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Gideons
Member



Joined: 2003/9/16
Posts: 474
Virginia

 My testimony

I've been praying for an appropriate time to share some of my testimony. Here's what the Lord has laid on my heart.

I’ve been praying about when it was the right time to share my testimony and now I feel led to do that. I wanted to preface what I’m going say with all of the good things that God has done in my life have been from Him (to God be the glory) and the foolish, rebellious things can be attributed to my own sinful heart. I pray it’s not so wordy that you’ll be encouraged to read it. There’s much more I can share and if the Lord leads me to do so, I’ll be happy to share more details.

I’ve been a Christian since I was a small boy but I fail away in 1983. Once I graduated college, I felt (no, I knew) I was a hypocrite and could no longer follow Him. Although I wanted to serve Him, I just couldn’t. One of the primary roots in my heart was unbelief. The Holy Spirit has shown me some of the lies of the enemy that led me to this fall, which I’ll share and I pray that the Holy Spirit may search your heart and set you free if you’re struggling with some of these same issues. Jesus said that You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.

I returned to the Lord in November 2001. My first wife had died in May 2001 and I had begun seeking the Lord for about two years prior to that. I was the Prodigal son and wanted to come home but I was so afraid. I can remember dressing to go to church and I would go drive around a couple of churches but I couldn’t go. How could God take back such a sinner as me? Although I “came to myself” and wanted to return home, how could God take me back? Oh how, I misunderstood how much He loved me. God forgive me…

During this period of intense grief, I began crying out to God to forgive me but I couldn’t bring myself to going to church so I wept and prayed for six months and bought a new Bible and began reading it. I lived about 3 miles from the Pentagon on 9/11 and I remember waking up, calling in sick, weeping and then I went back to bed and woke up crying again. That time is still a blur.

I met a woman who was going through a difficult time and she invited me to her church. I said okay but got cold feet a couple of times and finally she told me that she wasn’t going to ask me any more if I didn’t go.

I went that Sunday, it was a small Korean church, and the church had a separate English service, which she attended with me. I felt convicted and loved during that service and I literally ran home after the service and spent most of that day crying out to God. The first week after I attended by grandmother died at the age of 99. She was my spiritual mother and she was one of the few people that I could talk about the Lord, even as a small boy. We would read the Word and pray together.

This set me back for a few weeks but later the Lord showed me that since I returned home, but grandmother could go to be with the Lord. In other words, God kept her around to pray for me. My other grandmother had died a few years ago and she told me before she died that God kept her alive so she could pray for my brother and me (we were both backslidden). When she died she was less than 60 pounds. I still weep when I think of all that she suffered because of me. I just pray that God will give me that kind of heart that I will weep between the porch and the altar in the midst of whatever difficulty I may face for others. I pray for a heart that weeps for the backslidden and those who don’t know Him. Lord give me this brokenness and this heart for others…

I’m still attending the same church and God is continuing to change me. He is still emptying me, nearly two ½ years after I returned home.

God is giving me this hunger to follow Him, to serve Him, and to love Him. I can’t explain it but He is changing me. I still have some things I’m certain He wants to change but He is going to finish that work in my heart (Philippians 1:6). When I returned “home” I didn’t know what to do. How can a sinner come back after so many empty wasted years? There’s no good blueprint that I could find, other than Psalms 51, which is such a beautiful description of repentance.

I found SermonIndex because I wanted a deeper relationship with Jesus. Other than my Korean brothers and sisters, I don’t have many people I can talk with seriously about the Christian life. That’s one of the wonderful things about this forum.

I also wanted the true gospel that would purge everything from my heart that wasn’t from Him. God is using the wonderful sermons here, the Word, and some excellent books to take away all of this stuff. I just want my life to please Him and He has done some wonderful things in my heart that I did not deserve or earn.

One of the strongholds he has broken is depression. I suffered from depression for 20 years and God set me free. What a wonderful God we serve. I believe my depression was related to this emptiness because I didn’t seek Him with all of my heart. When we don’t fully seek God, there is this hole in our heart that nothing can fill.

Here is a list of some of these lies that the enemy perpetuated in my heart that I would like to share.

1. God is just like my father. I believe that many of us have a perverted image of God because we compare Him to our earthly father. Because my father struggles with a critical spirit, I viewed God this same way. God was a “gotcha” God and he was just waiting for me to mess up. What a distorted view of my heavenly Father I had. It breaks my heart when I think the fruits of this lie. I never knew how much God loved me. When I think of this love, it’s just so amazing. What could be better than an intimate relationship with the One who made me? My friends there’s nothing better than this intimacy with God that comes through prayer and a serious study of the Word.

2. You must live a holy life in our own power. I knew in my heart that salvation is by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8,9) but I believed that I had to live the Christian life through my own power. Because of this distorted view, I tried to live without the power of the Holy Ghost and relied on the power of "Ed" and because of that I failed miserably. I knew the Holy Spirit convicted me but I thought I had to be holy on my own. Would God save me and then leave me to my own devices? A thousand times no. What a horrific lie of the enemy.

3. Repentance is something to be avoided, at all costs. Because I was so afraid of displeasing God and so focused on doing it in my own strength, I avoided repentance like the plague. I thought if he convicted me of sin then I was no longer saved. I have found that repentance is a wonderful gift from God. Once we realize that this is God’s gift, true repentance is such a freeing thing and we won’t fear anything the Holy Spirit exposes. Although it’s painful to have some of these things removed, He will remove these things so we can have a deeper relationship with Him.

My pastor asked me who Jesus is to me and I said, “He is my life.” Each day that passes, I rest in this. Glory to be God who saved a great sinner such as me. May God encourage you to follow Him with all of your heart, strength, and mind.


_________________
Ed Pugh

 2004/4/17 9:16Profile
moreofHim
Member



Joined: 2003/10/15
Posts: 1632


 Re: My testimony

Ed,

Awsome, awsome, awsome! :-)

In His love, Chanin


_________________
Chanin

 2004/4/17 9:45Profile
crsschk
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: My testimony

The Lord bless you with His peace brother.

Ed, thanks for sharing your heart with us, this is such a blessing. I know we have been talking a bit and know that you are in my prayers. I think it was John MacArthur yesterday that said that you can have friends that you have known all your life and not really know them, but when you come into contact with a believer you can forge a deeper bond in 5 minutes than a lifetime with an unbelieving friend. Stranger still, that this transfer could take place through time and space by this type of communication...The wonder of it all!

Quote:
I found SermonIndex because I wanted a deeper relationship with Jesus. Other than my Korean brothers and sisters, I don’t have many people I can talk with seriously about the Christian life. That’s one of the wonderful things about this forum.


Ed, this once again brought up before me the incredible reality that is happening here. Though we all may be seperated by distance, we are united by the Holy Spirit here. I believe the devil at times attempts to give me this thought of [i]'O, it's just a website, let's not get carried away'.[/i] But this just struck me once again that not only is he a liar, testimonies like yours prove it. This is not just casual conversation we are having around here.

Peoples lives are being affected and changed through these messages and by the openess and honest sharing of hearts...

I love this church!

One of these days we will have a gathering in some central location, Lord willing. I will be easy to spot, just look for the guy with three boxes of kleenex...

Thanks Ed, this really touched my heart.
In my prayers brother.


_________________
Mike Balog

 2004/4/17 10:37Profile
rocklife
Member



Joined: 2004/4/1
Posts: 323
usa

 Re:

Those are wonderful thoughts, crsschk, thank you all for opening your lives up to encourage and strengthen others.

I thank God for this wonderful, powerful tool of communication we have that is the internet!!! Praise God, our Lord Jesus, for uniting us brothers and sisters in a way that is accessible for those who may not have Christian friends living close by (like me). This fellowship is such a blessing. Thank you, Jesus. You give wonderful gifts I never even thought to ask for.


_________________
Jina

 2004/4/19 2:44Profile
Delboy
Member



Joined: 2004/2/8
Posts: 199
Worthing UK

 Re:

I stand amazed in the presence
Of Jesus the Nazarine,
And wonder how he could love me,
A sinner,condemned,unclean.

"How marvellous how wonderful and my song shall ever be,how marvellous how wonderful is my savior's love to me".

2, For me it was in the Garden
He prayed:Not my will,but thine;
He had no tears for his own griefs,
But sweat drops of blood for mine.

3, He took my sins and sorrows,
He made them his very own;
He bore my burden to Calvary,
And suffered and died alone.

4, When with the ransomed in Glory
His face I at last shall see,
Twill be my joy through the ages
To sing of his love for me.
Charles Hutchison Gabriel (1856-1932)


This hymn came to mind while reading your story

:-D


_________________
derek Eyre

 2004/4/19 7:09Profile
myexodus
Member



Joined: 2008/10/25
Posts: 32


 Re: My Saviour's Love

I love how our Lord puts things into our minds, a piece of a Scripture, a phrase from a song or a hymn, and draws us to go and hunt for them. There is always something He wants to remind us of, to encourage us and let us know we are His and that we are loved!

This hymn came suddenly to mind (I have not heard it sung nor thought of it for many a year!) and I ended up on here doing a search for it. Lo and behold I entered into the archives. They are always a treasure and too often we do not seem to dig in.

I read Ed's testimony again, and again was blessed by it and the comments, and Delboy putting the lyrics to this hymn here.

As I read through them I had a thought:

Would it be a possibility to create a place on SI a section perhaps, just for testimonies? A special area for us to give Him glory that could be easily found and read whenever we need those times of refreshing?

I know that many times in my walk with Him, whilst in those tunnels where there seems no end and no trace of Light to be found, He shines His Light of love and encouragement there, often with being encouraged to not give up hope through reading/hearing about someone's story. How He touched a life.

It would be wonderful if there were such an easily found place, for we all have those wilderness times, the blessing of the broken places, where He is doing a perfect surgery in our hearts, and it is such a wonderful gift to find that ray of hope in the midst of it.

Anyway, whether anything comes of this request or not, at least I brought this wonderful testimony up to the front page! :-P :-D

Grace and peace be multiplied to all, in Christ Jesus! our precious Saviour and glorious Lord!

Lois


_________________
Lois

 2009/4/27 2:06Profile





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