My Testimony – By Tracy
He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.
And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.
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As a child growing up on the island of Guam during the seventies, I found a little booklet entitled, “This Was Your Life” which told the story of a rich man who died. He stood before God who replayed the man’s life and it was found that he had rejected Jesus Christ. God then banished him to the lake of fire. I was scared. The back of the booklet said that I needed to believe in Jesus in order to escape the flames of hell, so I prayed to God and asked him to save me. I didn’t know exactly what I was doing. I just knew that I needed some help from God to stay out of hell. It was like following the instructions on the back of the cake mix–I wanted to go to heaven so I followed the instructions. I didn’t understand that being saved is about having a relationship with Jesus Christ–but God met me where I was and, in time, he perfected my understanding.
I was not reared in a Christian family, but I went to church every once in a while, said a prayer before eating (sometimes, I guess, I do not think every time), and recited “Now I lay me down to sleep…” sometimes before going to bed. I’d pick up the Bible every once in a while, but I got sleepy or bored every time I tried to read it. I went through my life living like most other people in this world do. I had opportunities to pursue Jesus, but chose not to–Satan was my lord. Most of the things that I found fun and exciting, I now reject as unholy. I did what I wanted to, but was never completely comfortable with the wild life I was leading. I feel confident that the Lord took my prayer as a child and kept me from being completely sold out to Satan and never making it into God’s kingdom.
During one semester in college I had an Anthropology course that said humans are descended from apes, a Philosophy teacher that said God does not exist, and a Humanities teacher that called the Bible a myth. For the first time in my life I was confused about God. Even though I didn’t really read the Bible, I believed that God was somewhere in the background. These people were telling me that he did not exist. One day I wondered to myself, “Why do I believe in God? Is it because my parents told me about him?” I did not know that God heard me and that he was going to answer.
A few years later, I graduated from college and went to work. One day as I passed the desk of a co-worker, I saw a booklet entitled, “This Was Your Life” lying on her desk–the same tract that I found as a child in Guam almost 20 years earlier! It was like seeing an old friend. I asked if I could borrow it and she said yes. I greedily read it and eventually ordered other tracts for information. Soon after, I began to read the Bible like there was no tomorrow–the television in my apartment wasn’t even plugged up, I was too busy reading God’s word.
The Lord Jesus showed me a lot of things. First of all, he cares about me and everything about me. He desires to be my everything. He also showed me that he loves me and wants to be my Lord and companion. The Lord is holy–and I, as his child, should be holy too. I learned that a life of holiness is wonderfully fulfilling. Now that the Lovely One, Jesus Christ, is my Lord and my Saviour, why would I return back to the filth and vomit that I once had? I am not going back. God does not want anybody to go to hell, but he will not let you in heaven without repentance and faith in his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ who is God manifested in the flesh.
When you make the wise decision of making Jesus Christ the Lord of your life (instead of yourself), he will save your soul. And as you read his word in faith, he will help you as you start obeying it and you will be transformed by the renewing of your mind and you will start proving that good and acceptable and perfect will of God–you will be a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. As David said in Psalm 23, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” As a child of God, you are joint-heir to everything that the Creator of the universe has, yet you are to be the humblest and meekest of persons.
After I started to walk with the Lord Jesus, my life completely changed. One day an old acquaintance called me up. We were on the telephone about 30 to 45 seconds when she said, “Tracy, what happened? [Have] [y]ou been born-again or something?” I was glad to hear from her and I wasn’t trying to sound differently so I was surprised by her comment. Can you see how God can change even your conversational style?
I used to think, “I’ll serve God when I get old like Grandmama.” I am so glad that that didn’t happen! Why is it that we want to give all our good years to Satan and then give the leftovers to the Righteous One? I used to think that serving God would be such a bore. How wrong I was! My life is more exciting than ever–the Bible gives me work to do as a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ and as a wife, mother, and neighbor to my fellow man. I have made up my mind that I will NEVER go back to that wicked place I used to live. I will reprove it and see souls saved and walking with the Lord. I will live my life for the Lovely Jesus. In the best of times or the worst of times, I have no where else to go but him. Glory to God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. How my God woos me to heaven–and every step of the way I know that one day my faith will be made sight.
Some famous people in this world have called Christians losers because Christians do not run to the same excess of riot with them. Christians no longer spend their time in the world’s perversions like drugs, adultery, fornication, addictions, perverse language, evil imaginations, rebellion, lawlessness, pride, television, and their music and movies. Not because we are so good (we were once in the world, too), but because the Lord Jesus Christ has redeemed us from sin and as we read and obey his holy word, our desires actually change. When I sin, I certainly don’t feel good about it and I try to avoid it everyday. I may be despised by people in this world, but I can say with the psalmist,
…I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. Psalm 84:10
If Jesus took a sinner like me and made me clean, he can do the same for anybody willing to repent their sins and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Follow him. Repent ye, and believe the gospel. The following scripture has been placed on my heart of late:
Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise. Isaiah 43:19, 21
The wilderness and desert mentioned in this verse symbolize the landscape of my old, sinful life. God miraculously made a way and a river in the midst of my barrenness. Hallelujah! Will you let him do the same for you? Talk to the Lord Jesus and tell him that you repent of your sins, ask him to take away the guilt, tell the Lord that you believe in him–that he died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead on the third day. Tell the Lord that you give him your life and that you’ll follow him by obey his word. Then thank Jesus for saving your soul.
If you have believed on the Lord Jesus, you are invited to read on about the new life and to visit our index page for our introductory letter as well as many articles (including Christian testimonies, information on the times in which we live, Christian living, and more).
THE SUBLIMITY AND BEAUTY OF DIVINE LIMITATIONS AND DUTIES
*** PREFACE ***
There are people who feel that hearkening to God’s word is too restricting. In many of these cases, I perceive that this is because they do not have the fear of the LORD. If they had the fear of the LORD, then they would automatically start departing from evil just like somebody pulls their hand back from a hot stove.
Without the fear of the Lord, a person is in incalculable trouble. They are disobedient and sinful because they do not fear God. Without the fear of the Lord, there is no wisdom and neither is there good understanding. When we fear him, however, we find ourselves changed and we praise him of a truth. Even the remembrance of his power to subdue us is cause for praise. God ruleth his household well; the subdued must surely know this.
Psalm 111:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.
For me, as the years have worn on, I have found a sublimity and a beauty and a refuge in obeying the divine limitations found in the word of God, the Authorized Version of 1611 of the holy Bible.
I did not grow up in the blessing of a Christian home, but after I became a Christian, my life began to change radically. Jesus was my Saviour from sin and his word was now my guide. I read his word to find out about him and his requirements. As I read day by day, I learned what I needed to do. By God’s grace, mercy, and help, I began to follow God’s word; and as I did, my outlook and preferences began to change.
This meditation is about the sublimity, grandeur, and beauty of divine limitations, the limitations found in God’s word. God’s word is the instructions for man’s life. It shows us the boundaries, the limits, within which we are to live. Everything in creation has a form and limits–for instance, bees look like bees and act like bees according to God’s laws for them. The same is supposed to be true for mankind. We look like people, but, unlike the bee, we do not live in accordance with God’s laws for man. The first man, Adam, sinned, and after that sin was passed on to all his posterity, that includes every person born on the earth. Those of us that repent of our sins and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ are able–and commanded–to live within the limits of God’s word.
When we obey God’s word, the Authorized Version of 1611 of the Bible, we eat of the fat of the land and we are where we are supposed to be and we are whole. Our Father in heaven knows precisely what is best for us–and when we keep his commandments, he provides it for us. By fear of the Lord we leave our sins, but we are not left with nothing to do; a new sort of life emerges and materializes and appears as we take our first wobbly steps in righteousness (even in the midst of this waste howling wilderness).
I have found a home and refuge in the limits of God’s word, the place where I get divine guidance, counsel, comfort, courage, admonition, rebuke, correction, instruction in righteousness, and all that I need. In God’s word, I learned how to physically make an earthly home where we eat home-cooked food and have our own traditions and ways based on his word. I have found a satisfying way of life. God is a Father to the fatherless and when my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up (reference Psalm 27:10). That is great and fantastic news to a world full of broken homes and broken people who have been robbed and plundered and misused. Some people do not even know who their earthly father is, but when they get saved, no problem, they have a Father, a great one and a powerful, their Creator and their God.
The scriptures gave this once deceived person who was drifting with the wind (and making horrendous mistakes) limitations on what I could and could not do. As I went along, corrections were made in me one by one. I found life in the limitations. I have learned by precept and experience that there is no freedom in sin. In sin, there is only death, bondage, and harm. He that committeth sin is the servant of sin–just like a drug addict is the servant of drugs. When I was unsaved, all I did was drift from iniquity to iniquity, sin to sin. But once I repented of my sins, believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, and began hearkening to his word, the scriptures gave me moorings in this life to keep me from being carried about with the howling winds and lies of this world with people lying and deceiving me. Experience proves that my anchor, the Lord Jesus Christ, holds within the veil and keeps me steady no matter how distressing life can get. I also know that there is forgiveness with the Lord; I have been far from perfect. First John 1:9 and “Keep trying, don’t give up,” continued before me. At a later date, when I decided that I had prerogatives that I did not have, things grew dark and I picked up a habit. I saw that the flames licked high. I had to walk away from what held me bound because hell was too serious to dismiss. When I began to leave wickedness, I had a plan in front of me (plan: I followed the habits of someone normal, no discussions with the person). God then showed up in an extremely short period of time; there was no guessing as to whether or not things had turned for me, I could tell that they had. I just kept on going and I could discern that God was helping me. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom–and the fear of God will save your life. God is kind, loving, merciful, and patient. If you wander onto the path of the rebel, he will pull out all the stops to get your attention before you pass the point of no return, that place where he stops striving with you and allows you to burn forever with the tares.
In reflecting on this subject, I took some notes–
From, “do what you feel like doing” to, “Thus saith the Lord.”
Limitations are incredible, focusing, and life giving. There is a sublimity to limitations: being limited to doing what is right and thereby avoiding evil and the disastrous results of evil. Eating of the fat of the land is reserved to the man who fears God–that man keeps God’s commandments because he fears God. He serves the Lord with fear and rejoices with trembling and then, as a result, he sees and feels the blessings of obedience. He loves the God that did this. His admiration for God and his power grows and deepens through the years.
The duties provide:
- and purpose to my life.
They have been learned “here a little, there a little”.
The duties are always there, no matter what is happening–and even when one knows not what to do, the duties remain and provide framework for everyday life, e.g.,
- Anoint thine head and wash thy face.
- Work (Guide the house.)
- Love your spouse and your children.
- Serve others.
- Maintain good works.
- Desire to prophesy.
- Study to shew thyself approved unto God.
- Pray without ceasing.
Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
Through the years I have often wondered how people could ignore the truth given the eternal consequences of a life of disobedience; but now I see that the answer is right in the scriptures…it is literally an abomination to these people to depart from evil–they will not leave it no matter what.
Proverbs 13:19 The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul: but it is an abomination to fools to depart from evil.
John 3: 19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
Because of Adam’s sin, all men are born sinners. In life, each of us children of Adam will settle into one of two groups–
- disobedient to God, continuing to transgress his word.
- obedient to God, following his word.
Those that choose to be disobedient choose evil. They hate the light of God’s word. They will not have their deeds reproved and corrected. They will not have their ways changed. To them, the word of God is restrictive. They have evil things that they want to do.
John 3:20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
Those that choose to be obedient choose the fear of the Lord. They know that God is to be feared and his laws are binding upon mankind. They come to the light of God’s word to be changed and be reconciled to God. They are leaving the transgression of God’s holy and righteous laws. They deserve the wages of sin, but they are trusting in God’s mercy through his holy child, Jesus.
John 3:21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
Each person hears the truth and makes a decision about which way he is going to go. In my case, when I finally understood about the Lord Jesus Christ being the Saviour for me and his word, the holy Bible, being the book for me, I read his word and, like someone going through a checklist, I began trying to align my life with the holy scriptures (I had the Authorized King James Version of 1611 of the Bible with no in-text references or center-column references). One of the things that the Bible told me was to strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many will seek to enter in, and shall not be able–I took that (and everything I read) seriously. In the midst of my imperfect efforts to align my life with his word, the Lord came in with that invisible part, his grace (God’s favour and divine influence), and he mercifully helped me. That process has continued from that day to this day.