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Friend of I AM
Sep 18th 2007, 07:56 PM
Over the past several years I have made some huge steps forward with Christ, as my love for him and his love for me has been tested to the limit. The past 8-9 years have been no walk in the park. Let me briefly tell you some of the things I've been through during those years.

1. Received a beating and went to the hospital for a minor concussion.
2. Found out that a child that I had been fathering for 3 years wasn't mine.
3. Been falsely accused of sexual harrasment on a job.
4. Kicked out of a house by my own family members, who didn't wish me well.
5. Lost a wonderful woman whom I loved very much.
6. Let go from 2 jobs(just recently found out that I was being terminated from my current one)
7. Had to help my child recover from emotional abuse and neglect.
8. Got into several car accidents.
9. Had to intercede and help out my mother who was in an abusive relationship
10. Been the victim of demonic - spiritual attacks.


Still, my love for God hasn't changed any - and I would say that I love him more today than I did before some of these things happened. I must say that he indeed has been with me every step of the way, and has helped me get out of some of the most perilous of situations. I'm trying to move forward past these things, but sometimes it's hard not to look back at some of them - particularly since their are so many wounds that I don't think have been completely healed as of yet. Let me say that a lot of these things were brought on by sin, as I myself could have avoided many of them from happening had I not made some of the choices that I made in my early adult life. TBH -- I see so many Christians today filled with more joy than myself, I feel filled with joy too - I just have to say that their are days when I look around me and say, "what's wrong with me" How come I feel so much emptier than others? Does anyone else feel this way, and what would you suggest I do in order to leave the past completely behind, so as not to continue to stumble in my walk with Christ and be fully devoted to him without looking back?

Lyndie
Sep 18th 2007, 08:02 PM
Hi there Friend. You sound a lot like me in some ways. I try so very hard to let go of the past, and it is quite difficult. There are many things that remind me of things I've done, whether its certain songs, smells, etc. I am going along fine and suddenly realize I'm thinking about things from my past, and then I feel guilty about thinking about my past. I struggle with this, and while I really have no advice for you, please know you aren't alone and I will pray for you.

Friend of I AM
Sep 18th 2007, 08:07 PM
Hi there Friend. You sound a lot like me in some ways. I try so very hard to let go of the past, and it is quite difficult. There are many things that remind me of things I've done, whether its certain songs, smells, etc. I am going along fine and suddenly realize I'm thinking about things from my past, and then I feel guilty about thinking about my past. I struggle with this, and while I really have no advice for you, please know you aren't alone and I will pray for you.

Thanks for your prayers. I guess I'll have to do some of my own. It's interesting because my walk hasn't really diminished any. I think it's gotten stronger, but at times I feel so down. Being a single parent, alone most of the time - and having no real support group I guess adds to the problem.

Friend of I AM
Sep 18th 2007, 08:14 PM
Maybe it's the struggle which makes the reward all the greater. I'd like to think the greatest prize is being close to God. Not so much in what he can give me - but in having a truly unconditionnal relationship with him. Sometimes though I'm like, man - am I really drawing closer to him -- or is all of this going to be just for naught? Perhaps I concentrate too much on my infirmities, and not enough on His Love. IDK...just trying to think about what I can do to make our relationship stronger and make it so I can completely surrender my life to him....

Lyndie
Sep 18th 2007, 08:30 PM
I know part of my problem is the 'unconditional' aspect of God's love. I am glad you hear your walk with Him hasn't diminished, at times mine has. Yes, absolutely our struggles can make the rewards seem greater. We tend to appreciate them more when we fought a hard battle. I am so grateful for God delivering me from alcohol, cause I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that while it was very hard, it was very worth the pain I went through during my rehab and early recovery.

Friend of I AM
Sep 18th 2007, 08:42 PM
Hmm..I guess I should have stated that his devotion to me hasn't diminished. I'd like to think that mine hasn't diminished with him..but now that I think about it..it's not all that accurate seeing as how I have sinned during the walk..

My addiction was porn and fornication..you know it's funny for a long time I thought that since I didn't drink, smoke, or do drugs I was "okay" in God's eyes. Funny thing was I did every other sinful thing...you don't realize how big of a sinner you are -- until he starts to begin a true fellowship with you. Thank the Lord that he delivered me from the porn though..I have no idea what stuff I could have gotten into if I continued down that path...

Friend of I AM
Sep 19th 2007, 12:31 AM
One of the things that I'm finding out now - more so than ever is that some of my not being able to "let go" has to do with the fact that I'm constantly condemning myself for things that I've done in the past. I think in moving forward, I need to pray to God and ask him to help me not to condemn myself for "thoughts" or minor things that may pop up in my head during the day as well as these past sins. Perhaps I also must lower my expectations of what I can and will be able to do with Christ working through me in the near future. I hope this testimony helps you all. In the coming weeks, I will post the status of where I'm at - and hopefully my testimony will encourage others in similar situations. God bless in Christian Love and Grace to you all.

Stephen

CrunchyChristian
Sep 19th 2007, 01:12 AM
One of the things that I'm finding out now - more so than ever is that some of my not being able to "let go" has to do with the fact that I'm constantly condemning myself for things that I've done in the past.

Hey Stephen,

Do you remember Lot's wife? Don't look back. Christ is in front of you. He has forgiven you of ALL your sin. When you think of these things, you not only remind yourself (and Satan) but you remind Him.

You need to learn to capture these thoughts and stomp them under your feet with the power of the Lord. Put on your full armor of God everyday.

Grace be with you.

Equipped_4_Love
Sep 19th 2007, 05:47 AM
Over the past several years I have made some huge steps forward with Christ, as my love for him and his love for me has been tested to the limit. The past 8-9 years have been no walk in the park. Let me briefly tell you some of the things I've been through during those years.

1. Received a beating and went to the hospital for a minor concussion.
2. Found out that a child that I had been fathering for 3 years wasn't mine.
3. Been falsely accused of sexual harrasment on a job.
4. Kicked out of a house by my own family members, who didn't wish me well.
5. Lost a wonderful woman whom I loved very much.
6. Let go from 2 jobs(just recently found out that I was being terminated from my current one)
7. Had to help my child recover from emotional abuse and neglect.
8. Got into several car accidents.
9. Had to intercede and help out my mother who was in an abusive relationship
10. Been the victim of demonic - spiritual attacks.


Still, my love for God hasn't changed any - and I would say that I love him more today than I did before some of these things happened. I must say that he indeed has been with me every step of the way, and has helped me get out of some of the most perilous of situations. I'm trying to move forward past these things, but sometimes it's hard not to look back at some of them - particularly since their are so many wounds that I don't think have been completely healed as of yet. Let me say that a lot of these things were brought on by sin, as I myself could have avoided many of them from happening had I not made some of the choices that I made in my early adult life. TBH -- I see so many Christians today filled with more joy than myself, I feel filled with joy too - I just have to say that their are days when I look around me and say, "what's wrong with me" How come I feel so much emptier than others? Does anyone else feel this way, and what would you suggest I do in order to leave the past completely behind, so as not to continue to stumble in my walk with Christ and be fully devoted to him without looking back?



Hey, Stephen;

I have found that one of the most dangerous things that I can do in my Christian walk is to compare myself, and my relationship to God, with other Christians. I know that it's an easy trap to fall into, as we are human, and much of it has to do with the whole pride issue.
It also has to do with covetousness. For most all of us, it is natural to want what we perceive others to have instead of us...and unfortunately, this tends to slip into our Christian walk, as well.
I guess the best piece of advice I can give you is not to focus so much on other Christians, but more on your OWN walk with the Lord. Also remember that, although you may not have the level of joy you perceive in other Christians, there are certain things in your walk with Christ that He has reserved especially for you, that perhaps others do not have.
Everyone is unique, and everyone walks with God differently. Just look at what you DO have, and try not to compare your walk with others, as this may very well lead to defeat.
I would also encourage you not to worry so much about your walk, and worry more about pleasing the Lord. I know that for a while, I was always afraid that my walk wasn't "good enough," or "pleasing enough" to the Lord. Truth is, we all have done things that we are not too proud of...I know that I have done PLENTY of unsavory stuff, and for a while, I would not let go of the regret. I still harbor some of it, but God is helping me work through that.
The most important thing is that you trust Him completely...trust that He will help you move forward, and fully surrender to Him those things that are holding you back. There comes a point when you HAVE to let go COMPLETELY...to not do so is a form of not completely trusting God. I know that for me, it was a lack of trust in His forgiveness. I felt that I had to continually repent of my past, so that God knew I was truly sorry. One day, He just said to me "Look, do you trust that I have forgiven you of your past, or do you NOT? I have ALREADY forgiven you, so you don't need to keep repenting. Just trust that I have done the work...and trust that I KNOW that you're sorry."
So, then, I guess my second piece of advice here would be to put your COMPLETE and TOTAL faith in God, and just make a conscious effort to LET GO of the past.
That is a sure sign of spiritual maturity...and don't think you can't come to God and ask Him to help you do this. I know I did.

Col. 1:28 Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Jesus Christ


The word "perfect" here means "mature." We are to be mature in our faith, and maturity comes through knowledge and wisdom. Wisdom is knowing that you can do nothing about your past, but giving it to God. He loves you so much.....when you give it to Him, He WILL help you through.

Equipped_4_Love
Sep 19th 2007, 05:57 AM
Thanks for your prayers. I guess I'll have to do some of my own. It's interesting because my walk hasn't really diminished any. I think it's gotten stronger, but at times I feel so down. Being a single parent, alone most of the time - and having no real support group I guess adds to the problem.


AWWW, Stephen :hug:

Know that you are NEVER alone. There are many times when I feel alone, as well, and I know it may sound cliche, but that's why you must surround yourself with good, caring people who will nurture you spiritually, and be your shoulder.
I know for sure that there are support groups out there for different things. If you truly seek God's will, He will lead you to those people, because His will is NOT that you be lonely, but that you be nurtured in the faith.
He also knows your limitations, and your weaknesses, and although it can hurt sometimes, there is nothing that is out of God's control. Sometimes, we just need to go through things in order to be strengthened.

Equipped_4_Love
Sep 19th 2007, 06:08 AM
Maybe it's the struggle which makes the reward all the greater. I'd like to think the greatest prize is being close to God. Not so much in what he can give me - but in having a truly unconditionnal relationship with him. Sometimes though I'm like, man - am I really drawing closer to him -- or is all of this going to be just for naught? Perhaps I concentrate too much on my infirmities, and not enough on His Love. IDK...just trying to think about what I can do to make our relationship stronger and make it so I can completely surrender my life to him....


I would say not to worry so much ABOUT your relationship with God, but instead rest IN it.

Matt. 11:29,30 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light

I really believe that your relationship with Him will become stronger the more you trust IN Him....and complete surrender comes with trust.
When you start to worry more about what you CAN do rather than what He HAS done, it becomes a works-based faith.
Just do as you have been doing...Seek Him, search the Scriptures, and pray. Pray earnestly and honestly.

Seek Him in spirit and in truth.

I swear, the rest WILL come together. God is more in control of this relationship than you know, so LET HIM take control. Weep before Him if you have to, and let Him know that you have tried, but you can't seem to let go of some stuff.
Ask Him to help you trust Him.
I felt much the same way you did when I first came to Christ, and it took a lot of surrender on my part, and it was difficult, but as you said earlier, the reward is SO MUCH worth the struggle.

Equipped_4_Love
Sep 19th 2007, 06:20 AM
Hmm..I guess I should have stated that his devotion to me hasn't diminished. I'd like to think that mine hasn't diminished with him..but now that I think about it..it's not all that accurate seeing as how I have sinned during the walk..

My addiction was porn and fornication..you know it's funny for a long time I thought that since I didn't drink, smoke, or do drugs I was "okay" in God's eyes. Funny thing was I did every other sinful thing...you don't realize how big of a sinner you are -- until he starts to begin a true fellowship with you. Thank the Lord that he delivered me from the porn though..I have no idea what stuff I could have gotten into if I continued down that path...


You were in bondage, and the Lord delivered you. Praise His name!!!
Again, don't focus so much on the fact that you have sinned....focus on the fact that He was merciful, and helped you to overcome!!!

Deut. 7:2 ....and when the Lord your God delivers them over to you, you shall conquer them and utterly destroy them

The same can be true of ANY of our enemies, including sin. What the Lord has delivered to us...or delivered us from...it is up to us to conquer, and by the sound of it, you already HAVE.

The truth is, we ALL sin, even in our walks with God. Everyone ON THIS BOARD has sinned. The only thing that keeps us from conquering sin is US, because God has already delivered the enemy into our hands. He has already defeated Him...now, you must conquer him within your life...and the Lord will help you with this, too.

:pp:pp:pp

My heart goes out to you, my friend....and just as your name implies, you WILL emerge VICTORIOUS!! :hug:

Equipped_4_Love
Sep 19th 2007, 06:35 AM
One of the things that I'm finding out now - more so than ever is that some of my not being able to "let go" has to do with the fact that I'm constantly condemning myself for things that I've done in the past. I think in moving forward, I need to pray to God and ask him to help me not to condemn myself for "thoughts" or minor things that may pop up in my head during the day as well as these past sins. Perhaps I also must lower my expectations of what I can and will be able to do with Christ working through me in the near future. I hope this testimony helps you all. In the coming weeks, I will post the status of where I'm at - and hopefully my testimony will encourage others in similar situations. God bless in Christian Love and Grace to you all.

Stephen


Your sincerity is commendable. It's not easy to admit that we are imperfect.
What you must remember, though, is that you CANNOT continue condemning yourself. Part of being at peace with God is being at peace with yourself.

I understand much of where you're coming from, though. When I first came to Christ, and the blinders were taken off, and I realized the full gravity of my sin, it was EXTREMELY hard for me to forgive myself. As I said before, though, it all comes from maturity.
The more you mature in Christ, the easier it will be to "let go" of the past. I know you have said that you are a very sensitive person...Perhaps THIS is why you are allowing the guilt to fester like this?
I know that, for me at least, guilt was an emotion that I felt very deeply. It went way beyond surface emotions like anger and happiness, because there was a certain level of cerebral thought involved.
Guilt comes with a realization that one has done wrong, and a grief over having committed those wrongs. It is something that involves a certain amount of awareness, and, for me at least, this is what made it so difficult for me to deal with.

But you know what? Our Lord God Almighty is A THOUSAND TIMES more powerful than our sins, and the remorse that we tend to feel over them. Oftentimes, He is the only one who can absolve this guilt...and this really does come with FULLY ACCEPTING His sacrifice.
The Lord died on the cross for those sins that you grieve over....and to continue grieving is like hanging Him on the cross over and over again.

But you know what, Stephen? The Lord knows how sorry you are, and He WANTS to help you let go of the past, and move forward. He wants to fill you with His full and complete joy, but He cannot COMPLETELY fill you unless your heart is COMPLETELY free of the guilt and shame.

It's just a conscious effort that you must make. You're pretty much going to have to WILL the guilt away, and this is something that you MUST ask the Lord to help you with. If not, it will cripple your Christian walk.

I hope what I have said has helped, and God bless you for earnestly seeking His will, and loving Him with every breath.

It's apparent that you love Christ very much, and that is very encouraging. :)

Friend of I AM
Sep 19th 2007, 08:57 AM
Thanks to everyone for posting. You all have been a great help with your testimonies. I'll continue to post testimony in the coming weeks of how my fellowship has improved. Say some prayers and God bless.

Stephen

Sold Out
Sep 19th 2007, 12:49 PM
Let me say that a lot of these things were brought on by sin, as I myself could have avoided many of them from happening had I not made some of the choices that I made in my early adult life. TBH -- I see so many Christians today filled with more joy than myself, I feel filled with joy too - I just have to say that their are days when I look around me and say, "what's wrong with me" How come I feel so much emptier than others? Does anyone else feel this way, and what would you suggest I do in order to leave the past completely behind, so as not to continue to stumble in my walk with Christ and be fully devoted to him without looking back?

Great testimony.

Like you said, you brought on most of these issues due to sin, and like the bible says in Gal 6:7, we reap what we sow. Let's hope you are through reaping!!

I have a verse that I think on almost daily. I had a hard life, some from my childhood, and some from my own doing, and like you - I had a hard time pressing forward.

"Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before," Phillipians 3:13

My pastor pointed me to this verse when I asked him how I could move on past my issues. I was really expecting that he would suggest counseling or some other way to deal with my past....but he just said, "****, you just have to leave your past in the past and move on."

Ever since I laid claim to it....I've experienced great freedom in my Christian walk....I can't move forward if I'm always looking back. I've just left my past in the past and look forward to each day that God gives me and try to serve Him the best I can.

That's the best advice I can give.

Friend of I AM
Sep 19th 2007, 08:33 PM
Today hasn't been the best day. But, I'm working on it. I had to leave work a bit early today cause I think I was just mentally exhausted. One thing that I've learned from today and over the past couple days is that I need to stop being dependant upon the words/opinions/judgements of others in my walk - as well as lower my expectations for those whom I work with and are my friends/family members. This is in essence what is causing the over-condemnation of myself, and so much negativity within my head. Fortunately God has been merciful and given me an over-abundance of His Love, which is why I have been able to move forward despite all of the adversity. I probably will have to separate myself from those who produce much negativity in my life, or limit the time I have with them on a weekly basis - be they friends or family members in the coming weeks ahead if I am able to progress.

Lyndie
Sep 19th 2007, 11:24 PM
Hi. Just wanted you to know I've been praying, and while this is your thread, just by posting and asking for help, the responses you have recieved have also been a blessing for me.

cloudburst said-
The Lord died on the cross for those sins that you grieve over....and to continue grieving is like hanging Him on the cross over and over again.

Ow, that really struck me in the heart. I DO NOT want to keep putting Him on the cross. Hope your doing better this evening.

heraldingvictory
Sep 20th 2007, 02:52 AM
The knot of pain…
The twist and the strain…
Of living on the battlefield of self-condemnation!
Ever self-inflicted…
The verdict “self-convicted”…
Suffering severely from spiritual condensation!
Can you relate…O child of the King?
Can you equate…with these letters I string?
If so, just let Perfect Love cast out all the fear!

Is it not written, “You have been washed…purged of sin?
By My Blood, and by My Name…you can freely enter in…
To the Holy of Holies…to be by My side.
O, lovely child of Mine…so precious are you in Father’s eyes.
And My dreams, and My hopes for you must needs be realized!
You see, it has been My Father’s greatest quest…
To give to Me an helpmeet…tried and blessed.
One poured out completely from My very own side…
She whom Father has chosen to be My Bride.”

Even so, my Holy Father…let it be according to Your will.
Fashion this fragile clay…and with Your very own Life fill.
I now lay all condemnation at the foot of Christ’s Cross,
And thank You for the great gain in counting it as loss.
I submit this very moment to the low and humble path
That will free my eyes to see, and my heart to be glad.


I am praying for you dear brother. His grace is more than sufficient.

Equipped_4_Love
Sep 20th 2007, 06:35 AM
Today hasn't been the best day. But, I'm working on it. I had to leave work a bit early today cause I think I was just mentally exhausted. One thing that I've learned from today and over the past couple days is that I need to stop being dependant upon the words/opinions/judgements of others in my walk - as well as lower my expectations for those whom I work with and are my friends/family members. This is in essence what is causing the over-condemnation of myself, and so much negativity within my head. Fortunately God has been merciful and given me an over-abundance of His Love, which is why I have been able to move forward despite all of the adversity. I probably will have to separate myself from those who produce much negativity in my life, or limit the time I have with them on a weekly basis - be they friends or family members in the coming weeks ahead if I am able to progress.



Stephen....You are making a very wise decision, and God will bless you for it.
I'm also happy to hear that the Lord is showering you with so much of His love, and I can relate, because He did the same for me...and continues to. That is how He drew me into Himself, and it's what I thrive on.
Isn't it a joy to know that our Heavenly Father loves us SO MUCH?! I also love the fact that God knows EXACTLY how much love we need. We all need God's love, but it seems like some people just need larger doses on it than others, and if you're like me, you cling to EVERY MILLIGRAM of that love WITH A VENGEANCE.
I can assure you that God will continue to shower you with that love, as long as you continue to seek Him...He is ever faithful!!!
Also, I have learned that the Lord will bestow blessings on us in different forms, and when we ask Him to do so, He may bring something into our lives which we didn't even realize would bless us, but that turns out to be SO MUCH MORE than we could have imagined.
This happened to me a few weeks ago, if I may share. I remember I had experienced an unusually hard day, and as soon as I came home, I IMMEDIATELY went to the Lord in prayer. I remember weeping very bitterly to Him, and I basically said "Lord, I need you to bless me. I need you to GIVE ME A BLESSING, like you did Jacob."
Just as I said this, the Lord told me to go pray with my friend, who was in the living room. At first I resisted, but I could feel the Lord urging me..."Go, pray with her, NOW!!! If you don't feel comfortable praying FOR her, then have her pray for you. Just do it!!"
So, I went in the living room, and we prayed. About an hour later, her husband came back. He was upset, and said that their youngest daughter had basically climbed out of her car seat on the freeway, and that he almost rolled up the window on her neck. He noticed just in time. He also said that she almost climbed out of the car.
This happened about the time we were praying, and I was FLABBERGASTED. I realized then that it was the Lord's protective hand that saved her, and that He BLESSED ME by allowing me, and our prayer, to be a part of this.
Anyhow, I guess my point is that God's blessing doesn't always come the way that we expect it to, but when it does, it blesses you in a way you would never had imagined, or expected.
Keep seeking His face, Stephen, and He will keep showering you with His love and blessings.
I will continue to pray for you, that your relationship in and love for Christ grows.

God bless you, my brother :hug:

Friend of I AM
Sep 20th 2007, 08:31 PM
The knot of pain…
The twist and the strain…
Of living on the battlefield of self-condemnation!
Ever self-inflicted…
The verdict “self-convicted”…
Suffering severely from spiritual condensation!
Can you relate…O child of the King?
Can you equate…with these letters I string?
If so, just let Perfect Love cast out all the fear!

Is it not written, “You have been washed…purged of sin?
By My Blood, and by My Name…you can freely enter in…
To the Holy of Holies…to be by My side.
O, lovely child of Mine…so precious are you in Father’s eyes.
And My dreams, and My hopes for you must needs be realized!
You see, it has been My Father’s greatest quest…
To give to Me an helpmeet…tried and blessed.
One poured out completely from My very own side…
She whom Father has chosen to be My Bride.”

Even so, my Holy Father…let it be according to Your will.
Fashion this fragile clay…and with Your very own Life fill.
I now lay all condemnation at the foot of Christ’s Cross,
And thank You for the great gain in counting it as loss.
I submit this very moment to the low and humble path
That will free my eyes to see, and my heart to be glad.


I am praying for you dear brother. His grace is more than sufficient.

That's a beautiful poem heralding. Thank you very much for posting it. Grace and Christian Love. Stephen

Friend of I AM
Sep 20th 2007, 08:32 PM
Stephen....You are making a very wise decision, and God will bless you for it.
I'm also happy to hear that the Lord is showering you with so much of His love, and I can relate, because He did the same for me...and continues to. That is how He drew me into Himself, and it's what I thrive on.
Isn't it a joy to know that our Heavenly Father loves us SO MUCH?! I also love the fact that God knows EXACTLY how much love we need. We all need God's love, but it seems like some people just need larger doses on it than others, and if you're like me, you cling to EVERY MILLIGRAM of that love WITH A VENGEANCE.
I can assure you that God will continue to shower you with that love, as long as you continue to seek Him...He is ever faithful!!!
Also, I have learned that the Lord will bestow blessings on us in different forms, and when we ask Him to do so, He may bring something into our lives which we didn't even realize would bless us, but that turns out to be SO MUCH MORE than we could have imagined.
This happened to me a few weeks ago, if I may share. I remember I had experienced an unusually hard day, and as soon as I came home, I IMMEDIATELY went to the Lord in prayer. I remember weeping very bitterly to Him, and I basically said "Lord, I need you to bless me. I need you to GIVE ME A BLESSING, like you did Jacob."
Just as I said this, the Lord told me to go pray with my friend, who was in the living room. At first I resisted, but I could feel the Lord urging me..."Go, pray with her, NOW!!! If you don't feel comfortable praying FOR her, then have her pray for you. Just do it!!"
So, I went in the living room, and we prayed. About an hour later, her husband came back. He was upset, and said that their youngest daughter had basically climbed out of her car seat on the freeway, and that he almost rolled up the window on her neck. He noticed just in time. He also said that she almost climbed out of the car.
This happened about the time we were praying, and I was FLABBERGASTED. I realized then that it was the Lord's protective hand that saved her, and that He BLESSED ME by allowing me, and our prayer, to be a part of this.
Anyhow, I guess my point is that God's blessing doesn't always come the way that we expect it to, but when it does, it blesses you in a way you would never had imagined, or expected.
Keep seeking His face, Stephen, and He will keep showering you with His love and blessings.
I will continue to pray for you, that your relationship in and love for Christ grows.

God bless you, my brother :hug:




Thanks April. God bless you to with much love. I'll give you guys an update in the next couple days.

Equipped_4_Love
Sep 21st 2007, 04:12 AM
Thanks April. God bless you to with much love. I'll give you guys an update in the next couple days.



Good. I look forward to hearing about your progress.

Keep the faith, my friend. It's all we have in this life.

Friend of I AM
Dec 5th 2007, 03:47 PM
Good. I look forward to hearing about your progress.


Keep the faith, my friend. It's all we have in this life.


Long time no talk to. Well things are going well thus far. I've received a new job, and I'm extremely blessed in other areas. I'm still sufferring from some spiritual attacks, but at the same time - the Love that God has given me for him and the longing for God that I have has only increased during this time. There is nothing that can overcome God's Love. Not even fear of death or condemnation. Much love for you and hope you're doing okay in your walk.

Stephen

Partaker of Christ
Dec 5th 2007, 08:29 PM
Hi Stephen!

I love your heart, and I love the spirit in you!

I have been a Christian for around 45 years. Many times I have been on the mountain top, but more times (or more days) have I been in the valleys.

I think we often come to the Lord with our own agendas.
Lord if you deliver this from me, or Lord if you would deliver that from me, I will be a good Christian etc:
The thing is, the Lord has His agenda, and more often then not, it is not the same agenda as ours.
Whilst we should not live [dwell] in the past (including the blessings of yesterday), but remembering is useful as a Shepherds Crook to nudge us in the right direction, and keep us on the right path.
It is much easier to have joy and peace and faith, when we are on the mountain tops, but real joy, real peace and real faith is when we have these in the valleys.
Real joy is found when in the midst of adversity. Real peace when we remain calm in the midst of the storms, and real faith when we are in the midst of the wilderness.

Adam168
Dec 7th 2007, 11:28 PM
Stephen good to know things are working out for you. Keep your eyes on God.

BranchoftheVine
Dec 8th 2007, 02:20 AM
Friend of I AM: I know many understand your struggle. I think one of the consequences of sin (especially sin practiced after knowing the truth) is having more "bulk material" to "fight off" when your heart comes 'round to condemn you. You have to stand in His truth -- period. For true aid and relief, always turn to His Word and stand in all the verses about His forgiveness, mercy, and grace in repentance. Seek Him with all your heart, draw near to Him.

Friend of I AM
Dec 8th 2007, 12:16 PM
Thank you for your testimonies and support. God bless you all in Christian Love.

Stephen

Brother Mark
Dec 8th 2007, 02:14 PM
Today hasn't been the best day. But, I'm working on it. I had to leave work a bit early today cause I think I was just mentally exhausted. One thing that I've learned from today and over the past couple days is that I need to stop being dependant upon the words/opinions/judgements of others in my walk - as well as lower my expectations for those whom I work with and are my friends/family members. This is in essence what is causing the over-condemnation of myself, and so much negativity within my head. Fortunately God has been merciful and given me an over-abundance of His Love, which is why I have been able to move forward despite all of the adversity. I probably will have to separate myself from those who produce much negativity in my life, or limit the time I have with them on a weekly basis - be they friends or family members in the coming weeks ahead if I am able to progress.

I know this is an old thread but I thought I would respond anyway. I remember after committing a grevious sin, that the Lord led me to Peter and how 50 days after he denied Christ he preached against denying Christ. But another thing he led me to that blessed me was the following verses.

Phil 4:8-9

8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. 9 The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
NASU

God was teaching me that I should only dwell on good things. But then this thought occurred to me. God was going to make me in the image of Christ. And this verse was part of it. Wow! This verse described how God thought of me.

Later I saw the verse in front those verses.

Phil 4:7
7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
NASU

Peace and thinking positive go together.

Just a little personal testimony.

Kingsdaughter
Dec 8th 2007, 07:03 PM
Hi Stephen,

I know this thread was started a while back, but I just wanted to give you some encouragement.

Philippians 3:13
Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

God bless you brother:hug:

Mograce2U
Dec 8th 2007, 09:44 PM
Hi Stephen,
Glad to see this thread is still going. Brother Mark brought up Phil 4:8-9 which is one of those passages every babe should have memorized!

Notice that Paul doesn't just want us to think "positive" thoughts, but to fill our minds with good things. And he wants us to practice doing the things he has shown - using his own life as an example. Things which make for peace - not only with men but with God. A good conscience is the goal, which can only come from a mind renewed in the word of God.

The quickest way to get over self-condemnation is to turn your focus upon doing good for others. If your thoughts are on how best to show others the love of Christ that you have received, you will have little time for pity parties.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you - requires that you actually do good first to them - looking for nothing in return. Ask the Lord to show you how to do this and give you someone to practice on!

YSIC,

Shannon Lynn Haven
Dec 9th 2007, 04:30 AM
I have been a Christian for 20 years.
In the past 5 years:
My husband broke his leg and ended up having it amputated.
My husband (age 44) has lived in a nursing home for the past 5 years due to infections, kidney failure and many other complications
My 12 year old had a headache and we took her to the hospital - only to find out she had a sinus infection that traveled to her brain and they needed to do an emergency craniotomy!
Then we found out she had a type 1 Chiari Brain malformation that needed surgery 5 months later.
As soon as she was given the ok to play after surgery she fell and broke her foot.
Then once we were given the ALL clear on both surgeries I was diagnosed with a fatal lung disease out of the blue!
I am 37 years old and now I wear a 24 hr IV system to keep my lungs open (I have never smoked) and have been given 3-5 years to live without meds -- with meds I will need a double lung transplant in 10 years or so.
We have had 7 major deaths in our family during all of this.

So, it is not just you. We are faithfully serving Christ and fighting through all the junk the enemy wants to throw at us. In the midst of it all God has shown himself faithful and loving.

Friend of I AM
Dec 9th 2007, 11:43 AM
I have been a Christian for 20 years.
In the past 5 years:
My husband broke his leg and ended up having it amputated.
My husband (age 44) has lived in a nursing home for the past 5 years due to infections, kidney failure and many other complications
My 12 year old had a headache and we took her to the hospital - only to find out she had a sinus infection that traveled to her brain and they needed to do an emergency craniotomy!
Then we found out she had a type 1 Chiari Brain malformation that needed surgery 5 months later.
As soon as she was given the ok to play after surgery she fell and broke her foot.
Then once we were given the ALL clear on both surgeries I was diagnosed with a fatal lung disease out of the blue!
I am 37 years old and now I wear a 24 hr IV system to keep my lungs open (I have never smoked) and have been given 3-5 years to live without meds -- with meds I will need a double lung transplant in 10 years or so.
We have had 7 major deaths in our family during all of this.

So, it is not just you. We are faithfully serving Christ and fighting through all the junk the enemy wants to throw at us. In the midst of it all God has shown himself faithful and loving.

Thank you for that testimony Sharon. I'll say some prayers for you and your family in hopes that God will get you through this struggle. Father God, please help this woman and her family endure their current sufferings - and allow her to know that with each amount of pain her and her family now experience while abiding in you - will only continue to build up upon the blessings that you have in store for them when you allow them to be within your Holy presence. In Jesus's name. Amen.

Friend of I AM
Dec 9th 2007, 12:03 PM
I know this is an old thread but I thought I would respond anyway. I remember after committing a grevious sin, that the Lord led me to Peter and how 50 days after he denied Christ he preached against denying Christ. But another thing he led me to that blessed me was the following verses.

Phil 4:8-9

8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. 9 The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
NASU

God was teaching me that I should only dwell on good things. But then this thought occurred to me. God was going to make me in the image of Christ. And this verse was part of it. Wow! This verse described how God thought of me.

Later I saw the verse in front those verses.

Phil 4:7
7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
NASU

Peace and thinking positive go together.

Just a little personal testimony.



Whilst we should not live [dwell] in the past (including the blessings of yesterday), but remembering is useful as a Shepherds Crook to nudge us in the right direction, and keep us on the right path.
It is much easier to have joy and peace and faith, when we are on the mountain tops, but real joy, real peace and real faith is when we have these in the valleys.
Real joy is found when in the midst of adversity. Real peace when we remain calm in the midst of the storms, and real faith when we are in the midst of the wilderness.


Thanks I wanted to repost what you and partaker posted together, as both of your testimonies seem to really compliment one another. So perhaps during these storms of life, I should focus on those things which are pure and lovely. Perhaps the very thing that I should focus on is being in the presence of God, as Adam stated in a previous post. Maybe this particular verse also will assist me and others on what to seek - focus on.

Matthew 6:33
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

I think one of the defining problems in my walk has been that I've focused more so on worldly pleasures as oppossed to God's righteousnous. One could even say that I was(and perhaps still am) somewhat carnal minded in my pursuit of God. Perhaps this is why God allowed so much adversity in my life during various times, so I would understand that seeking such things are not really what seeking him is about.

I think Mograce hit the nail on the head as to what I may need to focus on more in my walk, things such as helping others - which will help build upon and strengthen his body. Whatever the case, I'll definitely need to pray about it, particularly for discernment as to how God would like me to proceed down the pike during this walk.

Thanks again for all of your testimonies. God bless.

RoadWarrior
Dec 15th 2007, 04:03 AM
.... what would you suggest I do in order to leave the past completely behind, so as not to continue to stumble in my walk with Christ and be fully devoted to him without looking back?

Hi Friend,

I realize this thread is a few days old, but maybe you are still reading the responses. I just came across it.

When I first came back to the Lord in 1973, I had been "to hell and back" so I know what it is to come to face God and see your sins in all their ugliness. If we cannot get clear of them, we will be forever miserable. But take heart. There is a solution.

In those early days, I would wake up at night, and be reminded of some sin, some awful thing. Someone else taught me what to do, and I followed the advice.

First I would confess the sin to God. I would confess it as fully and completely as I could think to do, owning it and repenting from it. I would keep praying and talking to God about it until I felt released from it - until I felt the forgiveness. Then I would make a mental note that Satan was no longer allowed to torment me with that one, because it was forgiven.

Sometimes there would be an action I needed to take. I was deeply into astrology, and one night it was about that. Before I could find peace, I had to get up from my bed and go through my house, gathering all the books and charts and anything else that related to it. I put it all in a grocery bag and put it outside my house! I put it on the front steps, and the next day I took it out to the garbage bin. (One of those big bins, I lived in a complex.) After I got all that out of the house I slept peacefully that night.

After a while, the nighttime attacks stopped.

I still had a lot of consequences in my life to deal with, as I am sure you understand. Many of those I just had to walk through. Gradually I gave up the residual sins (yes some of them are hard to get rid of). But God was faithful to continue to work with me, and patient to teach me little by little.

Here is another tool I used which helped me a lot. I learned to pray scripture. For example, I realized that I had lost several years to the devil, and they were lost years. Someone taught me to pray Joel 2:25, Lord restore unto me the years the locusts have eaten. I prayed that for a while, maybe whenever I thought about it, but gradually that prayer also faded. Until last month. And something happened, I suddenly realized that I am happy. Very, very happy. And as I realized that, I realized that God had answered my prayer, He has restored to me the locust-eaten years, and I am now living in the restored years. Yes, it took the Lord over 30 years to bring that one to pass! This is why I tell people that persistence is important.

The residual consequences of those horrible years are fading, and God continues to work in replacing those consequences with blessings and answered prayers.

I lift you up to the Lord now, Friend, and I pray that He will give you comfort. I pray that you will know and understand that you are forgiven, and that He will never leave you nor forsake you, but will walk with you through the full and complete redemption of your life.

Friend of I AM
Dec 15th 2007, 09:43 AM
Hi Friend,

I realize this thread is a few days old, but maybe you are still reading the responses. I just came across it.

When I first came back to the Lord in 1973, I had been "to hell and back" so I know what it is to come to face God and see your sins in all their ugliness. If we cannot get clear of them, we will be forever miserable. But take heart. There is a solution.

In those early days, I would wake up at night, and be reminded of some sin, some awful thing. Someone else taught me what to do, and I followed the advice.

First I would confess the sin to God. I would confess it as fully and completely as I could think to do, owning it and repenting from it. I would keep praying and talking to God about it until I felt released from it - until I felt the forgiveness. Then I would make a mental note that Satan was no longer allowed to torment me with that one, because it was forgiven.

Sometimes there would be an action I needed to take. I was deeply into astrology, and one night it was about that. Before I could find peace, I had to get up from my bed and go through my house, gathering all the books and charts and anything else that related to it. I put it all in a grocery bag and put it outside my house! I put it on the front steps, and the next day I took it out to the garbage bin. (One of those big bins, I lived in a complex.) After I got all that out of the house I slept peacefully that night.

After a while, the nighttime attacks stopped.

I still had a lot of consequences in my life to deal with, as I am sure you understand. Many of those I just had to walk through. Gradually I gave up the residual sins (yes some of them are hard to get rid of). But God was faithful to continue to work with me, and patient to teach me little by little.

Here is another tool I used which helped me a lot. I learned to pray scripture. For example, I realized that I had lost several years to the devil, and they were lost years. Someone taught me to pray Joel 2:25, Lord restore unto me the years the locusts have eaten. I prayed that for a while, maybe whenever I thought about it, but gradually that prayer also faded. Until last month. And something happened, I suddenly realized that I am happy. Very, very happy. And as I realized that, I realized that God had answered my prayer, He has restored to me the locust-eaten years, and I am now living in the restored years. Yes, it took the Lord over 30 years to bring that one to pass! This is why I tell people that persistence is important.

The residual consequences of those horrible years are fading, and God continues to work in replacing those consequences with blessings and answered prayers.

I lift you up to the Lord now, Friend, and I pray that He will give you comfort. I pray that you will know and understand that you are forgiven, and that He will never leave you nor forsake you, but will walk with you through the full and complete redemption of your life.

Thank you RW for the testimony and encouragement. For better or for worse - I hope the Lord will continue to keep me on a path which assists in glorifying his name and building his kingdom.

Friend of I AM
Dec 15th 2007, 12:45 PM
Great testimony.
Like you said, you brought on most of these issues due to sin, and like the bible says in Gal 6:7, we reap what we sow. Let's hope you are through reaping!!


I had to bring this up because I think I put too much emphasis on the poor me aspect, and not enough on me being deserving of these things happenning. If anything can be learned from anyone regarding my experiences - please do not forget that no one save Christ, is worthy nor entitled to experience God's love and/or mercy. We are all sinners, saved by His glorious grace. And how wonderful it is to know and understand that we are currently under his grace - even during times of affliction. Much of what we suffer - pales in comparison to the one who truly sufferred - and if it weren't for God's love and mercy - none of us would be here today. None of us could fully withstand the full wrath of the Lord.

Another thing I might add - had it not been for these things happening - who knows what kind of depraved state I would have been in today. It's sad that the human condition is so utterly depraved and rooted in sin, that in order for God to keep us with him during this abundant gift of life that he's given us - a many a times, he has to show us what the opposite of him entails. Or to be withdrawn slightly from his love. I hope as things progress, the Lord does indeed continue to chastise me in whatever way necessary to keep me with him and bring glory to himself and his kingdom.

Stephen

RoadWarrior
Dec 15th 2007, 04:26 PM
....

I hope as things progress, the Lord does indeed continue to chastise me in whatever way necessary to keep me with him and bring glory to himself and his kingdom.

Stephen

Stephen, this is maturity on your part! I understand exactly what you are saying. Yes it is true that we don't like suffering. Who in their right mind would deliberately seek suffering! But if, when the suffering comes, we "respond appropriately" then the spiritual gains are enormous.

Heb 12:11
11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
NKJV

God has designed consequences and pain into His perfect order of things, so that when we stray we run into the briars and thorns. The goal is that we turn back to Him. The closer we draw to Him, the more quickly we retreat from the briars and thorns.

Friend of I AM
Dec 15th 2007, 05:41 PM
Stephen, this is maturity on your part! I understand exactly what you are saying. Yes it is true that we don't like suffering. Who in their right mind would deliberately seek suffering! But if, when the suffering comes, we "respond appropriately" then the spiritual gains are enormous.

Heb 12:11
11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
NKJV

God has designed consequences and pain into His perfect order of things, so that when we stray we run into the briars and thorns. The goal is that we turn back to Him. The closer we draw to Him, the more quickly we retreat from the briars and thorns.


Thank you for that testimony RW. Here's another verse which also supports what you have said.

James 1:2-5
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

It's good that we're moving this thread into a different direction - as it is helping me to see where these things that I once considered "torment" have actually been some of the greatest gifts God has given to me during this spiritual walk. Let me start with the first thing I mentioned as being tormenting.

1. Received a beating and went to the hospital for a minor concussion.

Before this, I neglected that I was(and still am to an extent) a very brutish man - if not so in my actions, definitely so in my thoughts. Violence is something that I became somewhat desentized to over the years - possibly because of my continued exposure to various things on television, or individuals with whom I hung out with during my younger years. Perhaps receiving this beating, allowed me to see first hand the effects that violence has on others - and that it is something that shouldn't be glorified. Today, as I raise my child - I find that it is extremely important for me to monitor what he watches on television and on the internet so that he doesn't have some of the same problems that I have. Even today I really have to monitor what I myself watch on TV, particularly those things on TV which glorify violence. It's definitely difficult - but I find that I'm doing a lot better about what it is I watch.

RoadWarrior
Dec 15th 2007, 06:03 PM
Thank you for that testimony RW. Here's another verse which also supports what you have said.

James 1:2-5
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

... Today, as I raise my child - I find that it is extremely important for me to monitor what he watches on television and on the internet so that he doesn't have some of the same problems that I have. Even today I really have to monitor what I myself watch on TV, particularly those things on TV which glorify violence. It's definitely difficult - but I find that I'm doing a lot better about what it is I watch.

Excellent scripture quote! And what a sweet confession on your part, about your violent past and how the beating made you see what you had been doing to others.

I am so much in agreement about the importance of screening what you watch, what you hear, what you allow into your "eyegates" and "eargates". I am extremely sensitive to those things, and have learned to be very discerning. If I am watching something that turns bad on me, I feel it inside, and have to get away from it. I even have trouble watching the news!

I realized in my 30s that I had been deeply, internally, affected by having read lots of Grimm's Fairy Tales as a child. The principles got inside of me and I thought a handsome prince was supposed to come along and sweep me off to the castle. I didn't know that the so-called prince could turn out to be inept or violent, or whatever. It's one of those things of not knowing the true picture, of believing the false one.

If we have a false picture of God, and a false picture of ourselves, and a false picture of what "others" in our lives "ought to be" then it is like we are living as an actor in a play. W're just doing make-believe, and not real life.

Jesus said, "I came that they might have life, and that more abundantly." Let us press on to discover what He means by that, and live authentic lives!

Mograce2U
Dec 15th 2007, 06:29 PM
RoadWarrior,
I agree.

The principle in Deut 6 about teaching your child in the ways of the Lord in everything you do is still wisdom today.

Friend of I AM
Dec 16th 2007, 01:16 PM
Thanks for everyone's input. Continuing on the upward direction of how these torments can actually be perceived as gifts.

2. Found out that a child that I had been fathering for 3 years wasn't mine.

7. Had to help my child recover from emotional abuse and neglect.


I'm putting these two together since they are related. Initially thought this was a bad thing, but being a single parent - I now understand that being a parent takes a lot of work. The amount of time, devotion, and Love needed to be put into my biological child's life in order to bring him back to full mental, emotional, and physical health was so great - that having any such additional burden placed upon my shoulders could have been disastrous for me and him in the long run.

By the grace of God, over the past 6 years - my son has gotten past those dark days he had when he initially came from living with his mother. The sadness over losing a child that I had taken care of for so long was great, however, had God not interceded in my biological child's behalf regarding this issue - he may not have received the help and support needed to bring him to where he's at today.

RoadWarrior
Dec 16th 2007, 02:10 PM
Thanks for everyone's input. Continuing on the upward direction of how these torments can actually be perceived as gifts.

2. Found out that a child that I had been fathering for 3 years wasn't mine.

7. Had to help my child recover from emotional abuse and neglect.


I'm putting these two together since they are related. Initially thought this was a bad thing, but being a single parent - I now understand that being a parent takes a lot of work. The amount of time, devotion, and Love needed to be put into my biological child's life in order to bring him back to full mental, emotional, and physical health was so great - that having any such additional burden placed upon my shoulders could have been disastrous for me and him in the long run.

By the grace of God, over the past 6 years - my son has gotten past those dark days he had when he initially came from living with his mother. The sadness over losing a child that I had taken care of for so long was great, however, had God not interceded in my biological child's behalf regarding this issue - he may not have received the help and support needed to bring him to where he's at today.

Great thoughts, FIA. How old is your son? I am sad for you at the loss of the other child, and sad for the child to have lost you as a father. Life can indeed be difficult!

You are in my prayers this morning. Keep doing this good work, I like how you now see these as gifts! God does indeed work all things together for good, for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. Rom 8:28.