Some years ago, during my inter-provincial travels between Montreal and Toronto, I found myself declaring that I would like to be baptized. At the time, I was already deep in regular Bible study, devotion and talking to God, so I thought that this would happen sooner rather than later, but it actually took some time for me to journey to this point.
Even though I already had a faithful practice, I didn’t feel like it was enough to be baptized but my journey to baptism taught me 2 things:
- You don’t have to be ‘ready’ to be baptized
- Start getting ‘ready’ to be baptized
Not ‘Ready’ To Be Baptized
First of all, I don’t believe you have to be ‘ready’ to be baptized. God knows, loves and accepts you as you are. In fact, He made you who you are and He knows exactly what He was getting when He made you. All that matters to Him is that you are taking an active approach on the road to His kingdom and He is willing to work with you along the way.
I put the word ‘ready’ in quotes because being ‘ready’ is different for everybody. In my case, I had to be ‘ready’ in terms of being ready to sacrifice my ways for God’s ways. Others might feel like they have to be better at prayer or better at giving back before they can be baptized. In any case, being ‘ready’ is relative and it’s important to take the time to define what that means for you and also confirm it with God before deciding you are ready. However, don’t feel like you have to do anything special to be baptized besides making the decision. Making the decision is all the preparation you need.
Get ‘Ready’ To Be Baptized
So there is a way to get ‘ready’ to be baptized. For me, it was about being mindful of the fact that I am getting ready to be cleansed. It was a challenge, because at the time I had so much going on, I didn’t really acknowledge the fact that I had committed to making a significant life change, but once I did, during the week leading up to baptism, I was thinking a lot about the changes I was going to make, over the long term and actively listening for His voice and guidance.
The key word here is ‘long term’. You almost set yourself up for failure if you believe you’re going to be a new person the moment you are baptized. You must exercise patience and realize that even though you may fail or backslide, you can always get back up. What you don’t want to do is give up on yourself and say things like: “I said a bad word today, I must not be Christian, I’m bailing out of baptism.” That is not the attitude at all. The best thing to do is acknowledge that you are an imperfect work-in-progress, ask for God’s forgiveness, know that you are forgiven, dust yourself off and keep going on your path.
If you are thinking of being baptized, it makes no sense to get all worried about where you are in life and what you are doing. The mere fact that you decided to follow Christ is enough for God to work with and then you just need to let go and let God take care of the rest.
Here’s a video of the precious day I said YES to Jesus.
Are you thinking of getting baptized? I am happy to answer any questions you may have and walk with you through the process.