My First Step of Obedience
"When he had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Matthew 3:16,17
I have shared with you my salvation experience in a previous post (refer to Couldn't Quit Smiling), but I didn't go into my baptism experience...so here it is.
It was a warm, summer Saturday afternoon. I was lounging on our living room sofa (which confuses me because we were never allowed to "lounge" in that room; it was a place to only receive guests), so I had my legs up on the back of the couch and my head hanging off the side (like normal kids lounge, right?) as I heard the phone ring in the kitchen. Mama answered and I could only hear her muffled voice for a while and soon drifted back into my thoughts of why everything looks so different when upside down...(I don't remember my exact thoughts but I am sure that's close).
As mama steps into the room I immediately sit straight up (like any well behaved child is supposed to sit) as she asked me if I was ready to be baptized. She told me that Bro. Shelley just called and asked if Sunday was good with us. I said, "Yes, please!" I went to bed with dreams of the water and Jesus and the feeling of what all this meant in my salvation experience. Like putting a period to the end of my sentence, or placing a bow on my beautifully wrapped present. I was ready...more than ready!
As I stepped down into the lukewarm water and took my pastor by the hand I waited...waited for him as he smiled down at me (as if Jesus was looking directly in my eyes) and blessed me with words so soothing to my little soul, (all I could hear was my heart beating loudly in my ears). He then covered my mouth and nose with the white handkerchief and ever so slowly pushed me back into the water.
I knew that this wasn't something I had to do to be saved, God had already done that. But I also knew I wanted to take my first step of obedience to Him and follow through with my baptism. I desired the cleansing power of what it all stood for. Being put under the water meant my old self was being cleansed of the sin Jesus had taken from me on the cross and coming up out of the water meant I was made new in Him. I wanted to show my church the decision I had made and that they could celebrate with me.
Through growing up and questioning baptism and why we do it, and always pondering why Jesus had to? Well, I learned that He didn't have to, He wanted to. He wanted to be that example to us. Just like He didn't have to suffer and die a horrific death on the cross but He did...for you and for me. He knew we couldn't pay the price for our sins; disobeying God's commandments over and over and most of all breaking God's heart. So, He made a way. He walked right down into that water of the Jordan River and took John by the hand and was plunged down for us and lifted up, confirming our assurance that He paid the price for us to live free in Him! Our baptism is saying, "Yes Lord, I agree! And thank You!" Praise God! He made a way!
I love you & He loves you more!
Lord, You are amazing! Thank You for what my baptism means to me. I thank You with my words, my life and my love to You. I pray that everyone chooses to experience the cleansing power of baptism. Thank You for making a way! Hallelujah and Amen!