Childhood: Learning to Walk with the Lord

How an early relationship with the Bible matured and led to saving faith in Christ

by Troy Lacey on June 6, 2023

As a five-year-old child, I began reading the Bible. At first, I used a children’s Bible, but by the age of six I started reading the KJV. There were some words I didn’t understand of course, but my parents helped me sort those out.

I loved reading as a child (and still do today), and I not only read the Bible, but lots of other books—especially in the areas of history, archaeology, science, and nature. Even back then in the early ’70s, the books were becoming more evolutionary in content, but at that age, I glossed over the millions of years parts and never really connected them to the biblical timeline (more on that later).

As with any book, I naturally started the Bible at the beginning, so Genesis was my introduction to Scripture.

As with any book, I naturally started the Bible at the beginning, so Genesis was my introduction to Scripture. I must admit that by the time I got to Leviticus, as a six-year-old, I was struggling to understand certain things. But I plugged away and kept reading, asking for help with some concepts. But my parents had only been Christians for a short while (just over a year at that point) and were also struggling with some biblical concepts, especially in the Old Testament. Once I got to the historical books, where there was more action, giants, battles, good and bad kings, and mighty heroes, my struggles melted away again.

By the time I was eight, I had read through the Bible twice. However, I not only read to myself but also to my younger (by almost 2 1/2 years) sister. As our parents grew in their Christian walk, they also read Scripture to us or talked to us about Christian topics. And as we settled into a local church, we also got involved in Sunday school, children’s church, vacation Bible school, and youth groups.

The Disconnect

It was at the point of turning 9 or 10 that I decided to read some history books to see if I could learn more about the accounts I had read in Scripture. But except for a very few cases, most history books either completely ignored biblical accounts or treated them as legends, myths, or at best “embellished history.” I didn’t dive right into Genesis history but was seeking out confirmation of the fall of Jericho, King David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Esther, and Nehemiah.

Most history and archaeology books (written for kids) informed me that Jericho was conquered many times but that the walls never fell flat and the city wasn’t conquered by the Israelites in the 1400s BC. I also read that there was no evidence for King David (and almost none for Solomon), that Daniel couldn’t have written during the Babylonian captivity (but much later), that there was no record of a Queen Esther in Persian chronicles, that Isaiah was likely written by two or more authors, etc. Many of these books were actually written by scholars claiming to be Christian, which puzzled me even more. Why would you claim to be a Christian and deliberately try to prove the history in the Bible is inaccurate?

The critical scholars were just as doubtful of much of the New Testament’s accounts, claiming there was no evidence of a Roman census during the time of Jesus’ birth, that there was no historical record of Pontius Pilate, that much of the book of Acts could not be substantiated, and on and on it went. In my young mind, I took the claims of the Bible at face value, and I knew that these scholars were wrong. But since I also liked science, especially biology, geology, paleontology and archaeology, there was a disconnect, especially when it came to dinosaurs and fossils in general. I had read many secular books, and while I probably was too young to realize how long hundreds of millions of years actually were, I just assumed those timeframes as somehow being compatible with Scripture.

Death Hits Hard, but Christ’s Resurrection Hits Home

When I was 10, my paternal grandfather, who lived with us, died in our home. That was the first death to hit our family, and it was quite troubling to me. You might say it was an introduction to my own mortality, and this caused me to turn to Scripture even more. About a month after my grandpa died, I was reading in Isaiah 53, and the Lord impressed upon me my own sin and his remedy for that sin.

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:5–6 KJV)
The Lord used this conviction of my sin and the confirmation of his knowledge of future events to impress upon me my need for a Savior and the confidence that his Word was true.

I became instantly aware that I had been reading the Bible like it was a fun and entertaining historical novel but without knowing that it was speaking to me directly. For the first time, I realized that Jesus died because of my sins. I even noticed that Isaiah claimed the Messiah had died for his sins too. Having read the New Testament, I knew that Jesus had risen from the grave, and I wanted to see if Isaiah had known this too (through the Holy Spirit). I eagerly read the next few verses and saw that verses 10–12 indeed prophesied of Jesus’ resurrection. The Lord used this conviction of my sin and the confirmation of his knowledge of future events to impress upon me my need for a Savior and the confidence that his Word was true—all in one passage of Scripture. At the age of 10, I confessed my sins before God, and by his grace, I was ushered into God’s kingdom by Christ’s atoning work which had been prophesied by Isaiah 700 years beforehand.

Accepting God’s Revealed Timeline and Losing the Disconnect

While I became even more certain of the truth and inerrancy of God’s Word, I still needed to work out the timeline of the chronology of the Bible and compare it to the claims of billions of years of cosmic and geological evolution. Taking God’s Word at face value had already negated biological evolution in my mind. But was there a way to fit millions (and even billions) of years into the Bible? As I studied “compromise” positions, I soon learned that they were incompatible with the Bible. They either placed death before sin, rearranged the created order as plainly stated in Scripture, or inserted gaps that did nothing to harmonize the Bible and long ages. None of those positions allowed for a worldwide flood as also plainly revealed in Scripture. In other words, there was no room for compromise.

As a now 11-year-old boy, my beloved dinosaurs were no longer 65 million years old and older but were instead the same age as Adam. They were day six creations, some 6,000 years old. The trilobite fossils I had periodically collected were no longer hundreds of millions of years old but were day five creations. Whenever I went to science or natural history museums, I tuned out the long ages being promoted. As I got older, I started hearing of creation-based science resources and acquired them whenever I could beg my mom and dad to get them (or I used my own lawn-mowing money). I started reading ICR’s Acts and Facts booklets voraciously (recall that this was long before AiG started in the US in 1994) and watched VHS videos on creation science whenever I could. The Lord was honing within me a love of true science which always corroborates what the Bible says.

Parents Encourage Your Children and Bring Them Up in the Discipline and Instruction of the Lord

Perhaps my brief background story is not typical of a child learning to walk with the Lord. Since my Bible journey began immediately after my parents were saved, they were not deeply rooted in Scripture at that point. But they were diligent to take us to church, make sure we heard the gospel, and make sure we had good Christian friends and mentors.

Show them the love of Christ by your own actions and point them to the love of Christ as recorded in Scripture.

For those parents (especially fathers, per Ephesians 6:4) who have been saved long before having children, you have the responsibility and the privilege of raising your children in the Word of God. Read Scripture to them, go over what you have read. Answer their questions, bring up questions of your own for them to work their way through. Be kind (not gruff), encourage them, and be active and interested in their lives. And don’t be afraid to point out areas where the “critics” got it wrong. The Exodus did occur. Jericho was conquered by Israel, and its walls fell flat. Daniel was written by the prophet Daniel, who recorded details corresponding to facts that historians were ignorant of until the past 200 years (like that Belshazzar was the co-regent of King Nabonidus). Teach them the historicity of Scripture along with its accurate portrayal of mankind’s sin and Christ’s redemption.

Finally, show them the love of Christ by your own actions and point them to the love of Christ as recorded in Scripture.

So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:17–19)


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