For twenty and Nine Year, the Lord has done me nothing but Good. It is my spiritual birthday and the Lord has indeed been good to me. “We who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure” (Hebrews 6:18b, 19a).
Contemplate this thought-provoking quote, “In order to realize the worth of the anchor, one needs to feel the stress of the storm.” Faith is put to the test and best demonstrated during the deepest trials of life.
How thankful we should be for the blessed anchor of hope we have in Jesus! This anchor is “firm and secure.”
Without trials and tests of life, we would have no experiences to evaluate, learn, and understand the magnitude of God’s faithfulness and promises. We all face challenges that press us to our very limits. This is where the ‘rubber meets the road’! Our faith is tested to to the limits! That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ (1Peter 1:7). This is where we believe in Him no matter what, and having done all we can…we stand. For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord (1 Thessalonians 3:8). Where lies the answer? Who is our anchor? It is Jesus Christ….The Rock of Ages! He is my anchor! My answer lies in Him! This Anchor holds against all storms of life!
I have journeyed through the long dark night since that August 14th day of 1986. Out on the open sea, by faith alone, Sight unknown; and yet his eyes have been watching me.
Yet the anchor holds, though the ships been battered. The anchor holds, though the sails are torn. I have fallen on my knees as I face the raging seas and yet still, the anchor holds in spite of the storm.
The road I have traveled has sometimes been steep, through wild jagged places of life. Sometimes I’ve stumbled and fallen so hard that the stones cut my soul like a knife. But the staff of my Shepherd has always reached out for me and lifted me to cool pastures green. With oil of the spirit anointing my wounds, there have often rested by the clear healing stream.
All I can say now is, but now more than ever I cherish the cross. More than ever I sit at His feet. All the miles of my journey have proved my Lord true, And He is so precious to me.
I remember the day when I was born again, indeed my soul was singing glory hallelujah. I do not know where and how to start telling my story. However, the experience was amazing, life changing. I really was not that kind of a bad boy that used to be bad. I was one of those good boys that went to church. I used to sing in the choir and I even got baptized at 12, but all along I did not know Christ.
When I got to secondary school, I was chosen as a Scripture Union Leader because everyone thought I was a Christian, but one day on 14th August 1986 the evening after a sermon at a Youth Camp, I could not pretend anymore. I knew something was wrong in my heart, I knew exactly what to do because I had led many others to Christ even when I had not done the same. That night, alone at Choma Secondary School, I confessed my sins and asked Jesus to come into my heart.
The next day I told my teachers Mr Hamoonga Choongo and Rachel Melhorn Phiri that I had become a Christian and they asked me what I meant. All my friends did not believe what I was saying but that was the case. It is possible to live like a Christian when you are not and many live that way.
It was that day I understood that God had created me to love and worship Him. But, because of my sinful heart, I worshiped other things rather than Him. Though I had an outward appearance of a “spiritual” person, I knew my heart was sinful and unchanged. I understood that my sin separated me from a Holy God and that there was nothing I could do to take away my own sin. I understood that Jesus was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died a sacrificial death, was buried in a tomb, and resurrected on the third day, showing His power and victory over sin, death and the grave. That is the day I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ, repenting of my sin and, by faith, trusting in Jesus as the only Lord and Saviour. This is the day I was “born again,” as Jesus told Nicodemus we must be if we want to receive eternal life. It was at this point that my life changed, where “old things passed away” and “all things became new” (2 Cor. 5:17).
God created us for life, to live our lives for His glory through worshiping and obeying Him. Our first birthday makes this possible. But, without a second birthday, a spiritual birthday, being “born again,” we will never live out the purpose for which God created us. In fact, as a result, we will die twice – experiencing physical death at the end of our physical life, and spiritual death, separation from the presence of God forever. Well did someone once say, “If we are born once, we will die twice. But, if we are born twice, we will only die once.” For those with two birthdays, eternal life begins at the point of trusting Christ. Physical death only ends our earthly existence but ushers us immediately into the presence of the One who gave His life for us so that we might live. As Paul reminds us, for those who are in Christ – those who have surrendered their lives to Him in repentance and faith – “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord” (2 Cor. 5:8).
Now the longer that I serve Him the sweeter he grows. The more that I love Him, more love He bestows. Each day is like heaven, my heart overflows, and the longer I serve Him, the sweeter He grows.