"Have you ever been saved," a wide-eyed young fellow questioned me with a question as we walked toward the bus. He handed me a booklet with the picture of hell on the front.
"Sure," I responded. "Once when I was 9, I was swimming at Jones' beach on Long Island, and a strong undertow began to drag me out to sea. My uncle heard my call and... ?" "No, no, no," he interrupted. "I mean redeemed. Have you ever been redeemed? You know, reborn? Washed in the blood?"
"What," I inquired, "in the world are you talking about?" "Convicted," I mean. "Have you ever felt convicted?" "Well, of course not. I've never been in trouble with the law." He looked at me square in the eye and said, "I think you need to be delivered."
"Delivered? I was just waiting for the bus home. I think I'll stick to that, but thank you very much." He looked at me as though I were speaking another language. "Can we have lunch together sometime?" he asked. "I work just down the street."
"Sure, that'd be fine." He looked like a harmless fellow to me, but I must admit, he was unusual and quite difficult to understand. That Wednesday, I had lunch with Ed. He was a little late, but he explained he was having a quiet time. I said,
"Quiet time? What does that mean?"
"Well, each day before lunch, I get in my prayer closet." I was puzzled. "You pray in a closet? At work?" "Oh, no, it's my car."
"You have a closet in your car?"
He changed the subject like the first day I met him. Again he left me confused. This Ed is quite a unique fellow I thought. As we parted that day, Ed gave me a little book that explained how someone could come into relationship with God through Jesus Christ. I read it and understood enough, and knew that was exactly what I needed. And so that night I submitted my life to Jesus, was born again as it stated in the booklet. Two days later, I told Ed. He was overjoyed.
The following week we got together again and he strongly urged me to find a good body. Now I was surprised at this suggestion, but it sounded good to me. So I took his advice and began to comb the local health clubs for an attractive body. When I met Denice, I knew she was just the one. We began to date and soon, she became a believer too. Ed rejoiced and told us it was crucial that we get planted so that we could grow together. I said to Denice, "Sometimes this guy's hard to understand." I told Ed I wasn't quite sure what he meant by planted.
He responded, "Committed. You know, both of you need to be committed."
"Now wait a minute," I protested, "just because I don't understand what planted means doesn't mean I'm nuts. Anyway, I think to trust in Jesus is probably the most sane thing I've ever done." Well, it was obvious that Ed's patience was growing thin, and he explained, "Bob and Denice, you've got to get plugged in. Don't you understand?"
Well, no, we didn't. I did wonder if getting plugged in had any Connection with going out under the power. Something that I'd heard Ed mention and hoped it would never happen to me. Regretfully, I had to miss worship the next Sunday out of town. But Ed and I had breakfast together later, and he filled me in on what had happened. He said, "Boy, God moved!" He said, "God really moved yesterday."
"Where did He go, Ed? I was just getting to know Him and now He's gone?" "No, no, Bob, God hasn't gone anywhere." I was relieved. "It's just that so many people were stepping out and moving in the gifts." "You mean people were leaving the meeting? And what's this about presents?" "No, no. It's the gifts. The gifts were really flowing," he said. Changing the subject, he said, "Hey, Denice was there, and boy, was she on fire!" "Fire? Denice got burned? What happened? Is she OK?"
"No, Bob, you don't understand."
"And boy, that's an understatement," I thought. He said, "Denice is just fine. It's just that I believe she's really called, and God really wants to use her." Things were not getting any clearer. "Did Denice mention she was getting too many phone calls or something? And what's this about God wanting to take advantage of her?"
Ed sighed, "Can I walk in the light with you, Bob?"
I said, "Well, yeah, where do you want to go. We can walk in the light. It's daytime, Ed." He just shook his head. I don't know what it is. Sometimes it seems Like Ed and I have a hard time communicating.
Now it's been 2 years since I was saved and delivered, plugged in, planted, committed to a good body. God has been moving, and I've been stepping out in the gifts. I can hardly believe how God's been using me. I do have one new problem, however. It seems that all my friends can't understand me any more.When I share about my redemption, I've been washed in the blood as white as snow, that I desire to follow the Lamb, they just tune me right out. I guess they're just convicted when they see me on fire.
Courtesy of Jack Taylor