I can still remember my Sunday school teachers telling me, “When the Lord is calling you to be saved, you need to take care of it right away. Don’t put Him off or wait some other day, because ‘some other day’ may never come.” I can even remember thinking as a child, “Why would someone reject God’s gift of salvation? If the Lord is calling you, just obey.” It sounded simple enough, but the older I got, I came to understand why someone would put off salvation.
The more I listened to messages on salvation, the more I understood what it meant, and how to be saved. However, I still did not fully comprehend that I needed to believe and trust that the Lord would save me. Even though the thought of going to hell frightened me, and my sinful condition made me miserable, still I put the Lord off. I was around ten years old when I first professed salvation. For over a year, I thought I was saved. However, as I listened to my pastor preach on salvation, I soon realized that I was still lost in my sins. I made another profession, but because I still did not fully trust and believe that God would save me, this, too, was in vain, and I remained in my lost condition.
At age twelve, I was still unsaved. At this point in my life, I knew all I needed to know about salvation. Now came the question, “What am I going to do with that knowledge?” As a teenager, I started to become aware of what others would think of me. I let pride creep into my life. Pride was the main hurdle that I struggled with, when it came to salvation. Because of pride, I rejected the Holy Spirit’s conviction, and put the Lord off, “promising” that I would take care of it “some other day.” (Proverbs 27:1) I even remember trying to bargain with God. I told Him that I would talk with someone, if they approached me during an “invitation/altar call.” All I would have to do is raise my hand. Guess what? The Lord answered it. I couldn’t believe that God would do that for ME! Now, when I look back, I realize it was the goodness of God and His love leading me to repentance (Romans 2:4). Foolishly, I rejected the Lord once more.
I was now thirteen, anticipating a fun time at our church’s teen camp. I knew the Lord would speak to me about my salvation, which made me ask myself, “How long are you going to reject the Lord? You can’t keep putting Him off forever.” The second night of preaching at camp, I was under so much conviction. I knew I needed to be saved, but was unwilling to humble myself. I thought, “the Lord humbled Himself to die on the cross for me, yet am I unwilling to humble myself and receive his free gift?” (Philippians 2:8; James 4:6) The very next evening, the speaker spoke on, “When the Lord Says Something, He Means it.” I was faced with making the most important decision of my life. Was I going to continue on in my life of pride (After all, I was a “good girl!”), or humble myself and settle this once and for all? I was sick and tired of holding out on God and letting pride get in the way. I went forward during the invitation and spoke to my pastor’s wife. She showed me some key verses in the Bible, such as John 3:16 and Romans 3:23. I knew what I needed to do. I told the Lord I was sorry, and asked for His forgiveness of my sin, including pride, and all of the other sins of which I knew I was guilty.. I thanked Him for sending His Son to die on the cross for my sins and for paying my sin penalty, so I would not have to. This time, I believed that the Lord would save me because He said He would in His Word, the Bible. (1John 1:9; John 1:12) I placed my complete faith and trust in Him, repenting of my sin, and yielding my life to Christ. When I had finished praying, I felt like a weight- a heavy burden- had been lifted off my back, accompanied by an overwhelming sense of joy. I knew that the Lord had forgiven ME, a filthy sinner! Now, I knew that I was on my way to heaven! I knew that I was a child of God! I now have the “…peace of God, which passeth all understanding…” (Philippians 4:7).
Ever since that day, August 21, 2013, I have a genuine desire to serve the Lord with my life. It is the least I can do, after all He has done for me! To God be the Glory! (2 Corinthians 5:17)