|The Mercy Seat|
The 17th October has been a special day for the last 17 years. At 6.50pm on a Sunday evening in 1995 in The Salvation Army hall in Irvine, my home town, I knelt at the ‘mercy seat.’
I had been moving towards this point for around 8 or so months, having been searching seriously for God. He had placed some human saviours into my life, some of his own people, and now I had to find him for myself.
The major finished his sermon and gave the altar call. I knew it was my moment.
I knelt and Billy, the Sergeant-Major, came and spoke with me, acting as the spiritual midwife for all that was about to take place. He reminded me of God’s love for me, God’s delight that I’d come to this point. He invited me simply to make a confession of sin and a statement of trust. He didn’t say it for me, this was my dealing, my conversation.
At first I felt sorrow, a heaviness. My life had only been 15 years long thus far but there was plenty to weigh me down. I laid it all out before God and wept over it. I gave Jesus my all.
I arose from that bench with one thought on my heart: God, I need this to be real. You have to be there. That night, I went home and knew I’d have to tell my parents the next day who had actually forbidden me to go to The Army…I’d been sneaking there with stolen money. Ironic.
I lay on my bed before God. I was pleading with him, asking him if what had happened that evening had meant anything. God, if you are there, show me.
In those moments, God came in power. His presence came upon me powerfully, I could feel a warming, tingling sensation. I could hear music, music like nothing else. It lasted for some time, I couldn’t tell how long. God had heard and responded. He has been very real to me ever since.
The next morning I shared my faith trembling, but with boldness and determination. I wouldn’t be turning my back on Jesus. There was trouble at home in the months to come, but there was no turning back.
17 years on I’m daily amazed at God’s amazing faithfulness and goodness. When I think of the adventure, I’m just utterly overwhelmed. He has my whole life, my whole allegiance. We move at his command. Jesus is the Lord.
The invitation is the same to you as it was to me: follow Jesus, give your life into his hands. He will make all things new. Don’t delay, its the best thing you’ll ever do.