship with Christ. I said yes to CWT class and knocked on his door years ago and shared my faith. I’ve watched God move in his life. Today, the hairs on the back of my neck stand up every time I see this particular fellow singing his heart out in our church choir, knowing that I got to watch his salvation unfold before me and grow for years.
Another unexpected and diamond reward from participating in CWT all those years ago is that today, I have a BEST FRIEND. Seriously, a really close friend named Dina. A friend that I talk to at least every other day. A friend I met 26 years ago by knocking on her door and sharing my faith. When we take steps of obedience toward God and willingly step out, seeking to grow and to learn, we cannot predict all that God has in store.
I want to strongly urge you, the reader, to find a church home. Or, if you have one, find a place to serve or a course to sign up for. Grow and be stretched!! God wants to use you. He wants to use your story and your life to make a difference. Don’t listen to the whispers in your ear that say you are not needed or wanted!! Don’t allow Satan to rob you of the riches God has planned for you through taking steps of faith! There are many, many other benefits that have come personally to me from that time 26 years ago. I said yes to God in growing, learning and being obedient. Make time to put yourself in God’s economy…….the dividends are a 100% return on your investment.
My prayer for you: Ephesians 1:18-19, “having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe…”