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In the beginning, Jesus comes for me

Discussion in 'Testimonial Forum' started by Frank Lee, Aug 31, 2018.

  1. Frank Lee

    Frank Lee Well-Known Member

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    Jesus comes for me

    I am born once more


    Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.
    Revelation 3:20 ESV


    It was night now and day was done. I'd sat in a tavern most of that Saturday afternoon drinking beer. I never spent much time in taverns but that day I did. It was dark when I started home and I had no idea what was happening to me during that drive. I was unfamiliar with the detailed definition of the word "conviction". Just a word used by lawyers and judges as far as I was concerned. But when it comes right down to it, God I discovered, is the master of conviction. As a matter of fact He's never tried a case and lost. Before that episode of my life was over I would have a far better understanding of that word and of many others.

    con·vic·tion
    kənˈvikSH(ə)n/Submit
    noun

    a formal declaration that someone is guilty of a criminal offense, made by the verdict of a jury or the decision of a judge in a court of law

    He began His conviction of me through a resurrected conscience that began to painfully recall every bad thing I'd ever done. I began to cry tears of remorse as I drove and the Lord caused me to feel the hurt and regret of those I'd sinned against in my thirty three years of life. I wept all of those miles home having no idea what was going on. I'd felt sorry before for my misdeeds but nothing like this. Later on I saw the pains I'd suffered from the sins of others hurt just as bad. Sin I found was like a sword with a knife blade for a handle. It wounded the one that used it as well as those being stricken. A great mystery enveloped me and I felt that everything familiar was slipping away at high speed.

    During the next days and weeks the painful recall of past sins continued. I've read of Christian conversions that amounted to shaking a preacher's hand and signing a name in the church membership ledger. The Lord had nothing quite so easy in store for me. To whom much is given much is required. I thought I was losing my sanity because all the things I'd always done I suddenly didn't want to do any more.

    During my commutes to work I'd often have to pull over and park while I wept and repented. I arrived at my place of work red eyed from crying on more than one morning. Fortunately no one asked me what was the matter because I would not have been able to explain any of what was happening. I had no clue what repenting was but I was sure doing it. Somewhere in my past I must have learned that God was the one you had to turn to.

    My mother told me that one day that when I was only ten or twelve she looked through the window and saw two men talking to me as I played in the yard. Then she saw the three of us all kneeling. These neighborhood missionarys were praying with me for my salvation. I had no memory of that experience at all, but God has never forgotten and He came to remind me of that long ago prayer when I was yet a child. I've wondered since that time who those faithful witnesses were but only Jesus knows.

    During that same strange period of time another big thing was happening. Many of the familiar things I liked to do began, no suddenly to seem peculiar and alien. Even wrong. Very strange. I no longer wanted to drink beer or watch rough and violent television programs or tell off color jokes. All those things and more were suddenly not part of my life. It was as if I'd awakened into a brand new life. As if I'd been born again. Not ever having attended church it was all foreign and I was surprised that God was interested in me. I'd never thought highly of myself and if there was a perfect God somewhere He'd think even less of me or not at all.

    I'd never had much of a sense of self worth and spent lots of time trying to prove that I was as good as everyone else. But I soon learned that He loved me so much that He'd sent His only son to rescue me from myself. The blood of Jesus Christ had covered my sins and I no longer had to be ashamed. I had indeed been born again and become a new creation in Christ. Jesus came to me just as He had promised in the 34th chapter of Ezekiel.

    I'm frequently amazed when I hear a person give the exact date when they came to be a believer in Jesus Christ. I guess it's that way for some people. For me it was an indefinite time sometime in the early fall of 1977. The extreme heaviness I carried was more than a burden. I went out to pray one night in a small greenhouse that I'd built. It was a bright moonlit night in spring. Sitting in there I poured out my complaint to the Lord. With tears I told Him how bad I felt and that I needed His help, His strength and love.

    Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah
    Psalms 62:8 ESV

    As I cried out to the living God I found that I was slowly nodding my head up and down in a yes motion. All the while I began to say over and over "you felt these same things, you felt these same things". Though I'd heard nothing somehow the spirit of God let me know that Jesus had felt exactly as I did. He'd experienced the same battles, the same heaviness, the same emotions of sadness as I. It was a wonderful thing to know that you had this in common with the savior! We see through a glass darkly but sometimes He cleans off a spot and we get a new revelation. He lets us have a look in.

    As I sat there in that moonlit greenhouse the Lord spoke a thing to me, He said "River bottom". I recoiled at the very thought. My fear of darkness wanted no part of the dark river bottom. Even so I found myself rising up and starting to walk down the Ridge to the river bottom far below our home. I felt as I walked an invisible wind like a force of fear coming at me from different directions. I knew nothing of spirits of fear but this was one in action. In the river bottom I began to rebuke it in Jesus' name and pleading the blood of Jesus to cover me. I would turn directly toward that fear and walk toward it while rebuking it in the savior's name. It would stop and I would stand still. If I felt or sensed or discerned it at all I would once more speak in jesus' name and wall toward it until it stopped.

    It finally stopped altogether and so I walked back up the dark wooded trail to a cleared place far above the river. It was such a beautiful night with a big moon. God in His kindness had chosen a full moon night to deliver me from fear of the dark. How kind and gentle the savior is! Looking out over the moonlit trees in the river bottom below me and the mountains beyond, God spoke in my spirit and said "son you have nothing to fear. This is all mine and it's all yours". Jesus had worked a real deliverance in me. I didn't have to fear the dark or the devil ever again.

    There were other areas in my life that needed fixing, things I had no idea what or how to pray about. Life does a lot of damage to earth's inhabitants. One morning before work Martha and I were watching a Christian religious program where Shirley Boone, the singer's wife, was a guest giving her testimony. She described an incident where she was in stress over her marriage and went to her room to pray. There she began to pray and sometime later glanced at the clock and realized that she had been praying in a language she didn't at all know and had been doing so for twenty minutes.

    I wondered at this and had never heard of such things. I was so ignorant of any of God's ways I considered that God did this thing for her since she was the wife of a celebrity. I didn't know that God was no respecter of persons. I came home from work early that day and was working in the loft of a room I was adding on. I went into prayers and weeping and was thinking about Shirley Boone's testimony. As I did a strong thought arose within me. "If God did that for her maybe He'd do that for you too". It was the Holy Spirit since I'd never been bold enough to think that on my own. In faith I began to make up words, babble, baby talk and speak them out. In a minute I no longer had to make up words since this new language of prayer from God's Holy Spirit was pouring from me as a stream of water. No one had yet told me that God had put a moratorium on His gifts and callings.

    John 7:38 KJVS
    He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

    Mark 16:17 KJVS
    And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

    I didn't tell martha about the experience since I had no idea what to say. But a few weeks later we began to attend the Christian Center Church that was familiar with the biblical gifts that I had experienced and there Martha too was baptized in the Holy Spirit. That experience was forty years ago and without the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives we would never have been able to have overcome all that life has brought. It is impossible to describe the benefits of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Spiritual power, wisdom, discernment and ten thousand other Godly gifts are supplied by the Spirit of God.

    All I can do is relate what God did in me. I'm a reporter... Not an explainer.

    This was how God dealt with me in the beginning. I was born again.

    Acts 4:20 KJVS
    For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.
     
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  2. amadeus

    amadeus Well-Known Member

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    Give God the glory!
     
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  3. Uisdean

    Uisdean Active Member

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    Frank, I have found your testimonies to be refreshing stories. Thank you for sharing. May I use the quote above? It's a great description of sin.

    And, you are doing as the Lord commanded, reporting your experience. There is no better apologetics than personal witness.

    Again, thanks for sharing all of your stories.

    Rejoice Always !!!
     
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