On Becoming A Follower Of Jesus
Looking back, I had struggled for about three years with two questions. One, what is Christianity? And two, what is it to be a Christian? I had substituted Bible study and took on church activities rather than have a relationship with Jesus Christ.
During this time, I was reading Charles Sheldon’s In His Steps. I went to bed at the point in my reading where the Bishop came to town to see for himself what was going on. Some members of a church were pursuing the concept of not doing anything without first asking, “What Would Jesus Do?” The Bishop was standing at the window of his hotel overlooking the rectangle and heard a night watchman making his rounds and singing, “Must Jesus Bear the Cross Alone and All the World go free?”
I went to bed at this point. It was 2 a.m.
The following morning, a Sunday, I got up and went to church. Pastor George Dodson was preaching on Paul’s thorn in the flesh. The sermon seemed aimed at my very soul. We stood up to sing the closing, invitational hymn. I did not hear or read it announced. With white knuckles, I was holding the pew in front of me. The song started, “Must Jesus Bear the Cross Alone….”
I heard in my deepest Spirit, “Paul, yield now, or I will forever leave you alone.”
I could have said, “Lord, I did all these things in your name.” He would have said, “Depart from Me, I never knew you.” I knew about Him. I had not yielded my life to Him.
That day I yielded. It was with tears and great emotion.
I was 36.
God had invaded my life. This was my spiritual birthday. I yielded to Jesus. I was born again.
Galatians 2:20 became very real to me.
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live,
but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the
the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and
gave Himself for me.
I had been dating Tanya for over a year. I believed God was telling me it was to be just Him and me. I was to leave everything else behind. I broke up with Tanya that afternoon.
Two months later, on a Saturday afternoon, I clearly heard the Lord, “Now, my gift to you is Tanya.” I asked Tanya to marry me. She said yes, and on December 21, we were married.I now had an actual testimony. My life was changed forever. And amazingly, I now had a partner to share this new life in Christ.