Greetings in Jesus precious name. As a deeply troubled atheist the last place I expected to find help was in the gospel, what I knew of Christianity convinced me that it was a foolish fairy tale but 36 years ago the Lord dramatically saved me Proving his foolishness to be wiser than men and his love to be strongest power on earth.Since that day I have only had one object, that is to glorify, serve and love Jesus with my whole heart.I wish I could say my life has reflected this aspiration but it has more closely resembled Isa. 30 and the wretched man that I am section of Romans 7.I became involved with a cultish charismatic house church that seemed have more zeal than the 'shallow; world loving conventional churches. In reality was narcissism and arrogance masquerading as love and zeal rather than the true spirit of God. I stayed with that fellowship too long and inflicted that same spirit on my wife and children who to this day are alienated from the Lord.(I do not blame that group, my own sin alone was to blame)In the end I became totally discouraged despairing and backslidden. In spite of still yearning to serve the LordI lived in fear that having turned from him Hebrews 6v6 applied to me.A Few years ago the Lord started to work again in me and draw me back to himself. I found that when I forgot all my failure and the religious mess that I saw in "The Church" and simply opened my bible the Spirit seemed to burn the words into my heart. In addition to this I began to come across true servants of Jesus on the internet, David Wilkerson, Paris Riedhead, and many others, I cannot say what a blessing this site has been to me in this process, additionally the writings Charles Spurgeon, George Muller, C. H. Mackintosh, Duncan Cambell, Andrew Murray, Corrie Ten Boom, Francis Havergal etc. encouraged me to see again the absolute victory that God won on the cross. These Brothers and sisters have one thing in common, genuine Holy Ghost empowered surrender to the Lord. they had walked straight through the pitfalls and snares that bring so many of us down and proved Christ. If they could, surely I could too as God is no respecter of persons and his strength is made perfect in weakness. Through each of them the Lord has done astonishing things blessing the true church and raising it out of its religious grave clothes. Jesus words "greater works than these shall you do because I go to my Father", are true of these saints. I see this same authentic anointing is manifested across a wide range of different theological traditions showing no respect for the divisions that men divide religion into. Is Christ divided? are we not carnal and speak as men when we do this however sincerely. God will build His church on the rock and Hell can do nothing about it. His Spirit witnesses to His truth.I long to be like these brethren which I think is scriptural as Paul encouraged people to imitate his faith. In addition to this the Lord has filled my heart with unspeakable joy and a deep yearning to be entirely and exclusively His. I would though appreciate your prayers for my family, my failures led them where they are but I pray Christ in me will restore them to himself.May the lord richly bless you and thank you so much for the wonderful encouraging content of this site.Ian
Brother Ian, You wrote; “ Since that day I have only had one object, that is to glorify, serve and love Jesus with my whole heart”Amen! I believe that is the testimony of most if not all who find this little corner of the internet that the Lord has preserved for His children here on SI and like you this place has been somewhat like an oasis in a desert of worldliness. While each of our testimonies reflect our own unique experience of the Lords grace at work in our lives they all bear the mark of His spirit and it is in the spirit that we have fellowship 🙏🏻 Over the years people have come and gone with some only passing thru briefly while others pitch their tent near the stream finding a family as it were in the community of believers. After reading thru your words a few times it’s clear that in spite of the struggles there remains a desire, given of God, to magnify Christ and I believe that is itself sufficient to motivate a person to preserve and pursue righteousness that comes by faith and my prayer is that in these dark days that many will be led here and find nourishment in the repository that Greg has spent his life amassing and preserving 🙏🏻 Has there been a particular sermon the Lord has used in a special way in your life ?
Thanks for your Reply Fletcher and AmenMany Sermons brother, 'A call to anguish' by D.W. 'Ten shekels and a shirt' by P.R. and 'But God' by M.L.J. all really grab my heart and I am convicted and encouraged deeply by them. I think the one that really notivates me the most over all is another David Wilkerson one called the cost of a fresh anointing, If you havn't heard It is basically Davids testimony about moving from being a stale but truly saved Pastor to being really used of God, firstly among the Gangs of New York and then in Teen Challenge and Times Square Church. The simplicicty of the steps that changed him absolutely spur my heart daily. In His heart he was sick of the lack of life in his own church and said "If this is Pentecost I don't want it" so he gave himself to prayer he got on his knees and sought God until he found him, no profound theology just the simplicity of getting hold of the promise of Jeremiah 29v13 and Mathew 7v8 and not rising from his knees until he got what he was asking for, the authentic empowering anointing of God. The more I look the more this theme seems common to those who are truly profitable to the lord, Duncan Cambell's testimony of turning back to the Lord, the Church in Bravas before the Hebridean revival and so many other instances it is very central to the object of SI. I just thought I can do that, though the turning from and abandoning of so much that I held to be good runs far deeper than I had initially imagined. One thing I keep close to me is a 'Universally effective prayer' that Andrew Murray commends in the notes at the end of his book on Humility. "Father, Of your own great goodness, would you make known to me and take from my heart every kind and form and degree of pride, whether from evil spirits or from my own corrupt nature and would you awaken in me in the deepest depth the truth of that humility which alone can make me capeable of your light and Holy Spirit. Bless you Brother
IanB,Your original post was moving. Thank you for sharing and I will definitely pray for you and your family.Blessings good bro.
Thank you so much DavidThis really is a blessing, looking at the predominantly meek and passionate way things are discussed here it is clear that many are aware that when we think we know something we know nothing yet as we ought to know it.I was really encouraged by Michael Durhams featured sermon. In spite of the religious mess that seeks to obliterate Christ's testimony we really are surrounded by and in among a great cloud of witnesses.Lets lovingly exhort one another more and more as we see the day approaching.
I hear you. And I'll try and work a bit more on the meekness part.You are right in the palm of God's hand. I see no issues between you and Him. You are right with him and accepted in the beloved.Thank you.
Your posts Iv'e read so far have been humble and considerate.I thank God for Jesus promise in Mathew 11 that meekness is taught co yoked to Him, walking as he directs and with him taking the burden of strain as we choose to make the step of obedience. Did you come across Corrie Ten booms testimony of her encounter with one of her concentration camp guards who had been saved? That sister is such a blessing.
Dear brother Ian,If I would state my testimony here, I could copy and paste big chunks of yours! Dramatically saved 35 years, filled with the Spirit and on fire for Jesus and then I backslid succumbing to hyper-charismatic, prosperity, Kingdom-dominion, inner-healing...you name it. None else do blame then myself, because it is the flesh that yields to false teaching. I came to myself when I, like the prodigal son desired to feed on with swines husks.I litterally ran out of meetings when false fire fell, back when I still lived in the UK.It was the same preachers that helped me out of my mess, and by the grace of God I met some in person. Strange things is, when you try to tell your former Christian friends, they think you have become legalistic - and to a degree it was true, because I over-compensated the hyper-grace I was taught. Anyway, welcome you brother, maybe you would like to check out B.H.Clendennen, Keith Daniel, Zac Poonen, Paul Washer, Leonard Ravenhill, G.W.North, Derek Prince and last not least David Pawson to name some of my favorites. And yes, check Gbile Akanni on YouTube.
Praise God Bro and thank you for the welcome.Yes Yes Yes to nearly all those people though don't know much of David Pawson and will check out Gbile Akanni.Mr north was involved with my friends fellowship in Reading who you and his friend Norman Meeten still has something to do with the oversight there though he lives in Manchester. Have you heard of Tom Hamlin? he is also with them.After becoming aware that I had not actually drawn back to perdition as the accuser was telling me I set about trying to find a living Church in response to the admonition not to forsake assembling together. I went to many different groups like Noah's dove trying to find a home but found no rest. Nothing compared to the wonderful humble love filled presence of Christ apparent in the people who seem to have helped us both so much.What an unspeakable privilege that out of all the people on earth we should be able to hear his voice, that his unction should steer us out of so much vile error and restore us to himself. I can't take it in that he's mindful of me but he is, we must heed his voice. So many comments after wonderful sermons are along the lines of " We need more pastors like this". No we need to do the things we've heard, we have the same Holy Ghost the same grace the same strength made perfect through weakness and the same capacity to wait on the lord till we really know him.How is your Church and family situation now?Bless you brother
Dear Brother,I reckon David Pawson as some of the greatest Bible teachers alive. He just passed 90! He had taught through the entire bible and wrote many books touching important issues of the church today. You can check his teachings on davidpawson.org. I just finished his talk on Romans, he breaks it down in such a way that even a child can understand it.I always intended but never made it to Earley, but I know some folks who were envolved with them. I like you picture of the dove trying to find a landing place. We were in and out of churches for years for the same reasons as you, I guess. We moved out of the UK and back to Germany. I started a fellowship there and in the end some rose against me and took over. Looking back, I am greatful that I could learn a lot through this. Now I am preaching in a small fellowship. My material is on YouTube, but it is all in German, though.