Thinking Out Loud

March 15, 2011

What Are Your Spiritual “Numbers?”

We don’t have a high “comments-to-readers” ratio here, and it would probably easier just to give up, but I want to take a run at this anyway, and if we only get a small handful of replies, that’s fine.

Since this is about numbers let’s number the question(s):

  1. C. S. Lewis, among others, advanced the idea of salvation more as a “process” experience more than a “crisis” experience, but for most Christians — especially Evangelicals — emphasis is placed on remembering specific cathartic moments when we “crossed the line of faith.”  So as you think to that time, what age were you when you, depending on the type of language used, “accepted” Christ or acknowledged him for the first time??
  2. Churches impose other spiritual “rites of passage.”  While we don’t have confirmation in the tradition that I grew up in, believers baptism by immersion was the norm.   What age were you when you really (a) went public with your faith, or (b) affirmed or confirmed a commitment you may have made at a younger age??
  3. Spiritual formation doesn’t always follow a straight graph line, and doesn’t always conform to the age at which we participated in certain church experiences.  Was there a later time where through circumstances or some other “ah ha!” moment things crystallized for you spiritually??  A time that Jesus went from being ‘savior’ to being ‘Lord’??
  4. It’s not about numbers.   What do you make of the numbers you responded with?? Perhaps your spiritual walk is more characterized by a “new every morning” kind of journey.  Are there things we can learn by looking back to see how far we’ve come, or by sharing our story with others??
  5. Are you moving closer to the cross??  Do you see yourself maturing spiritually, or do you long for the experiences or zeal or joy you had as you reflect on previous days?

Comment moderation Tuesday will be mostly after 6:00 PM EDT



  1. I was raised in a christian family but remember doing the prayer with my grandmother around the age of 7. I got baptized around 11 with my younger sister mostly because that is what we were supposed to do though we both did believe in god. we went to a private school so being a christian just seemed like normal. I made a real life decision when I was 17 to keep going to church when I moved away from home and had to find a church of my own where I didnt know anyone. That is that point that I truly think I knew for sure what I believed not that I believed because I was supposed to. I think 17 would be the number with the most importance and meaningful event for me. and all it was was getting in my car and driving to church alone.

    Comment by rae-anne — March 15, 2011 @ 12:26 pm

  2. 1. 8
    2. 12
    3. yup…near death experience at 28
    4. since the “jesus is lord” moment i’ve made real progress. as my understanding of grace deepens, though, i realize i am very much “in process.”
    5. keep the zeal…i want real.

    Comment by randy morgan — March 15, 2011 @ 2:16 pm

  3. #1:age 23
    #2l age 30 something and already a pastor!

    The “new every morning” makes me think of this classic video interview:

    Comment by dave wainscott — March 15, 2011 @ 4:17 pm

  4. Many slips of paper containing scriptures,pertaining to Salvation handed to me by a fellow worker in a grocery store, laid the groundwork. Three months later at the age of 19 in a church I heard the gospel clearly explained,and I believed. That was it.No putting up my hand. no “walking to the front”, no verbal expletive ie–” praise God” just inner peace and trust in the work of Jesus, there on the Cross. Pick a number from 19— to —91,–that’s how long I’ve been a victorious, contented Christian,rocky roads notwithstanding-JL

    Comment by Joe Lambert — March 15, 2011 @ 5:52 pm

  5. 1. 13
    2. 14
    3. 29
    4. For a long time, it was like I stayed near the surface, not wanting to dive deeper. I struggled with fear for a few years and kept circling around my salvation moment. Since my late 20’s and hitting a crisis moment, I realize how much deeper I have gone.
    5. I do and it excites me that, as I age, I find my passion for Him and for sharing Him has grown.

    Comment by Rick Apperson — March 15, 2011 @ 7:59 pm

  6. Paul: I’m curious to know what you thinkj of my brief rant posted tonight on Pilgrim Scribblings.

    Do you “move” in the prophetic? sic


    Comment by David Fisher — March 15, 2011 @ 10:39 pm

    • Hi David,

      I left a comment. It is truly a whole other world out there. If you’ve ever looked at the books and music for sale at The Elijah List or the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship bookstore, it’s a vastly different collection of authors, artists and subjects than what the rest of us are familiar with.

      For everyone else, click on Pilgrim Scribblings in the blogroll at right and you’ll find David’s “rant” a couple of days back.

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — March 16, 2011 @ 8:53 am

  7. 1. 7
    2. 12..I took communion for the first time and was baptized in water and spoke in tongues
    3. When my marriage ended I found Jesus was more than I ever imagined and the Word sustained me beyond my wildest dreams. I “grew up” spiritually
    4.Definitely new every morning. As each year passes I look back and wince at my oversights and glory in His guidance through it all
    5.It gets better and better! I live with an undercurrent of Christ, He is the breath in me and there is nothing I desire any more than to be in His presence

    Comment by Cynthia — March 17, 2011 @ 8:39 am

  8. 1. I was 22 yrs old. (8th June 1958) Mine was a crisis experience with a very definite change of life. I was a new creation.

    2. I was baptised a few weeks later, understanding that this was a personal identification with the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.

    3. While I don’t think “Lordship” is an immediate experience, I knew from the beginning that Jesus was LORD and Saviour. He has constantly worked IN me, drawing me closer and closer to His goal of Christlikeness [Eph 4:13] and still works in me 52 years later.

    4. A graph would show many ups and downs but thankfully, many more ups than downs and a steady upward trend. This is NOT something I have achieved, but what HE has achieved in me – and will continue to do. I am certainly not the person I used to be, but I am not yet the person He wants me to be.

    5. I am not any closer to – or further from – the cross than at conversion. I cling to the cross – or more accurately to the finished work of Christ on the cross. I am closer to Christ as He has proven to be my Everything.

    Comment by meetingintheclouds — March 17, 2011 @ 4:21 pm

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