God’s Baptism in a Time of Drought

At one point, our disciple maker, Esther, took a team of disciple makers she was training to a village during a severe drought. It had not rained there for seven months, and water was very scarce. 

Esther is so confident that she is going to lead people to Christ that she carries a collapsible pool in her backpack. The purpose of having the pool is to fill it with water and baptize people on the same day they come to Christ. 

On this day, she preached the gospel in the center of the village, and many people surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ, receiving Him as their personal Lord and Savior. So she took the collapsible pool out of her backpack and began assembling it next to the well in the village center. She told the people who had been saved to go home and change into the clothes they wanted to be baptized in. 

People told Esther, “You’re not gonna be able to fill up your pool by the well because the well is dried up.”

She said, “Just go change into your baptism clothes and come back. Don’t worry about the water.” 

Then the team she was training asked her what they were going to do. “Where are we going to get water to fill the baptism pool?”

Esther sent them throughout the village to learn how many bottles of water they could purchase. Her team only found a few bottles; not anywhere near enough to baptize people in a pool. 

Then the people started coming back who had received Christ. They were coming back in their baptism clothes, and they began to give Esther a hard time. They began to say, “You said we were going to be baptized. Where’s the water going to come from?”

Esther looked at the group of new believers, the bystanders, and the disciple makers she was training. She boldly declared, “This is God’s responsibility. If He wants you to be baptized today, then He will provide the water. If He doesn’t provide the water, then He must not want you to be baptized today.” 

And as those final words rolled off her lips, the entire village shook with the sound of a thunderclap. A rain cloud came and poured water on the entire village. Everyone was soaked. The streets turned into rivers. Esther’s pool was filled up with water that fell from a roof nearby. Every new disciple was baptized that day. Along with the rest of the village ;-). 

I love this story because to me it shows two things very clearly. Number one, it settles the issue of whether God wants women to perform baptisms. In this case, a woman was the disciple sharing the gospel and baptizing these new disciples. God is the one who provided more than enough water to perform them. So we know that God is giving approval to what Esther was doing both through preaching the gospel and baptizing everyone who received Christ.

The story also clearly shows that the Lord prefers that people get baptized on the same day they encounter Christ. Sometimes in our denominations and traditions (or just our calendars and schedules), we think we have to learn a bunch of things before we can be baptized or that we have to wait until it’s “baptism day” on the church schedule. It’s not wrong, but it’s not what we see in the New Testament. There, we see people getting baptized as soon as possible after they have surrendered their lives to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

I have a friend in Idaho who’s a missionary from Venezuela.. He led a local woman to Christ, and she wanted to be baptized right away. That’s what he sees when he reads the New Testament, so he looked at his church’s calendar and saw they didn’t have a baptism scheduled for several months. But the woman felt she should be baptized immediately. He was sharing this concern with friends and none said, “I have a hot tub in my backyard. She is more than welcome to be baptized there.” Thus, the woman and her friends and family and my missionary friend all went to that brother’s house, and they baptized her in the middle of an Idaho winter. That’s the way it should be.

May we all gain the confidence and the boldness to share the gospel, lead people to Christ, and then baptize them with the nearest water source we can find. Then, embrace the work of teaching them to obey all the commands of Jesus. Glory to God!

No Comments

Post A Comment