Friday, February 12, 2021

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Jewish Synagogue in Budapest
While we were missionaries in Eastern Europe for four and a half years, based in Budapest, Hungary, I had the opportunity to post a number of testimonies of the great things the Lord did in people's lives.  Some of them were the testimonies of people I met, which I wanted to publish for the glory of God.  Others were testimonies of what the Lord did in my own life while we were there.  And now that we are in the States again, I continue to post testimonies of what God is doing, so that He can receive the praise.

I've tried to organize them in some sort of order, beginning with my own testimony of salvation and the salvation of others I know in the left column.  In the middle column you will find testimonies of healing, deliverance and protection.  In the right hand column, I have posted testimonies of miracles, signs, and wonders, as well as other subjects that did not fit elsewhere.

"Not to us, O LORD, not to us, But to Your name give glory Because of Your lovingkindness, because of Your truth." (Ps 115:1)

The Truth Set Me Free! Testimonies from Voila, Romania Pastor Raised from the Dead
The Lord Healed My Backsliding Healed from a Breathing Obstruction Gems from Heaven
My Life Was Built on the Wrong Foundation Healed of Chronic Leg Pain Escaped Having a Possibly Fatal Accident
Delivered from Cigarettes and Saved Delivered from Voices and Dizziness Like a Man Finding a Pearl of Great Price
The Joy I've Come to Know The Voice That Changed Everything -- the Testimony of Dr. Stenhouse Letting Go of Someone You Love
Testimonies from Kozloduj, Bulgaria
Seeing Dad Alive for the Last Time
My Journey from Buddhism to New Life in Christ 
He Forgave Those Who Threw Gasoline in His Eyes
Saved By a Vision of Second Coming - O. Moses Alabi
You Give and Take Away

Prodigal Restored to God
Outpouring of the Spirit

The Night the Lord Came into My Hut


The Spiritual Awakening of Richmond King

Muslim Woman Now Follows Jesus

Lifted Out of a Slimy Pit

Given a new Heart with Sweet Peace

My Overflowing Joy in Knowing Jesus


“Every fact is to be confirmed by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” (2Co 13:1b)

"And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death." (Rev 12:11)

Attribution notice: Scripture quotation taken from the NASB.

You may also access my complete blog directory at Writing for the Master.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

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"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Luke 6:38


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___________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org. Partner with us online by giving to DMI.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Given a New Heart and Sweet Peace

I'd like to share with you the testimony of my daughter Hope, who is now nineteen years old. This is her own personal account of how she came to know the Lord, and how He gave her a new heart with sweet peace.  

Hope's Testimony
I grew up as the second oldest of five children in a strong Christian household, where we studied the Bible and prayed together and were brought up in the ways of the Lord from a very young age. We were also encouraged to pray and to have a personal relationship with the Lord. From a very young age it was evident that I had already come to know the Lord. When I was just barely two, I liked to pray for people. I also went around our house saying, "We don't worship idols.  We worship Jesus." When I was a tender three years of age, I said, "I love Jesus" and He put "a new heart inside my heart.” At this same age, my dad saw a lot of good things growing out of my heart. During the day, I talked about Jesus, expressing my love for him, and had a joyful spirit about me. One time when I was four, I said, "The blood of Jesus is on the door of our hearts." 

Not only did I have a personal knowledge of the Lord, but when I was almost five, I suddenly asked my mom without any prompting, "Mommy? Can we go tell the neighbors about God?  I'll tell the neighbors, 'You don't want to love the devil, because he wears black and there's fire in hell.'" I don’t think we actually went to talk to them, but there was that desire in me to evangelize to our neighbors. There were several times as a little girl when my father prayed with me to receive Jesus into my heart. One of those times was on August 3, 2006, when I was five years old. In addition to praying to receive Jesus, my dad laid his hands on me and prayed that I would be baptized in the Holy Spirit. When he did so, I told him that I felt happy. 

Almost a year later, on July 15, 2007, my family and I visited a church were my dad preached. During the message, he asked if there was anyone there who had not yet given his life to Jesus. Although I raised my hand, my dad I didn't see it. When my mom brought it up after we had returned home, I acknowledged that I had raised my hand.  My answer when my parents asked me the reason why was, "Because I wanted to give my life to Jesus." My parents then prayed with me to invite Jesus into my heart and give my life to Him. A week later, I was baptized in Jesus’ name in the presence of friends and family. That moment marked the most significant change that had happened up until that point in my life.

Faith (L) and Hope (R)
A couple months later, my sister already noticed a difference in me after our dad had taught us on praise, and I lifted my hands in worship. She related to my dad later, “I saw right through her hands and her arms that the Holy Spirit was all over her.  For the first time I saw that Hope had freedom to lift her hands and praise God that I had never seen before she knew the Lord.  But now she has that freedom.” The following year, my family and I watched a program which highlighted a revival in which young people were being set on fire for God. My sisters and I were inspired by this to hold our own revival meeting in our living room, which I led. As we played on drums we sang, “Baptize us in the Holy Spirit, baptize us in fire!" During this session, we also were praying for each other. 

Three and a half years later, when I was eleven, my family and I watched a video about two young ladies, one who had gone to hell and another who had seen Jesus.  This video brought conviction to us, and we all repented and asked the Lord for forgiveness for our sins. We also asked the Lord to fill us with His Holy Spirit, and He did so. I was baptized in the Holy Spirit and spoke in other tongues. This experience was the beginning of the Lord burning away the dross in my life. A week later, on New Year’s Eve, my family and I listened to a book by a South Korean pastor called “Baptized by Blazing Fire.”  Through this book we all were encouraged to seek the Lord in prayer. My dad then prayed for me and both of my sisters. I repented of the darkness I had allowed in my heart and was set free. I also received the baptism with the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues. My family and I knelt down and prayed earnestly for quite some time. During this time that we spent seeking the Lord, I felt that God had set me free!  

After this time we spent in prayer, my family could all see the evidence of this new freedom on my face and in my eyes.  They could see a peace in my countenance, and there was a gentleness they could see on me that they had not seen before. My face was aglow with a light upon it.  It looked as though scales had been taken from my eyes, and they were now clear and glowing with light. In the period of my life leading up to that point, I had allowed a lot of demons into my life. I had a lot of self-hatred and even entertained suicidal thoughts. But the Lord had begun a work in my life to bring me out of that darkness into the Light. I was still far from perfect, but the Lord was working to purify me from the things in my life that were not of Him. One morning, six months later, my older sister heard me awaken speaking in tongues. I had no idea that just a while before, my younger sister had also awoken speaking in tongues.

In the years that followed, I still had sins in my life that I needed to deal with, and there were times when I wondered if I was even saved. During this time, one of my sisters went through a process of thinking for herself about God, and recommitting her life to Him. When she was going through that experience, my dad had told us that sometimes it is a good idea for young people, even if they have already given their lives to Jesus when they were little children, to renew that commitment to Him when they are older and have gone through a process where they have really thought for themselves about God, and independently made that decision to serve Him. Sometime after that, when I was almost fifteen years old, I decided that now was the time for me to recommit my life to the Lord. On October 10, 2015, I surrendered my life anew to Christ during my personal prayer time. 

Just a few weeks later, on November first, my mother had a word of prophecy for me during our family church meeting, which she spoke over me with tears. The word was, “This coming year of your life, the Lord wants to open your mind to greater understanding, greater revelation, greater knowledge of God, greater love for God, and for others. He wants to unfold your spirit like a flower bud opening up to the light of God.” She then prayed for these words to be fulfilled in my life. 

In the weeks that followed, I forgot about this word for me that the Lord had given through my mother. However, just months later, early the following year, the Lord began to bring these words to pass. I believe it started with the Lord bringing to my remembrance past sins in my life that I had not repented for. As I repented of those sins, the Lord kept bringing more to the surface. I also began to take even the small sins I committed in my everyday life seriously, crying and repenting for them. I was so aware of my sin that, there were times that I spent basically my entire personal prayer time repenting, sometimes crying from the depths of my heart over my sin. However, I needed to learn to accept God’s forgiveness and grace and not keep on beating myself up even after I had repented. During this time of refining, my dad told me that he had been noticing a change in me, which He believed the Lord was bringing me through so that I could have a breakthrough in the end. 

However, even though the Lord was bringing about this work in my life, the devil was also working to bring doubts into my mind. I started to wonder if God really existed and if Jesus had really come to earth and died for me on the Cross and risen again. There also were times when I didn’t feel that God heard me when I prayed. I went through days where I felt down, and didn’t feel like praying at times because of these doubts in my heart. I wanted to believe, and I kept on repenting of my unbelief. There were moments when I was alone when I cried my heart out in total despair because of these thoughts.

During this time, my parents encouraged and counseled me. I remember one particular night where I had been praying alone, and I started to enter into this despair and to cry uncontrollably because of these doubts. My mom heard me, and came into the room where I was. Among other things she told me something like, as the hymn “My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less” says, darkness sometimes hides the Lord’s face, but we just need to trust that He is still there, even when we don’t feel His nearness. My dad came in at some point, and they told me to go lie down and rest, and just “be still and know that He is God.” As I was lying there and resting in the fact that He is God, I felt the Lord’s peace, and I believe it felt as if there was literally a supernatural peace in my chest.

During this period of struggling with doubt, there was one time when I was listening to a replay of a Christian radio program, which had been from the previous Resurrection Sunday weekend. The focus of the program was about Thomas doubting when Jesus rose again from the dead. One of the passages quoted during the program was John 20:27 where Jesus said “Stop doubting and believe.” I felt that God was speaking to me through this to stop doubting. 

A little over a week later, during my personal prayer time I asked God to strengthen me and my family’s feeble hands and to strengthen our feeble knees that give way. After I had finished my regular Bible reading, I felt led to read an extra chapter in the Bible. I ended up reading Isaiah 35. Unbeknownst to me before I started reading, verse three of that passage says, “Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way.” I had “coincidentally” stumbled upon the very verse I had just prayed! I don’t believe I had ever prayed this verse before so it was definitely the Lord’s doing that I chose to read this passage. I felt that through this divine coincidence that God may have been trying to show me that He hears my prayers, since I had been having doubts that He did. 

During this time of struggling with unbelief, my dad also gave me articles of his to read to help strengthen my faith, such as one about Muslims who had been saved after Jesus appeared to them. Those were indeed faith-building. God eventually gave me victory and helped me to overcome these doubts. I give God all the glory for what He has brought about in me. Even though I am still far from perfect, I’m not the same person I used to be, and I believe that He Who began a good work in me will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. 

Each and every one of us has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, no matter how good we may consider ourselves, even if we were raised in a Christian family and never went the way of the world. We all deserve eternal hellfire and torment. However, God loved us so much that He sent His Son Jesus Christ into this dark world to die on the cross and take the punishment we deserve. Jesus rose again from the grave, victorious over death, and now reigns at God’s right hand. Jesus is longing for you to forsake your sins, and come follow Him for the rest of your days. If you have never made this decision, I invite you to do so today. Now is the time of God’s favor; now is the day of salvation (2 Cor. 6:2). No matter how young you may be, none of us is promised tomorrow, so this may be your last chance. 

Repent of every sin you’ve ever committed, and ask Jesus to forgive you and cleanse your heart as white as snow with His blood. Believe in your heart that Jesus took the penalty for your sins on the cross, and that He rose again. Surrender your whole life to Him, and make Him your Lord and Savior. If you are having doubts about God, I challenge you to cry out sincerely to Him and ask Him to reveal himself to you and help you overcome your unbelief, and He will surely do just that. He will bring you from darkness in his glorious light. I pray I will one day meet you at the throne of God when we reach heaven someday. 

Author's Note: If you enjoyed this post, you may also like to read The Truth Set Me FreeMy Overflowing Joy in Knowing Jesus, and Lifted Out of a Slimy Pit, which are the testimonies of myself and two of my other children. Also see the Home page of this blog for more testimonies. You are invited to view my collection of blogs at Writing for the Master.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe. 

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"

________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

My Overflowing Joy in Knowing Jesus

I'd like to share with you the testimony of my youngest daughter Faith, who is now eighteen years old. This is her own personal account of how she came to know the Lord, based on her memory, as well as her own journal and the journal I have kept for all my children since they were born. This will bless your heart!

Faith's Testimony
I was very blessed to be born as the third oldest child into a family with a father and mother who were Christians. They loved me and my siblings, taught us from the Bible, and prayed with us.

Four years old
When I was three, my parents could see that I had faith in God when I thanked him for answering my prayers as though it had already happened. I would also sometimes sing along with the songs at church while clapping or lifting my hands in worship.

At the age of four, I once prayed and heard the Lord telling me, “Be kind to your neighbors and bring peace.”

A few months prior to my praying to receive Jesus, I already knew that He was the one true God, and this was shown when at one time I called over to our unsaved next-door neighbor, and said things like, “Love Jesus and serve Him”, and, “Love the Lord!  He's the only true God that will answer your prayers! You will praise Him and He will love you and you will adore Him.”

Then, one night when I was four years old, on August 3, 2006, we as a family were preparing to have our evening devotional. My father prayed and asked the Lord what passage to read from and was shown John 3. Just as that happened and before he said so, I announced, "The Lord said we're gonna read from John." Afterward I prayed to receive Jesus and be born again.  Then my father laid hands on me and prayed for me to be filled with the Holy Spirit. God divinely orchestrated this event so that we read John 3 which is the passage that has the verses, “Jesus replied, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again,’” (John 3:3) and, “Jesus answered, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.’” (John 3:5)

About a month after this incident, I was outside and I yelled across the street to some of our neighbors saying, “Love Jesus! And love your neighbor as yourself!” In response, they closed their window.

Sometime after this, my father got a word for me which was that I would move in the gifts of faith, miracles, and powerful healing. I would be a fisher of men and lead people to Jesus. I would get words of knowledge for people and speak into their lives and break the power of darkness off of them.

On another occasion, I asked my aunt if she knew that Jesus died on the cross and rose again. I would even ask strangers if they knew and loved Jesus. And when I found out from some of them that they did, I got very excited. When I was five years old, I declared to my father that when I grew up I wanted to “go everywhere and tell people about Jesus” and that I would “go all over the planet and look for people who want to love Jesus”.

At this age, I even dictated to my older sister the following declaration that I wanted her to record in my journal: “I love Jesus more than anyone else. And I want to serve Him for the rest of my life.  And also I want to follow Him even when I am playing. God will comfort everyone in this family. And I will read the Bible every day. I want to praise Him in church. And I want to help other people when they are sad. I love Jesus, and I want to help my family. And I want Jesus to heal me.”

There was one period of time in my fifth year where every night I would have night terrors and would scream in fright. When I woke up, I would not even remember what I had dreamt. My father finally cast out the spirit of fear that he discerned was causing these terrors. And when I rejected the evil spirits and prohibited them from returning to me, they didn’t come back. Praise the Lord!

At the age of six, I told my father, "Daddy, I think part of what God wants me to do in life is to share Jesus with people."

Nine years old
When I was nine, my family and I watched a video about two girls—one who saw Jesus and another one who went to hell and came back to tell of her experience. Afterward, we all repented to the Lord of our sins. After asking the Lord to fill me with His Holy Spirit, I received this with the evidence of speaking in tongues.

A few weeks later, we were again listening to testimonies, and we were all encouraged to seek the Lord. This was another point at which I was filled with the Holy Spirit, and at this time, I prayed fervently to the Lord for about an hour, repenting and confessing my sins to the Lord, dedicating myself to him, praising Him, and breaking any curses off of our family that the devil would try to put on us. (For more about this wonderful experience, please see Outpouring of the Spirit.)

There were other times later on when I received the Holy Fire and felt it on my body or in my hands as balls of fire. As the Scripture says, “He [Jesus] will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” (Matthew 3:11)

One night, following these experiences, I dreamt that I was standing in a room with angels walking around. Whenever they would walk in front of or beside me, this wonderful weight would come upon me, and I would fall backwards because of it.

A few days later, while I was in prayer, I asked the Lord to speak to me. So I waited and then heard, “Go out and minister.” I asked, “How, Lord?” And he impressed upon me Psalm 82. I didn’t know what this passage said, so in my Bible reading time, I looked it up. The verses that I believe God was answering my question with were verses 3 and 4. They say, “Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” I was amazed at how clearly God had spoken to me.

Fifteen years old
In May of 2018, at the age of fifteen, in my time with the Lord, I recommitted and surrendered my life to the Lord. I cried out for love, joy and peace, and as I told the Lord, “Thy loving-kindness is better than life,” I felt joy surging up within me.

I praise the Lord for all that He has done in my life, and I know that God still has great things in store for me.


My Invitation to You
But now it is your turn to make a decision. Maybe you, like me, were born into a Christian family, and you’ve gone to church all your life; maybe you even believe you’re a “good” person. But that is not enough. You must be born again to enter the kingdom of God. You need to recognize your sinfulness and repent, asking the Lord to forgive you and make you clean. He is waiting and more than willing, if you will ask Him to come into your heart and be the Lord of your life.

Or maybe you’ve never heard the gospel before; let me tell you, Jesus is the only way to heaven. He doesn’t want you to perish in Hell. He loved you so much that He came to earth and took your sin upon Himself and died on the cross for you. He rose from the dead and is now seated at the right hand of God. He is knocking at the door of your heart wanting to come in and give you life, love, joy, and peace like you’ve never known before. Will you accept Him and the gift He has to offer you?

Do it now; the time is short. No matter what you’ve done, God will receive you. Repent of your sins, ask Him for forgiveness, invite Him into your heart, take Him as your Lord and Savior, and surrender your life to Him to serve Him whole-heartedly. The Bible says, “That if you confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, ‘Everyone who trusts in Him will never be put to shame.’” (Ro 10:9-11)

I hope that my testimony has been an encouragement to you, and that it has touched your life in some way, whether you were saved already, or not, and you have just now started your heavenward journey. I look forward to seeing you some day at those pearly gates in glory.

Attribution notice: Scripture quotation taken from The Holy Bible NIV, copyright Zondervan, used by permission. 

Author's Note: If you enjoyed this post, you may also like to read The Truth Set Me Free, Given a New Heart and Sweet Peace, and Lifted Out of a Slimy Pit, which are the testimonies of myself and two of my other children. Also see the Home page of this blog for more testimonies. You are invited to view my collection of blogs at Writing for the Master.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Lifted Out of a Slimy Pit

I'd like to share with you the testimony of my oldest daughter Charity, who is now twenty-one years old. This is her own personal account of how she came to know the Lord, and how the Lord brought her back to him later after she drifted away from him. This will bless your heart!

Charity's Testimony
My relationship with God began at an early age. I grew up in a solid Christian family, where each family member was encouraged to have their own personal walk with Jesus. I believe that back then, I had started off at a very young age, really knowing God in a personal way and having a sincere love for Him, bubbling with joy and possessing childlike innocence. Yet I had a rebellious streak in me. And as we know, the enemy will exploit any opportunity he can.

Somewhere along the way, I opened a door and allowed the enemy to take over part of my life. I became disconnected from God and for a season, I lost that precious relationship from earlier years. At one point, I even stopped reading my Bible and spending time with God in prayer, yet I never realized the indispensable gift slipping from grasp--my salvation. I became vulnerable to the voices of demons and began to succumb to the lure of sin. At the time, it never occurred to me that my sins were even sins, since my eyes were blinded over. Being unfamiliar with God’s Word, I failed to realize the Bible clearly states in 1 Co 6:9-11 that no unrighteous person will enter the Kingdom of God.

It was between the ages of 8-10 that I got involved in secret sin. I had no idea that it was even sin, but the devil had me hooked like a fish to the bait. All along, I kept it under wraps so that my parents would never know. But sin will find you out! The illusion that you can keep it hidden is a hellish deception to keep you in bondage and eventually, you reason within that you’ll never escape it’s hold. You can’t hide from God. He sees everything in our lives, whether good or bad.

As the years progressed and I kept my sin hidden, it snowballed. I was self-deceived as my ever-present curiosity got the best of me. 

Beginning in 2008, I made some very foolish mistakes. The open door I had neglected to close only enabled the enemy to gain a bigger stronghold in my life. Before long, I was even lying and stealing, all within my own family. Not even twelve years old yet, I also took advantage of my father’s computer to view adult content on the Internet. I would usually arise early in the morning to do this, so that I would not be discovered.  But as the story often goes, I was eventually found out, and I recall the grief this inflicted. I was disciplined, but I don’t believe that I was truly repentant. I believe I was more remorseful that I had been found out than I was really sorry for what I had done.

About two years later, we moved. There, my sin continued. The youthful lusts of my past and my intense curiosity grew like a weed. I brought much disgrace upon my head through the dishonoring of my parents, among other sins. Meanwhile, I thought I was a Christian, when in reality, I had drifted far from God. The lying and cover-ups continued. I was really convinced that I would get away with it. It amazes me that at the same time, God had been granting me so many dreams in which I was overcoming demons and I would see Jesus and heaven, but I never lived a life worthy of my calling as a Christian. I wrote a number of poems that spoke of God and how we need to live a holy life, but I wasn’t starting with myself!

In December 2012, revival was brought to my family through Pastor Kim’s holy fire books. I received the baptism with the Holy Spirit, with the evidence of speaking with new tongues, and there was deep repentance. I believe that the initial experience was absolutely of God, but I don’t recall ever repenting for the sins I was currently involved in. It shocks me that I never even gave a second thought to that. The truth is, I was a hypocrite. I wasn’t really changed. I might’ve thought I was, but I was fooled. Granted, God did some wonderful things in my life, but I had not yet turned from my wicked ways.  I continued in the pattern of my strong will and disobedience. Did I ever stop to think that I was only hurting myself? I’m sure that thought crossed my mind more than once. But I kept on in the pleasures of sin, which as we know, are only promised for a short time (Heb 11:25)

About five years prior to this spiritual awakening, I, along with my two younger sisters, had begun a Life Transformation Group\ (LTG) where we were assigned a specific amount of Bible reading and a list of lost souls to pray for daily. I was ten or eleven at the time. We would meet weekly to discuss each other's lives, and answer certain questions, which included the confession of sin. Although there were sins that I was confessing, I kept many other things hidden. If I recall correctly, there were times that I lied about having completed the assigned Scripture reading. And, like I said, I wasn't coming clean with any secret issues.

There were so many dreams I had where God gave me victory over demonic creatures, but in reality, I was in bondage. I did what they told me to do and never gave it a second thought. Heaven and Jesus were also revealed to me through dreams during my childhood. I had so many heavenly experiences with God throughout my life. Occasionally I would receive words of encouragement for others. I also received inspired poems from the Lord. In addition to this, I was blessed with artistic talents.

Regardless of how much He did through me, I was in a dangerous place when I was caught in the web of sin. As long as it was hidden, I was bound. So the cycle continued.

I eventually stopped committing these sins around age 15 or 16. Gradually, every sin from the past faded from memory, as I pushed them aside and under the rug, until I really paid no consideration to the need for repentance

After returning from Eastern Europe, by the time we had settled in North Carolina, I thought my relationship with God was actually going well. I was hearing from God, had re-established my daily prayer and Bible reading, and I felt that now, I was really starting to lead my life in a way that was pleasing to the Lord. I didn’t necessarily feel like I was a sinner, or that I was presently practicing sin. I was even starting to think differently. My perspective of everything, both spiritual and physical, seemed very different. Now, I was so careful about being honest to my parents and not lying about the smallest thing. God seemed to be at work in my heart. I was under the impression that He was “changing my thinking”, as I recall telling my dad one evening. And He was beginning to do a deep work in me. This was only the start of a cleansing that would take place over a period of weeks. I had no idea the transformation that was on the verge of happening.

The true start of this transformation was the night my dad and I were having our customary one-on-one together, quality dad-and-daughter time. I was telling him all about how God was changing my thinking and how personal He was becoming to me. During that flow of thought, my dad suggested I recommit my life to God. He explained that often, people know God at an early age, but as the years progress, the need to refresh their commitment becomes necessary. The same could be applied to me. I had known God from an early age, but I hadn’t been faithful in my walk.

As my dad was discussing this with me and even after we talked, the idea of recommitment was still a consideration in my mind. As it turns out, the very next day, February 15, 2014,  at the age of 15, I took this vital step. Following this, everything changed.

Two days transpired until one morning before school, I was simply going about my normal routine when it struck me out of literally nowhere: I came under the powerful conviction of the Holy Spirit concerning sin and righteousness and judgment. It overtook my thoughts. I was overcome with mixed feelings, such as fear, guilt, shame, and remorse. I thought to myself with a lump in my throat, I could never confess these sins to my parents. They’d never understand! All this time they were so convinced I was a godly girl. I had their trust. And besides, I can’t bear the shame this will bring.

All throughout the first few hours of school, the conviction of the Holy Spirit weighed so heavily upon me that I could think of nothing else. I tried to get my mind off of it, but it overpowered me. I felt like my heart was sinking beneath the ground. I wanted to run and hide. But we cannot run from the Holy Spirit, The Spirit of God is everywhere.

The same day, out of desperation, I brought the issue up with my mom while avoiding specific detail. All the while, tears were welling up in my eyes. I couldn’t help but cry. Could I have been so blind? For so long, it had somehow sufficed to sweep it all under the rug and “forget”. It never ceases to amaze me that God would chose to reveal my sins to me at such an unlikely time! I had become the object of His abundant mercy. “What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory—“ (Rom 9:23)

Later that day I went straight to a closet, shut the door, and poured out my heart to God in repentance with so many tears. I must’ve cried for at least a half hour or more. I earnestly repented to God for everything I could think of that the Holy Spirit had brought to my remembrance. With everything in me, I repented as hard as I could, and I believe it was there that He granted me sorrow unto repentance.

However, even after I stepped out of the closet, the reassuring peace I longed for was lacking. I felt a pressing obligation to go reconcile with my mom or dad, but fear held me captive. I just couldn’t!  I took my Bible and searched the Scriptures for verses or passages that referred to sin and confession of sin. Part of me wanted to find an excuse, a way out of having to confess. The other part of me sensed that I really ought to confess to my parents, that I could not hide it from them. Then I came across 1 John 1:9, which says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness,” I realized there are two different ways to confess -- to God and other people.

As hard as it was, I began the painful process of confession. Yes, it was heart-wrenching. Yes, there was a sea of tears shed. But after that period of confession, peace came into my heart at last, peace that passes all understanding. I knew that God had forgiven me. Joy came and I was able to sing with a freedom in my heart once again. I have now begun to experience a certain degree of intimacy with God. Thank God for new beginnings! He allowed me to start over again. What a gift! In his great mercy, He delivered my feet from the snare. He has truly changed my life, and I am eternally grateful.

It’s truly an act of God’s mercy that He brought my past sins to my attention. Praise God! However, the cleansing still had a long ways to go. As the Lord brought more things back to my remembrance, I would confess those, too. There were so many things I had forgotten about! I tried my best to be as honest and transparent as I could. Slowly but faithfully, the Lord dealt with my heart. I recall this time of my life as a trail of tears, if you will. Many tears, but much joy in the Holy Spirit! It’s in those darkest times of my life—the deepest valleys—that I’ve found He has been the closest to me. “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Ps 34:18)

As with any process, He continues to drive the foolishness and disobedience out of my heart. He continues to purge me and cleanse me in this purifying process, which is what I’ve been seeking anyway. I am so grateful that God delivered me from what once bound and held me captive. The “old me” has been swallowed up in life!

I urge you today, if you find yourself reading this testimony and know you’re life isn’t right, that you seek the Lord for His forgiveness. He is willing and ready to receive you back. Don’t believe the lie that you’ve gone too far! There is no one who’s sunk too deep that His mercy can’t reach. He is pursuing you with passionate love, hoping you’ll hear His voice. Even if He has to leave the ninety-nine just to go after you, He’ll do whatever it takes. Please don’t forfeit the indescribable gift that can be readily yours.

“I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy put, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God…” (Ps 40:1-3)

Attribution notice: Scripture quotation taken from The Holy Bible NIV, copyright Zondervan, used by permission. 

Author's Note: If you enjoyed this post, you may also like to read The Truth Set Me Free, My Overflowing Joy in Knowing Jesus, and Given a New Heart and Sweet Peace, which are the testimonies of myself and three of my other children. Also see the Home page of this blog for more testimonies. You are invited to view my collection of blogs at Writing for the Master.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

Friday, March 2, 2018

The Night the Lord Came Into My Hut

Grace and his wife
I'd like to share with you the testimony of a pastor in Uganda named Grace, a friend of mine, who is enrolled in our Doulos Training School. He has an amazing testimony of how the Lord saved him in 1989. It reminds us once again of the terrible oppression the Ugandan people suffered under Idi Amin's brutal regime and crimes against humanity. He states:

"In 1989, during years of turmoil in our country, I felt a strong need for security and a solution to the endless problems we were going through in our country. As a young boy, [I] went through harassment from people and hostilities; by then even my father, who was a county chief, was helpless and needed help too."

"On several occasions I looked for ways to die, but found none. I tried to join [the military] forces, but couldn't, as I longed for peace and security. One night while in my hut, it came to my mind that I have a Creator who cares. I cried tears as I asked the Lord to forgive me from my sins. One night again I had an experience when the Lord came into my hut with lightning, thundering, and much smoke; I nearly died."

"I had an experience when the Lord came into my hut with lightning, thundering, and much smoke; I nearly died. Afterward, I came out and found there was no rain."

"Afterward, I came out and found there was no rain. I prayed to the Lord to forgive me and went to my Protestant church on Sunday. I requested to say something which turned [out] to be a preaching, and for the first time in that church people got saved. We started what we called 'Light Christian Fellowship' before my joining a Pentecostal church."

Praise the Lord for that amazing testimony! He now says, "I have a mission to accomplish in Jesus' Name." Praise the Lord for what He has done in our brother Grace's life!

Perhaps you are feeling a bit like him right now. You may feel a strong need for security and a solution to the endless problems you are going through. You might be experiencing hostilities and harassment from people. You may be longing for peace and security, but you just can't seem to find it. You may be so desperate that you are even longing to die. If that's you, let me remind you that you have a Creator who cares. He sent His only begotten Son Jesus Christ into this world to die on the cross for you, so that you could be forgiven of your sins and spend eternity with Him in heaven. He has an amazing plan for your life, and you have a mission to accomplish for Him. Cry out to Him and ask Him to forgive your sins.

"That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation." (Rom 10:9-10)

Ask Him to come and live inside your heart and take control of your life. Even if you do not experience lightning, thunder, and smoke inside your home, your experience will be just as real, genuine, and meaningful as what happened to Grace. The moment that Jesus Christ comes to live inside your heart will be one you will never forget. Believe in Jesus Christ that God raised Him from the dead, and confess Him as your Lord and Savior, so that you may be saved. He will transform your life, and you will never be the same. Old things will pass away and all things will become new.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.

Author's Note: If you enjoyed this post, you may also like to read Gems from HeavenGod's Amazing Plan for Your Life, Saved By a Vision of Second Coming - O. Moses Alabi, An Atheist Turns to ChristPastor Raised from the DeadLife After DeathEzekiel Moses Testimony of Heaven and Hell, The Truth Set Me Free, James Agboola Revelation of Heaven and Hell, and Should you fear the Lord?. You may access more testimonies like this on the Home page of this blog. You are also invited to view my collection of blogs at Writing for the Master

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.