I became a Christian when I was eight years of age. I surrendered my heart and life to Christ during Vacation Bible School. I knew that God was living in me. As I grew into my teen years, I taught myself to play guitar. Along with guitar, I was given the opportunity to take piano lessons. I never really appreciated the piano lessons until later in life. The guitar was the "instrument of choice" for me. I would spend many late nights figuring out lead runs as I listened to that "devilish rock n' roll!" Eventually, my newly acquired skills led me to become lead guitarist in every rock n' roll band that I joined.
I taught a Sunday School class with teenage boys when I was in my late teens. I'll never forget one of my young boys telling me that he enjoyed hearing me play lead guitar at the dance last Saturday night. It truly did something to me. I didn't drink alcohol at the dances. Therefore, I would justify playing in the band in those places as "O.K." because all I was doing was playing guitar. By not drinking alcohol, I couldn't be hurting anyone. Wasn't my justification for my unwillingness to follow Jesus great? I guess you can justify anything, even jumping off of a cliff!
Actually, I had become a stumbling block to young people! They could have cared less about the lesson on Sunday morning during Sunday School. They were more interested in the latest "hot guitar lick" that I was playing. I became so convicted over the fact that I was carrying Christ into those places, not as a witness to others, but as a participant, that I quit the band! I remember one band member taunting me and saying, "You'll be back! You can't do without the music and opportunity to play lead guitar!" It reminds you of how the devil will tempt you, doesn't it?
I knew that God had a plan for the talents that He had given to me. I only needed to focus on His Calling. As I focused, He began inspiring me to write gospel songs. I was eighteen years of age when I wrote my first gospel song. Later on, I had the opportunity to organize what became the largest Christian band in our area. The name of the ministry was "Share." We worked together for over twenty-two years. God used this ministry to reach many people for His Kingdom.
I retired this ministry and continued to write gospel songs. I can't tell you how many gospel songs I have written, but I can tell you that God is using me to reach others for Christ! When I committed myself to His Calling, my desire to play rock n' roll music vanished! My talents were being used to please and serve God.
After graduating from college, I began teaching school. I worked in the local county school system for thirty years. I retired as an administrator in a local high school. My desire to write gospel music continued to follow me and I wrote as time permitted. Have you ever been inspired to write a gospel song at 3:00 a.m. in the morning? The inspirations still come at the most unusual times! I must stop and realize that God's Timetable is not mine. I must be obedient to His Calling.
Then, something happened on Sunday, November 7th, 2004, at 12:15 p.m. that changed my spiritual life completely! As I was finishing my career as an administrator in high school, I felt Jesus calling me to make a deeper commitment to follow Him. I had let "things" throughout my life pull my spiritual life down. It was actually like a war! Satan was doing his part by telling me that I wasn't actually saved when I was eight years old. The "things" that he threw up to me every day were my sins and spiritual shortcomings that all Christians face. If I had concentrated on reading the Bible more and "thinking" less, I would have realized that this is the case. I was so wrapped up in "feeling unworthy" that I was missing the blessings of my own salvation! I should have been reading Romans 3:23 in my Bible. All have sinned and fallen short of God's Glory. I truly felt that I had committed unforgiveable sins as a Christian and that I did not deserve forgiveness.
Then it happened! What I'm about to tell you still blows my mind! We had a visiting evangelist for our Sunday morning worship service at our church. The first words from his mouth were in the form of a question. He asked, "How many people in the church this morning have let "things" in their past pull their spiritual life down?" I felt like someone had hit me with a hammer! From that point, throughout the rest of the evangelist's message, I knew that God wanted me to recommit my entire life to Him. In fact, I can't even tell you what the evangelist said during his entire message after his first question! God had spoken directly to me!
At 12:15 p.m. on that Sunday morning, I walked the aisle and made a total commitment to Christ. I let the "things" in my past, all the sin and spiritual shortcomings, fall from me to the pits of hell. They didn't matter anymore! If fact, God inspired me to write a song entitled, "Things In My Past" about this life changing experience. You can listen to the song on my song clips page.
After November 7th, 2004, God began calling me into another ministry. It would be totally different from the original twenty-two member band of "Share." It would be a solo ministry. God had given me the name of the ministry thirty years ago. It is called "JC & Company." Wow, it's amazing how God works! I never knew why that name, "JC & Company," stuck in my head until now! I am willing to travel anywhere at no cost to others to spread the message of Jesus Christ through song and testimony. I have been blessed as I watch people walk the aisles for Jesus! It's wonderful to be in God's Will! Thank God I didn't let "things" continue to deprive me of the blessings that God has in store for me!
Have things in your life pulled you down? If you are certain that you are a Christian, does satan still try to convince you that you're "no good?" Does satan tell you that, because of your sin, you can't be one of God's Children? Well, I've got news for you! God loved you enough to send His Son, Jesus Christ, into this world to deliver you from your burden of sin! Let this moment be your moment to remember. Let those "things" in your past be your past and enjoy the blessings that God has in store for you each day! Then, go out and live it! Be a reflection of God's Love to others!
If you haven't accepted Jesus into your heart, you can do it right now. Simply invite Him into your heart believing that He died for your sins and believing that those sins are covered by His Blood. Know that He loves you. Tell Jesus that you are surrendering your entire life to serve Him. Then, as a Christian, you can let the Love Of Jesus reflect from you to others.
As you've almost completed reading this article, my prayer is that this moment has been your moment of spiritual freedom! If that is the case, share this moment with your family, your friends, and your church! If you don't have a church, find one! You can't grow spiritually without being fed. Find a church where God's Word is proclaimed and His Love is evident. May God richly bless you as you walk with Him!
CONTENT COPYRIGHT © 2017. CRAIG WILLIAM LEDFORD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.