Years ago, before accepting Jesus Christ as Lord of my life, I considered myself a decent person. Although I acknowledged God, I did not serve Him by reading or studying the scriptures, prayer or attending church. I thought I had everything that was essential for a good and happy lifestyle. But I had issues that troubled my mind and heart as well. With God excluded from my life, unfruitful decisions made solutions to my problems elusive. I resigned to accepting and responding to lingering challenges the way I thought best.
But God heard the cry of my heart when no one else was listening, and where no one else was looking. He reconnected me with a friend in a wonderful way. My best friend Cheryl sowed 13 years of obedient and dedicated evangelistic ministry into my life. She planted the seed of the Word in every conversation and watered it by taking me to church services, conferences, her family gatherings, and most important, intercession for me in her prayer closet. I believe that when the Lord heard my cry for something new, He heard and honored the cries of Cheryl’s heart to see me saved and filled with the Holy Spirit.
Throughout those 13 years I had many opportunities to accept an altar call but I refused, holding on to the notion that eventually, I could fix me all by myself. In retrospect, arrogance and stubbornness had been a barrier to my deliverance from the problems in my life.
On August 5, 1992, Cheryl needed to pick up some documents from an evangelist in Moreno Valley so I agreed to accompany her so she could use the Express lane. As we stepped into Evangelist Prosperity’s living room, I immediately felt very hot. It was as if someone was pouring hot liquid on my head. Although the air conditioner was on in her home, I rationalized that my body was adjusting to coming in from the very warm temperature outside. So I sat quietly to cool off. After a few minutes Evangelist Prosperity glanced at me and asked if I was saved. I said, “No.” Then she asked if I wanted to accept Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour. Without hesitation I replied, “Yes. Sure why not?”
As the three of us joined hands and Evangelist Prosperity began to pray for me, I felt the heat on my head intensify to what seemed like a thick liquid pouring from my head and neck, down to my feet. My heart raced, my legs felt too limp to stand. I thought I was having a heart attack or some other physical malady. I tried to tell them to call 911 but I couldn’t speak English. With tears streaming down my face, peace and joy enveloped my very being and my lips stammered in tongues for nearly an hour.
Cheryl fell to her knees weeping and praising the Lord because she was able to witness the fruit of her labor from the prayers, and the planting and watering of the Word into my life. To some it would seem that I had a radical conversion experience. But I would never trade it for anything else because that experience has kept me believing, knowing and trusting that God is real and He loves me.
In my introduction to this book, I reflected on the peace and joy I experienced when I first heard about Jesus Christ from Aunt Bessie. But when I decided to accept Him as my Lord and Saviour in 1992, that same peace and joy embraced me but in a greater measure. I am fully persuaded that God’s plan and purpose for my life is greater than I or anyone else could have fashioned it.
Since that day, I have learned that as you commit your life to Jesus Christ and receive the infilling of the Holy Spirit, there is a divine enablement to begin, build and establish a relationship with God. It is only through a relationship with Him, through learning the scriptures and prayer, that you will be able to live a regenerated life. This is a life that can be conformed and transformed daily to the likeness of Jesus Christ.
PRAY WHAT GOD SAYS
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