My testimony is not like most others. There’s nothing in my history that is considered by the religious (or previously considered by me) to be things worthy of Jesus’ death for my sin! No sex, drugs, alcohol, sexual abuse, or any of the other things most people think of as sin. However the Word of God says:
Romans 5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Note the words UNGODLY and YET SINNERS. Those were words that I had never associated with myself, until recently!
I suppose I should mention that I don’t remember the exact time in my life when I gave my life to the Lord by praying the prayer of salvation. To the best of my knowledge I didn’t get prayed over or anything, so when people talk about that momentous occasion and the excitement and joy and enthusiasm for Christ and doing His will, I don’t recall that… I was always aware of my need for Christ in my life… more as a friend than a Lord and Savior, but I always knew I needed Him!
I was raised Anglican (aka Episcopalian) and as a teenager attended dozens of Pentecostal Churches. I believe my real salvation and deliverance came in February 2001 when I joined The Fishermen Ministry. It was the first time (to my recollection) that anyone had spoken the truth in love to me, instead of boosting my pride and self-esteem by telling me what a wonderful person I was!
That experience caused me to re-assess most everything I had ever learned and believed to be true. Not by force, I might add, but by choice. The light of scripture was revealed to me in way I’d never seen nor heard preached before and that made me question everything!! Not just questioning things I was taught, but also questioning my personal convictions and motives. It was a very difficult time for me, but I praise God for that light and I praise God that my father-in-law Richard D. Eutsler, Sr. loved me enough to shine the light into my dark heart.
In my experience, when someone does that, it will either make you run back to what you see as the comforting arms of darkness, where you feel justified and safe, or draw you towards the light because you prefer the truth and desire deliverance from those things in your life that separate you from God. I must confess that in the beginning I was not drawn to the light, but thankfully that changed over time. I cannot take credit for the change for I know it was Jesus that strengthened me and gave me the will to face the Truth, even when it was extremely painful and contrary to anything I had ever heard, learned or thought of myself.
Over time, I came to learn that the light is deliverance and freedom and hope. I now understand that it is the light that shows me that I am a sinner and in desperate need of the gift Christ gave when he died on the cross for me!! Now, on those occasions when I feel like turning to the darkness, I remember what Jesus said to His disciples when the multitudes left:
John 6:67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?
John 6:68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
That Scripture keeps me, strengthening my resolve to be here and continue to seek the Lord’s will for my life.
Another of my favorite passages is found in Romans chapters 7 and 8. In those chapters, Paul goes into some detail about how we overcome our cursed, sinful flesh to walk in the Spirit. It all comes to a head in the last verse of chapter 7 and first verse in 8 where Paul writes:
Romans 7:25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
In those two verses, Paul highlights that the choice is ours. We must choose to believe the Gospel of our salvation, namely that Christ died for sinners (of whom I am chief). In so doing, we receive the free gift of righteousness through His grace and we cross from condemnation into that new life that He has for us in His Spirit.
I am now learning that I can trust God and am coming to know His character! Christ is not like any human I’ve ever known. THANK GOD!! He truly desires the best for us and is a righteous, loving, trustworthy Father!
Without Him I am nothing! But by HIM I can do all things!! I am learning to seek His will and His timing in every situation. I am learning how the line of authority in the Kingdom works! I am learning that if I walk in the Spirit and do only those things that the Father shows me to do, then I will be walking as Christ walked which is my ultimate goal! I am still learning how to do that, but now that the Scripture tells me I must.
1 John 2:6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
I may not always like the process, but I am learning to love it.