This post is the final part of ‘bite size’ portions of my testimony. If you would like to start from the beginning you can read:
Seven years ago today God was pleased to reveal Himself to me through His Word–His Son Jesus Christ.
I had asked God:
‘What does Anna have that I don’t? I talk to you God. I want what she has with you!’
One month goes by and that’s when I ‘hear’ Him. It was not an audible voice. He spoke to my heart and He spoke through His Word….
He wakes me up at 2am on February 12, 2009 and I feel this prompting to get my Bible and journal and go to the guest room of our home. He speaks to my heart:
“Arcelia, you want to know what Anna has that you don’t? I want you to go through the Ten commandments and don’t move on to the next one until you perfected the first”
I didn’t even know where to find the Ten Commandments but looking in the concordance I find it in Exodus 20
“You shall have no other gods before Me…”
I don’t have any other gods before you…then His Holy Spirit takes me to Deuteronomy 6:4-9
“Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
I tell God, “I do love You! I do love You with all my heart, soul and might and Anna is ‘diligently’ teaching my children Your word. She knows the Bible better than I do. Besides, this is the Old Testament anyway, what did Jesus say?”
Then I see what Jesus said about the greatest commandment in Matthew 22:37-40 as He quotes the Old Testament:
“ ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
My heart drops…I say again, I DO love you God!! Then it was as if He spoke to my heart these words:
“Arcelia, you are passionate about your job, you are passionate about serving in the Church, you were passionate about the military, you were passionate about creative memories….what about Me?”
God through His Holy Spirit began to convict me of all of the idols in my life.
I see for the first time. I did have other gods.
But I wanted to love God with all my heart mind soul and strength but how? How can I ‘perfect’ that? I wept and cried out to God. I cried because I was frustrated, how can I love? What was love? I read 1 Corinthians 13.
I saw my inability to love God the way He was asking me. I saw my sinful state in contrast to His holiness and I wept. That’s when I began to understand the good news:
I can’t perfect anything. That’s why Jesus died on the cross for our sins, He is the perfect sacrifice. He is the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. It is through Jesus Christ I have access to God the Father.
I was broken, my heart soft, repentant and ready to place my faith in Jesus Christ and receive the gift of salvation.
I sorrowfully cried because I finally understood! I understood I was a sinner, disobedient, unwilling and unable to obey God in my own strength. I asked for forgiveness for my sins and had a change of heart and saw my need for Jesus Christ. There and then I loved Him
as never before.
I didn’t get ‘it’ I got ‘Him’, His Holy Spirit and a new undivided heart devoted to God. Just as it is written in Ezekiel 11:19-20:
“And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them. And I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances and do them. Then they will be My people, and I shall be their God.”
It was the beginning of my walk of faith with God. I told God I am His and I would go anywhere He wanted me to go, do whatever He asked and I would talk to whoever He wanted me to talk to. It was more than just believing in Him, I told Him I would follow Him all the days of my life. I committed my life to Him.
That was the day I breathed my last and began my life of surrender to God.
A life of a Christian is not about religion but a reconciliation of relationships that begins with God through Jesus Christ and extends to others ( A reconciled Mom and daughter).
A life of a Christian is not without trials and tribulations but there is a blessed assurance and peace that comes from trusting and knowing God.
Eternal life is not about dying and living forever, rather eternal life is meant for NOW. Jesus said, “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”
The more you know Him the more you love Him.
***This is my testimony of how God chose to reveal Himself to me. It was a process, a drawing.
It’s not the same for everyone, and not everyone ‘knows’ the ‘exact date’ of their conversion. God is so personal and knows our hearts. The only thing that is the same for all is: repentance towards God, and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
I realize it’s not how you BEGIN that counts…it’s how you end. I know my salvation is not based on works, but in the finished works of Jesus Christ alone, however I want to run this race of faith well so that I may be found a faithful steward of everything God has given me, beginning with my faith and family.
God is the same, yesterday, today and forever….May God reveal Himself to you today if you do not yet ‘know’ Him. I pray you say, “no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world.” John 4:42
“Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the Lord be glad.
Seek the Lord and His strength;
Seek His face continually.” 1 Chronicles 16:10-11
“This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior Jesus, all the day long…”