I recently baptized a young Air Force pilot. His wife gave her life to Christ many years ago. But he felt that he was self-sufficient. He didn’t need God. If others did, that was fine. He didn’t need anything else. He was smart, successful and talented. He would be just fine without giving control of his life over to God.
His wife prayed for him often. She even persuaded him to join her in worship on occasion. Their son attended our Christian school and he trusted Christ as his savior. He was baptized in our church. But dad, well, he just didn’t need God in his life.
And then, one Sunday, God just broke through the stubbornness. God showed him
that men are powerless to save themselves. Only by trusting in Jesus’ death and resurrection can we have hope of forgiveness, eternal life in heaven and abundant life on earth.
I asked anyone in the congregation that morning who wanted to give their lives to Christ to join me in a “sinner’s prayer”. I led them in a simple prayer asking Christ to forgive them of their sins as they repented of them and giving control of their lives to the Lord. The wife told me she was praying for her husband as he sat beside her that morning- hoping he would turn his life to Christ. Her hopes, however, had been dashed many times before.
That afternoon, this Air Force officer told his wife about the amazing thing that had happened to him. He told her that during the service he prayed and asked Christ to come into his life. Everything on the inside, he said, had changed. He knew he was a new person- reborn spiritually. And he was as excited as he could be!
He told his friends and family about his new life in Christ. On that next Wednesday night he told me of his conversion and asked to be baptized. Soon thereafter I had the privilege of joining him in publicly professing his faith in Jesus Christ through believer’s baptism. It was a moment I will never forget.
Moments like that serve to deepen my appreciation of God’s grace. Watching a life changed by God’s transforming power helps me appreciate the Lord’s greatness and his goodness.
I know there is much for me to learn in the difficult times. Perseverance and patience are often learned most fully when victory is more distant. But I am so grateful for the spiritual insights which come during those wonderful, heady times of God-given success.
– From “Warriors in Hiding: The Surprising People God Chooses and Uses” by Doug Munton, p. 88-89.