A Step of Faith
“How do I know when God is calling me? What should I feel when it is the right time for me to repent? I don’t want to do it just because my friends are repenting and everyone thinks I should. It seems like others have miraculous experiences that bring them to repentance—why doesn’t this happen to me?
I try not to think much about death or the Lord’s return, but I do want to live for Him someday. I envy believers and the way they live. How can I be sure I won’t miss my chance?”
These are some of the thoughts which torment the hearts and minds of many of our friends who have been taught the truths of God’s Word and know that they must repent and be converted if they are to spend eternity in Heaven. There are many misconceptions which Satan uses to confuse people and keep them from turning to the Lord in repentance.
Some individuals feel very little conviction regarding sin. They are motivated more strongly by the desire to live a godly life than by the fear of death and destruction. Others are overwhelmed by the magnitude of their sins and fear that they are too great to be forgiven and overcome. They are more likely to be motivated by fear of death or the Lord’s return.
One of Satan’s most effective tools is to just get people to put off repentance until a “convenient time” which likely never comes. This is the greatest risk a sinner can ever take.
What can be done to clear up the misconceptions in many hearts about how and when the step of turning to the Lord in repentance should occur? Perhaps the most important thing to understand is that no individual can expect to have every question answered and every doubt removed before this step is taken, because it must be “a step of faith.”
“Without faith, it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Heb. 11:6).
The basic doctrine of Christ requires a “foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God” (Heb. 6:1). If we insist on waiting until all of our questions are answered or until we see with our eyes some desired sign or “ideal” conditions and circumstances, we remain trapped by Satan and cannot take that essential step of faith.
The point in life must be reached when we are ready to lay aside our life (our own will) and cast our lot with the Lord Jesus Christ, realizing this means becoming his life-long disciple or follower (Luke 9:23-24).
This requires taking that first step upon a pathway we have never trod before. It is like when Peter, Andrew, James and John, who were lowly fishermen, answered Jesus’ simple request: “Follow me” (Matt. 4:18-22).
The best way to reach that point in life is to make a diligent effort to seek the Lord. “Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart” (Jer. 29:13). This includes going to church and thinking seriously about the truths of the Bible. “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Rom. 10:17).
Salvation is not a complicated matter. There is no “wrong” time to repent as long as we are among the living and have reached the age of accountability. “Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near” (Is. 55:6).
The Bible tells the beautiful story of a man named Zacchaeus who wanted to see Jesus. He simply put himself in the favorable position of climbing a tree (because he was short) and Jesus immediately noticed this effort and went to be with Zacchaeus in his house (Luke 19:1-5).
Soon Zacchaeus poured out his heart in repentance and Jesus said “this day is salvation come to this house” (Luke 19:9).
Although Satan tries to cloud this whole matter with endless questions, doubts, and confusion, the Word gives us clear directions as to how we can take this step of faith.
With a broken and contrite spirit (Is. 66:2), we must acknowledge to the Lord Jesus that we are lost and that we truly believe that it is only through His shed blood and death on Calvary that we can receive the gift of everlasting life (John 3:16, 36).
“But as many as received him, to them He gave the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12). This humble step of genuine faith will then allow grace to enter our hearts and give us the courage to make this known to others. “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Rom. 10:10).
We should not delay in telling someone close to us (a family member or acquaintance who is a believer) who will then encourage us to counsel with one of the Lord’s servants. The initial step of faith for most of us is taken with much weakness and requires a lot of support.
The Lord has provided His church to be readily available to give that support as empowered by the Holy Spirit. The fruits of repentance such as confession of sin and restitution will follow as faith motivates obedience to God’s Word.
The new convert will be directed to many pertinent Scriptures which bring enlightenment and direction for his walk of life. The old sinful ways are renounced and abandoned, and good works and fruit come forth. Love for God’s people unfolds like a beautiful blossom. Soon those questions and doubts which may have plagued the soul for years begin to vanish away.
In due time one receives “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding” (Phil. 4:7) and a burden of heart develops for others yet lost in sin.
What is the significance of maintaining faith once an individual has become a child of God? We are exhorted to “hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering (for he is faithful that promised)” (Heb. 10:23). Only when we reach heaven’s door will faith be laid aside and we shall see our Saviour face to face.
Then we will praise Him through all eternity for reaching out to us when we took that first trembling step of faith and for sustaining us to the end with His grace.
Please read my other post and be blessed.