My Parents Choiceor When I found Him
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
I remember while I was growing up, my parents were faithful to take me to church. We went Sunday after Sunday which though they may not have known was establishing a root of desire for the Almighty in me. I knew that the LORD was capable of doing much in my nine (9) year old life, because I had heard many bible stories. It was with this knowledge that I found myself praying at altar call, which was previously a short time when the whole church would line up and go to the altar for a momentary bending of the knee.
My heart was heavy as the line moved toward the little fenced in steps to kneel and pray. As I knelt there, the entire world passed away, all of the people, all of the church as I made my petition to God for my family. In earnest I prayed for the LORD to reach down into our home and improve situations that troubled me so much. I guess even at that age I had great faith that God can do anything. When I arose, I realize that the entire line of people had long been seated, and the pastor and other ministers, as well as church musicians were in silence, all with their attention on me. The ministers were just staring, and as I turned to see the congregation, they were all, including my family just staring at me. I hurried embarrassingly to my seat with the hope in my heart that the LORD would indeed answer my prayer. My parents never asked me what took so long.
Some time later a group of people were going through the neighborhood from door to door talking to people at their doors about the Holy Ghost. As my mother closed the door stating that we were not interested, I wondered in my heart as a small child, what the Holy Ghost was. I wondered where He was. Looking up into the sky, I wondered if I could see the Holy Ghost there. I felt this drawing then to know Him, even though I did not know what that meant. I thought that I needed a nearness to the LORD so I always wanted to go to church, and even once cried because all we children were being left at home one Sunday morning.
There was a movie on television in those days, I don�t remember what the name was, but it was about the early Christians under the Roman rule. Rome was burning and a recent Christian, Barabbas was running through the city helping the effort of it burning. The Christians at that time were being persecuted, and maybe the Apostle Paul was even beheaded, as well as history has it, the Apostle Peter crucified upside down. However, Barabbas was stopped by another older Christian asking him what he was doing. Nero the ruler of Rome at that time had already blamed the Christians for the burning of the city. He explained that he was burning Rome, thinking it was God's punishment of them for persecuting and killing the Christians. He was rebuked. After this rebuke, he said in a discouraged tone; �Why does not God make himself plain?
This is a statement that went straight into my heart and continued to be an intense desire of mine to know God�s will for my life. At times I was deeply saddened because I wanted the LORD to be more plain to me. This desire continued with me until I was old enough to work and have my own place. I told a sister of mine that I wanted to be saved. Though I attended church, somehow I knew that the place that the LORD had set aside for himself in my heart was not filled. I wanted and needed him. I was every tract-passers dream, and the desire of all who witnessed about the LORD because I was an eager audience of one. If you know something about the LORD, you know that he does not do most things in haste. So I searched for years. I read the Bible from cover to cover. In the Word of God, I found that Israel fasted when they needed something important from the LORD. So, I fasted, and I cried out to the LORD, though things in my life and family seem to get worse. I bought a children's set of Bible story encyclopedias (very expensive) and read the whole thing. Somehow I seem to miss the very thing that I was looking for.
As I found myself between jobs because of racial discrimination, nurturing my wounds of bitterness, I decided to try my hand in the office field through working through an agency. It was there that a lifelong prayer began to be answered. The bible said; 1Corinthians 1:21b it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. On the first job I took I met a singing witness for Jesus Christ who invited me to her church. In the lag-time I had given up on finding the LORD, and decided to stay in the church that I was raised in, so when she invited me, I politely took her invitation and made no plans to attend.
That evening when I returned to my apartment I heard the LORD distinctly (which I had never heard before) tell me to read the book of Revelation. I was given the understanding as I leaned forward to reach toward my table decoration; The LORD let me know that the things in that book of the Bible would happen IN MY LIFE TIME. I picked up my large Bible that by that time I only used for ornamentation and did as I was directed. The Book of Revelation is a very frightening book full of symbolic literary imagery. Given some sort of understanding of the things that transpired within, I returned the next morning to ask the lady to tell me whatever it was that she had wanted to tell me.
Like many others out there, I knew that I had no salvation experience, yet I would have clung in my pride to my tradition rather than let someone tell me anything. Had it not been for how frightened I was, I would have never listened. But I did.
I learned how Jesus said except a man be born again he shall not even see the kingdom of God. He must be born of the water and of the Spirit.
John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
John 3:7 Marvel not (don't be amazed, or surprised) that I said unto thee, Ye (YOU) must be born again!
That being born of the water, was baptism and being born of the spirit was receiving the Holy Ghost that I had wondered about for so long a time in my life. I was shown that in Acts 2:1-4 that the people, one hundred and twenty of them spoke in a new language as given by God when they received the Holy Ghost, and in Acts 2:38 the Apostle Peter who had received the keys to the kingdom of heaven by Jesus Christ (Matthew 16:19), said that the Holy Ghost was for everyone.
Act 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Act 2:39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
Believe me, I was very excited to know these biblical truths, but still a little scared. You see at that time the movie "The Exorcist" was a River Oaks Theatre, and I had seen it and was unable to sleep the whole night. I was even afraid of my sister's snoring. And now, she told me I had to receive a spirit in me. I was terrified again, but I read it myself in the Bible. I asked the lady if she had received the Holy Ghost and had spoken in tongues. She said yes. I wonder if when she answered if she notice the fear and dread on my face. Never the less, I accompanied her to a Wednesday night church service. As I sat petrified, she knelt beside the pew, and to my dismay began to pray. I did hear strange words come out, but they were very articulate, not scary at all, though I clung to my fear.
Then it was my turn to go to the altar. I didn't hear a thing the minister preached. I had my mind on one thing, receiving the Holy Ghost! A few ladies gathered around me and prayed, and I felt the power of God like nothing I had ever felt before. Though I did not receive God's Spirit that night, as I persevered, I did receive it.
The scripture says; John 4:14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. As I prayed I felt power come down as from heaven into me, when it hit a certain point of, as the bible would say my bowels, it sprung up like a water spout, and I starting speaking in a language I had never heard before. I felt so much joy; joy unspeakable and full of glory. I was so happy, and I felt that all of the problems that I had were under my feet. Peace flooded my soul. There are just no words to express how it truly felt. The best thing is that I had finally found what I had been searching for. And it does not stop there; it just gets better and better as one pursues a relationship with the LORD.
I cannot express the excitement that I had and wanted to share with everyone that I knew. I am so truly thankful for this wonderful gift of Himself that the LORD has given to me. Salvation of the water and the spirit as Jesus said. Now I can see the kingdom of God. Now in thirty two (32) years, the LORD has been so faithful, kind and the truest friend. In times of despair He rubs the healing balm of Gilead over my soul. There will never be a truer, faithful friend who really will show at all times his love and care. What can I say about so wonderful a Savior . . . you need Him too. The LORD reaches out to restore the beauty of Eden, the first relationship He had with mankind as he walked with Adam in the cool of the evening. He took my sins away, that terrible load came off in the waters of baptism in the name of Jesus Christ, the one that suffered for me. I shall forever be grateful!
He has given me a life full of miracles that are constructed just as some in the Word of God. The dead raised, the blind receive their site, the sick healed and much more shall we do. He has given me hope that satan sought to take away. He has given me triumph over my enemies, and peace in the midst of the storm.
Though people today say they will not take their children to church because they want to let them decide for themselves when they are grown, I must say; how will they know to make a choice, if they never experience the existence of the choice that is there? I am thankful that my parents chose to show me all of God that they knew, in that way I could seek more. The scriptures do admonish the parents to train up their child In the way they should go, and not to hope they will find that training alone, later in life.