This quote by John MacArthur sums up my testimony and the process of my transformation from a slave and a sinner to a slave and a sinner. If that does not make sense, let me explain to you what I mean.
Ten years ago whenever I pondered my relationship with the Lord a nagging feeling came over me. I was uneasy about my state before God. Having been brought up in a Christian family and attending Church from infancy, I knew what God expected and required from me. Yet after years of hearing the truth I did not want to comply. I clung to my sinful desires, trying to “have my cake and eat it too.” All too clearly, I knew that I could not have both, but I hung on to my sin. I was a slave to my sin and an unrepentant sinner. Constantly, I repeated meaningless prayers, hoping that through words my actions might be reconciled. One day, feeling compelled to read my Bible as I knew Christians were supposed to, I came across a verse that targeted a large area of sin in my life. It was 1st John 2:9, “The one who says he is in the Light and yet hates his brother is in the darkness until now.” Daily, I struggled with a deep dislike for my four siblings. I knew, according to that verse, I could not be a Christian and hate my brothers and sisters. Still, I did not want to confront the blatant sin in my life. I was a sinner who was enslaved to her sin. Several weeks later a friend told me about a message she had heard. The message had been about how even your thoughts are sin. Merely thinking you hated someone was wrong. Convicted and repentant, I poured my heart out to Christ that night, begging Him to forgive me and asking Him to be my Savior; for I knew that the only way my sins could be forgiven was through Jesus. Nothing I did on my own could ever be enough. Now I was no longer enslaved to my sin, but was a slave to righteousness.
For the first time I had a desire to know and have a relationship with the Lord. Naively, I expected an immediate, miraculous change. How I was wrong! I had no extraordinary transformation; my sin-nature and old habits were still engrained in my heart. Every step toward Christ-likeness that I take is a battle against my flesh. Often I am discouraged by my seemingly unconquerable sin. Then I am reminded of the divine assistance I have and the changes He has wrought in my life these past few years. I no longer struggle with hating my family and my uneasy feeling has been replaced with God’s peace. Even though I have been transformed, I am still a sinner… but as it is stated in Philippians 1:6, “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”
God has radically changed me from being a slave to sin and a sinner who was daily becoming more like the Father of Lies to a slave to righteousness and a sinner who is daily becoming more like the true Father. God exchanged all the I was, a desperate sinner, for all that He is.
When I was seventeen, I went on a missions trip to Uganda and that radically changed my relationship with the Lord. First of all, it made me realize that I have a short time on this planet and I need to be living in a way that would bring my Savior the most glory. I cannot be a half-way Christian – it is all or nothing for His glory! Secondly, it gave me a passion for the lost and hurting. I want to do what I can to reach out to those who are hurting and to teach them about the Lord. Physical food is temporal, but the Bread of Life is eternal. Also, through the Home Economics department at The Master’s College, I learned that I love to teach others God’s Word, especially other women. All of these realizations have spurred me to know my Savior on a deeper level. Daily, this looks like spending time in devotion and in prayer. I know that I can do nothing if I have not first cultivated a relationship with my Lord. Only after I have studied His Word and have nurtured a relationship with Him, can I have a life of service and teaching.
I know this post was a little longer than usual, but I wanted to share with you today how the Lord has transformed my life. Thanks for reading!