Ten years ago, I banged out the first post on my blog and uploaded it.
I still remember the moment, sitting on the couch with my laptop and pounding away. It was what I think they call a state of “flow”–where you’re really into something and it, well, flows.
It was a challenge to be a radical. A radical for Jesus. Reading back over it today, I sense how much my life has changed in those ten years.
My call was simple: obey Jesus. Don’t call it legalism. Be a person who radically obeys Jesus. Because God is going to judge you by what you do, so make sure that what you do is acceptable to Him.
Long, deep, breath.
I grieve for that 21-year-old Joel. He was busy trying to convince everyone to obey Jesus, but he was wrapped up in fear. Honestly, that first post drips with fear. It’s the sort of fear that fueled the last verse of my then-theme song:
Now you may think I’m crazy, or
That I have gone too far.
You don’t want to be different,
You like the way you are.
But when I come to Judgment Day,
I’d rather hear Him say,
“Well done, My good and faithful one”
Than to be turned away.
I am so grateful for my Heavenly Father’s mercy in setting me free from that yoke of fear and bondage. Do I still believe we need to obey Jesus? Of course! But from a heart of love, confidence, and faith, not from fearfulness about future judgment.
If God can do so much for me in ten years, what will He do in the next ten years? I look forward to finding out!