I would like to share about my prodigal son experience.
In my profile you can read my full testimony of not growing up in church and getting saved and set on fire at age 26. After a couple of years I found myself backsliding and eventually in an all out rebellion against my Father in heaven.
Now I feel compelled to share this testimony for the Lord's glory.
A couple of months after I was saved I felt the Lord calling me to preach, which scared me to death, because when I was growing up I would tell mom I was sick on the days when I was going to have to stand before the class and give an oral book report. I thought, surely God would not call me to preach...but He confirmed it and I remember that first sermon I was shaking so badly that I could not even touch the pulpit or I would have shaken my Bible right off of it.
The more I did it and learned to trust in the Holy Spirit, then it got easier and I loved it and felt like I was a natural at it. In fact, I was so charismatic; some thought I needed to switch denominations, LOL! I spent two years on fire for the Lord preaching revivals and supplying the pulpit at many churches. I taught outreach teams at several churches how to get outside the walls and how to share their faith with the community. I was single and did not even date for two years, I was just serving the Lord, but then I got ahead of the Lord, because I was taught to serve Him, but not to have a close intimate relationship with Him. I had a relationship, I felt Him in my heart and He made me a new creation, but I was not taught how to maintain that close relationship on a daily basis.
I was like Martha in that I was very busy serving the Lord and unlike Mary, I failed to spend time with the Lord and follow Him. I ran ahead of Him and began to tell Him what I wanted to do for Him and then asked Him to bless it. I lost sight of the fact that it is about a love relationship and that He said, "I will be with you always". It is hard to follow someone when you run ahead of them.
Don't get me wrong, I was doing good things for Him and He was using me, but I ran so far ahead of Jesus that I began to do my will and not His will. By not remaining in a close relationship with the Lord, I got out of His will, let sin start creeping into my life.
The more sin I allowed into my life the farther away from the Lord I got and eventually I had no problem quenching the Spirit.
I met a young woman at a revival I was preaching and we started dating, we dated for a whole month and I did not even try to kiss her and I asked her to marry me. Then I let my guard down and I let the flesh win and we started a premarital sexual relationship. This hurt our relationship and mine with the Lord. I did not know her well enough to know whether she was truly saved or not and then I quit preaching and got further away from the Lord. We got married and had three kids; Madison who is 8, Brittney who is 7 and Elijah who is 3.
I know I was saved and in rebellion to God, His Spirit still bore witness that I was a saved child of His(Romans 8:16) and made my life miserable. My marriage was full of strife the entire time we were together. I spent several years going to church with her, but I was only going through the motions. I would praise Him with my lips, but my heart was far from Him and not willing to wholly repent and the devil made me feel like I couldn't and shouldn't. Then when I would try, it seemed her and I would get into a big blow up that would last several weeks and then I would quit trying to get close to the Lord.
After 7 years of a miserable marriage all the fighting was affecting our kids in a destructive way, so I moved out (in mar. 2009). We spent 6 months apart and tried to be civil for the kid's sakes and did a nice job, but we could still not get along. By this time we decided to file for divorce. During these 6 months I went further into my rebellion and back to my old lifestyle that I was used to before I got saved and became a Christian.
I was drinking, smoking (cigs), cursing, going to bars and was caught up very deeply in pornography. I kept waiting for God to just kill me and take me home to get me out of His way and so I would not do any more damage to the spreading of the gospel. (John 15:1-5 speaks of taking branches out that do not bear fruit, in order to be in a branch in Christ, the Vine, you would have to be a Christian and He states that some not bearing fruit backslidden, would be taken out).
When God finally broke me and drew me back into a close relationship with Him, He really put His arms around me and let me feel His love. His spirit was so powerful in my chest, that I thought it was going to explode and now I feel the Spirit and the Lord's presence everyday and now walk with Him and follow Him so I can do His will. This daily love relationship I have with Him is wonderful and I want everyone to experience it.
After I got back into a close relationship with Jesus and I would read my Bible I realized my call to preach was still there and very strong. I knew He was not finished using me or He would have just killed me and taken me on home to heaven. He started showing me in scripture how I got so far away from Him and what it took to bring me back into a close relationship with Him along with how to maintain it and prevent me backsliding again.
Now my divorce is not final, but we are currently working on the final papers for an agreement. I don't feel right about the divorce, but have never honestly seen any fruits of her truly being a saved child of God, but rather more so the other way.
I have told God that I don't want to sin against Him by getting a divorce, but I also don't want to go back into that horrible relationship unless I can see some fruits that she is a saved child of yours, so we will both be working towards the same goal with the same Spirit in us both. So I am trusting Him that He will do something here.
So this leaves my blog with out an ending, because my story is not complete yet, but for some reason I felt Him prompting me to go ahead and share and I am just being obedient.
I know that before I backslid, I used to preach against it and did not understand how anyone who was truly saved could backslide and sin against God and I figured if they could, that they just must not have really been saved in the first place. Although, now after having experienced it, I can tell you that I know I was saved and I couldn't have been in more of a rebellion and I thank the Lord that He brought me back and into a daily close relationship with Him.
I will, as He prompts me share in more detail about how I was able to get so far away from Him as a saved child and what kept me there and what it took to bring me back.
Praise Him for He is Good and Wonderful,
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