This is the testimony of God’s Great Love. No matter how far you have fallen or possibly how long you have lived in denial of Jesus Christ, God’s love for you is MORE.
18 years ago, I decided to stop fighting, stop trying to survive, stop trying to control. My stubbornness had found it’s end a few months before and as I surrendered it all to Jesus…finally…I took His invitation seriously, relinquished the I, me, and myself and gave ownership to Him, the One True God, Father, Creator, Savior.
A Couple of weeks ago at Church I heard a wonderful message spoken out of John 6 and it is there I would like to begin…The disciples had set out across the sea to reach Capernaum. Strong winds had begun to blow and when the disciples had rowed about 3-4 miles away from the shore they saw Jesus walking on the sea coming closer to them. The scripture tells us they were frightened, but Jesus spoke to them saying “It is I; do not be afraid.” Now here is the verse I want to bring to your attention… verse 6: 21 “So they were willing to receive Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.”
In the 90’s in had accepted Jesus as my Savior, started attending church somewhat regularly, dipped into the occasional devotional, attended a Bible study or two. Even went on a couple mission trips. But in all honesty I was keeping my Savior at a distance, living behind the mask of Christianity, you know, keeping one foot in the world. I made the good Sunday Christian, however behind the mask I was living in doubt and shame, unsure of my salvation. Like a broken record, I kept hearing you will never be worthy, never be accepted like all the other people in church. In this state of being my spirit could hear or comprehend the power available to me as a believer.
I had come to a point in my life where if something didn’t change I would give up on this God thing. The reason I could not move past these feelings was because I was not willing to truly do what God was asking. I was not willing to move the half of me that lived in the world over to God’s Kingdom. I was not willing to physically removed myself from places and relationships that kept me believing those broken record lies. You see I was not “willing to receive Him into my life” so that Icould “immediately reach” the land, the life God had planned for me.
Let me break it down even clearer…I was not willing to…
- Stop wrong thinking. I spent so much time justifying my behavior trying to make it sound right. I had believed so many lies about who I was for so long that every time I experienced a taste of God’s love for me, I would bring sabotaging behavior to destroy God’s truth.
- I was unwilling to stop associating with people who fed into my sabotaging behavior, including family members. Sometimes you must choose to separate yourself from people you love so that God can do the work in you that is vital to your life.
- I thought there was nothing wrong with listening to music, watching movies and TV that fed a worldly view of life, self-gratification, revenge, hatred and was completely centered around getting what I want by whatever means.
- I continually compared myself with others…why do they have more? Look better? I was full of jealousy.
- My understanding of what it meant to be respected and loved was based in the world and not in God’s design.
Are you getting a clear picture? Can you identify?
My deliverance from my old life was knocking at my door, the big question was…”am I willing”, there would be a sacrifice, well at first I saw it that way. God was saying “receive me, let me in and see what happens.” What I saw as a sacrifice was really a cleansing of the demonic forces that were controlling my mind. Let me be clear right here…these dark forces are very real, and they work in subtle ways to draw you away from God. Many times, they are beliefs we grew up with passed from generation to generation mixed with God’s truth they hold you and I captive. Addictions of very kind are held here…in the world’s view of who you are. For me FREEDOM came as I “willingly allowed Jesus to enter the boat and lead my life” there were immediate changes, however, more came as I sought to know God on a deeper level. I trusted God and left the old me, relationships, and places behind. For me the journey took me 1,700 miles away from everything familiar, Kansas became my new home. It took courage to leave it all behind and believing the promise that God would restore all the locust had eaten. “Then I will compensate you for the years That the swarming locust has eaten, The creeping locust, the stripping locust, and the gnawing locust— My great army which I sent among you.” Joel 2:25NASB Even my sweet children left my side, yet God returned and restored them to me.
This last 18 years has been one of tremendous growth, allowing God to remove what needed to go and still today He is showing me attitudes and emotions which need to surrender to Him.
I am a walking miracle, a life restored and rebuilt in Jesus Christ, His love fills my cup, and I cannot imagine my life without Him. The moment I was “willing to receive Him into the boat”, He came, lovingly encouraging me to look to Him for the answers, seek and trust Him to speak truth. He carefully positioned women of God to be the mentors I needed, He gave me a man of God to stand for me and be the ship’s mast in my boat as well as pastors who spoke truth and challenged me. Today, there is no doubt in who I belong to and my position as a daughter of the Most High King. I am His, a bondservant for my Lord Jesus Christ…there is no better position.
My Story belongs to God, a celebration of who God is and very much He loves you and I. Right now, He wants you to see yourself as His as well, will you “willing receive Jesus into your boat”?