By the time I finally found God, about two and a half years ago, I had taken to calling myself an atheist when asked about my religious affiliations. I was neither looking for, or asking for God. Now, that is not to say that I had no knowledge of him, or that I had never hoped to know God. But I had not been able to commit my life to the Lord and so I had stopped trying. I had stopped thinking about him and I had stopped seeking after him.
In the passage below, Paul asks some stunningly simple questions: how can anyone believe and therefore be saved by Jesus unless those who already know about him have the conviction to go out and tell people. People, mostly, are not actively looking for God, some are, of course, but most are not. The crucial point here is that just because they are not actively seeking God, it doesn’t mean that they will not respond when they encounter those who have found God. Non believers do not usually beat at the doors of churches begging to be saved. But new believers, once they have begun a new journey of faith, very often feel they need to hear the message again a lot, so they can catch up with the rest of the church in their knowledge of the Lord. Some in the church need to go out and preach to non believers, but also, equally importantly, most in the church need to be ready and able to help new believers learn what they need to learn.
Romans 10:14-21 NLT
But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!” But not everyone welcomes the Good News, for Isaiah the prophet said, “Lord, who has believed our message?” So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ. But I ask, have the people of Israel actually heard the message? Yes, they have: “The message has gone throughout the earth, and the words to all the world.” But I ask, did the people of Israel really understand? Yes, they did, for even in the time of Moses, God said, “I will rouse your jealousy through people who are not even a nation. I will provoke your anger through the foolish Gentiles.” And later Isaiah spoke boldly for God, saying, “I was found by people who were not looking for me. I showed myself to those who were not asking for me.” But regarding Israel, God said, “All day long I opened my arms to them, but they were disobedient and rebellious.”
I want to remember how hungry I was (and still remain!) for as much knowledge of God, in the first months after I made my commitment, as I could get. I want to remember, so that I can always be ready to help new believers find what they need to in the early days of their walk of faith. My goal is to share my first response to the scriptures with others who want to learn how to commit their lives to Jesus like his disciples did. I want to share my journey, as I search out the ways of the kingdom of heaven in the hope that if I succeed, others might believe they can do it too.
2 Chronicles 19:1-20:37, Romans 10:14-11:12, Psalms 21:1-13, Proverbs 20:4-6