Dramatic stories of how people came to faith grab our attention. It’s exciting to hear how God turned someone’s life around, gave them hope in a hopeless situation, or rescued them from danger or harm. As a storyteller, I understand the attraction to conflict and resolution that makes those testimonies so appealing, so interesting.
But surely the angels celebrate just as much over the quiet conversions–the ones that happen gradually over time, the ones that are not as noticeable because they take place in the lives of “good” people, or in the life of a child.
Recently, I thought about how that change occurred in my life. I probably had more exposure to Bible teaching and faith than the average kid. My dad was a pastor, we lived at a Bible camp and were active in our own church as well. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t believe that Jesus died for my sins, and that believing in him would bring me eternal life. But God was really just a character in a book until I was in 9th grade. I read The Cross and The Switchblade by David Wilkerson, the story of how God called a little country preacher to minister to New York’s street gangs in the 1950’s. Impressed by the miraculous changes in the lives of tough street gang members, divine appointments and the obvious workings of God, I thought, “If God could do things like that in the lives of people like that, imagine what he could do in my life!”
At that point, God became real to me. He wasn’t just some grandfatherly figure in the Bible. He was real and living and active and I knew He wanted to participate in my life on a daily basis. That’s all that happened. No bells or whistles or angel trumpets–at least none that I could hear. But that conviction has stayed with me ever since. I know that my Redeemer lives.
How about you? Was your faith experience a dramatic turnaround? Or was it the quiet kind? What made you desire to know Jesus, to put your faith in Him? What attracted you to Him? What went through your mind as you considered His offer of forgiveness and eternal life?
Over the next month or two, Mondays will be devoted to stories of how people came to faith. I hope you’ll stop by each week for an inspiring look at the work of the Holy Spirit in drawing us to Christ and the Father.