Tonight I sit next to The Mister and we watch one of the most sacred of all ordinances of the church, baptism. Two young girls, just now at the beginning of their journey in Christ, testify by the water that they are indeed Christ followers. A young man follows that testifies here in the spring time of his life to follow Christ. I whisper prayers of empowerment over them as they rise out of the waters. It a beautiful thing to see.
And then I see her from the side of the pool. Her cotton white hair attests to the fact that she is not as young as her sisters in Christ. She steps into the pool gingerly but without hesitation. Just this morning she had walked forward and announced without a hint of fear that while she has been a child of God for many years, she had never been baptized since that decision. Tonight she nails a stake in the ground at this crossroads…. albeit with shaky hands that are covered sun spots and ropy veins. As the Preacher-Man asks her if she has accepted Christ her voice is clear and no hint of tremor, ” I have”.
Collectively those of us in the audience draw in a breath as he lowers into the pool and as she rises out to his words ” Raised to walk in newness of life”, we explode in clapping and amens. After her, there are other saints who follow. Saints who now are approaching the wintertime of their life but refuse to allow Satan to sidetrack them with his whispers of deception. And I sit next to The Mister and let the tears course down my cheeks as he pats my hand. I let myself breathe in the beauty of sheer obedience.
In moments like these we learn to be that God is very present and He speaks. I watch these saints in their sixties, seventies and beyond. I listen for His voice and indeed He does speak into my spirit.
“Obedience is the path to power and blessing”, not a new thing, in fact, something I heard just this morning in Sunday School. Obedience is everything. And these saints now open up the floodgates in their latter years to allow the flood of these baptismal waters usher in power into their lives. No one would have been any the wiser that they had never followed Christ into the waters after their salvation, but they knew and they obeyed.
And now I whisper a prayer of empowerment over these that I hold in high esteem.”Oh Jesus, unleash a power of your Spirit and allow them to see in these last days the power of Your Spirit”.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.