My Testimony in Full

Thank you Anita for your encouragement to write this down and keep it!

My Testimony

Well, I don’t know for sure how to describe what happened. Certainly, I know I cannot possibly describe it well, but I shall try.

All of my childhood, I was taught Biblical truth by my parents. I memorised scripture, was in church every time the doors were open, etc. There were times in my adulthood that I “tried” so very hard to BE a Christian. Yet, there was always something missing. I didn’t have the same sort (not the same exact) but the same sort of convictions I saw others who I felt were saved, had. I felt strongly about doctrinal truth. Yet, in retrospect, I can also see where that could have been a matter of pride, even though the Bible would forbid such and certainly the Sovereign Grace Baptist Church I was in would have taught against all manner of pride and arrogance.

Eventually, I gave up, turned my back to it for the main part, and slid as far down that downward spiral as God would let me. In 1 Chronicles there is the story of Manasseh. While I certainly was never King of anything; I am guilty of the same sorts of sins; the same sorts of sin that God judged Israel for by sending it into captivity in Babylon.

My life in the last 5 years has been very difficult. Deepest and darkest of depression was with me every waking moment. I felt that life had no meaning and I literally hated where I lived and wasn’t that keen on the people among whom I lived either.

Nothing got better either. The depression only deepened. My life was a total misery.

Two years ago, I visited XXXXXXX and was sitting under the teaching of one I call brother both in the spiritual sense as well as feeling that kinship with him in an earthly sense. If I could trace back to a time when I TRULY saw the fact that I NEEDED God, that evening in service in XXXXXXX would be the first time. From a human standpoint, this is when the Lord began to work on me. Yet, the Bible says His work is finished. He settled all of this before He laid the foundations of this world.

A few nights ago, I guess it may have been a couple of weeks ago, I was in bed, and all of a sudden, out of NOWHERE, I saw myself as a sinner; filthy, horrible, wretched, stinking.

I started praying for the first time in YEARS, to the true God. When I say I prayed for the first time in years, I mean it. It had been that long since I had actually cried out to God for anything other than my own selfish wishes, which is not prayer.

I actually had the audacity to begin to tell God that I deserved better than what I’d been given and all of a sudden, I saw that I did not. My mouth was stopped. I was stunned. And then I said, “No, Lord, I don’t.”

There was no sinner’s prayer of me accepting God, as I finally understood with my heart rather than just my head, that it was all about God accepting me and there was nothing I could do to merit salvation. What else can one say to God when seeing themselves as nothing but disgusting in His site, but “Oh God, please be merciful to me, a sinner!” I realised then, that my prayer was the result of God saving me, rather than the reason God saved me.

Since then things have been happening so quickly. All that knowledge that I had accumulated over the years has come back and to the forefront, only this time, it is precious to me. My “want to” has changed.

Certainly, I don’t believe it is my job to convert the masses. Especially as I see that truly Salvation is of the Lord. He started it before the foundations of the world were placed and He will see it through eternity. It’s not up to me to judge another person nor is it up to me to try and get them to walk an aisle and make a profession of faith, as if that does any good anyway!

My duty, ah, it’s more than that – it’s a joy… My joy is to serve the Lord, live my life as best I can, trust in Him to continue to grant me repentance unto life, and to be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks the reason for the hope that is in me.

And that's not the end. This is the beginning.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the morning devotional, Sister!

Selah! Think about it!
by Eld.T.Matthew Stepp
2 Chronicles 33:10- “And the LORD spake to Manasseh, and to his people: but they would not hearken.”

I wonder how the LORD spoke to this wicked king of old? The son of Hezekiah, one of the truly great and godly kings of Judah, Manasseh surely knew with his head knowledge what was right and what was wrong. Yet as we read the first ten verses of this chapter we see a young man almost feverishly seeking to upturn everything his father took years to stamp out- everything from rebuilding the X-mas grove trees, to erecting idols on every street corner, even to revert to the heathen practice of child sacrifice!

Then amongst all this ‘new’ (yet not new) idolatry, we have our text verse. Surely this was an unsaved man! How did God propose to speak to him? He wasn’t reading the Word of God to have some passage spiritually highlighted… He wasn’t listening to any Men of God preaching to have some remark or scripture burned into his consciousness… Just how does God speak to fallen man?

If you’re waiting with bated breath for Bro.Stepp to tell you the answer, join the crowd. Because it’s different every time.
God can speak through your seared conscience- you KNOW you’re doing wrong; you’re just doing a better job each day of squelching those uncomfortable voices in your mind/heart.
God can speak through his elect remnant- He always has them, you know. They’re the people that won’t join your parties, only smile sadly at your ornery jokes and move on –letting you know with their eyes that they’re praying for you – doesn’t that make you madder, though?
God can speak through science, nature, and history, as well. Just when you think you’ve gotten everything all logically figured out, He’ll shatter it with His own Marvelous Logic that can’t be crossed.

I can’t tell if the seers mentioned in verse eighteen spoke to him during this height of wickedness or later, at any rate, “the LORD spake to Manasseh, and to his people: but they would not hearken.” So what does God do to this elect child of His Own? He chastised him with Affliction! Dropped him off the edge of the world from being a powerful king to being a chained prisoner of Babylon. God doesn’t do this wonderful act for just anyone, you know! Mostly just for HIS people!

And there in the pits of sorrow, confined and forced by the ALMIGHTY Holy Ghost to look inwardly for the first time in his life, he saw a vile, wretched sinner wallowing in the vomit of the flesh. The scripture simply states, “And when he was in affliction, he besought the LORD his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, And prayed unto him:” -2 Chronicles 33:12-13a.

And that’s how it happens. Every time! The only road to Salvation, the only Hope of mankind, is that God will deign to come to us! Prick our heart with a knowledge of the Truth- we are wretched indeed! All of our works and previous knowledge are useless. We can’t stand on our own. We must know as Manasseh finally found out- you can’t eradicate God’s presence, you can’t block out those hateful commandments that indict our dark passions and lustful appetites. “Then Manasseh knew that the LORD he was God.”

But you see, when the Holy Spirit corners us and we finally see ourselves as we are- wretched, vile, filthy, hopeless… Then, we need a God! The beautiful shining vision of Christ will be our rescue! His Words will be our hope and comfort- “Come!” And every weary, heavy-laden soul will come to Him! Matthew 11:27-30- “…neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

By Grace Alone said...

“Then Manasseh knew that the LORD he was God.”

When I first read that passage, I had to smile.

God put him in a spot and made it oh so clear just WHO was God. No doubts whatsoever.

So we can also see a picture here of fallen man. In chains, in bondage, and the only way out is if God sets him free.

Thank you for that Brother Matthew! =)