Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3:5-8
Dad had many sayings. One I heard almost too frequently when going to work with him was ’90-day wonder.’ I don’t think this is unique to the Navy. The phrase referred to someone who attended a civilian university or college then entered the Navy’s OCS (Officer Candidate School) program. By no stretch of the imagination was this an endearing or positive name. Quite the opposite. It referred to someone who didn’t have the experience to back up what they commanded others to do. They had the ‘head knowledge’ on what needed to be done but didn’t understand any of its purpose or implications. My dad’s line of work wasn’t as dangerous as combat, but his job did involve missiles, bombs, and ammunition, all of which have great potential for harm. Having the experience was so important.
In many ways, our spiritual life emulates our experiential life on earth. In life, experience can take center stage in many things. In our spiritual life, the heart holds that place, so much so that the things we say come directly from it, good and bad (Luke 6:45). Diving into the Bible, studying it, making it a priority moves the things we read and learn from our head to our heart. But sometimes, that journey from the head to heart doesn’t always take place.
If, in searching your heart and soul, you realize your heart isn’t where you thought it was, even after years of what you believed was a relationship with Christ, Jesus is still right there waiting for your surrender! If this is where you are, set thoughts of pride aside and surrender! Or, if you find your relationship with Jesus is solid, but haven’t publicly demonstrated it in baptism, seek to be baptized! While not having saving ties to your relationship with Christ, it will demonstrate to others your soul’s journey with Christ. Should you be blessed to have a solid relationship with Christ, and have demonstrated it in baptism, pray for those around you who may not have the same ‘experiences’ as you, and be willing to share (1 Peter 3:15)!
By Rich Obrecht