Good Morning! I am super excited about what the Lord has done today.
A couple of weeks ago, I was on the phone with one of by besties, Cynthia. We were talking about the Insecurity blogs and what the Lord was teaching her. I mentioned to Cynthia that wish I could accurately describe the power of the Holy Spirit and how He is at work. I wish I could explain how He transforms lives. He is so important.
But, I have a gut feeling that a great percentage of believers are not quite sure what to do with Him.
She said, “One way I would explain Him is by how He worked to lead me to make a decision for Christ. He led me away from my destruction and shame. That is the Holy Spirit at work. He is the foundation of my testimony.”
The next morning, I open my email to find a message from Cynthia. Her testimony. Sweet! As a young believer, she went through Blackaby’s Bible study Experiencing God. In brief, Cynthia lays out the seven principles taught to her in that study and how each principle “bullet points” her story.
Her testimony is a first hand account of the Holy Spirit’s ministry in her life. His power led her to Himself. Amazing.
Just let me tell you a bit about Cynthia. Oh my, I can NOT say enough about her. The Lord gave me such a jewel when He blessed me with her friendship. We met when we were both dating our husbands. Hindsight, we were both so young in our faith, and just…so young. Our lives have mirrored one another through every season. We were engaged weeks apart. Married one week apart. Our first born sons are months apart -as are our two other children. She sang at my wedding and sang at mom’s funeral. She has been there when all three of my boys were born. We walk this life together. She has great affection for Jesus. She is in love with His Word and pursues God with fervent passion. She will not settle for less. One thing that is so astounding about the Lord is His miraculous ability to make us NEW CREATIONS. If you met Cynthia, you would think, “Oh, she probably led the perfect life, had the perfect childhood, grew up blemish-free, was valedictorian, etc.” But the truth be, the Lord rescued her from the pit. A dark, empty life of rebellion. Cynthia’s heart in sharing her testimony with all of us is to give honor and glory and praise to the Father for her life today. To reflect on His goodness. And hopefully to bless someone who may be in a holding pattern of life – scared to make the next move towards God. Afraid of what might be lost. Well, she did lose all she knew -only to gain everything.
Testimony – a first hand authentic account of a fact. An outward sign. An open acknowledgement. A public profession.
Here’s what she wrote:
The 7 points of Experiencing God – by H & R Blackaby:
1. God is always at work around you.
2. God pursues a continuing love relationship with you that is real and personal.
3. God invites you to become involved with Him in His work.
4. God speaks by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, prayer, circumstances, and the church to reveal Himself, His purposes, and His ways.
5. God’s invitation for you to work with Him always leads you to a crisis of belief that requires faith and action.
6. You must make major adjustments in your life to join God in what He is doing.
7. You come to know God by experience as you obey Him and He accomplishes His work through you.
Cynthia’s Story ~
I grew up in a Christian church and was exposed to all of the traditions of one. I went to church with my mom because that was what I was told to do. I had no relationship with God. I wasn’t taught “relationship” – just religion. Just works. Big difference. After childhood, I left church. Ten very wild years later, a friend invited me to visit her church. I humored her for awhile, but her church never felt right. My mom kept asking me to revisit my childhood church. She said, “ There is a new pastor now. He is so good at taking the scripture and relating it to everyday life”. 1. God at work.
So I went back. I had wild hair and short skirts. I literally thought to myself, “Mmm, maybe I might meet a good husband here”. I was living with a guy at the time and obviously not leading a very ‘Christian lifestyle’. But through this church… 2. God pursued me.
The pastor began encouraging the congregation to join him in a new Bible study. He said, “If you really want to know who God is try this study, Experiencing God.” I thought, “Whoa, know who God is? That could be cool.” 3. God invited me.
When I looked at the Bible study sign-up sheet, I realized it was mostly older people and married couples. I told mom, “ I don’t think I’ll take it because there is no one my age.” She said, “You usually learn more from a diverse group.” So I went and began learning so much of who God is through His Word and His people. I watched and listened a lot…. How they prayed, what they prayed, how they reacted to others praying, what they talked about, what they wore, how they interacted with each other…. The body of Christ was at work. 4. God speaks by the Holy Spirit – through His people and through His Word.
I began thinking about this life I was leading. Did God approve? I knew my answer was, “No.” I had to make some changes. 5. I came to a crisis of belief.
God was clearly showing me that I needed to live a life pleasing to Him. It is hard to explain, but I just began to trust Him. I was tired of living a life of wishful thinking and broken promises. What would I have to lose, but to trust Him and give this relationship thing a try? So I took the leap – the leap of believing God. The leap of faith that he could be real and just maybe He has a better life in store for me. My best thinking got me where I was (wild hair, short skirts and a live-in boyfriend) so why not just do it! 6. It was time to make an adjustment.
I moved out of my boyfriend’s house and that was hard. Yet, I knew it was what I had to do. Looking back, I know there were several people praying for me. Praying I would have the courage to make a change. God began to work leaps and bounds in my life after that adjustment. The more I studied, the more I prayed (just bare honesty-talking to God about my messed up life). I fellowshipped more and more with the body of Christ and, by the power of the Holy Spirit – I changed. 7. I came to know God.
I give Him all the praise and glory for my life today. ~ Cynthia
John 15:5- “ I am the vine, you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
I love you deeply, Cynthia. You teach me so much. Thank you for your vulnerability today. The Lord bless you and keep you and make His brilliant face shine upon you. You are such a beautiful picture of His grace and passion.