By Kenneth Morse
There’s a moment in the life of a Christian when you finally yield fully to God. This perfect surrender, this change of heart, can be wrought by divine grace without any preliminary touches. But such cases are rare. Usually, a series of events lead up to the final moment.
Light comes to the individual; and grace accompanies the light. We may yield on some point, or perform some act of obedience. One such yielding leads to another, and another. As we consider these steps in our own experience, we may think that conversion is gradual. Nevertheless, do not forget that these steps lead to a final consummation—perfect surrender. Unless we attain this consummation, the work is marred, unfinished, and worthless! Only when these steps lead us to the climax do they have value.
This climax does not bring perfection. There are many things we do not yet see. These will come in due time, if we are faithful and preserved in perfect obedience to the known will of God. Nothing short of perfect obedience will satisfy the Lord, nor dare we be satisfied with anything less. Individuals differ in their religious experience: the consummation stands out very clearly with some; others may not know the day or the hour. Nevertheless, there is surely an instant when we truly pass from death to life, from darkness to light, from that unsaved state to salvation. Sometimes this new realm is called the state of acceptance.
This is the real conversion. Do not be satisfied with anything less: “Now is the accepted time, today is the day of salvation.” We cannot come to God and make this surrender, unless the Father draws us, unless grace makes us willing to yield. But God is waiting to be gracious; we cannot accuse God of the lack. The lack is in us, if we do not find it in our hearts to yield. God is a holy God. He does not want anyone to continue in sin, to continue in disobedience for a single moment.
From the time we are converted to the time we die, a warfare marks our life. Some who seem to have made a right start fall away. But there is One, and only One, who can keep us from falling and present us faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy. He promises us a crown at the end of the race.
(Adapted from “Conversion: Is it Gradual or Instantaneous?” by Kenneth Morse, 1943. )