It’s been a few years since I was around a toddler, but I remember being so glad when my Boy finally started walking. He was about 11 months when he took his first steps but the months prior were spent building the framework for him to walk into. It started with sitting upright. At first we had to prop him up but soon after, my Boy was able to prop himself up from a lying position into a sitting position. Then came crawling, walking along furniture, free standing and finally his first teetering steps. It was so exciting but it didn’t stop there. My Boy became confident with walking and he started to run and climb. Even to this day, my Boy is continuing to explore new heights with his pogo stick, skateboard and BMX bike.
Every milestone is a stepping stone to the next phase and is important but by the emphasis we put on walking, one could come to the conclusion life is at the pinnacle when you start walking. But ask any mother and they record (and celebrate) all the milestones. My Boy started sitting at 5 months, crawling at 8 months and walking on furniture at 9 months. He started riding a 2-wheeled bike at 2, and got his first skateboard at 8.
Likewise, sometimes I feel Christians celebrate a new believer’s conversion as the pinnacle of their spiritual life and conclude our job is done. Jesus didn’t command us to make converts, he commanded us to make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20). Every step toward reaping the harvest (point of conversion) is important and every step should be celebrated. The miracle is not only reaping the harvest but being able to sow the seeds, too (John 4:37-38).
Two weeks ago, I was doing prophetic tent ministry at Awake Arts Festival. The organizer is a Believer and after the day, we shared some testimonies with his wife, including one new salvation story. Afterward, I received an email celebrating the conversion but he made no mention of the other stories. Yes, it’s true, even the angels celebrate when a sinner repents (Luke 15:10) but God celebrates and remembers each milestone along the way.
A young woman in her late teens came to the tent; she came in broken, confused and beat down but the Lord covered her in his presence and we physically saw a change in her countenance. It was remarkable to observe. She encountered the God of Love in a very real way, and it is a milestone for her. Another gal in her early 20s came to the tent. She was already a Believer but through our team, they created a space for Jesus to manifest himself to her and she heard and saw him (with her spiritual eyes and ears) for the first time. It was amazing and she exhibited so much joy because Jesus was more real to her after the experience than he had been before.
That’s a good testimony right there. How many know the best salesman is a satisfied customer? She’s going to share her testimony, encouraging others who are starting their path of righteousness. (Notice I said path of righteousness, not path toward righteousness because the moment we are in Christ, we are made righteous and the Father sees us as the righteousness of Christ – but that’s another message.)
What’s my point? The point is, celebrate everything God is doing in someone’s life and appreciate his grace towards us to be a witness of it.