Our household is waiting for the day our one-year old grand-daughter takes her first step toward walking. That first step is important because it will lead to a next step and another step and then the thousands of steps she will take in her lifetime. It’s like all our steps are connected and flow out of that first innocent and much celebrated step.
Our grand-daughter’s first step reminds us of the important place that steps have in our spiritual lives. Out first step of fully trusting Jesus to forgive our sin and make us spiritually alive is followed by many next steps. Perhaps to our surprise, taking new and daily steps of faith in Jesus is really what this journey is all about. Today we listen to God and respond in trust and obedience, only to do it again over and over. This is why our faith journey is called: a walk of faith.
With physical walking there are numerous steps that are spontaneous. We do not identify or number each step we take. But then there are those places where we do concentrate on our steps – like carefully stepping on rocks to cross a stream of water, or using a stool to step up and reach for something high. So it is in our spiritual walk. Some of our steps are spontaneous and free flowing while others require concentration and attention. With these we really know we are taking that step.
One of the important spiritual steps that followers of Jesus take with deliberateness and joy is called: believer’s baptism. This practice does not add to the work of God’s grace that pardoned us and placed us in God’s family, it celebrates it. In the waters of baptism a Christ-follower declares, with great joy, his oneness with our Lord Jesus in His death, burial and His resurrection. He or she has become a completely new person through Jesus. In baptism a person gives public witness to that new life and testifies to a full commitment to follow our Lord Jesus for a lifetime.
The atmosphere is always filled with praise and worship to God when believers take this step in their spiritual walk. Sometimes this step is taken immediately following a person’s coming to Jesus. Other times the person may have waited a long time to step forward and make these public testimonies. Whenever, these immersions into water leave both baptism candidate and congregations feeling renewed and refreshed in the love and power of God’s Holy Spirit. We haven’t just stepped forward, we have stepped deeper into fellowship with our Lord.
This weekend April 11 & 12 2015, Beulah Alliance Church is preparing for a baptism service following each weekend service. We are calling it: “What are you waiting for?” If you have taken the step of placing your faith in our Lord Jesus and have not been baptized as a believer, this could be your next step. Why not circle your calendar and plan to make that your next step in following Jesus.
Author Allen Powles is a Community Life Pastor at Beulah Alliance Church