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Called to be a soldier of Jesus Christ

December 2017 | by John Mainwaring

As a boy growing up in Gorslas, many of the people in the area had been changed by God during the 1904 Revival.

They were different to the ordinary religious man; their faith and witness was vibrant and they had such zeal for God.

All they would talk about was the Lord. This had a profound and, at times, a fearful effect on me. In my late teens I experienced a strong conviction of sin, so I cried to God for salvation and I believed that Jesus Christ had died for my sins.

However, I wasn’t wholly committed to Christ. I only gave part of my heart and I kept part for myself. Then, after my college days, I clearly remember while praying one night being suddenly overwhelmed by the presence of God.

It was a very powerful, humbling, joyous and transforming experience. It turned me fully to Jesus and I was just so thankful to God for his patience with me, as he had kept me believing all those years, even though I was only living partly for him.

Changed attitudes

Everything had now changed for me. I no longer wanted to live a self-serving life, but a God-serving life. I just wanted to live for God.

My attitude to other people changed. I just wanted to testify to God’s goodness. The way I used my money, time and talents all changed. It affected our family life; it affects all aspects of living.

Not that this is easy, as I am a soldier in a battle — battling with my old sinful ways, with the world and with the devil. But we have a wonderful Saviour, who is our refuge and peace. He meets our every need and guides our ways. He gives us contentment in him, so we are satisfied with whatever he has given us.

After several years, I became uneasy in my work, even though I enjoyed teaching tremendously. I wondered if it was because I’d been in one school for too long, so I applied for a new job, but even then this uneasiness stayed with me.

I started to realise God was giving me a new desire. I felt a compulsion to minister God’s Word. But it was a feeling that sometimes waned. I was concerned about this, so I spoke to a discerning Christian friend and he suggested that the two of us meet together to pray to God about this matter.

We met every Monday for two years and prayed until I was certain that being a minister was really what God wanted me to be. I was called to be the minister of Bethel Evangelical Church, Clydach, in 1980, and served there until I retired in 2000.

But there is no retirement! I can’t give up preaching. I have an urgency to preach Christ and him crucified, and I will continue to do so as long as God gives me health and strength.

John Mainwaring