Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Spirit Bowls A Spare.

This is an unusual title, but in the explanation you'll understand the analogy. There may be few times in a believer's life when we actually are in on how the Spirit works, were others are saved.

My dad spent time in the Indiana State Prison for robbery, back in 1947. As the Father drew him, through the Word of God, his final destination for the miracle of new birth in Christ Jesus. landed him in solitary confinement, the hole, of the Indiana State Prison. A black man in another solitary confinement cell was reading out loud from the scriptures. He read the same verses over the previous years, that my dad had heard, but discounted as pie in the sky religion. He cursed the black man and told him to be quiet. He challenged him because he was in the same cell condition and in prison. The black man was faithful to the word, and kept on reading.

Suddenly, and that's the way it seems to happen, suddenly, my dad began to count the cost of a life of sin, that landed him in the hole. He remembered the verses he had heard from time to time, as faithful believers would quote the same verse the black man was reading. He made a choice to get out of solitary confinement and go to the next chapel service available to the inmates. Folks, the change had happened. The Spirit moved in his heart and the choice to attend the next chapel, was of God. The inward change was done. The next choice would be to follow the Lord.

The inner working of the Spirit is manifested by our call upon the Lord, to save us. Dad did that, and said, "swim, sink, or die," it was all the way with you Lord. His life changed in prison. It wasn't easy. He went through the eye brow prayer syndrome, to just plain telling other convicts, he'd be back after he got out of prison. He'd tap the jailor on the shoulder, and would be let in. When he was ready to leave, he'd tap the jailor on the shoulder, and he would be let out. The other prisoners said, you are crazy Price.

Dad kept that promise and went back to the Indiana State Prison, to give his testimony many times. Years later, he went again, and took my brother Jerry with him. For those in jail and prison ministry, you know that everything is on a schedule. My dad had finished his testimony, time was short, so the invitation was short. Another ministry was to take over. He was getting ready to step down from the four foot high stage, when an officer yelled for his attention.

The guard had four black men who wanted to come forward to see my dad personally about getting saved. They came down to the stage area. A six foot man would have been standing there with the stage floor up by the chest. The scene is set for the Spirit to bowl a spare. The guard stood on one end of the row. My brother Jerry stood next to the guard. The four black men stood next to my brother. The four were not ashamed to shed tears of redemption. They were sobbing. My dad needed to move quickly. He told them to say this prayer. "God be merciful to me a sinner" and he'd get back with them at a later date. While they said this out loud, suddenly, and like I said, new birth happens suddenly, my brother Jerry heard the guard say with the convicts, "God be merciful to me a sinner." The spare man was the guard, and the Holy Spirit gave him new life in Christ Jesus, along with the four inmates.

"The word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Hebrews 4:12 Imagine standing there and hearing the guard in tears say, God be merciful to me a sinner. Salvation is a miracle from above. New life in Christ comes from above. God is no respector of person. Imagine the scene has shifted to heaven. Assuming these men are all now with the Lord, guess who are shaking hands with my dad? Yes, thankful to the Lord for saving them, but using the testimony of my dad to win them to Christ.,

1 comment:

Jerry Price said...

Excellent Terry, the way you've told the story. Still, makes me want to cry tears of Joy as the Holy Spirit did His office work. What a thrill to have been there.