Over lunch, a man shared how he came to Christ just a few years ago. He said that after his conversion, someone asked him to explain what it really means to be a Christian. What difference does Jesus make once he becomes both Lord and Savior? His answer was profound: “Ive learned that I can sin but I cant enjoy it like I used to.” You can still sin, and you can enjoy it for awhile, but not forever. God will not let his children enjoy the pleasures of sin indefinitely. Sooner or later, he steps in and brings his wandering sons and daughters back home to him. If we graphed the spiritual experience of most Christians, it would move up and down, up and down, up and downbut always moving in a generally upward direction. At any given moment, the graph of your life may show you relatively up or relatively down spiritually. You may be down for a long time, but if you know Jesus, eventually you will start moving up again. I draw two conclusions from this:
1. Direction makes the difference.
2. True believers move toward heaven.
Although we may fall into grievous sin, thats not where we belong, and we will not stay there forever. If you are a Christian, you wont be comfortable living in sin. The direction of your life will be away from sin and toward Jesus Christ. It has been said that, “I would rather be one foot away from hell heading toward heaven than one foot away from heaven heading toward hell.” Direction makes the difference.
Some people are saved one foot from hell. God turns them around at the very brink of the pit. When they are saved, they still have the smell of brimstone on their clothing. Thats why new Christians sometimes look and act pretty rough. Theyve been snatched from the flames. Some of those same people will still look rough after five or ten years. Thats okay because they started so low. You dont judge people by where they are now, but where theyve come from yesterday. The only thing that matters is to keep moving in the right direction.
The direction of the true believer is always ultimately toward heaven. Sometimes we fly like the eagle. Sometimes we run with stallions. Sometimes we walk in victory. And sometimes were just stumbling upward. I love that phrasestumbling upward. Thats the testimony of nearly all Gods saintswere stumbling upward toward heaven.