Moving into the realm of making a choice for God, for those of you who feel covered by your family’s ties to Christianity, I would highly recommend that you read Franklin Graham’s book, Rebel with a Cause.
Even Franklin Graham had to respond to God’s call on his own. Franklin’s relationship with God didn’t appear out of nowhere, just because he was the son of renowned evangelist, Billy Graham.
In his book, Rebel With a Cause, Graham wrote:
“The words of my father a few weeks earlier haunted me: ‘Franklin, you are going to have to make a choice to accept Christ or reject Him.’ I thought back to the time I had made a decision for Christ at age eight. I’m not sure I really understood what I had done. All I knew was that Franklin Graham was a sinner who had been running from God. Suddenly, I had an overpowering conviction that I needed to get my life right with God. I read John 3 again where Jesus told Nicodemus, ‘You must be born again.’ … I read Romans 8:1 over and over, and I realized that was not ‘in’ Christ. … I put my cigarette out and got down on my knees beside my bed. I’m not sure what I prayed, but I know I poured my heart out to God and confessed my sin. I told Him I was sorry and that if He would take the pieces of my life and somehow put them back together, I was His. I wanted to live my life for Him from that day forward. I asked Him to forgive me and cleanse me, and I invited Him by faith to come into my life. That night I had finally decided I was sick and tire of being sick and tired. My years of rebellion and running had ended.”[i]
Franklin Graham’s story is not unique, except for the fact that he is Billy Graham’s son. Franklin was suffering and feeling haunted, and as he so poignantly pointed out, “… [he was also feeling] joyless, empty, lonely, and dirty.”[ii]
Exactly as we—for we all suffer from our sickness of sin.
Owning our sin brings us freedom. As God prunes us, and removes the leftover dross from us, we see ourselves differently. We learn very quickly that our “before Jesus life” isn’t so comfortable in our “after Jesus life.” We feel pain when we mess-up. Nevertheless, as noted in the previous blog, “Our soul is intact, without blemish, fully capable, and poised for action, and it is through our soul that we see God.”
[i] Franklin Graham, Rebel With a Cause: Finally comfortable being Graham, (Nashville, TN:, Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1995), 122-123.
[ii] Ibid., 120