Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My Testimony

It may not surprise some people who read my blog to see me writing about what God has done and is doing in my life.  On the other hand, I know that there are a lot of people that might be thinking something like “What happened to her?  This is not the Melinda that I once knew!” or “Who is she to do anything good for God?  I know her past!”  The answer to those questions is actually the subject for today‘s post.

I am absolutely not the person that I once was. Without getting into the details of my past, I will just say that for many years I was living in a pit of sin.  I tried many times to get myself out of that pit.  I knew that God was calling me out of that lifestyle of sin. But I thought to myself “I will come to God when I get myself cleaned-up.”  I read a story this week in a book called “Feminine Appeal: Seven Virtues of a Godly Wife and Mother” (There is a link to this book at the bottom of the Home page of this blog under Good Reads!…FYI, it is a great book!) The story is about a father that asked his young son to lift an object that was obviously far beyond the what the boy was capable of lifting.   To paraphrase the story, after many attempts to lift the object, the son tells his father he is using all his strength but he is still not able to lift it. The father tells the son that he has not been using all his strength. "You haven’t asked me to help!”  he tells the boy. Just like this young son, I was trying with all my strength to climb out of that pit and clean myself up.  However, I couldn’t do it in my own strength.  I needed the strength of my Heavenly Father to get me out.  Once I realized this and admitted to God that I needed His help, He came to the rescue. I asked Him to forgive me and to replace my sinful desires with His righteous desires. In His wonderful grace, He has replaced those sinful desires that brought me guilt, shame and pain, with ones that bring peace, love and joy! Still to this day, God continues to show me sinful desires in my heart. When He does, He is also faithful and provides a way out so that I can stand up under it! (1 Corinthians 10:13) 

“Who is she to do anything good for God?  I know her past!”  I have listened to this lie Satan’s tells me about myself too many times! But God has shown me in His Word that the lies Satan tells me is far from the truth about who God says I am in Him.  It is true that I am no one apart from God.  I am a sinner that has been saved by grace from guilt and condemnation in this lifetime and for eternity.  When I put my trust in Jesus Christ, confessed and repented of my sins, the Word of God tells me that I was saved by God’s grace! (Ephesians 2:8)  That I am a new creation, the old has past away! (2 Corinthians 5:17) That there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus  (Romans 8:1) It also says that I will receive power in the Holy Spirit to be God's witness to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8) Out of gratitude to God for the salvation He has given me, I want to live in a way that points others to Him! (Matthew 5:16)

Praise God that “He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” (Psalm 40:2) And then, not only did He do that, but I also “know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (Romans 8:28)  He has shown me time after time, that if I allow Him to do so, He will put my painful and shameful past to good use according to His purposes!  That truth never ceases to amaze me!
If you have not placed your trust in Jesus Christ, please do so.  Confess to Him now that you are a sinner. That you need His forgiveness and strength to turn your life around and to receive the eternal life that is available to us through Jesus Christ. Please do not make the same mistake that I did and think that you can get yourself out of your pit.  It will only leave you in that pit even longer.  God, I pray that You would always, until the day that I die, reveal to me the areas in my life that do not honor You.  I pray that if someone is reading this and has not accepted Your Son Jesus Christ as their personal Savior that they would do so now.  I pray that they would find the courage to reach their hand up out of that pit and grab on to Your strong and loving hand.

I know that giving up control of our life and giving that control to God can be a scary thing. But, when we realize that God, in His sovereignty, is able to take better care of us than we are able to care for ourselves, it proves to be a very wise decision.  If you have prayed to God and accepted His Son as your Savior today, I would love to hear about it and be able to encourage you on the next steps in your walk with God.  Please either leave a comment here or feel free to email me at learningonourwayhome@yahoo.com.  To God be all the glory and praise!


Cassie Bond said...

Melinda, I think this is wonderful and I enjoy reading and learning from your posts, keep them coming God bless you for reaching out to those who have not been saved.

Melinda Rivera said...

Thank you Cassie! It is only by God's grace that I am able to do this. I know He has called me to this. It is so humbling!