Wednesday, February 01, 2006

I wonder how many times in our lives we make right choices, but for wrong reasons. And how does this impact our view of truth? Sometimes we don't find out until much later that our reasoning was wrong, even though we did right. I know it can result in an emptiness, that as Christians we are not supposed to experience. This leads to disillusionment.

An example that some have experienced in this, is making a decision for Christ without actually being under His conviction. His Word says "Noone can come to me unless my Father who sent me draws Him." John 6:44

I have seen the difficulty this produces in the lives of young people (with our involvement in youth ministry). Students make a decision that is based on emotion or peer pressure, then don't understand why they don't grow. Too often in churches, students have been told there is a specific age or time that they must make a commitment to Christ. They follow what they are told out of obedience to their families or elders, and lead completely fruitless lives. They are frustrated, because they don't get it.

BJ was one such young man. He had two older sisters, he had watched make decisions for Christ. Though he did not understand at the time what he was witnessing, he gained some level of understanding, as he learned about it, and watched others in the church make decisions. He decided he wanted to take part in that.

He was six years old when I sat down with him and talked through his decision, I thought (perhaps selfishly, as his dad, I was waiting for this moment) he understood. He prayed and asked Jesus to be his Savior. Then he wanted to be baptized.

He was so excited on baptism day. He was ready! When Pastor Steve stood beside him, BJ clasped his left hand with both of his. Steve was sharing about BJ's decision, and giving a brief explanation of what was happening. BJ was oblivious to those words. He was there to be baptized, and he was ready. So while Steve talked, BJ went ahead and laid back, trying to get underwater, trying to be baptized. He only succeeded in getting the back of his head wet. It truly was a comical moment.

When Steve was done talking, he finished the baptism. Beej got dunked one and a half times that morning.

Two years later, BJ joined me at a youth meeting (he was still too young to actually take part). We had a guest speaker, Afshin Ziafat. He was a Muslim convert. His family had disowned him, and cut off all contact, as a result. As he shared his testimony, BJ began to truly understand for the first time, his spiritual lostness. He prayed that night at the invitation for the Lord to save him.

He told me about it, and I was reluctant to accept what he said. After all, I had had the privilege of leading my son to Christ, and this would negate that (a little pride showing through?).

BJ's life changed after that night. His whole approach to his "walk" was filled with desire for knowledge and an understanding he did not previously have. He began sharing at school, and with anyone who would listen. If an eight year old could be radically saved... he was.

I had tried to be a good parent. I led him where I thought he needed to go... to the foot of the cross for his salvation. The trouble was, this did not coincide with the "Father drawing him." Well, his earthly father, yes, but not his heavenly one.

I praise God that in spite of my right motives, and Beej's right decision, that the Lord drew him at the right time, and changed his life, as he responded in obedience!

BJ was re-baptized at youth camp two or three years later. He knew the first time had been under false pretense, and wanted to do it right. He came out of the water with joy. He even said, "finally." He lived a life faithful to the Father, and desired to see others do likewise. He spent his life, trying to give others the same opportunity he had, to know Jesus, and to make Him known.

We can learn a great deal from this. Not that we should not share with our children. Not that we should not lead them to the foot of the cross. Just that we need to be sensitive to any lost person, and recognize that we may be a "divine encounter" for them, we may be meeting them and sharing with them, just when the Father is drawing them, through His Holy Spirit. Or, it is possible, we will be seed sowers, and salvation may come later, at the point the Father draws them.

I trust that if you find that you were like BJ, and have based your life on a decision that was made out of pure emotion or peer pressure, and have been empty and fruitless as a result, that you will take the time now to ask Jesus to be your Lord and Savior.

May the Lord God minister to you, where you are right now!



At 8:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh how true are those words of wisdom! Thank you,,,,again!

At 8:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Sweet 16 Hollie! We are praying for you and your family especially today as you spend it apart. May the Lord's loving arms wrap tightly around you!

Your sister in Christ,
Nobleville, Indiana

At 8:51 AM, Blogger brobrad said...

Linda R, I'm praying for you and Hollie today. I'm sure it will be a challenge for all of you but know that the Lord can give you peace.

Brent, your perspective is so clear on this and I haven't really given this much thought...but it explains the pitfalls of decisions made on an emotional basis, or because of "expectations" and peer pressure.

I'm so glad that you could put life to the photos of this I had "rediscovered" in looking through my "archives."

As your upcoming trips approach I am praying for you and that He will reveal to you exactly what He wants you and Deanna to do.


At 10:37 AM, Blogger Paul said...

I want you to know... as I read this I prayed once again that my life would be changed. That I would throw this pride and selfishness aside and that my life would be for God and for Jesus, and not for myself. I prayed that I would not just do the right things, but I would grow and do them for Him. He has prepared my heart and a wonderful path for me in this life, and he has used you, someone whom I've never met, to guide me back and help to make my life about Him. I thank you and I thank Him for your family and for your son. I long for the day when I have the understanding and the God-focus that BJ did.

Praise and Thanks be to God the Father and Jesus Christ our Savior, through His Holy Spirit, for his wonderous love and gentle power, and all his ways. May he continue to be glorified.

At 11:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your words are so true about my husband. He was baptized 15 years ago for me before we were married, but he didn't accept Christ until last year. He is being re-baptized at ECC Feb 19th. We've been blessed. We were extremely blessed to meet you and your family and it was a privilege to hear you speak of BJ at youth group last Sunday evening. It was very uplifting for Mike as such a new believer to hear of your strong conviction to God. You are always in our prayers. God Bless you always..

Sue Sands

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At 1:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an awesome blessing today's post was. Thank you Brent. It is so awesome that even at such a young age, BJ could see that he wasn't "right" and was willing to do whatever it took to get "right". I need to do this! Thank you Brent.

Linda, you know that I am praying for you and Hollie, and it was good to "chat" with you the other day. Celebrate in your own way for Hollie, and it will bring you closer to her. And know that Jesus is with both of you! Love ya!!

Praying in Pink~

Linda Anderson
Willows, California

At 1:12 PM, Blogger the leaf family said...

(Thank You for making me laugh yesterday)
Thank You for sharing today as well.

When we moved here Michael did so much growing.. God really stretched all of us.. However, Michael was so stretched that he could've ran either way.. away from God or into his arms..
He really wanted to attend summer camp with the students in Indy and he struggled when we told him that wasn't possible.. He kept hitting these walls and he found that Jesus was there to carry him every time.. The Lord grew Michael so much last year it is almost unbelievable... He went on his frist mission trip and so many other firsts...
He also made a decision to turn his life over to Christ, something that Scott and I thought already had happend.. he was baptized when he was 6.. but like BJ, he realized that was under false pretenses.. As we watched him, grow and be stretched over the few months before camp we weren't very surprised when he came to us before we even left for camp and asked to be re-baptized at camp.. that was incrdieble for him and spoke volumes to a lot of other students and adults a like..
When BJ became ill and we were so far away, this was a great trail for Michael... as it was for so many of BJ's other friends... We now know 1 of the many trails that Michael was being prepared for last year..
I'm not sure why I am sharing all this but it is on my heart...
With all our love and prayers from KC-Tracy

At 3:31 PM, Blogger Lynn Dailey said...

What a blessing your message was today, as always. Sometimes while keeping my 2 grandsons (2 yrs. and 5 mos.) I don't always get to sign on , but I always go back and catch up on what I missed. This blogg has been such a blessing to me. Last Thursdays was very hard. As I read and prayed for you, I was reminded of a song we are preparing for in choir.

Bow The Knee
By Chris Machen and Mike Harland

"There are moments on our journey following the Lord when God illuminates every step we take.

There are times when circumstances make perfect sense to us as we try to understand each move He makes.

But when the path grows dim, and our questions have no answers, turn to Him.

Bow the knee, trust the heart of your Father when the answer goes beyond what you can see.

Bow the knee, lift your eyes t'ward Heaven and believe the One who holds eternity.

When you don't understand the purpose of His plan. In the presence of the King, bow the knee.

There are days when clouds surround us, the rain begins to fall and the cold and lonely winds won't cease to blow.

And there seems to be no reason for the suffering we feel. We are tempted to believe God doesn't know.

When the storms arise, don't forget we live by faith and not by sight.

Bow the knee. Trust the heart of your Father when the answer goes beyond what you can see.

Bow the knee . Lift your eyes t'ward Heaven and believe the One who holds eternity.

When you don't understand, the purpose of His plan. In the presence of your King, bow the knee."

There are many times I don't understand and I too must remind myself God holds my future and He knows the whole reason for the experiences of our lives. Thank you, family, for sharing your experiences with us so that we may learn and grow from them.

I love you all dearly,

At 5:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Parents!

Yesterday was HILARIOUS! i can see that little mischievious grin on his face as he would be doing that! thats funny..

Thanks for sharing today.

I heard that Lauren is for sure going to Morocco! that is SO exciting! i'm so excited for all of you about that trip! God is going to do amazing things!!

love you all

At 7:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Higgin family,

It has been a while since I have posted but please know that I pray for you and that I still come as often as poosible. Thank you so much for pressing on and making a difference for the Kingdom.

April C.

At 9:09 PM, Blogger Praying in Pink said...

I believe God means today's post to serve as a gentle reminder to moms and dads, pastors, teachers, friends, and everyone that we must be ever so gentle and careful when it comes to matters of the heart. The Holy Spirit is the One who draws us to Jesus. No one else--however well-intentioned--can substitute.

I know that your sharing with BJ early on was an important step in his journey, Brent. How wonderful that God gave him "the rest of the story" in such a unique way when he was genuinely ready.

Unlike BJ, I did NOT accept Jesus at an early age. Although I went to church every Sunday, no one told me about my need for a Savior. That's a different error than Brent described--but the consequences are just as severe.

Some of us ought to make sure our faith is firmly grounded. The rest of us (including me) ought to make sure we're telling others how to find Him. I'm asking God to show me who needs to hear next!

Standing up with BJ, sword unsheathed,


Linda R., trusting that God has given you AND Hollie His comfort and grace on this birthday. I admire your courage in this difficult time. We will all celebrate her victories with you one day, I know!

At 10:27 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

How true your words ring today, I have seen this in my own family, Hollie to be exact. I know that God will draw her close to Him when He know's the time is just right.

Thank you family for all your prayers today, they were greatly appreciated and definately felt. Today went better than I had expected, fewer tears than I thought, and praise be to Jesus, I received a telephone call from the school this evening, allowing me to wish Hollie a happy birthday. How sweet it was to hear her voice again.

Thank you Lord that even thought we may not voice our desires, You see all things and with love and perfect timing You reach down from heaven and touch us, draw us and comfort us.
Lord I ask that You would continue to do just that for all the Higgins family and all those that belong to this blog family that need an extra touch from you today.

In His Love

At 12:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to admit, i was the one who wanted to talk with you brent. mark ANDREWS. hehe

At 12:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Firstable i want to say God Bless you,and your family thank you for sharing with us your testimony about your son BJ,I'm a new born christian and i do belive the God has a porpuse for every single one of us here on earth,and Bj wasn,t the exeption and i know the Bj is really proud of his familiy and brothers and Christ,because even i never knew him, i feel like i knew him because we are one body and one only spirit in JesusChrist our LORD,God bless you all in the allmigthy name of Hes Beloved Son JesusChrist.AMEN


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