The journey of the spiritual life can never be easy. All Christians are faced with choices. The cumulative effect of those choices determines what he or she becomes as a person and as a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. Making right choices requires personal character and a heartfelt desire and willingness to follow the path of truth and righteousness wherever it leads; whatever the cost. This is what I would define as the Christian quest.
My own Christian quest was hindered and made difficult by two primary factors: my flawed character and flawed religious mentoring. To work through and overcome these obstacles has required the painful discipline of self-discovery and the irresistible attraction of the godly life in Christ. Both of which could only have been made possible by the corrective guidance of Scripture and the transforming power of God's Holy Spirit. It has been said that the Christian faith is grace and its doctrine is gratitude. While oversimplified, it contains an essential truth.
Surrendering to God's benevolent grace is always costly. Cherished beliefs, religious loyalties, family ties, friends, social structure and the tenacious pull of self-interest tests our determination to remain on that "narrow path" of which Jesus speaks. Those who come to religious faith do so with a certain mindset that has been influenced and formed by many things: genetic makeup, family background, religious training, culture, education and their experiences. It is only when one has grown sufficiently in a spiritual way that he or she can begin to objectively reevaluate themselves and their belief system to determine if changes are needed to more fully obey the Master's commands.
On the eve of his death Jesus said: "Now this is eternal life:
that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom
you have sent." (John 17: 3) To please God we must "bend the knee"
in servitude to Jesus Christ as Lord. (Phil 2: 10,11) No human
relationship or love can be allowed to equal our devotion to him.
(Matt. 10: 37-39) To take up one's cross and follow him requires a
complete faith and confidence that he will shepherd us faithfully
through this life and prepare us for the life to come.
Hopefully, telling my story will give encouragement to others who find themselves struggling with issues of faith and facing difficult choices. It is my hope that such ones will find the moral courage to make the right choices; those that lead to a more enlightened and complete surrender to the one who gave his life for them.
—Ronald E. Frye, April 2, 2006