However much pain and sorrow there is in one’s testimony,
Jesus Christ can make beauty from its ashes
Beloved, how splendid it is to know the love of God made known in none other than Jesus Christ the Lord. Once again, I share a bit of my testimony with you. When the Lord called me on July 3, 2009, I was a man who was separated from my then wife Janet. I was not an honorable husband, provider or leader to her. I was selfish and only thought of myself. This is not an exaggeration or an understatement. It is the shameful and miserable truth I knew, embodied and lived out daily. The Lord bless that woman who loved, lived and cared for me all the while although I did her so much wrong. Only the Lord knows that I wish I could take it all back and that I wish she could know how wonderful the Lord is and how He alone can take away the pain I inflicted on her, whether it be of a verbal, emotional, physical or spiritual level. God only knows the sorrow I have felt, the tears I have shed and the constant cries I have lifted up to Him on her behalf. The Lord be ever so gracious to that woman! Amen. With my confession and testimony commencing, I now invite you Into My HEART...
Having been separated for three months at that time, Christ drew near to me and called out to me when I cried out to Him to help me as I could no longer take the pain, anger and grief I was experiencing over my failed marriage, over being a failure of a husband and a shattered man. On that night everything changed for me. I experienced the love of God. Jesus Himself loved me when I did not love Janet nor loved Jesus, yet He loved me and told me He would remain faithful to me, as He said, “You are mine and I am yours.”
How does a man who was absolutely undeserving of this great unwavering love yet craved and needed it so very desperately respond to such words; to such a total and complete giving of Oneself? I humbly accepted the love of the Lord Jesus with rejoicing and delight. It was the only thing that made sense and I thank God, truly I do thank Him that I did not fight Him on this.
Now today, being April 30, 2015, almost 6 years with the Lord, 6 years no longer being married, I am made aware that the Word of God has become my truth as written in Luke 9. How so? Well after being loved by my Lord Jesus and receiving His glorious Spirit so that I may have and know intimacy with Him, I returned the dream of a happily ever after in marriage back to God. I no longer wanted to share myself with another woman nor be married, yet be to Jesus alone.
Surely, the Lord knew that I had fear in me towards repeating the disgrace of it all, in a new marriage and that I was truly in awe of Him and He had won my heart over, not for a day, or a time, buy halleluyah, forever!
Come January 1, 2010, the Lord opened my eyes and heart to loving another again. Fast forward four years almost five, I had pursued Jesus and was constantly as it were, falling all over in love with Him again, and it came to be that I found myself more so than ever before, no longer desiring to share my life with another. Without explanation that could suffice other than holiness being at work within me, I once again wanted to solely be to Jesus. It was quite the distressing time for me, yet, praise the Lord He protected and strengthened and gave His peace to her and I.
Now the Word of God is glorious, and He calls out to all. Receive the Word of God: “Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. (Luke 9:23)
Today I realized I am living this truth when someone I work with asked me how old I was. I said I was thirty-five. He then asked, if I was married or had anyone special in my life. I said I wasn’t married nor with anyone. He asked why. I told him that if I told him he’d think I’m crazy. I told him I was in a relationship for 4 years and was heading towards engagement and marriage. I told him I had money saved up for a ring yet, I desired to pursue the Lord over being married. As we were working as usual, the conversation was cut short.
As I pondered what he thought about my response, the word PURSUE stood out. I said to the Lord: “I am pursuing you!” and then the Word of God was revealed to me as my truth:
- ‘If anyone desires to come after Me.’ This means, to [pursue] Jesus. I am indeed pursuing Him.
- ‘let him deny himself.’ I have denied the right to marriage for the sake of Christ without letting go of His promises.
- ‘and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.’ This is where many fall short. To bear the weight, pain and sacrifice of pursuing Jesus and denying yourself. I know the pains of walking away from a woman who had been ready to marry me and commit to me in marriage, over the call of Christ. Jesus knew such a call. His Father put the wood on His shoulders and lead Him up the mountain and He had to forsake all the traditional blessings a man could enjoy on this earth for the sake of the world having opportunity to be saved and the forgiveness of sin.
The last one stated above should not be taken or taken in lightly. This is the Supreme example of God’s love towards the world, and what it takes to convey a message of love to a sinful world. Sacrifice! This is Jesus and none other!
I rejoice in my King, and this I know. We are more than our bodies. More than our hunger. More than our thirsts. More than our appetites and desires. We are more that our pasts, more than our faults and the consequences of them. Jesus is Lord and He is the wisdom and power of God. Through Him and His call, we too, can overcome our bodily desires, the grievous mistakes of the past and the pain that lingers in our minds and hearts by it, and in the freedom that is in Christ alone, come to faithfully follow Him to a life of sacrifice, satisfaction, contentment, purpose, peace and love. Amen.