Written In My Heart: Becoming Right With God-Born Again (7)
Throughout my teenage years and much of my adult life, I knew within me that I was not in a right relationship with God. I grew up believing that Jesus was the Son of God. I believed that he died on the cross for man’s sin. I believed He rose again from the dead and ascended into heaven. I believed the facts about Jesus. I tried, on my own terms, to respond to this knowledge. Satan and demons believe these facts and they are not and cannot be saved. I had head knowledge. But, what was missing was surrender, a surrender of my “self will.” What was missing was an actual personal relationship with Jesus. I was not walking with Jesus. I was not in a right relationship with God. Somehow, I had some understanding of this inside of me.
God has His way of drawing people to Jesus Christ and I have shared the first and second steps. Step 1 – God calls you to Himself. He calls your name. He called out my name, Dorothy, in an audible way in March of 2001. Step 2-The Holy Spirit works on you to draw you to Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit will enable you to see your need for Jesus and to respond to this need. Solid evidence of this is the work He did within me during August and September of 2001. I have shared this testimony in previous writings found in the series Written In My Heart. I have written about five experiences I had. I am going to mention again two of these experiences.
God’s Step 3-Enabling Me to Become Born Again in Jesus Christ.
By the middle of August, 2001, a longing to return to church was becoming stronger and stronger. I had not been attending church for about seven years. There was such a strong desire rising up within me to hear again the message of salvation in Jesus Christ. I needed to hear the salvation message. And, there was this great need to hear TRUTH.
By the middle of September, instead of just passing over Christian programs on cable TV stations, I started being drawn to these programs. My hunger to hear the salvation message and to be told truth kept increasing.
On the evening of October 1, 2001, I watched two programs on Christian television. At the end of each, an invitation was extended to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior. I was so inwardly moved. All of this was a supernatural experience. Right about 12:30 a.m. on Tuesday, October 2, 2001, I cried out to God. I considered in my head and now very strong in my heart whether or not I could surrender my “self” and my life to God. I decided, yes, I could, and with my heart I wanted to.
I repented and confessed that I had sinned against God. I recognized that I am a sinner. Now I was willing to give up my rebellion toward God. I was willing to give up “self” desires and I gave my life to God. I made a true commitment to follow and serve Jesus for the rest of my life. I wept for two and a half hours that morning and finally fell asleep.
I woke up feeling this wonderful sense of peace within me. The kind of peace that passes all understanding. I sensed that Jesus had accepted my act of repentance. Not with total understanding at that moment, but, in truth, I had now literally become a “new creation” in Jesus Christ. I was born again. I had a physical birth and now I experienced a spiritual birth. I was cleansed and had become reconciled to God through the blood sacrifice of Jesus the Christ. I had entered into an intimate personal relationship with Jesus. I was now in a right relationship with God.
This was the very best day of my life. I was 56 years old when God called me to Himself and I responded by surrendering my life to Him. Putting God at the very center of my life instead of self. Throughout the next few weeks I thought about what was different with this response from the response as a teenager. The word SURRENDER kept coming to mind. I surrendered to God. I ended my sinful and selfish rebellion toward God.
For a good number of weeks, I did not want to leave my home. I just wanted to be near Jesus, be absorbed in God’s Word, and, be in continual communion with Him. I did not want to watch TV. Awakened in me was a strong hunger for God and His Word.
I was literally afraid to go out among people because I was afraid somehow I would lose what I had just gained. I did not want to lose my relationship with Jesus. I need Jesus each and every day. However, I now know and understand that He will never leave nor forsake me. Praise God!
Next week, I will continue and share testimony about the awesomeness of the Holy Spirit and some of what happened during that first month after being born again.
Testimony of Dorothy von Lehe