My Testimony — Part 3 The End
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. — 2 Timothy 1:7 —
I went to bed that night and for the first time, I was able to sleep without the lights being on all over my apartment.
I woke up the next morning humming Amazing Grace. Amazing Grace, a song Judy Collins sung that we hippies would sing together. Never understood what I was singing about until that morning. “Once I was blind, but now I see.” “saved a wretch like me.” “lost but found.” These words had meaning now.
I went to wash my face and was shocked at the woman who was looking back at me in the mirror. She was not the same woman from the night before. That woman was gone. A new one was in her place. All things had become new!
Even my little dog, Sancho was not afraid of me! I had a tenderness for him whereas once I did not.
I decided I would call Audrey and tell her what had happened. Thinking to myself, “I hope she will still want to be my friend. Cause something tells me I’m gonna be one big Jesus Freak. I can’t but help tell this to everybody!”
I call her and said, “Guess what?”
“I got born-again last night. I took Jesus as my Savior.”
She practically screamed into the phone. “Me too! I accepted Jesus two weeks ago and I have been praying for you!”
To think she had gotten born – again and I had not known it and God answerd her prayer for me, blew me away. It still does. The friend who prays you into the Kingdom of Light is forever. If you are reading this Audrey, thank you so much for being faithful to the things of God.
About two weeks later, my friend Ruby who I had practiced witchcraft with, came to the Lord.
I put Sanchos’ leash on him to take him for a walk. All of nature looked different — new — to me. Things were not flat anymore, but had a dimensional look to it now. It seemed as if I was noticing every tree, every leaf, every blade of grass, everthing for the first time. As we were walking down this litle path, I glanced down on the ground and right off to the left of me was what looked like a little doll head. A little bigger than a plumb. It had horns and a devilish grin. I had never seen anything like it. I bent down to pick it up thinking along the lines, oh, this is something I can use for a testimony one day. The same voice I heard the night before that told me I was about to find the truth, I heard again. It said, “No, do not pick it up. Continue your walk.” I did not pick it up.
I found out the people who led me to the truth, were a cult.
My new friends did come over and take all the occult supplies I had collected over the years. They told me they were going to take them and burn them, which was fine with me. No manipulation on their part. I wanted to get rid of the stuff.
They then asked me to come to their church. I did. Church being a new thing to me — had not gone but a couple times since I was a very small child — made me uncomfortable. I still found I had this great need to belong. And somehow I still did not feel I fit in. My new friends were talking about giving everything up in order to follow the Lord. One guy said “God told me to give up my guitar and I gave it away.” I remember thinking, “I hope God does not ask that of me, cause I don’t think I could do it.”
The night before Church, I was asked to spend the night with the sisters. A little apartment where a few of them lived. I went and we had what I was told fellowship. There was much talk of the things of God. Testimonies, singing, sharing of the Word, little silly child-like games. One of the girls forgot their toothbrush and another girl let her use hers. Okie dokie, fine. But I know for certain I could have never loaned my toothbrush to anyone, so I didn’t feel as holy as the other sisters. I always wanted to live in a commune setting, but this was a little too much for me.
They began to speak of Shepherds in the church. Men who God would put over you to lead and guide you. Uh, wasn’t quite sure how I felt about that. Especially if they were going to tell me I had to give up my guitar. It wasn’t that I wanted to be rebellious or disobediant, it is just that I wondered, why couldn’t Jesus Himself tell me?
I was also told that God needed me. Really? Somehow that did not set right with me. Not only did it appeal to any pride, it was I who needed Him. If God actually needed me, then He was weak in my eyes and I did not want to follow a weak dependent god. I wanted something greater than myself for I knew if He was going to be depending on me for anything, I would just manage to screw things up along this new path. So, I did not listen to their words.
Went to church the next day and I remember nothing about it other than meeting who was to be my Shepherd. It would be Jeff, the man who led me to the Lord. He and a few others gathered around me asking me what did I love more than anything else in the world, that I would have to give it up. I did not like where this was going and I was not about to hand over my guitar to them, so I told them, Randy, my boyfriend. HAHA! I figured I could get him back a lot easier than I could my guitar!
Sure enough, they tell me I have to give up not only Randy, but all my friends and family in order to prove to God I wanted to follow him. And I would have to quit my job, live with the sisters, and the brothers would tell me where I could work.
Oh, the confusion this brought to me! When I even hinted I was confused they told me, “Satan brings confusion.” Therefore, it must be Satan bringing me these doubts instead of good old common sense that Jesus NEVER tells us to give over to anyone. So if anyone ever makes you feel/think you are never to use the brain God gave you, they are lying to you. True, God is Spirit and the things of the Spirit must be discerned by His Spirit, but it never means we give over our thought process over to another human being. Never. That is idolatry.
I went back and told Randy I had to give him up. The look on his face was heart breaking. I told my friends Mike and Mary who had been so good to me the same thing. I wanted to follow God I said. They told me they understood but did not know how throwing your friends away could be a good example of what following Jesus was all about. Unknown to anyone, was the familiar shutting down that began to take place in me. I tried reading my Bible, staying away from all I was told was ungodly. That would be anyone from my past. But the numbing was coming back.
One night, Mike came over my apartment. He told me Mary was at home crying her heart out. I told him I was sorry but I had to follow Jesus. I had once again become stone.
“Just let me take you home with us for a night or two. Come and stay with us. We can talk. Don’t you think we have a better chance of finding this Jesus if you stay in our life?”
“I guess so.” I numbly went back to their home. Mary met me tenderly at the door. She had made me a place to sleep on the couch. I took out my Bible as if to fight off any evil from being in their presence. But they were not evil. They had been my friends. The friends, along with Audrey, who would come and get me at all hours of the night when the devils were tormenting me. How could I abandon them?
At some point, don’t remember how or when, but during that stay, my eyes were opened again. I was not to throw away everything to prove anything to God. This was a case of man wanting me to prove to man. But IF God wanted me to do something, I trusted just as I was able to hear demon voices, surely I could learn to hear His voice. After all, He had already shown me He was much greater than those things.
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friend.”
I left the friends who led me to the Lord and kept the ones who had been faithful to me in the past.
I thought of how Mike and Mary had in some ways, laid their lives down for me. It is no small matter to be woken up at two or three in the morning by a demon possessed person who is freaking out hearing voices, and then go pick them up and bring them back in your home under your love and care. They had done that for me many times.
I thought of the night I was over Mike and Marys’ with Randy and how I over dosed on drugs. I had tried to hide the fact that I had over dosed. They did not know anything about it until it was too late. I ran down the street, but Randy tackled me, got me to his car and got me to the hospital in time. I knew I was dying in that car. I vaquely remember him smacking me gently telling me “Wake up,wake up, don’t go to sleep.” God used him to save my life that night.
I thought of Audrey how when neither of us knew the Lord and when I could do nothing but sit in a semi – catonic state, possessed and tormented by demons, she had no words to say. Instead she just put her arm around my shoulder and wept for me. She could have given up at on me any time. But she did not.
I wish I could tell you everything has been hunkey dorey ever since. That there’s been nothing but rainbows and fuzzy bunnies. But that would be a lie. For you see, the Christian walk is NOT about never having problems or issues. Contrary to popular teaching it is NOT about following Him to get goodies in this lifetime. Contrary to popular teaching, Jesus did not die and rise from the grave because golly gee, we are just so worthy of His love. We are not. If we were worthy, there would be no need of a perfect holy sacrifice. It is about following Him for one reason and one reason alone: He is worthy. It is because He is worthy I follow Him. It is because He is worthy I love Him.
Friend, God is angry with sinners. I can not and will not water that down for you. It is the truth. His wrath will come against those who deny His Son His reward of that which He died and rose for — the souls of mankind.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me — John 14:6 —
There is only one way to God. Jesus said it right there: No one comes to the Father except through Me
Now Jesus either was a liar or He spoke the truth. If your only knowledge of Jesus is He was a good man, then does a good man lie? Think about it.
Now, if you are still with me, it may be out of some curiosity or you wouldn’t have gotten this far. I would do you and my Lord a great injustice now, if I did not try to tell you, that you too need a Savior. You can choose to leave right now. Really it is your choice. My aim is not to manipulate you through feelings or emotions. If I did that, then feelings and emotions can just as easy take you in another direction. No, I simply speak of the things of God. The desire of Jesus is for all mankind to enter eternity with Him. God made hell for the demons. He does not desire one human soul should go there. If so, He would not have sent His Son to be the perfect Redeemer, the only One who can buy back our souls from corruption and sin. No one else can do it.
I will not tell you to ask Jesus in your heart. Frankly, I find it silly and nowhere in the Word of God is it suggested we do that. Instead, count the cost. Know that you may be mocked — but so was Jesus. You may be hated — so was Jesus. But He has overcome the world. He has promised to never leave us nor forsake us.
Repent? Yes. What does it mean? It means to turn from all that which corrupts — sin. Be willing to die to it all by picking up your cross so that He who is greater than he (Satan) who is in the world, can live in you. It is Jesus who gives power to walk in truth. It is Jesus who overcomes through us. Not of our selves, not of our flesh, but Jesus.
Man esteems that which appears worthy. But who does God call for?
For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”– 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 —
Can you count yourself among the foolish things, the weak, the base and the despised things? I can.