Tap, tap, tap…
What? God, I’m really busy right now – got a lot on my mind.
Knock, knock, knock…
Okay, okay, Lord, what was it again that you wanted to tell me? Say what? Well, maybe I’ll do that later, but not now – too embarrassing!
Have you heard that knocking in your heart? The knocking that’s telling you God wants you to take a step forward in a certain direction, but you just don’t want to do it?
Well that happened to me not too long after we finally got settled in our new church home in Oregon (Church Shopping).
It all started years ago when we were still in Washington state. One day during a baptism service at church a sweet friend informed me that she was going to be baptized – again!
This was a gal who was on fire for the Lord – and spiritually sound. She led Bible studies, and had such a heart for helping women grow in the Lord. Why on earth did she feel like she needed to be re-baptized?
Then she told me that when she was originally baptized her heart was really not right with God.
Ew… reminded me of someone I knew very well – yes, that would be me (Why Do I Need To Be Baptized – Again???).
So here we were getting settled into our new church, and the Lord was starting to press this same issue upon my heart.
I heard about a baptism service coming up, so I decided to go in and speak to the pastor about my dilemma.
Of course the pastor didn’t tell me what to do; but instead said I needed to listen to what I believed God was telling me.
Then he started sharing his heart about some personal issues he had gone through, and how PRIDE had often stopped him from doing what he knew was right. Oh brother … that hurt.
As we spoke he started talking to me about 1 Kings 19, which talks about the great prophet Elijah. God had done many miracles through Elijah – starting with the miracle of withholding rain for 3½ years (1 Kings 17:1).
But when King Ahab’s evil wife Jezebel heard of this great prophet, she told Elijah that she was going to kill him (1 Kings 19:2).
So what did Elijah do when he heard this? He was terrified and ran for his life (1 Kings 19:3), pleading that God would just kill him (1 Kings 19:4). This was Elijah, the great prophet who didn’t hesitate to stand up to 850 false prophets on Mount Carmel (I Kings 18:18-40)!
But God, of course, knows that we weak humans are subject to moments of frailty, and He loves us anyway. He was with Elijah even when he was running away, and He patiently provided for his needs during his hiding, asking him “why” he was hiding; and eventually telling Elijah he was to go back to where he came from (1 Kings 19:5-15).
As I sat listening to my new pastor read through this passage, I found myself thinking:
Ummmm … so what does that have to do with me and my question about being baptized?
Of course I didn’t say this out loud, instead pretending that it all made perfect sense to me (yep, there’s that PRIDE again).
But as I meditated on that passage after leaving the church, it all of a sudden became clear. My pride had kept me from being baptized in the first place in front of the congregation of the church in Washington where I got saved (Why Do I Need To Be Baptized – Again???), and now it was coming into play again. I was afraid of what people would think!
To make it even worse, it was then that I heard the Lord’s still, small voice: Is it too much to ask for you to humble yourself before others for Me? Does it really matter what others think? Am I really the most important Person in your life?
Unfortunately sometimes it takes a lot for the Lord to get my attention, but I heard Him loud and clear that time. And, I did re-commit myself to the Lord at the baptism service – and felt incredible!
And what was the verse that I felt the Lord giving me as my testimony before my baptism? Well Proverbs 16:18 (NLT) of course!
Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.
Sometimes it’s really hard to stay focused on keeping God first. Thankfully He’s a God full of mercy, truth and love. Don’t be pigheaded like me. If God’s asking you to do something, do it! It’ll be like a weight dropping off your shoulders.