For The Girl Who Loves God, But Has Not Been Baptized
A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of witnessing the baptism of one of my best friends. Nothing but joy flooded the congregation as we saw her make the public declaration of her inward spiritual transformation. However, afterwards, I began to question why I have not been baptized myself.
”And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.” Acts 22:16 NIV
You read that right. I, a Delight Blog Contributor, have never been baptized.
I cannot recall the time that I was saved. Jesus has always been in my heart and I’ve always felt called to relentlessly pursue Him. Consequently, baptism never seemed like something I felt led to do. I didn’t grow up in the church, so that outward expression seemed foreign to me. And when I finally found a church to call home, the congregation was filled with older people who had already responded to God’s commandment, so I never got to witness anyone close to me take that leap of faith.
Taking this all into consideration, I sometimes still feel as though I’m a phony or less of a Christian than all of my brothers and sisters in Christ who have publicly laid their lives down for the Lord.
But that is simply not true.
God gets to decide when to intervene in your life and call you to that decision. This does not happen at the same point in everyone’s life. Some people may feel led to that decision as soon as they are saved, and some people may have trouble discerning God’s voice and do it much later.
”And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment.” Philippians 1:9-10
Discerning God’s voice will/can be tricky and may not come naturally. I personally had not felt convicted to that step yet, but then again, I may be sabotaging myself.
While I know for a fact that there is no “perfect Christ-follower”, I feel like I constantly put pressure on myself to become as close to one as possible. I feel as though I must know the Bible like the back of my hand and lead all my family and friends to Him in order to feel worthy enough to be baptized. But only Jesus can live up to that expectation. It is not a matter of being worthy or good enough, but of having the burning desire to spiritually grow.
In reality, there is no check list you have to complete before you get baptized. However, there are ways you can prepare for it:
1. Understanding and Belief
We should know who died for our sins, what defines right and wrong, that God exists, and what God’s overall plan for mankind is. These basic understandings build a strong spiritual foundation on which we can build upon by being baptized.
We must feel a strong desire in our hearts for God to work more personally within us. Our purpose for our lives must become secondary to His purpose for us. There must be a want and need for God and a willingness to listen to Him.
The future prospect of getting baptized should always be part of our prayer. Expectant and persistent prayer for guidance will allow us to discern His will.
The word “selah” is seen in Scripture a total of 74 times. Most of the time, it occurs at the end of verses in Psalms. It has been interpreted to mean an instruction for a break. However, at my CIY Move camp last summer, we used it as an acronym to prepare our hearts and minds before worship.
We can use this exercise when we try to figure out what God is calling us to do. We need to stop what we are doing. We need to breathe out and rest in Him. We need to lean in and focus on the Lord’s presence. We need to ask for guidance and wisdom about this decision that has been placed on our hearts. We need to try and hear God’s response in whatever way we can.
“Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.” Psalms 4:4 NIV
Eventually, I will get baptized. Until then, I will rest in the promises of the Lord. And I certainly know that baptism is a commandment, but if I were to make that decision without feeling ready, then my promise to Him would be no good. If I persistently seek wisdom, then I will receive God’s blessing. For God doesn’t often bless good intentions, but He always blesses wise choices. So, I will continue to make the choice of pursuing Him and trying to discern His will and I hope that you will make that choice too.
Alex // @alex_is_baker