Salvation: How Can You Know that You Know?

 

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“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

John 3:16

 

The shiny forest green leaves of a sweet-smelling Magnolia tree shift in the weight of a summer breeze. Bare feet dodge crabgrass and ant hills, sinking into a muddy Georgia river. Toes squish into cold, wet mud. And before you know it, you’re head- first-backwards in the dirtiest, holiest water you’ve ever seen in your life.

Knowing Jesus, in the south, is like knowing the hand in front of your face or your own reflection in a mirror. Around here, we grow up in little white churches where little old ladies play the organ and miss every other note, where Amazing Grace is off key, nasally and still somehow sacred.  We are raised in hard, uncomfortable wooden pews with no padding. And we are raised not to care.

 I will never forget the day I was “born again”. But it wasn’t because of the way I felt. The day I came to know Jesus, like many mountain kids, I realized I already KNEW Jesus. I was raised knowing Jesus and there was never a time that He wasn’t my best friend.

And that made for a lot of confusion.

I’d heard so many adults say they weren’t sure if they were really saved. And it made me wonder too. If I hadn’t felt like floating away or shouted glory right on the spot  . . . I wondered if the blood I was washed in maybe hadn’t “stuck.”

I think we can all relate. We all question our own salvation now and then. I think we all compare our experiences and our callings to that of others. We battle within ourselves to make something so complicated out of something so very beautifully simple.

I wonder what the first born must have felt like the day before the night fell on Passover. Mark your doors with the blood of lamb and you will be passed over. Leave no marking – lose a child. That must have been a really hard night to sleep. Imagine how often the children probably bid their fathers to go and check that the blood hadn’t washed away.

That’s the amazing thing about blood though. It’s not washable. Forensics prove that something, some remnant of blood will always show up somehow. Blood is not an easy thing to wash away. And that’s why no matter how many times the daddies went outside to check the doors – it was still there. The blood stuck.

We can make being born again so complicated and so scary. When Jesus makes it so joyful and so easy. All we need to do is believe. Jesus tells us that this is enough. The rest is just the stuff we pile on.

If you’ve asked Jesus into your heart – you’re born again. You’re His . . . it’s simple. Once you’re washed in the blood it’s there to stay. It’s stuck. It’s permanent.

When you are up late wondering just where you stand. When you can’t sleep and all you want to do is have your Father check the door. Turn out the light, close your eyes and snug up your blanket. He promised. And because He promised we believe.

The blood is still there, it didn’t come cheap, and you are still His.

It’s stuck. 

 

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12 thoughts on “Salvation: How Can You Know that You Know?

  1. I grew up loving God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit “with every fiber of my being”. I remember believing the Priest had actually spent time in God’s physical presence before the service, and that’s why his hair was white like Moses.
    I grew up chattering away to Jesus, Being Wowed by God’s creation when I looked at the stars and ants and being confident His Spirit moved inside me like days-of-old.
    I never doubted that I was His, and He was mine. And that He loved all the children of the world, red and yellow, black and white……I’d lived all over the world and had seen that truth with my own eyes. His love shining brightly.
    He’d used my hands to touch others and I never thought anything of it, as the Bible said we can do what He does, in His name….that He (not we) does it THRU us……so I believed it down to my toenails and back again, grin. And lived that truth.
    Wow, talk about living in wonder and awe and joy.
    I climbed trees just so I could be with Him all the more, since noise seemed to make it harder to hear Him and just be with Him. And I’d lay outside at night on the ground so I could see the stars and feel the earth…..and knew kids all over the globe were doing exactly the same thing. We were all invisibly connected.

    Then during one of our moves, I hooked up with a different denomination and “learned” about all those hoops folks accidentally put out there for us to all jump thru…………..and my agony and angst and wonderings began, and I felt separated from…..the more I did what I was told, the less connected I felt. The more bewildered.

    Fast forward several decades…

    Even in Seminary eons later, that connectedness I’d lived and breathed, felt lifetimes away…….except when I got down on my hands and knees and scrubbed that ancient wooden sanctuary until it gleamed….a place where 300+ street kids (with their sweaty lil bodies gummed up everything until you could scrape it off with a knife) learned all about God……and reminded me quietly of what my heart knew.
    What a day it was when they helped take the first couple of coats of grime off, and swept away thousands of grains of sand so many feet brought in daily…..
    and bore witness to how they were thunder struck (after additional unseen hours of work, sweat and singing along the way) when they entered the next day and it was all smooth as silk, shining and Holy…..They spoke in hushed voices wondering at the change……They whispered: It’s “been made like new, only better somehow”…..and them putting pieced together and asking: “Is that what He does with us?”…….and I remember whispering back: Yes…..only it’s even BETTER than this.

    …….and in those moments, I was taken back to the hour I first believed…..that time before I had words for what my heart knew………and my old quiet abiding joy, that ancient “knowing” flooded me once again.
    It wasn’t about feelings or thoughts or scriptures, it was Being in His presence, and knowing who I bowed yet danced before…..My God, My King, My Lord.

    To this day, in any darkness, I can still see that ancient sanctuary…….my hair is white now, like that Priest from long ago……and yes, I dwell in His presence and He in mine………………..and sometimes it blows me out of the water and knocks my socks off, and sometimes His light just quietly fills me in ways I could never imagine much less explain in words…….
    If it can be soooo wonder-filled now, I cannot even begin to fathom what’s next.

    Thank you for letting me share. And for offering such a place to do the sharing.

  2. I lOVE this post. You are right…so many people wonder if they are really saved. I see it every time I speak, and give an invitation to ask Jesus into your heart. I’ve begun including ‘if you just want to make absolutely sure’ into the invitation part of my message.

    • Thank you, Heartful. I am so glad that God’s grace comes so free and easy. What a cool job you have. How did you get involved with the Billy Graham ministry? It sounds very rewarding.

      • I had been praying for a ministry I could do from home, I take care of my mother. And I recieved an email from the Association about volunteers, They are always looking so if interested you would go to searchforjesus,com It has been very rewarding. I talk to people all over the world. also visit PeaceWithGod.net the wesite is a great place to referr a non-believer to learn about salvation.

      • That’s so wonderful! What a gift and blessing to be able to serve all around the world right where you are. God is amazing! I have been a writer for CBN and Zondervan for a long time — but unless I’m speaking I don’t really get the chance to do any one on one work. So I will certainly look into this. Thanks! 🙂 And love your picture by the way. You look like my kind of gal with the tea cup in front of you! 🙂

  3. That’s so wonderful! What a gift and blessing to be able to serve all around the world right where you are. God is amazing! I have been a writer for CBN and Zondervan for a long time — but unless I’m speaking I don’t really get the chance to do any one on one work. So I will certainly look into this. Thanks! 🙂 And love your picture by the way. You look like my kind of gal with the tea cup in front of you! 🙂

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