Originally posted on 3/18/2009
I grew up in a home where the Bible and church were integrated from the very beginning. It was much more likely that we could con a sick day for school, than church. For this foundation, I am very thankful to my parents. However, a couple of years ago I began to feel myself in a bit of a dilemma. I began to get the sinking feeling that I had never really been saved. I knew the Bible inside and out, because my parents had taught me it. I followed the morals set forth in the Bible, because I was told to.
I slowly began to realize that everything I was doing, I was doing because it was expected of me. If I got out of graces with the family, the quickest way back in was to throw myself into church and the Word. As the realization began to hit, panicking thoughts flowed through as well.
“I can’t tell anyone I’m not saved, I’m the preacher’s kid; what would they think?
I can’t admit the truth and stand in front of the church singing of God’s grace; how would they respond?
I cannot go forward and teach a Bible class; what would they say?”
Sunday after Sunday I fought that battle. Week after week, year after year I stood firmly in my pew.
As time went on, I got pretty good at ignoring that inner voice. I looked through the signs God sent me, seeing only what I wanted to. Then last week I slowly began to lose my fight. God spoke to me hard, not only as that still small voice but through the words and actions of others. I talked to Chuck, mulling over the situation; telling him that I was afraid I wasn’t saved. I was afraid that I knew the Bible in my head, but not in my heart.
During invitation, Sunday night I bowed my head and prayed to the Lord. “Dear God, I’m so confused as to what to do. Please, God, just show me what you want. Make it clear God. Let somebody say something to show me what you want.”
Slowly I lifted my head, peeking around at the pastor as if he could hear my prayer. The song slowly ended without another word from him and invitation came to an end. Part of me sighed in relief and the other in disappointment. A testimony time was called for as the pastor prepared for the baptisms that night. I waited with breath held as several people stood and thanked the Lord for the different blessings in their life. I sat on edge as I watched the four baptisms that night, envious of the obvious joy on their faces. After the conclusions I began gathering my stuff, sure now that everything had been in my head and the grief I had put myself through was all for naught. Then Jerry stood. He stood and made a comment that sent chills down my spine and caused an automatic elbowing of Chuck in the ribs. He said, “I think that there are some people who know the Bible in their head, but not in their heart.” I know there was more to his testimony than that, but that was all I heard.
Could God have made His position any more clear? He used my own words against me! I knew now what I needed to do but the old fears of my pride kept coming forth. Finally, long after the sun had set and we should have gone to bed Chuck called Jerry to ask if we could come over. That night I sat cross-legged and tear-stained on the couch in Jerry’s house and asked the Lord to come into my life. Not because it was something that someone else wanted me to do, or because I wanted someone to be proud of me; no I asked the Lord into my heart because I wanted to.
The fear still possesses me as I anticipate the responses, and shock of others. I cringe at the thought of walking forward on Sunday and announcing to the church the decision I have made. I know who gives me this fear, that stalks my every move; but still it is real. I hear whispered comments in my head, I imagine the looks and I shiver. The difference now is that fear no longer owns me. Despite the apprehension, I am filled with an everlasting joy because I serve the one who loves me most.