If ever there was a time that the Holy Spirit may have been moving me towards baptism, it was about three years later…(click to read part 1
…Chris and I were newly married. After we had gotten engaged, I moved my membership to an Evangelical Free church that Chris had been attending for a few years. Since the time I had first moved to Jacksonville my doctrine had changed, and my desire for deeper preaching had emerged. I was ready and excited for the move to this great Bible-teaching church. We attended this church for about three years.
They had regular baptism services, and every once in a while I thought, I wonder if I should do that some day? There was a class we took at the church, on the essential doctrines of Christianity; baptism was something we looked at. I do think that during that lecture the Lord was prompting me to be baptized. But, I was too prideful (and too busy). I worried what others would think about me being baptized. I had been a Christian for quite a while, and was in full-time ministry. Why would *I* need to be baptized?
A few years later, at our next stop on the Orr Family Tour of Churches (we’ve moved around alot!) We attended a non-denominational, mega-church, which we loved. My absolute favorite thing they did was their baptism services. They did them fairly often, at least quarterly. It took up the whole Sunday morning service. Each person being baptized went through a baptism class, where they were taught about the doctrine of believer’s baptism, and were given a chance to do an interview. This interview was videotaped and presented at the baptism service.
It was such an amazing, God-glorifying way to do baptism. Video, after video; story after story; telling of what God had done in each soul’s life, and each grace-received soul telling us why they want to be baptized: because they want everyone to know that they love Jesus! I would have loved to have been baptized then, and was completely willing to. I considered it a bunch of times. But, the dates just never seemed to line up right. We were only there for about two years; of which we spent a summer in China, then Colorado the next summer, had our second baby, attended about a dozen conferences. If there was a time that we had ever felt settled, we then were called to move again.
Fast forward through the next two years. A career change for my hubbie, another move (in with the in-laws), a part-time interim job, an across town move (to our own itty-bitty apartment!) Provision of a full-time job, which led to another move. Three months later baby #3. Excuses not to be baptized? Maybe. But, in my heart, I don’t feel like it was. I never felt like I needed to push the issue, and force it to happen, during those difficult years.
So here I am. The Lord has been clear with me for a few months now, that it is time. Chris and I believe 100% in believer’s baptism
. That is, it is an act of obedience to be baptized, as a believer in Christ
. While I am thankful for the heritage and dedication that my parents gave me, their decision to baptize me thirty-two years ago cannot be how *I* give my complete obedience to Christ. Baptism is an observance that every believer in Christ should follow in, out of obedience and overflow of their walk with Christ.
This feels right now. I want to do this. I am not doing this because I think that God is looking down at me, wondering, “Why won’t you just be obedient? Can’t you at least do this one thing for me?” When He looks at me, He sees Christ’s perfect obedience. If something were to happen to me tomorrow, and I never get a chance to be baptized before I see my King, I am still accepted into His Kingdom. I am completely acceptable to God through Christ; a Baptist pastor’s wife who has not been baptized by immersion.Yet, I want to take seriously His Word, to work out my own salvation with fear and trembling. He has told me to do it, and I will do it.
One of the coolest things: my husband will get to be the one who baptizes me! And, who knows? Maybe the Lord has had me to wait this long so that some of you may be spurred on to do the same?