The bar was noisy, and exceptionally smokey that night.
A singer stood on the narrow stage. She played a white guitar, and wore a pink lace fingerless glove on her right hand.
I was that singer.
In my youth I was a member of a band called ‘Rhythm and Blondes’. We chose this name because our bass guitar player, Laurie, was also blonde.
We played various gigs in seedy establishments, always hoping that we would be discovered, and become famous. I shudder now when I think about the ungodly lyrics of the songs we sang.
It was obviously sinful, choosing to entertain drunken customers. However, even more serious, was my sin of presumption.
I had been to Sunday School as a child, and at age fifteen I emotionally responded to an altar call at an evangelistic crusade.
Since I had ‘invited Jesus into my heart’, I felt that I was now ‘saved’, so I could now carry on in sin, and Jesus would forgive my sins because He loves me so much.
My reasoning was faulty, however. Of course Jesus forgives sinners – his sacrificial death occurred to buy our pardon, and yet God expects us to genuinely repent and to turn away from a sinful lifestyle.
When we are authentically spiritually re-born, or ‘born-again’, we will obey God’s commandments and we’ll develop a desire to grow increasingly closer to God, to serve Him, and our neighbour.
As we are guided by the Holy Spirit, our character changes, and we begin to see the world, and people, as God sees them.
I didn’t genuinely repent and undergo conversion until a few years later, after I was married. My husband and I were involved in another grave sin – the excessive pursuit of materialism. One Sunday, on one of the rare times I attended church, I listened to the testimony and conversion experience of Anne, a sincere believer whom I really admired. Anne, my neighbour, mentored me as I genuinely invited Christ to guide my life. She helped me as I took my new first steps as a Christian, and we remain close friends.
Let us continue to pray for people who don’t yet know the Lord.
I know that while I was at my most rebellious, people were praying for me.