But I didn’t know God’s Word, which was not modeled nor part of my heritage.
When I was asked to share “my story,” I thought about Jesus healing the demon-possessed man. Not because of the demons, but because of what happens next . . . .
In Mark (5:20) and Luke (8:39), “the healed man went away and began to PROCLAIM and DECLARE how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled.” We are all called to tell our stories to fulfill the Great Commission.
So it is great to share with you now what God has done for me.
It’s not dramatic, but hear me; there are no dull testimonies! People plant the seed, but it is God who gives the increase! (1 Corinthians 3:6)
Here it is:
“. . . He rescued me because He delighted in me.” (Psalm 18:19)
I grew up “religious.” But I did not know God’s Word, which was not modeled nor part of my heritage. Eventually, an elementary school teacher encouraged my husband and I to drop our kids off at the community church’s children’s ministry so we could go to choir practice at our Lutheran church.
But “. . . we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him.” (Romans 8:28)
He began to transform my life. Through the spiritual growth of our kids, the word of God became alive to me (Hebrews 4:12), and as a result, the power of Scripture began to change me. I learned that “faith comes by hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17)
Deuteronomy 6:23 relates that God brings His people OUT of slavery in Egypt IN to the promised land of Canaan. The verse reads, “But He brought us OUT from there to bring us IN and give us a promise.” Similarly, God brought my family OUT of a very comfortable but stagnant place and IN to a Bible-teaching church.
God brought me OUT of a place where I loved liturgy and IN to a place where I discovered all the scripture on which it was based. Up to that point, I had no frame of reference to recognize the theology behind it all. God describes it for me in Jeremiah 15:16. “When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name O Lord God Almighty.”
The Bible tells us, “The word of the Lord CONVERTS THE SOUL” Psalm 19:7; He promises His word to be so comprehensive it is able to transform the inner person.
At first, I felt ashamed that I was an adult, so far behind, without a rich legacy of believers in my pedigree. But now I know that my legacy depends on my obedience to keeping His commands in my heart, impressing them upon my children, talking about them as I sit at home and walk along the road, when I lie down and when I get up (Deuteronomy 6:4-9).
Psalm 103:2 says, “Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” I see now what a benefit my story is: I know what it was like to have had a veil in front of my eyes.
I’m like the guy in Acts 3 where Peter heals a crippled beggar. Peter and John were walking to church and found a man who had been crippled from birth, begging for money at the gate. Peter commanded him to get up in the name of Jesus and the man jumped to his feet.
“When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the same man who USED TO be crippled . . . and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.” (verse 9) Like this man, I am a “used-to be.”
God’s word is transforming me, and I am, little by little, LEARNING to reflect Christ.
“And we who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory are being transformed into his likeness.” (2 Corinthians 3:18) Recently, I heard a sermon on Psalm 1, so very apropos for me because the psalmist says he “delights in the law of the Lord, and meditates on it.”
Part of the reason I delight and meditate is that God, rich in His mercy, afforded me a mentor whom I dearly treasure. She sits and teaches me verse by verse. Through her, God has taught me that Amos 3:3 asks, “Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?” Obedience to His commands is my CHOICE. I’m choosing to submit as I study the Word of Life.
The Bible is my privilege and the parameter for my life.
Just as Ruth gleaned her portion from Boaz’s field, I know that God’s words hem me in and protects me. Scripture is stabilizing because deciding to be in God’s Word is how we have a right relationship with God. But it is our CHOICE–our choice to spend time with Him.
Let me pray:
I pray that the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing and acceptable in Your sight, O God.
I ask, Father, that our stories would point to You alone, and that we would tell them!
Use our testimony for any heart that is open to hearing it for Your glory.
Lord, help us agree to walk with You and be in Your powerful and transforming Word so that we would hunger, delight and find joy, wisdom and counsel in the privilege of hiding Your words in our hearts.
We know that it is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God because You tell us so in Hebrews 10:31, yet into Your hands we will all fall someday.
Thank you that Your word tells me how to get ready so that the reverent fear I have for You now, means I have nothing to fear in the life to come.