I hope y’all enjoyed all the recipes we share last month! We’ll do that from time to time. This month we’re going to share testimonies. I thought it would be interesting to see where we’ve all walked and where we are now. Today Hollie is sharing her testimony and how God brought her to where she is now.
“As you look back, you take to yourself the blame for your past blindness and indifference and obstinacy and evasiveness in face of the gospel message; but you do not pat yourself on the back for having been at length mastered by the insistent Christ. You would never dream of dividing the credit for your salvation between God and yourself. You have never for one moment supposed that the decisive contribution to your salvation was yours and not God’s. You have never told God that, while you are grateful for the means and opportunities of grace that He gave you, you realize that you have to thank, not Him, but yourself for the fact that you responded to His call. Your heart revolts at the very thought of talking to God in such terms. In fact, you thank Him no less sincerely for the gift of faith and repentance than for the gift of a Christ to trust and turn to. This is the way in which, since you became a Christian, your heart has always led you. You give God all the glory for all that your salvation involved, and you know that it would be blasphemy if you refused to thank Him for bringing you to faith. Thus, in the way that you think of your conversion and give thanks for your conversion, you acknowledge the sovereignty of divine grace. And every other Christian in the world does the same.” -J.I. Packer
The above quote is one of my favorites. It sums up what is important about my coming to faith: it glorifies God. I came to faith later in life than many people who grow up in Church. I was 24 years old when the Lord brought my soul from death to life in Christ. The odd thing is, my whole life up to that point I gave lip service to Christianity. I would have labeled myself a Christian and when asked I would affirm a belief in God. There was only one problem: the god I affirmed was an idol I had created. My idol god may have looked similar to the Christian God on the surface, but he wasn’t. In my unbelieving heart I had created a god that was little more than a “genie in a bottle” for me. When times were tough I would go to him, say a little prayer, and ask for help. That was the extent of my relationship with God.
But one night in my apartment, God revealed His truly glorious and terribly awesome self to me via the book of Romans. I read Romans and wept before God. For the first time I understood that God was holy, sovereign and powerful. I understood how treacherous my sin was in His sight. He is pure and perfect, yet He lavishes blessings on unbelievers and believers alike! That night on the floor in my room I cried out for a Saviour because it was the first time in my life I realized I needed one. I couldn’t obey enough to cleanse my sin-stained heart. I knew I could never stand justly before God Almighty and not be condemned.
“Since all people have sinned in Adam and have come under the sentence of the curse and eternal death, God would have done no one an injustice if it had been His will to leave the entire human race in sin and under the curse, and to condemn them on account of their sin. ” -The Canons of Dort, The First Main Point of Doctrine: Divine Election and Reprobation. Article 1- God’s Right to Condemn all People
The Lord is abundant in mercy and grace though. He had prepared a way for me. He had chosen me from before the foundation of the world and sent His precious and perfect Son to die for me. God didn’t give me the gift of faith and then refuse to see it through. No, He sent Christ to die for His people. Christ accomplished what He set out to do — He died for the sins of His people. So, that January evening I walked into a new life in Christ.
It wasn’t until I was married, two and a half years later, that I was baptized in the name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Up until that point it had taken me awhile to find a solid, local church. Once I found one I was only there a year before I would be moving away to be wed, so the Pastor and I agreed it was best to be baptized in my to-be husband’s church after I moved.
I am thankful for God’s persevering grace in my life. He didn’t leave me to myself post-conversion. He has promised to complete the good work He started in me. I trust in that promise and see it in my life constantly. Granted, God’s way usually surprises me and shows me how clouded my perception of things truly is!
“It is the Holy Spirit who is causing you to persevere. In those times when you are lazy and have no enthusiasm for any Spiritual Discipline, or when you haven’t practiced a particular Discipline as you habitually do, it is the Holy Spirit who prompts you to pick it up in spite of your feelings. Left to yourself you would have forsaken these means of sustaining grace long ago, but the Holy Spirit preserves you by granting to you the grace to persevere in them.” -Donald Whitney
Hollie is a Christian wife, mother, and aspiring blogger. She strives to apply biblical theology to the everyday challenges of motherhood. Aside from her duties in the home, she dabbles in natural health/living and homesteading. She resides with her husband and four children in the Piedmont region of Virginia and blogs at The Crunchy Calvinist.