“They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” Revelation 12:11 [New International Version]
I want you to know where I’m coming from by sharing my testimony with you. By doing so, I pray I’m doing my part to triumph over the power of this world.
I am a prodigal daughter that ran back into my Father’s arms on Feb. 1, 2015. I was overjoyed to be back where I belong. I wanted to make it stick this time.
So, I made a contract with God to say yes to whatever He asks of me. Rick Warren, in his book, The Purpose Driven Life[i], mentioned that Bill Bright, the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, signed a contract with God. A week later, God gave Bill the vision to start CCC. I thought this was a great idea. Contract defined by Merriam Webster (MW) is an “agreement between two or more people, especially a written one enforceable by law.” I prayed about what I should include in my contract with God and then wrote this out on a three-by-five index card:
I resolve to say “Yes, Lord” to whatever you ask of me. I choose to surrender to You every day. Instead of trying to control my life, I will trust You and depend solely on You, knowing You’ve got my back. Whatever fulfills Your purpose, that’s what I want too. I vow to be your servant. May it be to me as you have said.
I wanted this to hold me accountable to do as I said and to treat it like a legal, binding contract.
How did I come to the life altering realization that I needed to be with Jesus again? On that glorious day, while I was driving, my regular radio station wasn’t on the air. I began flipping through the channels and “happened” upon a contemporary Christian radio station. The song “Lord I’m Ready Now” by Plumb had just started. The words moved me to tears, and I had to pull the car over because I was crying so hard. God was letting me know He wanted me back and how I needed Him in my life. So after a twenty-two-year dry spell, I prayed for forgiveness and put my life back in the hands of Jesus on February 1, 2015.
I got home and pulled out my copy of The Living Bible[ii] and read the passages I had highlighted in the past. I was reminded of God’s goodness and His promises to me. The only Christian book I had at the time was The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale[iii]. One section mentions memorizing scripture, thereby putting God’s Word in your heart. He recommended forty verses to use, which he had printed up in a pamphlet.
I wanted to pick verses that meant something to me. So I went through my highlighted verses and picked out thirty-one, one for each day of the month. I wrote them down in a small journal, so I could carry it with me everywhere.
By starting this practice, I was able to being healing my thirsty soul. Now I had God’s Word to think about and not pop songs or television shows in my head. I knew I needed to replace the garbage in my life with good, substantial things.
At this time, the radio station I listened to was asking listeners to pledge to listen to only Christian music for thirty days to see if it made a difference in their lives. I emailed my pledge and tuned my radio to this station in my car and at my office.
After only two weeks, I was blown away. I woke up in the middle of the night with a song about the love of Jesus playing in my head instead of a song about a girl breaking up with some guy and what she was going to do to his car. Talk about the power of God’s Word in action!
My appetite for the Word of God became insatiable! I could not get enough! So I got seven different versions of the Bible to help me in my further studies. I also prayed for the Holy Spirit to guide me and open my eyes to see the wisdom in what I am reading. I also scouted the second-hand shops for Christian books to glean the wisdom of God from others.
I am just so blessed and privileged to share some of these thoughts with you in these posts!
[i] Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2002), 84.
[ii] The Living Bible (LB) Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House
[iii] Norman Vincent Peale, The Power of Positive Thinking (New York: Fawcett Crest, 1952), 76.