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Spiritual Training Cycle: Examination (wk. 3/13)


I find this series on baptism very applicable to me and a little convicting to be honest. I was baptized as an infant. A decision my parents made for me. It was their outward symbol of an inward decision to commit to helping me follow Jesus. Either that or they chose to baptize me because that’s just what you do growing up in the Catholic church. It’s a sacrament that checks the box before moving on to other ones in that particular denomination.


I think that’s why baptism Sundays at our church are so emotional to me. Every single time I get teary and as I write this it makes me emotional picturing it because it is no longer a decision made by a parent. There are people of all ages and life stages lining up to dip into a pool in front of the rest of the church, each one with almost the same expression before they go under the water - a peace yet unsure of being submerged and without fail as they come out of the water there’s a rejoice, a smile, and an embrace with the person who has baptized them. It’s really such a special moment to witness.


And yet, as an adult I still have not been baptized. It hasn’t been until recently within the last few years that I’ve felt the Holy Spirit trying to pull me into the direction of getting baptized and making the decision for myself as an adult. My reasoning for the delay has always been ‘I’ve already accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior; I’ve welcomed Him into my heart, my salvation is sealed. Why do I also need to be baptized?” And then there’s the voice of the enemy saying “What if you get baptized and then screw up? Everyone will know. You just made this public declaration and now you can’t make any mistakes!”


And I know that is the voice of Satan sowing seeds of doubt, fear, and inadequacy. Because we are all sinners – we all fall short from the glory of God. But here’s the difference. When we come out of the water, we rise as a new person as Christ rose from the dead for our sins. We put our old lives behind us, leaving it in the water and stepping out in unity in the decision to live with Christ in our hearts and we become a part of the body of Christ. This outward symbol of a decision we made inwardly to follow Jesus doesn’t immediately make us a better person or earn us another notch on our belt as a Christ-follower. It helps other Christ followers know we need accountability. We need each other to lead, encourage, and support one another in our daily walk with Christ. It’s not a let’s judge each other for any shortcomings that occur after you’ve been baptized, rather it’s a support system to help lift and guide one another.


Think about your own fitness journey. Some started as children in an organized sport most likely your parents made the decision for you to participate, but over the years as you became older you made the decision to continue in that sport because it’s what you loved and enjoyed. Or maybe you got burnt out from sports and being coached altogether; turned away from physical activity and are now finding yourself back in the gym because you’ve realized something is missing in your life. Perhaps you didn’t grow up playing sports or being physically active at all and you have made the decision as an adult to take on this new life that includes working out, eating better, and taking care of your body. No one expects you to be perfect on your fitness journey. There’s ebbs and flows, ups and downs just as there is in your personal journey with Christ.


1 Corinthians 12:12 says, “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.”


We all have different pasts, we carry different burdens, our walk with the Lord is unique to each one of us yet we are all united in the same Spirit. The Spirit of God. As different as we all are we share the same internal longing; to be with God, to walk with Him, to lead ourselves and others on this journey of life.


Questions for Reflection:

In what areas of your life do you feel united to Jesus?


In what areas of your life do you feel distant from Jesus?

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