“I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” – Matthew 3:11
Next steps, and taking those steps in faith, are crucial to the life of a Christian. In the Bible, the next step of faith after receiving Jesus into your heart as Savior and King is typically baptism. There are arguments about how one should be baptized; however, Jesus himself was baptized through immersion. At the age of 7, I was baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in the same way.
As I think back to that day, I can remember everything, it seems, except why I did it. I knew that I believed in Jesus as my personal savior; I knew that He can accomplish anything and that I wanted to give my life to Him. But my actions as I grew older didn’t reflect that decision.
Sometimes, I wonder if I really understood at 7 years old what following Christ really meant. I wonder if I really understood what Jesus did for me in his death and resurrection. I wonder if I understood what a relationship with Christ really is and what it really meant to have Him control my life. By my actions throughout my life since that day, I would only be able to say that I half got it, But does half getting it really mean anything?
In 2011-2012, I can say there was a point where I really got it! A point where my heart was zealous for Christ and all that He was doing in my heart and soul. I got closer to Him during that period of my life than I ever had before, or since. Still, there was a leading in my heart that I didn’t follow: to be baptized… again.
I recognize that baptism is the reflection of ones heart that says they believe in Christ as their savior and that it is the open display of that faith. Baptism is the personal testimony and “inward assurance” of the death of my old self and birth of my new life in Christ. But did I understand that at 7, I am unsure.
Since 2012, I have felt the need to be baptized again, but I have told myself that I have already been baptized once and that was all I needed and I was good. I told myself that if I did get baptized once again at the age of 23, others would look at me weird and wonder if I really was a Christian before. I let my fear of what others would think, including my husband, overtake what I felt lead and called to do. Since I told myself that I didn’t really need to do anything with this leading for the past two years, I felt my desire to know him remain, but lessen over time. My excitement for sharing the gospel diminished as I felt even more unworthy and defeated by myself.
I have decided that fear of other’s opinions will not overtake me. I will follow the leading that I have experienced many times over the past two years and following the next step in faith that I have been called to, even if I have already been baptized before. I must follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and recognize the voice of God verses the voice of hostility and distraction.
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
He said therefore to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.