Like some of us, Johnny was a natural backslider who kept God’s number on speed-dial for emergencies but otherwise sought direction and fulfillment through earthly channels.
The most miserable place for a person to live is in a compromised life. Johnny had been in that ditch far too long.
There comes a moment when you must surrender yourself to the Lord and confess Him as Master of your life. That moment had come for Johnny.
One Sunday at church, an altar call was given, inviting people to repent of their sins and turn to Jesus. As others got up and moved down to the altar, Cash recalled the time he made his first altar call at the Baptist church in Dyess when he was 12 years old. He’d spent so many of the 27 years since then in the wilderness. It was time for his wandering to end. Cash got to his feet, drew himself up to his full height, and proclaimed loudly to everyone in the congregation:
“I’m reaffirming my faith. I’ll make the stand, and in case I’ve had any reservations up to now, I pledge that I’m going to try harder to live my life as God wants, and I’d like to ask your prayers and the prayers of these people.”
Then the Man in Black led his family to the altar, and they sank to their knees and recited the “Sinner’s Prayer”—something like this:
God, I know that I am a sinner. I believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins, and I turn from them now. Come into my life and be my Savior and Lord. I choose to follow You from this day forward. Thank You for hearing this prayer. In Jesus’s name I pray. Amen.
Johnny Cash not only said those words, but he lived by them for the rest of his years. He stumbled many times along the way, but he always maintained the course.
1. Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10:13)
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household. (Acts 16:31)
If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)
Have you believed in the Lord Jesus and confessed Him as your Lord and Savior?
2. The king went up to the house of the Lord with all the men of Judah, and with him all the inhabitants of Jerusalem—the priests and the prophets and all the people, both small and great. And he read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant which had been found in the house of the Lord.
Then the king stood by a pillar and made a covenant before the Lord, to follow the Lord and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes, with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people took a stand for the covenant. (2 Kings 23:2–3)
Do you need to rededicate yourself to God and reaffirm your faith? Have you stumbled along the way, like Johnny Cash, and need to come back to the Lord?
3. And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, the priests of the second order, and the doorkeepers, to bring out of the temple of the Lord all the articles that were made for Baal, for Asherah, and for all the host of heaven; and he burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron, and carried their ashes to Bethel. Then he removed the idolatrous priests whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense on the high places in the cities of Judah and in the places all around Jerusalem, and those who burned incense to Baal, to the sun, to the moon, to the constellations, and to all the host of heaven.
Are there idols, influences, substances, or relationships that you need to get rid of in order to wholeheartedly follow the Lord? Does the “temple” of your life need cleansing in order to start fresh spiritually?
Did you pray with Pastor Greg?
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