Thursday, September 6, 2012

Breanna's Testimony

I have always been what most would consider a really "good" kid. As a young child, I was always pretty outwardly submissive to my parents, outwardly obedient. But inside was a whole different story. But I saw myself as being a pretty good kid.  The Lord used a sin in my life to show me who I really was without Him, which I so praise Him for; otherwise, I may never have truly seen my need for a Savior.  This particular sin started when I was, well, as young as I can remember and kept on until I was about 12-13. It is almost difficult to fully describe to you how much in chains I really was, but I was a total slave and captive to this sin that, try what I may, I could not be free of. I tried so many times to put off this sin, but really, I liked it and didn't really want to stop and put off my sin. I saw God as being very angry with me and I thought that He was going to kill me at times. I had a lot of fear of demons and Satan and had a lot of dreams of demons trying to get me. We even had demons in our house at one point and I actually saw one. It was a terrible thing! I think Satan really was after my soul. 

So, it was when I was about 12 or 13 God brought me to the point where, I so remember, I think I was on my knees crying out to God again, after SO MANY previous times of seeking Him, and I truly felt empty. I felt so absolutely empty and hopeless, but God brought me to that point to show me that I COULDN’T SAVE MYSELF!  I NEEDED Him to saved me!  He was the ONLY One who could save me! I could  and did try to clean up my act, quit doing the sins that held me captive.  But I couldn’t do it!  And praise God that He finally brought me to the point where I knew I could not deliver myself.  So, it was then that God showed me Himself being my Deliverer and only hope.  It was a time of throwing myself upon Christ, so to speak, because apart from Him, I was lost and without hope of ever being saved. 

I didn't realize at that point that God just saved me, but it was later that the Spirit revealed that work at that point. And He did deliver me!  He freed me of the sins that I was a slave too and my life is a continued process of sanctification.  Lots of struggles and so much more to learn!  But by His grace, He has brought me thus far and I trust in His promise that He will bring to completion that work which He has started in me. 

I actually didn't come to a fuller understanding of the gospel until about maybe five years or so ago when we went to a conference and heard Paul Washer preach the gospel for the first time! I was shocked and stunned! But so thankful to have a better understanding!  It really shook me up!  I had never, or at least from what I recall, heard someone share the gospel like that and talk about the wrath of God especially.  I had always seen it as “Jesus died on the cross to save me from my sins so that I can go to heaven instead of hell”.  Wow!  I had no idea what all the gospel REALLY meant and that salvation was more than just being saved from hell, but being saved from God’s wrath, the punishment that I deserved that Christ bore in my stead.  The works of God truly are marvelous!!!!  His grace is mind boggling, but I am so thankful for it!  After that, I struggled with, am I really saved, or did I think I was just saved?  Mr. Washer challenged people to evaluate themselves in light of 1 John to see if they are really saved.  So that is what I did.  One Sunday, I spent quite a bit of time all by myself in the book of 1 John, examining myself in light of Scriptures before God to see if I was truly saved.  The Lord graciously revealed to me from His Word that, yes, I am saved and He gave me a peace in that.  It was one of those things that, I HAD to know!  I couldn’t continue living my life without being certain!  This is heaven and hell, life or death, with Christ or without Christ, for God or against God, the wrath of God being on me or His grace being upon me, life in Him or slavery to self without Christ!  I praise God for His great grace that He bestowed upon a wretch like me!  I so desire that my life would be lived totally and wholly for Him!  May the Lamb receive the full reward for His suffering!

What about you????   The Bible says the Lord's arm isn't shortened that it cannot save, and He is willing to save! If we come to Him, He will never cast us out!  The moment we stop holding onto ourselves, our righteousness, our sin, the moment we let go, and look to Christ, RIGHT THERE He will save us!

If anyone would care to listen, this is the message that Paul Washer spoke at the conference we attended in 2009 that so spoke to me:  The Sufficiency of Scripture and the Gospel   So worth listening too!

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