“And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.” (Revelation 12:11 ESV)
I have heard people that were raised in Christian homes claim that they don’t have exciting testimonies. I don’t agree, at all. I have often thought anyone who thinks that about their own testimony does not understand how sinful or how needful of God’s grace they really are. Here is a great testimony of God’s grace to a young woman who was raised in a Christian home. Her name is Becky, and I love her dearly- I especially love her tenacious love for God. Here is her testimony, I am sure that it will greatly encourage you- especially, if you think that your own testimony is boring because you were raised in a Christian home.
Ever since the first time my parents held me in the hospital I have been privileged to hear the gospel but it wasn’t until I was about twelve years old that the Lord started working the miracle of salvation in my heart.
Before I came to know the Lord I had a constant thirst for sin. I often meditated on sinful thoughts and I enjoyed watching things that I knew where sinful and God would not be pleased with. However, what God was pleased with made no difference to me, I did whatever would “gratify the desires of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16), i.e. whatever made me feel good at whatever time I wanted it, I chose not to think about the possibility that what I was doing was only storing up wrath for me. Whatever made me feel and/or look good was what I set my mind to do. I read the Bible daily and quickly prayed before I started my day, but I saw devotional time only as a duty. I didn’t think, whatsoever, about the Word in depth, and I never even paused to think about who I was praying to. There was no joy in spending time with God. As long as I could check it off my to-do list, I was set. I wouldn’t say I thought I was a good person, I knew everyone was a sinner and I knew God hated sin, but I never stopped to think about myself personally. I assumed I was already a believer, at least until I was about eleven. Around that time, I went into about eight months or so of a spiritual depression. I can’t remember exactly when it started, but I began to have terrible thoughts about the Lord Jesus come into my mind. I tried fighting them with all my might- but I couldn’t seem to get them out of my mind. It was because of this that I thought God hated me. Worse than that, I thought He detested me. I tried over and over again to beg for his forgiveness, but no matter what I did I felt filthier and more depressed as the days wore on. I felt a heavy, heavy burden on my soul that was far more weight than anything I could ever explain. I thought for sure God would not forgive me, I was His one exception. No one else could ever be as wicked as me and my thoughts were. It was because I knew God was perfect and He demanded perfection that I thought He would most definitely reject me, for I had ruined my only hope. I constantly bore the overwhelming feeling of what I thought was God’s anger and rage towards me, it was as though it were a thick fog, always all around me and all I could see in front of me. I can remember times just lying awake at night crying myself to sleep, thinking about what my eternity would be like. But God never ordains anything without a purpose. My weakness and helplessness before a holy and almighty God led me to finally bring my depression to my sister. She encouraged me to go to God- to get up early to daily read the Scripture and have a prayer time- not to just do devotions for the sake of checking it off my to do list, but to really spend time with God. So I did.
I was also able to finally bring my depression to my parents and specifically, my mom. God used these things mightily to bring me to Himself. The Lord used many people and things to lead me to see Him as He really is, not how my puny, sinful mind portrayed Him to be. I came to realize first that God will save anyone He wants to, you can’t out-sin God’s grace. As Daniel 4:25 says, “All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and He does according to His will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and no one can stay His hand or say to Him, ‘what have you done?’” I also realized that He is the One that places the desire to know Him in us. I came to realize I was hopeless, wretched and deserving of eternal torment, and that was exactly what I was going to get, except for one reason and one reason only – Jesus Christ. He is everything to the believer, He is everything to me. He is the only one that took away my sin and wicked deeds on the Cross. He died because He loves me, not because of me- but because of Himself. And He rose again so that I can have new life, eternal life, in Him. I also came to realize a little bit about spiritual warfare. The Scriptures say in Ephesians 6:12, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” The Enemy is really at work in this present darkness and the only One who can defend us is God, we are indeed weak.
Through all of this I’m not exactly sure what moment God changed my heart from loving me to loving Him, but I know I started to see a lot of changes in my life, mind, and heart. I started enjoying my time with the Lord first of all. I now look forward to being able to pour out my heart to Him and thank Him for His work. I love reading Scripture and I get excited when God gives me an insight in His Word. During those prayer times I started confessing sins and bringing them to the Cross. I started being able to actually encourage and talk to others about the Lord from my own experience with Him. I started meditating on the Lord instead of immorality. One of the most joyful things for me was when I found myself actually joyfully anticipating the second coming of The Lord Jesus. These things didn’t come simultaneously but God did work and He is definitely still working.
Since coming to know Christ I have had sustained, immovable joy in God. The joy I have in Him is sustained and immovable because He is the one who saved me. I can and could do absolutely nothing to save myself I was dead. But Christ raises the dead. He saved me and “He who began a good work will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6) The more I think about it, the more overwhelmed I am at God’s kindness to me, He is so good. Now, I have a joyful eternity in front of me because of Jesus. Luke 11:20 says, “Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”. I can now be a part of bringing glory to God – that is perhaps the best gift of all that we receive in Christ. To sum it all up, Ephesians 1:11-12 says, “In Him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the council of His will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of His glory.”