Hello Brethren, Grace And Peace To You

#1
Hello brethren, grace and peace to you. I hope to partner with fellow believers to honor and praise God and study His word and bear each other's burdens.

Recently I reread the Book of Revelation, and in going back and reading some of the OT I am amazed at how many OT passages there are that looked forward.

My story ...

My parents had taken me to Church every week as a child and continued to invite me to go with them even in my late teens though they didn't force me to go at that point. I never really cared for Church or the things of God. Even as a child I was really interested only in the things of the world, especially money and material things.

In my 20's I went to Church on and off but I didn't really know why. I think I was realizing that the things of the world do not satisfy the soul.

In June 2003 at age 30 I was on travel for work. I was tuning the radio in the car. For some reason I paused on a Christian radio station. I don't remember exactly what they were talking about but for some reason I kept listening to it over the next day or two.

One evening I had quite a bit to drink at the hotel lounge and went back to my room. I kind of collapsed sobbing in the bathroom. I called out to God to help me. I felt something come over me. I wasn't sure exactly what was happening. After that I picked up the Gideon's Bible in the room and started reading. I had never picked up a Bible before that I can remember. I started reading.

Over the next few days I read the book of John and cried out for God to save me. I firmly believe He did. I confessed Jesus as my Lord and Savior and asked Him to guide me. He started to do some major cleanup work in my life. As I read Holy Scripture, it cut me like a knife, taking off parts of my life such as excessive drinking, anger, hatred toward others, and other things. I didn't know these things were dishonoring to God until I read it in His Word.

For the next few years I was heavily engaged in Bible study at Church and on my own. It was the most rewarding time of my life for me.

Then somehow I started drifting away back to my old ways, like a dog returns to its own vomit. I don't know why I did that. I knew those things would not satisfy me but I engaged in them anyway. It didn't happen quickly. It just started with slowly engaging in worldly things. Then it went to reduced time reading and studying Holy Scripture and reduced time praying. Then after a few years I was nearly indistinguishable from the way I was before, except now I knew in the back of my mind that what I was doing was wrong and was not pleasing to God.

I would think about it from time to time as to why I didn't want God in my life anymore. The answer that I came to was that I wanted to live my life the way I wanted to live it and I didn't want anyone telling me what to do. Which is complete foolishness of course, for I was bought with a price, but it serves as a reminder to me of what ignoring prayer and Holy Scripture reading and study can lead to. I thought it probably meant that I was seed that was sown among thorns.

But God was faithful. Early on after God saved me, I prayed to him that he would keep my on the straight and narrow, and that if I ever got off it, that He would do whatever it takes to bring me back on track. I believe He would have done that even if I had not prayed for it, because the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and had I been left without discipline I would have would have been and illegitimate child of God.

Starting around November 2013 strange emotional and health changes started occurring in me. I couldn't think properly and I was exhausted all most all the time. I am fairly certain it was God disciplining me to bring me back to the right path. It worked. Around March 2014 it got so bad that I just stopped one day and cried out to God asking him to help me. And He did. He worked in me. I began having an intense craving for the word of God and the things of God. Immediately all those worldy things were eliminated from my life once again but with much stronger realization of how bad those things are and how they do not satisfy.

I pray to God each day that I do not get off the narrow path again. I know for certain now the things of this world do not satisfy. And I know the dangers of not being disciplined in my walk. I deeply regret that I wasted many years of time I could have been serving and pleasing God by doing things that are detestable to him. I realize I have to take heed because I know how easily sin entangles.

I find my physical energy level is far lower than it was previously. I think it may be required so that I simply do not have the energy to get involved in sinful worldly pleasures again. Now I just pray that God would redeem my days and help me walk closely with him and honor and please him in all things and not move to the pleasures of the world again.
 
#3
Hey Porcupine, great testimony. Praise God... He doesn't give up on the lost and loves us unconditionally. Just remember Satan is the one who wants to destroy us not God. You allowed sin into your life and Satan established himself where you were weak. He is a nagging little worm that finds little holes to disrupt our walk with God. We all do it and we are all still here praising our Father.
 
#7
Thank you brothers (and sisters) for the warm welcome.

Thank you for the insight LanceA. That's a good point about Satan. It reminds me of some Scripture I need to keep in mind. Partially I think I didn't have certain pieces of armor on and then it just slowly went rampant from there.

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.
(1Pe 5:8-9 ESV)
I like Matthew Henry's commentary on those verses
The whole design of Satan is to devour and destroy souls. He always is contriving whom he may insnare to eternal ruin. Our duty plainly is, to be sober; to govern both the outward and the inward man by the rules of temperance. To be vigilant; suspicious of constant danger from this spiritual enemy, watchful and diligent to prevent his designs. Be stedfast, or solid, by faith.
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
(Eph 6:10-13 KJV)
And Matthew Henry's wise words
The Christian armour is made to be worn; and there is no putting off our armour till we have done our warfare, and finished our course. The combat is not against human enemies, nor against our own corrupt nature only; we have to do with an enemy who has a thousand ways of beguiling unstable souls. The devils assault us in the things that belong to our souls, and labour to deface the heavenly image in our hearts. We must resolve by God's grace, not to yield to Satan. Resist him, and he will flee. If we give way, he will get ground.