Every Sunday my husband preaches solid Truth from God’s Word. It’s powerful, not because it’s my husband, but because he’s preaching The Word of God. During the sermon, the Lord is wanting me to hear, to be instructed, to change, to repent, and to obey. How will that be evidenced in my life? I believe that the first step is indeed a step – a step toward the altar. I go forward on many Sundays not necessarily to confess some horrific sin, but I’m driven by the desire that my heart will stay soft and not get tough and crusty. I don’t go every single Sunday, but I do go frequently. Here’s why:
- I desire to stay tender towards the Holy Spirit’s prodding in my heart.
- It’s good to just talk to God about what was just preached, and ask the Lord to search my heart.
- I confess anything He brings to my mind and then surrender to Him whatever He brings to my mind and heart.
- I desire that my going to the altar will encourage others not to be afraid to move forward as well.
- I go to pray for others I know are unsaved in our service.
- When I’m down front, I’m ready to be able to minister to other women who may have a spiritual need.
Most of the things listed above could be done right at my seat, but with all my heart I’m telling you, that I’ve watched “Old Christians” get hardened and hard hearted about invitation time. Some I’ve known for years have never walked the aisle to bow the knee in surrender or confession of a need. How can that be? I’m sure it isn’t that the Lord has not spoken to them, but I believe the longer we sit tight and talk ourselves into the, “I can make any decision right here in my seat,” we’re moving towards it being easier and easier to toughen up and resist the conviction and leading of the Holy Spirit. A person doesn’t lose their salvation, but I do believe your heart can get hard as a result.
I’m not putting myself up as a “super-Christian” because I go forward – it’s really just the opposite. I know my own heart and how it wants its own way! My method to fight against that is to pray for a tender heart and then obey when the Spirit of God prods me. I remember hearing about a man who used to cry so much in church and in any spiritual situation and he hated that, so he prayed for God to take his tears away. Then he spent the rest of his life asking God to give his tears back.
How long has it been since you’ve “done business” with the Lord at the altar of your church? If your church doesn’t give invitations any more, I’d seriously pray about finding one that did. There’s a lot to be said for having a tender heart before the Lord and having an opportunity to respond to His conviction and leading…at the altar!