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My Christian Testimony
The Inner Rage - That Created The Chasm - Between God and I
"The Lord Jesus will not cast away His believing people because of shortcomings and infirmities. The husband does not put away his wife because he finds failings in her. The mother does not forsake her infant because it is weak, feeble and ignorant.
"And the Lord Christ does not cast off poor sinners who have committed their souls into His hands, because He sees in them blemishes and imperfections. Oh, no, it is His glory to pass over the faults of His people, and heal their backsliding, to make much of their weak graces, and to pardon their many faults."
John C. Ryle
I'm reminded of a time in my life, where I'd just got saved, and I'd finally made the decision to start turning my life over to the Lord. I also remember, that I was so excited about what was happening in my life during that time; so much so, I'd felt both relieved and liberated. For I now knew, that I finally had some sort of real purpose and direction from within my life; from within a world, that's filled with nothing but darkness and confusion.
You see, I always knew that there was a God, and even though I was living my life in such a rebellious way, strangely, I also knew deep down from within me, that Jesus was the Way to true salvation; the only Way to obtaining eternal life; the Savior and Redeemer of humanity.
Now my trust in God truly began to grow, after I had learned, that all the prophecies that had been recorded within God's Word (outside of the book of Revelation) had indeed, already been fulfilled, and in some rare cases, were now in the process of being fulfilled. For me personally, this fact alone, was extremely important. For it help me to see, that the Word of God is truly divine.
And on top of this, learning that Jesus was the main focus point, or theme, when it came to the Word of God; seeing how everything that had been recorded throughout the Old Testament was a foretelling about Him; and how the New Testament, was a confirmation of those things, that had been foretold; turned out for me, to be very impressive. Especially since it took over 1500 years to write the Word of God. And on top of these things, the mere fact that the work was done by forty different prophets and apostles, which in fact, had been led by the Spirit of God -- I must admit... I was truly impressed.
Now it was also nice to know, that Jesus was the first, to point out that you could have a connection with God, that was not only spiritual, but very natural and personal as well. Being that I had always sensed a connection of some sort with the Lord; and although I didn't quite understand it; this connection (although vague) compelled me to what to know more about God. And on top of this, none of the so-called intellectuals were able to refute the claims (with real evidence) that the Word of God had declared to be true.
For they were so desperate, to come against the Word of God, they had even stooped to outright deceptions and lies. And yet, in spite of this never ending assault, the Word of God still reigns. To put it simply, no other person had the answers like the Word of God constantly provides; especially when it comes to the topics of humanity and salvation. Sure you would have some false prophets and teachers that would try, but they all would come up short, when it came to their self-glorifying attempts.
And then there are those, that believe, that all creation was caused by random acts, and holds no real purpose. Then there are some people, who were searching to find missing links, through some type of scientific method. Some even believe, that all creation, had to be some type of illusion.
After learning this, when it came to all of
this being an illusion, a part of me wish this was true, for this would
have caused my bills, and life's dramas, to be some type of illusion as
well. And that was the case, then I wouldn't have to pay my bills
anymore; and when it comes to life's drama, I could better ignore them,
being that they don't really exist. Yeah that would be nice, but
unfortunately, it's not.
Next there were others, who believe, that after death, we are reincarnated; and based off the merits that you have earned throughout life, determines how you will live your next life. Now for me, this simply doesn't make sense; especially since it's a known fact, that "time" is winding down, along with this natural world, and all things that are associated with the natural, will eventually pass away. Now after this happens... then what? What will you be reincarnated to from that point forward? Nothing?
And then there are those, who believe, that we were once immortal beings, who got bored, and so therefore created the universe, and all things from within it; so that we can play some type of "Game of Life" by becoming mortal human beings.
But what we didn't realize, is that once we became mortal, we would forget our true identity as immortal gods, and because of this, we also had forgotten how to get back to the supernatural realm. Now for me, that's really something, and quite interesting... But tell me, what kind of god gets lost, and on top of that... forgets who he is? Anybody?
Nonetheless, others have just given up trying to seek out the one true God, by simply denying that a master creator does not exist. Personally I can't see, how you could deny that God exist, after looking around at this awesome, beautiful creation, is simply beyond me. Oh well... bottom line, none of them could see past the natural world, and into the spiritual, like Jesus Christ; and like the Word of God teaches us.
Now at the top of this testimony, I began by saying that I had "just got saved". So after knowing all of this, why did I feel that I wasn't saved? I mean after all, I claim that I already knew that there was a God, and that I believed that Jesus Christ is the Savior and Redeemer of humanity... Hold up, did you catch that? Notice how I didn't say my "personal Savior" but I referred to Jesus as "The Savior and Redeemer of humanity"?
You see, at that point in my life, I thought that I had messed up so much in my life, I felt that I was beyond saving. So therefore, I wasn't able to see Jesus Christ as my personal Savior. For I totally felt like I wasn't worth saving. And I hated rejection, so why try to be saved, only to be rejected? No, I refused to go down that road. For I'll tell you this, it seemed like everything I tried to do, would end up being messed up, or destroyed somehow. Simply put -- I just knew that I was cursed.
And because of this, I had given up on thinking that I could be saved.
So much so, to where I would not even pray for myself. Since I felt like
God had cursed me, then why would He listen to my prayers? That's
right, I felt that God would laugh at me, if He heard even a whisper of a
prayer, that would dare come from my lips and mind.
Now get this... I would pray for others? I would pray whole heartily and earnestly for them. For I really wanted God to help them (and I knew that they weren't cursed) so I begged Him, to please listen to my plea for the people I cared so much about. I pleaded with God, to not allow my shortcomings and worldly ways, get in the way of Him answering the divine petition, that I had just placed in front of Him.
And guess what? God would answer my prayer! I would be surprised, and I would say something like: "Thanks for listening God, thank you so much." Then I would go on with my life, just trying to survive on my own, apart from God.
Now the reason why I thought the way that I did, I had adopted, and had allowed myself to be influenced with a worldly, and self-defeated type of mindset, when it came to this stage from within my life. You see, there was a time, where I was really angry towards God. I was so angry with Him, I had actually told Him so. And it wasn't in a pleasant prayer voice either. No, it was in an outright angry, loud, and disrespecting voice.
And after I had done this immature action towards the One, who had given me the ability to exist; I thought that I had just messed up with God in a very big way. And so therefore, I just knew I was on my own from that point on. Now get this, I was so angry with God, that I didn't care about being on my own, and separated from Him. For I was determined, to make it on my own. You know, as long as God allowed me to breathe, and as long, as He allowed me to see another day.
And of course, that's a contradiction, I know. But to be honest, I was truly confused, while I'd lived, in a world of chaos. For you see, my world was so chaotic, that I had no purpose or sense of direction. After I had separated myself from God, I had also separated myself from my true purpose, and from the path He had called me to be on.
Now one day when I was at work, the Lord allowed this co-worker to be brave enough to witness, and share his Christian testimony with me. Understand that I was at a point in my life, were I was very sharp, and quick with my arguments, and was very good at shooting down anybody, who would dare try to tell me about God. After all, I felt like I knew God quite well :)
Besides, as far as I knew, this person talking to me, is probably a fake and phony like all the rest I kept hearing about. So I had developed what I like to call "a set of conversation interview questions" and if people couldn't answer them, the way that I felt they should be answered. Well guess what? I wasn't going to listen, and have a conversation with them, when it came to God.
But I will never forget this one particular co-worker (who was just hired by the way) who answered my entire set of silly conversation interview questions, the way that I thought they should be answered. I remember thinking, that I couldn't believe that he was able to crack my silly code. So we ended up talking the whole entire night about the forgiveness, and unconditional love of God. We talked so long, we were afraid that we would eventually get rained on, being that the clouds were extremely dark and the sky was rumbling. And on top of that, a 100% chance of rain had been forecast for that night as well.
Ironically, right after we had finished our conversation, and had gotten into our cars, the rain came pouring down, very heavy. I remember feeling like God had held the rain back, just long enough for me to come back home to Him. Thank you Lord! Every since that night, I never left Him again. Yeah I still make mistakes. But instead of accepting them as a part of my human DNA, or as some kind of curse; I would just ask God to forgive me, and help me to do better. Did you catch that one? I was finally praying to God for myself!
I thank God for allowing that co-worker to share his Christian testimony with me. For if he had not done so, who knows where I would be at this point in my life? I hope and pray, that my very own Christian testimony will be a blessing to people around the world, while helping to encourage them, to want to learn more about their Heavenly Father as well. I also pray, that one day, they too, will be willing to share their Christian testimony, in order to help encourage others. Thank you God for not giving up on us - thank you for allowing us all, the chance to come back home to You.
Antonio L. Mitchell