Today, I forgot both my hymnal and the book from which I get some of my daily reading in a place I won't be able to access again until tomorrow. But, in my dorm room, I have a copy of My Utmost for His Highest, and decided to see what Oswald had to say today. The entry for today talks about the need for Christ to fulfill the Sermon on the Mount in us, because we cannot do it under our own power, but then it also gets into some notes about how it is God who initiates in our lives and how "the drawing is done by the supernatural grace of God, and we can never trace where His work begins"
That bit hit me because it's a question I've actually struggled with on and off for a number of years. See, I can answer a lot of questions about my testimony, like when I was baptized, and when I started actively hearing from God and interacting with Him, and when I submitted my whole life to Him and His purposes, and even when I came to believe that the claims of the Bible were true. But these didn't all happen in the order that seems to be expected, and if I'm honest, I'm not entirely sure I can honestly say I know the exact moment my salvation occurred.
This is a problem for me, because it has been made very clear throughout my life that many around me believe that anyone who cannot tell a defining "here was my salvation moment" story never really had one. I have a point where I know for certain I was, truly, a Christian after it; I'm not sure whether or not I was truly a Christian before it. I cannot trace where the work of God fully began. Would it be better to assume I was a Christian from my youth, and simply very poor at following my Lord; or to assume that God was very active in my life, even going so far as to protect me from spirits and grant me two singular moments of prophesy (which have never been replicated, they were for a particular moment, they came and were delivered and time progressed, I see little benefit in talking about them much now), when I was still far from Him?
My salvation now is not in question. I have struggled with the claims of teachers and preachers who tell me that I must have a story that matches their expectations, but have come to a place of peace about it. My question is, what is the exact moment salvation starts? What things can we trust God will occasionally do in the lives of the unsaved?
If the author is right, and it should be remembered that his book is not scripture so it may not be, and we can really never truly trace where His work begins, does it even matter if I know whether or not I was saved at 6, or 10, or 25?
Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Copyright by The Lockman Foundation