Has there ever been a “defining moment” in your faith walk? A time when you could look back with clarity and say, “this is what God did for me”?
I experienced this as a 17-year-old. I had completed a college application to attend Liberty University. My best friend was going to Liberty, and as I didn’t have any personal ambition in any particular direction at that time, I figured it was as good as any place. I’ve never been the brave soul who forges her own path. I’m quite content to leave that to the more courageous.
Having grown up in church, I was certain my application would be accepted without question. After all, I was a good girl. I had responded to God’s gentle tug on my heart as a 7-year-old, and while I had my share of poor decisions and regrets, I felt I was a great candidate for Liberty, and they would be happy to welcome me as a freshman. So, I was very surprised when I received a call from an admissions counselor a few weeks after sending in the required paperwork.
His first remark was that he had some questions about my application. This immediately made me nervous, as I liked talking with strangers even less at that age than I do now! 😊 I only remember the main point of the conversation. As part of the application, you had to write down your personal salvation testimony, and apparently, mine wasn’t clear enough. He wanted me to tell him personally why I knew I was a Christian.
Most of you would have simply told him your testimony without a second thought, but at that moment, all my insecurities came to the surface, and I was sure that he thought I wasn’t a Christian. And if he didn’t believe I was, how was I supposed to convince him? I don’t remember all I said, but finally, he asked me directly, and pointedly: “How do you know you’re saved?”
At that moment my frustration in communicating overcame my shyness and insecurity and I emphatically declared, “Because I confessed my sin and asked Him to save me, and that’s what the Bible says to do!” The admissions counselor gently responded, “That’s all I wanted to hear, Sheila!”
In that instant, while verbalizing my own testimony of salvation to a perfect stranger, my faith suddenly became my own, instead of something I had “naturally inherited” from growing up in church. It was a moment of clarity when God confirmed in my soul that I truly belonged to Him (and had belonged to Him since I was seven). That moment gave me a security in my Christian faith that I have never forgotten. It was as clear as if He had spoken aloud to me, assuring me, “You are My child.”
I think that’s why God encourages us to share our testimonies and tell others that we belong to Him. In verbalizing it, it becomes clearer to us. It assures us that what we believe is true and as we articulate what happens in our heart, between us and God, it confirms the work He is doing in our life. The spiritual life is revealed.
I’m so thankful that the admissions counselor pressed me to verbalize my faith, and even though I’m probably never going to be excited about speaking in public or striking up conversations with strangers, I see those moments as opportunities for God to grow me spiritually, and for Him to get the glory.
How about you? Have you ever had a “moment of clarity” in your faith walk? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.
Psalm 66:16 – Come and hear, all who fear God, and I will tell of what He has done for my soul.