In this week’s Salvation Story, is not just ONE story, but several that have been submitted as a praise report.
“LL No More”
This past week I was told about such an unexpected Salvation Story and even though I am not aware of all the details, there is no way I can fail to shout it from the rooftops how Nothing is Impossible with God. No one is impossible where God's salvation can't reach.
My former sister-in-law, Candy, had just one sister who was a lesbian. I must confess that I was concerned for my niece who was raised believing this lifestyle was normal, compounded by the fact that she didn't receive the love she needed due to her dangerously poor health when she was born, and yet, He surprised us all when she married a wonderful young man several years ago and embraced being a woman... sorry back to her aunt and this amazing salvation story.
We recently heard that this lifetime lesbian who lived with another woman for years, was radically saved. Her nephew spoke to her only about her need for Him, and afterwards she let go of her lesbian lifestyle! And I've seen this happen before.
During my first or second time speaking at a church in Geneva, Switzerland for a women's conference, I was surprised many men were attending (as I believe we, as women, need to teach other women, not men). Even so, while I was speaking a well dressed man came forward during the altar call that the pastor called. While praying for him, he fell to the ground and when he got up, he was different. He leaped high into the air and began shouting praises (in French), then afterwards he asked to speak to the pastor privately. During their meeting he said he knew his lifestyle was wrong, and he wanted to know what to do. That day he moved out of his apartment that he'd shared with another man, and years later I heard he'd devoted his life to speaking to men who also lived this lifestyle—not telling them it was wrong—but explaining their need for a Savior who changes lives!!!
And looking at them Jesus said to them, "With people this is impossible, but WITH GOD all things are possible."
Looking at them, Jesus said, "With people it is impossible, but not WITH GOD; for all things are possible with God."
"For nothing will be impossible WITH GOD."
But He said, "The things that are impossible with people are possible WITH GOD."
“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
Don't foolishly continue to evangelize the way the church has taught us, telling us judging others lifestyles and the way they are living is wrong. Don't have the agenda on your mind to rid them of how they live their life. Without knowing Him, how could they possibly break free living like the world? Instead, what they need is His love, because Who they need is Him. And, no, I'm not saying to embrace how someone is living, but to embrace them! The more of Him you have in your heart, the more that embrace will radiate His love that others will feel.
Psalm 34:4-5 ESV—
“I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to Him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.”
“Praising Him for EH Salvation”
I begin by saying that my marriage is not restored yet. However, the most awesome miracle has happened. Right now, I cannot stop Praising my Precious and Beloved Lord for my EH salvation. Please bear with me as I take you through this miracle.
The day after my EH left, I began to journal. Here is what I wrote on that date: “I don’t know if anyone including You can get through to my husband.”
Well...Praise our AWESOME BELOVED LORD, exactly 6 months to the day, my husband was completely broken by the Lord. Going back a little in time, I was led to pray Ezekiel 36:24-38 over my EH. To the day, 5 months later my EH experienced his 2nd re-birth while he was alone with the Lord at the place where he is staying, before he left for work (that was 2 days after he had been broken!!) I have seen my EH 3 times since then for up to 3 hours at a time, and I have NEVER seen a change in someone as quickly as this change has come upon him.
I have made a few big mistakes during those visits. I have asked questions; I had quoted scripture in mock humility when in fact I was trying to manipulate the situation to make my EH see that God was now calling him back home. Oh, how foolish!!! Please learn from my mistakes...GOD IS IN CONTROL NOT US!!!
Today, 4 days after my EH re-birth, as we sat together talking about our Lord and both sobbing, my EH shared that the Lord had told him that he was to release me. Bitter/sweet I tell you. This was not what I imagined. I became somewhat envious because I really wanted to share in my EH journey.
After my EH had left, I ran to my Beloved and cried out to Him. Gently, my Lord, my Precious Lord revealed my heart to me and oh my gosh... He began to explain that although His Word is and always will be YES and AMEN, He is bringing my EH to a deep relationship with Him, one that was between Him and my EH alone. He explained that He has chosen to move with speed in my EH life, and that He and I were going to continue at the pace that He had chosen for Him and I too follow, which, is only between Him and I. I understood and cried as I repented of speaking and thinking out of God's Will.
You see, the truth is, He IS the same yesterday, today and tomorrow and He does NOT lie. God IS a God of restoration. HE IS IN CONTROL, AND HIS TIMING IS ALWAYS AT THE RIGHT TIME!!!
My Precious Lord, take this ragamuffin of a child of Yours and do as You Will. I'm done with me trying to interfere. I give in. Give me the grace to finish the race set out before me by You. I choose this day to have sure faith that I will experience Your goodness in the land of the living.
"I would have lost heart, unless I had believed That I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living." (Psalm 27:13 NKJV)
From ~ Huldah in South Africa
"Left Dad’s Salvation in His Hands"
How does your Salvation Story begin Beverly?
I was a five-year-old child and had been away all summer with my mom and two younger siblings, visiting my grandparents in Germany. My parents had NOT spoken German in our home. They wanted to be Americans and improve their own English. Therefore, I did not speak German. Unfortunately, my grandparents did not speak English.
I do not know if we attended church regularly (or at all) at home. We did not go to church with my mother's parents, but we did go to church when we got to my father's mother's home. My dad was a Deist. He had been raised in a Christian home but had become angry with God during WWII and the horrible things he had survived. He believed God created the world, but then He just let it run, without intervening. His mother was a solid Christian believer who spent her days in prayer.
I very specifically remember detailed conversations with my grandmother about Jesus. She told my mother that I spoke German to her when no one else was around. I remember the conversations in English! (I still do not speak German.)
How did God change YOU or your family member after experiencing the LORD?
My grandmother taught me to pray and gave me hope and faith. The churches I attended later with my parents were not theologically strong, and I did not understand the gospel or trusting in Jesus until later in life. BUT, all along the way, God sent believers to be my friends and teachers. He sent Billy Graham on the TV. Once, a stranger in the library pointed me to the C.S.Lewis Narnia books. I can't wait to thank her in heaven! I truly began to understand the love of God and Jesus' sacrifice through those works, and after reading and rereading them, I got other CS Lewis works to read and learn.
What principles, from God's Word (or through our resources), did the Lord teach you when you were trusting Him for YOUR or your loved-one's salvation?
I trusted in the LORD for my salvation as a young child via my German-speaking grandmother, reinforced by C.S. Lewis and Billy Graham in later childhood. I read my Bible (which was considered strange by my family) and learned on my own until as an adult my FH and I came to a great teaching church. There, I continued to grow. But it was not until the pain of my husband discarding me and my coming to RMIEW that I came to know my Holy Husband. I have grown through this pain. I believe I was saved for heaven and the future in childhood, but I believe that I did not know how to LIVE on this earth until now. I wasted much time fretting and trying to control not only my life but the lives of my loved ones until this growth.
I tried to "witness" to my family--ending up in ridiculous arguments that I did not intend--ever since I was a small girl...causing me much worry and pain. I wanted my parents to believe!
What were the most difficult times that God helped you or your family member through on your way or their way to salvation?
In old age, my dad was dying of cancer, when my mother spoke to my dad about Jesus Christ in front of me. !?! They had always treated my faith as weird, but instead of fretting and freaking out and trying to witness with words to my dad as he got more and more ill, The Holy Spirit lead me to just SERVE. I cared for my father and my mother, and I handed their salvation over to the LORD.
I did not know my mom had begun to read novels by several Christian authors. Then, I was shocked at my mother's witness to my dad. She turned to him and said, "Honey, don't you think you need to finally just trust in Jesus, just like your mother and father and sisters?" I almost fainted when she said that. THEN: Suddenly, my dad was reciting Psalm 131 in German, apparently the Psalm that my grandfather recited as he died! He told my mom that he wanted to go to heaven and be with his mother, father, and sisters. He cried out to Jesus to help him! Very soon afterward, he was unconscious, and he died the next day.
What was the “turning point” YOU or your loved-one's salvation?
When I stopped trying to make my parents understand the gospel....when I stopped dragging my mother to Christian meetings and events... (I didn't know how to listen to God prompting me of when to do things, so I pushed and pulled and dragged constantly.) THAT is when the LORD moved, completely without MY assistance (LOL). And he used my mother to prompt my father to come back to how he had been raised (in Christ). It was when I let go and left it in HIS hands that the LORD moved.
Tell just us HOW it happened? Were there any signs?
Step by Step, in God's own timing, the LORD brought the gospel to me by tongues (I believe) and by other believers placed in my path--Billy Graham, other radio preachers, friends and their families LIVING their faith--not preaching to me. In the same way, he brought the gospel to my mother via the reading that she loved. He brought the truth to my dad through the pain of dying and a reminder of the faith that was taught to him when he was a child--with words from my mother, who I didn't even know believed!
What kind of encouragement would you (and/or your loved-one or friend) like to leave women with, in conclusion?
Trust in the LORD and HIS timing, not in any fancy words or in a formula. Live your life trusting the LORD. Show others by the glow in your face, the gleam in your eye, the upbeat sound of your voice. This doesn't mean being inappropriately "fake" cheerful during hard times, but even when things are hard or bad, there is a deep, trusting joy that those of us who know Jesus possess. We do not need to drag it out and beat others over the head with it. The HOLY SPIRIT will open a window to it, in HIS own time...he will let our faith shine forth so others can see. BUT ALSO, we need to not try to insist that it be OUR WITNESS or faith or shining face. The LORD might use the faith or writing or face of another to bring your loved one to faith.
LAY THAT BURDEN DOWN! We do not come to faith because someone worked harder than others to drag us there. We come to faith because God allowed our hearts to be open and ready and because HE timed it for when it occurred. TRUST IN THE LORD, and be at peace.
From ~ Miranda in South Carolina
"Tough Love vs HIS Love!"
Several months ago God revealed to me that tough love was not biblical. I was seeking God for my 28-year-old son who is a VET and an alcoholic with PTSD. He was in Afghanistan over 5 years ago and was injured. The army pumped him full of narcotics when he was sent stateside from war, and he became an addict. Once they sent him home, without the drugs, he substituted pills for alcohol. For the last five years, he has been in and out of rehabs and the VA hospital. I was practicing tough love because that is what my family and the world was telling me I had to do for him to hit rock bottom. I loved him but from a distance. It was very hard, and he didn't seem to be getting better, only worse. Because of these lessons and my husband leaving me, I started seeking God on everything.
When my son asked to come stay with me this last time I said: "Ok, but if you drink, you're out." He drank. I went to my knees to the Lord and asked Him what I should do. All I heard was "Just love him." I said "Lord I do love him, but should I kick him out?' Again I heard "Just love him." I got into God's word and tried to find something to support my kicking him out and using tough love. It wasn't there, and God kept telling me just to love him.
This time I didn't kick him out, and he laid drunk on my couch for 7 days.
For 7 days I prayed for him nonstop and on day 7 he came to me and asked me to pray for him and told me he had decided to stop drinking and turn his life over to God. He was going through some major withdraws and came in my room many times that night asking for prayer and we cried out to God. I took him to the Hospital the next morning, and they kept him for four days. He has been home and sober— now for 3 weeks. God's love works. Tough love does not!
If you also have family or friends who you've been told need Tough Love, take a moment to read the truth in Gentle and Quiet Spirit.