When someone decides to live for Christ, they may have questions about their walk with God and ultimately their salvation. Different denominations have different views on this topic. Some denominations are criticized for a “once saved always saved” mentality on one hand, and a “if people leave the faith to live terrible lives and end up in Hell they were never saved to begin with” mentality on the other hand .
I do not care to debate theology and since I’m a woman you probably don’t want to hear that coming from me anyway. I think about salvation like I think about football. It’s a team sport. In football, you have to put in the effort by showing up to practice and playing an assigned position to benefit the team. The team has to work together to win games and they hope for a shot at the championships every season.
In football, positions are chosen based on people’s athletic abilities and statures. Could you imagine a defensive lineman playing as a wide receiver? In the church, people have different gifts from the spirit, things like discernment or wise counsel or shepherding just to name a few. These gifts will dictate how and where you serve in church. These are God given abilities and a lot of time you will work professionally in an area where you use your particular gift of the spirit. In football, everyone wants to be the first string quarterback. The Bible even talks about envy in the same regard when it states that we are the body of Christ “If the ear were to say I am not as beautiful as the eye therefore I do not belong would it for that reason stop being part of the body? Where would the sense of hearing then come from?”
In our faith, we will play many season’s on God’s football team as we walk with him in our relationship. Sometimes we’ll be the coveted first string quarterback and we will feel very strong and confident in our faith. Other seasons in life we might be second or third string, or benched for disciplinary action in one game. Sometimes we’ll be benched for a medical reason and allow that to make us feel far from God. Maybe we hit a rough patch and quit the team and renounce our faith and turn from God wanting nothing to do with him and follow our own path of self destruction. But like any good coach, God is still there with open arms if we ever want to walk to the 50 yard line and talk about our mistakes to find redemption.
Just like in football, in your first year with God you start as a rookie. You don’t really know a lot. You might not have ever read the Bible. To grow in faith you have to work out your spiritual muscles by commitment and you can’t do it alone just like in football. You have to be in community with other believers. The Bible even puts it this way, Proverbs 27:17, “As steel sharpens steel one man sharpens another.”
There’s a discipline involved and as you grow you go farther. Hillsong United has a song called Oceans that says, “Take me farther than my feet could ever wander and my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my savior.” Let God lead you to the right groups to refine your faith. You will have many friends along the way as you continue to grow some of them will stay for a season, others for life. Get involved in a small group ministry setting. It’s the fastest way to learn, grow and develop. I also recommend getting a mentor. Someone you can look up to and learn from. Shoutout to my mentor Tami, I love you girl stay strong! Wherever you are in this season of life, never feel like God’s not there, doesn’t care, or isn’t listening. Salvation is only ever one prayer away.