God doesn't want us to do life on our own, to be isolated or independent. Not only does God want a personal relationship with us, but he wants it to be an interpersonal relationship-- that it’s God and my friends, God and my family--that I’m not getting into heaven alone. God wants us to live interdependently, not independently. The independent spirit is actually not from God. Have you ever met anybody who’s had any measure of success that’s done it all on their own?
Your decision for Christ may have been a private act where you raised your hand, with all eyes closed, and said a prayer accepting him but baptism is a public affair. It is an announcement of your new life and identity in Christ. You are immersed in water to confirm that your past and the old you is buried, your sins are forgotten. You emerge out of the water brand new.
‘Baptism’ is derived from the greek word baptizo which means to immerse. The purpose of immersing something is to saturate it. Take, for example, a piece of white cotton fabric and immerse it in red dye. That piece of fabric, down to the smallest fiber, is no longer defined as “white,” but rather defined as “red.” This symbolizes the transformation a believer experiences through water baptism.
The apostle Paul said that “we have this hope as an anchor of the soul.” When Jesus is our anchor, we become unshakable. Baptism is not just a ritual or a ceremony. It’s actually a change of identity. When we are baptized, we take on the identity of Jesus. Our souls find an anchor in him. So what does this mean?
Part of the development of your destiny is talking about it to yourself -- what God has done and what he's going to do. If we're going to possess the promise, we've got to talk about it. It's going to be risky and revealing, but we have to resolve to talk about it in a spirit of faith.
God is looking for worshippers who will worship Him inwardly and honestly. A religious spirit produces outward performance but the wrong prideful heart. Those closest to the throne can be in danger of assuming that they know all that God can do.
We have not only been saved by grace, but we have also been kept by grace. When we are facing temptation, exhaustion or trouble, it’s not about our will power to stand against it; it’s about God’s power. The life of faith is impossible if we rely on our own ability and our own strength. It is only by Christ’s power in us that we can live the life that God has called us to live.
We serve a God who doesn’t just meet our needs but exceeds our expectations. Jesus went a little bit further when he chose to go to the cross for us. He did more than what was expected. Because of him, we can do more than is expected.
Whatever we may be doing, each of us can make a difference. Hebrews 11 lists individuals regarded as heroes of the faith and one of them is Noah (Hebrews 11:7).
Salvation is not the end of your connection to God; it is the beginning of your called life. God has a purpose for your life. So many of us lead saved lives but not called lives. The question is not whether or not you have a purpose; it’s whether or not you will say yes to it.