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Dear Princess, Number 9 (Spring 1999) | Timeless Truths Publications

Have you a Friend whose wondrous grace
Lights up with joy the darkest place,
Who to the end will still prove true?

“Tell What the Lord Has Done for You!”*

If the Lord has done something for you, will you not share it with us? In this issue a sister in Christ has shared her life testimony. We trust it will be a blessing, and hope to hear yours soon!

Oh, tell what He’s done for you,
Of His love, so strong and true,
Oh, tell, what He’s done, what He’s done for you,
Others may need Him, too.

I was asked some time ago if I would be willing to share my life testimony. That was about two years ago now. I have felt a burden to put down my thoughts from time to time, but the Lord knew I needed more time to work through and better understand His work and guidance in my life. I am no better than anyone else, but also recognize that it is Christ that dwells within me to do anything that is truly worthwhile. It is not easy for me to express myself on paper, but I know the Lord wants to be glorified through His work in my life. The Lord has encouraged my heart that He will do the work for me. I am always so thoroughly encouraged when I read the life of a true saint—I want to press on to be all that the Lord wants me to be until that day when my eternal crown is won.

When I was about 11 years of age, I was in a place in life where I saw myself as I was, a great sinner before God. He showed me my sinful heart by the actions that I took to please myself and others. I needed Him and the deliverance that He can only give through His Son, Jesus. In simple faith, I turned my life over to Him as I needed to be cleaned from all wickedness that can come to a child before the Lord gets a hold of one’s life. I took a strong hold of His promise to save to the uttermost and He whispered sweet peace to my troubled soul. My parents faithfully took us to church, but the teaching was often watered down by human reasoning. I was continually aware of God guiding and directing my life, but I did not prosper greatly in my soul. Jesus was always central in my thoughts, and yet I lived by my own strength in many ways. My heart abhorred all evil and the Lord protected me in many ways. I did not understand (as I was not a good reader and did not read the Bible on my own much), the privileges the Lord has for His children, and so I lived under great fear of evil all during my teenage years. It was in my own strength that I tended to live, as I knew not the secret of the Lord being our strength in our weakness. I had many weaknesses, but I grew up in a family that loved me and encouraged me to do well. I guess you would say that I was indirectly very competitive, as I wanted always to do my very best, for I knew this pleased my parents and I wanted their love and approval. Those in authority respected me, but my peers were cruel at times, which I was willing to bear. I came to believe that life goes smoothly for those who do right. I was badly deceived, but the Lord had His way of teaching me the truth.

Later, in high school, I was influenced by the ways our society thought right or good, and it started to affect the way I thought. I was slowly getting indoctrinated by “the world” and I knew it not. Satan was not able to move me into rebellion, but he worked hard on building worldly values in my mind. The Lord allowed for me to lose my best friend at this time—she had her own problems and did not want to associate with me any longer. This was a very hard trial for me to bear. I never lost my love for my dearest of friends, as she was like a close sister to me and our families had done much together as a result. I had prayed for such a friend, and the Lord had answered prayer. Now I had lost someone very precious to my heart. I did not do well under this trial as I soon lost interest in life and became very introspective and later depressed, and it was only by the grace of God that I was able to function at all. I loved to spend time with my family, but both my parents worked and my three younger sisters were active with their own friends. Of all their six children, I was the least inclined to academics as I had difficulty understanding what I read. I always put my best efforts in all that I did, as my parents encouraged me greatly, and so I did well in the school environment.

Soon my high school years were over, and I was expected to go to college. Those were some of the hardest years of my life. It was my parents’ way of pushing me “out of the nest,” so to speak. Satan had plans of evil for me, but the Lord had a resource of gems for me to receive from the trials and battles that I faced during the next five years. I never did have a sense of belonging while at college. I loved the Lord, but I suffered greatly from not understanding or knowing that the battles that we face in life are “not against flesh and blood, but against… spiritual wickedness in high places.”* (Ephesians 6:12) At times I knew that I was not able to think normally, and great distress flooded my soul—oh, how I cried out to the Lord for help. It was only by the grace of God that I made it through those years. To this day, I can say that the Lord has delivered me out of the snare of the enemy with plans for insanity, as I was nearly there. There are many today that are living in such bondage, not knowing that the Lord has deliverance for them. Instead of the chains that held those that were demonically possessed in the past, today medications are used to help control such ones. There is power in the blood of Jesus to deliver such a one. I have found that it is when we give in to our feelings that Satan can throw us about like chaff in the wind. When we start looking at life through our feelings we begin to look to self rather than to God. We need help from the Lord to use our feelings in the ways that are appropriate (compassion, love, etc.), but it is spiritually damaging to use our emotions to judge our spiritual condition. It was at this time that I started to struggle with my own self-worth as I started to listen to thoughts that were not of the Lord. I had no desire for the normal entanglements of this world after I had gotten saved, but little did I know that I was trapped in the worldly entanglement of self-centeredness. It was at this time that I had heard the term “let go and let God,” but all my family training to “put out my best efforts” greatly hindered me from getting a hold of this great spiritual truth. The Lord was able to teach me at this time that I truly did need Him. I perhaps had a tendency (in my younger years) to think that others could do better if they only tried. I was put in a place where the Lord could show me differently as I struggled greatly with my appetite. I truly saw that I was no better than anyone else. If I had done well it was only by the grace and mercy of God. Even the fellow that is held in the worst contempt by man—I could be in his/her place except by the saving grace of God through the precious blood of Jesus.

At this time in my life, when I was sorely tried on all sides, my continual prayer was for the Savior to come soon to take me to my heavenly home. I truly felt like a stranger in this world. I didn’t feel like I could take much more, but I trusted in His promise that He would not give me more than I would be able to bear. The Lord had so much more for me to learn, and His time was not yet.

As a young teenager, I had dreams of being a missionary in Africa or perhaps a social worker in the States. I didn’t feel like I was gifted in any way, but I desired to be a godly wife and mother someday. I had no interest in dating around, as I could see that the attitude that went along with it had no blessing from the Lord. I was afraid of making a mistake in marriage. At the end of my college years, I met the first spiritual young man that interested me. He happened to become my new brother-in-law. After visiting and getting to know one another some at my sister’s wedding, I felt free to correspond in friendship as all us three remaining sisters had planned to do. In nearly a year’s time, I was encouraged by his parents to come up to visit in their home for several weeks and help work at the local daycare center. His father was an American Baptist minister. His parents liked me and encouraged him to consider me seriously. There were many trials from outside during the next couple of years, but the Lord had put a love for one another in our hearts and we were married after many fiery trials.

My husband and I always wanted to be of service to the Lord and the mission field as our goal made sense, as we both grew up as missionary children overseas (just as having Ishmael made sense to Abraham and Sarah as the way to fulfill God’s promise of a son). My husband is not one to push things to happen, and as I look back I sure am very thankful to the Lord for such a companion. The Lord never did open that door for us, and this was a sore trial for me from time to time, as I so desired the possibility of serving, along with a sister of mine. The Lord had much different plans for us. Through time, He was finally able to show us that our place was one of consecration, allowing Him to do and work as He willed. We had so many strongholds of the enemy needing to be torn down in our lives. We have discovered that this process of working in us has not been easy, but we can testify that it has been all glorious, as it is our Heavenly Father who is at work, knowing just what needs to be done. His ways always satisfy the soul in the end. It is a way of being tried in the fiery trials of life—of deep heat and cooling off to remove the dross. There has been much dross to remove as our training was heavily in trusting man and his systems and ideas. At one time, we were living unto God under man’s wisdom and we weren’t able to fully know what it meant to trust God and have faith in Him. God has been very patient with us. It has been a long process, as the Lord, in His time and with His mercy, led us step by step away from man’s ways, and into His glorious truth of holiness and righteousness—a life filled with His grace to receive victory in life’s battles. Before, we would experience continual failure and discouragement.

In our early married years, along with little ones to care for, we discovered that we weren’t properly prepared for the serious job of parenting. Our little blessings knew how to demand, and we knew not how to take charge. We took parenting classes at the church and found the “methods” taught were ineffective. We wanted God to teach us and yet we had listened to man for so long that we easily became confused. During these years, we were also searching for others in the church who wanted to live seriously for the Lord. We participated in many small groups to discover that there was very little true spiritual hunger where we fellowshipped. My husband was also actively involved in committees and soon saw the politics of the humanly-organized church. We knew that this was not where we belonged and yet we knew not how to get out. It was not with much boldness that we left this church to search around for the body of Christ. It was a tremendous undertaking, as my husband was a pastor’s child from a heritage of missionaries and pastors, and we were very involved in the church we attended. The Lord had opened our eyes and we knew we had to leave and the Lord made a way out for us. The next couple of years we experienced and saw much as we studied the Word of God and sought fellowship. It was a rough time for us, as we did not know which way to turn but the Lord was faithful to lead us. My husband’s eyes were opened when he talked with many of the local pastors, and found many twisted interpretations of God’s Word. We knew that the Lord never intended for His flock to be scattered, but the enemy of our souls has been very active in working on creating sects or schisms (1 Corinthians 1:10). The Lord helped us out in our great need. He allowed us to see some very warped things along the way, and protected us from much possible spiritual damage.

The Lord allowed us to meet different folks desiring to follow the Lord, and He allowed us to witness their falling out in different ways when they didn’t stay in the order of the Lord and under the Holy Spirit. We sure didn’t want to be led astray, and continued to look to the Lord to find others who were following Him in Spirit and in Truth.

The Lord used this time to show us how we needed to trust in Him and Him alone. He slowly showed us things that we needed to leave off in our lives if we truly did trust Him. In His time, about three years later, I met a family at a weekly home school function that I only partook of for one term. I felt no blessing in the atmosphere of the function itself, but I believe the Lord brought me to this place to meet this godly woman. We had a few times to visit afterwards, and I was blessed in what the Lord had opened up in our conversations. We made plans to meet in our homes together to get to know one another better. This woman pointed out scriptures that the Lord used to stir me in a greater understanding of obedience to Him. The only real teaching that I had received was that of being like Jesus in all I said and did. I knew the stories of Jesus’ life and He had helped me in my heart to love good and hate evil. I soon discovered that there was much more to following Him. I remember that during my teen years, I understood that Christians were to be different than the world, but where I lived, the “Christians” didn’t appear to be any different than other self-righteous people. This had truly perplexed me at the time. I had let go of knowing what this spiritual truth meant as there were no answers around me.

I can testify that the Lord has been faithful to our souls. He brought us out of confusion and into a place of great blessing. We go to the Word and are fed by His Spirit. It is truly a very wealthy place. It has now been eight years that we have been fellowshipping with this family, and our faith and trust in God has grown. The Lord had prepared us in many ways to trust Him more with different areas of our lives before we had met this family. The Lord knows how to bring us out of darkness and into the light. Seek Him and He will make your path straight.

I am truly blessed that our children are being fed by the living waters of God’s Word. A foundation is being laid by the Holy Spirit to help them understand truth. They have experienced many trials wherein the Lord has seen fit to do His perfect work in them. The refiner’s fire is not pleasant at the time, but they can look back and thank the Lord that “no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.”* (Psa 84:ll) Before, we were deceived by the enemy of our souls into thinking that there is no true victory for God’s children—there was a continual blundering around with giving into temptation, repenting and then being forgiven again, to continue as before, falling and then rising again. It is with much thanksgiving that we see and understand the truth of the power of the resurrected Christ. “We being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.”* (Luke 1:74-75) “If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have frllowship one with another and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us [all mankind is in a condition where we need deliverance from sin, and if we are not able to acknowledge this we are unable to receive truth]. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”* (1 John 1:7-9)

We are now a peculiar people in the terms of this world. I expect we will become more peculiar as time goes on. We all have faults that are not acts of rebellion, but the habits that we cultivated when away from God in order to survive in this world (i.e., talking too much, needing to be in control, dominating others, too compromising, avoiding conflict, etc.). The Lord is continually working on us. If we let Him, He will refine us and make us into vessels that will honor Him. We are as children along the pathway of life. The Lord has laid a foundation and is continually preparing us for the next lesson in life. He will not expect us to take on more than he has prepared us to take on, and yet He expects us to grow and mature in our faith and trust in Him. Can we sing this song?

More like Christ, my heart is praying,
More like Christ from day to day.
All His graces rich displaying,
While I tread my pilgrim way.

More like Christ in deeds of kindness,
And in all the words I say,
Yearning for the souls in blindness,
Who are going far astray.

More like Christ in burden bearing,
Helping all the sad and weak;
Tears and sorrows gladly sharing,
Others’ pleasure would I seek.

More like Christ in self-denial,
Seeking not a life of ease;
Patient in the depths of trial,
That my Savior I may please.


More like Christ, every day,
More like Christ, my heart doth say;
Yes, more like Christ,
More like Christ every day.*

Are you like so many that are struggling within to obey and please God? You love Him, and yet there is often an unwillingness for self to let go as we often think we know what is right. You know you are saved, but you realize that the Lord has more for His children. Dear ones, there are two separate works of grace from God. The first is the work of salvation (justification), and the second the work of sanctification. A sanctified life is one where the Holy Spirit dwells within to take control. Both are received by faith. “Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the Lord.”* (Psalm 4:5) “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification.”* (1 Thessalonians 4:3)

So often I have seen that the great trials in my life have been due to misunderstanding in communicating with the ones I love. I am then challenged with feelings of being out of control. At these times, I am learning that my comfort can only come from the Lord, knowing that He knows all about it and has plans for good and not evil. We get stirred up when we perceive injustice, or troubles befall us because we have been misunderstood, and decisions are made unknowingly and consequences fall in line. There are many, many ways that the enemy of our souls tries to brew troubles—and so often it all comes at once. My feelings and emotions so often get me into these battles and I am just recently learning to run to the safety of the Lord. I have run to Him many times today as it is the time the Lord has so allowed many trials to come my way. The Lord still has much work to do in me, and I am sure it will be this way until He decides to take me home. I am looking forward to that glorious day.

As the years pass by I see more and more the frailty of man, no matter how earnest, and the mighty power of God no matter how big our problems may be.

I must tell Jesus all of my trials,
I cannot bear these burdens alone;
In my distress He kindly will help me,
He ever loves and cares for His own.

I must tell Jesus all of my troubles,
He is a kind compassionate Friend;
If I but ask Him He will deliver,
Make of my troubles quickly an end.

Tempted and tried I need a great Savior,
One who can help my burdens to bear;
I must tell Jesus, I must tell Jesus:
He all my cares and sorrows will share.*

As a child of God, we are called continually to die to self. Satan makes sure that we are tempted in all areas, and one area he tempts us in is for self to rise up and claim its own. Dying to our self has to occur in order for God to stay first in one’s life. Oh, this is not easy if our feelings are allowed to take precedence—we need to give our feelings over to the Lord and take hold of the promises of God, who knows best.

It is God’s plan for all His children to be united. He has saved us by His power to live a life above sin, and His saving power is the same today as it was at the time that Jesus was alive here on earth, ministering to the sick, emotionally-disturbed, and dying, sinsick souls. Let me close this thought with a quote from a true story, The Man of His Counsel, (which I highly recommend to all who desire to obey God and live true to His Word):

“I did not join [the church], but God took me in as a member when He pardoned my sins. He then placed me in the body, which is His church, and I did not need to join anything to be a church member. I am one of the great family of God, and all other of His children are my brothers and sisters.”

[Effie M. Williams; The Man of His Counsel, “Hungering and Thirsting”]

This has been shared with the prayer that those who read would be encouraged to claim all the Lord has for them.

—A Sister in Christ