A friend whom I have known for years shared with me the following testimony. While he shared it, tears formed in my eyes, and I asked myself the question – Do I Really Love God Like I Say I Do?
Sadly, there are many that attend church today – both in and out of the “Holiness” churches – who only put on the “show” of loving God. Remember this: I am not your judge – God is.
This testimony placed within me a desire to consider my relationship with God. I want to ensure that I am truly in Love with Him. More than just a statement that I am. More than just going to church when the doors are open. I want to truly be in love with him.
We are sharing this testimony as our brother submitted it. We have withheld his name only that the name of Christ may be lifted up. Those familiar with the incidents mentioned will know who he is.
The purpose of this testimony is so you ask yourself “Do I Really Love God Like I Say I Do? ”
The alternative to answering this in the affirmative is God saying to you: “You don’t Really Love me Like you say you do.” Consider the words of Jesus.
Mat 7:21 – 23 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Being raised in a Christian home and in a small holiness church with a holiness pedigree does not mean that you have a relationship with God.
When I was 15 years old I attended a private Christian school. I asked my girlfriend how she felt about marrying someone who was a missionary/preacher. I asked if she was willing to travel or would be ok with her husband traveling to do mission work.
She answered “Yes”, and then asked “Why?” I answered back “Because I want to marry you . I need to know where your heart is with me being in the ministry. Will you marry me?” She said, “Yes!”
We later married. However, it wasn’t until 15 years later that the ministry to which we were called to would come to fruition.
In the fall of 2008, God began dealing with my wife and I concerning our relationship with each other. This ultimately meant our relationship with Him. She became very ill. We would pray for hours – sometimes through the night.
God began speaking to both of our hearts during this time. He dealt with us that our priorities were not in the right place. Our relationship with Him was not what He intended it to become.
On February 20 of 2009, I was involved in a chainsaw accident. While cutting a tree on the side of the mountain the saw kicked back into my leg right below my kneecap – between the upper and lower legbone.
I began to bleed profusely. My 12-year-old son helped me get down the mountain to the house. I remember thinking “is this how my life will end – I have done so little for God” as the blood poured from the wound on my leg.
My wife attempted a tourniquet on my leg. That didn’t stop the blood flow. She rushed me to the emergency room where the doctor clamped the arteriole shut and sewed up my wound.
I contracted staph infection in my leg. This took me out of work for 4 weeks.
During that time, I would just sit in a chair. I was unable to walk or place any weight on my leg. I began to meditate on the Lord and talk to Him about the accident.
I understood that because I am a Christian and have been born of God that nothing can happen to me that God does not allow. If I don’t understand “why” then it is because I haven’t taken time to talk to Him about it. God speaks through every circumstance in the lives of those who trust Him and believe in Him.
I remember praying “Lord, You are Sovereign, I am Your child. What are you trying to tell me?”
It was as though someone was in the room with me and I heard these words, “You don’t love Me like you have told people you love me. You don’t know Me like you have preached you know Me.”
I burst into tears immediately – I began to pray and ask God for help.
The next church night I spoke to the people and told them what God had said to me. I spoke about the message to the Ephesian church in Revelation 2:4
“Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.”
I stated I wanted to love Him more. There were several people that ran to the altar that night. One of them a man covered in tattoos. He sobbed and prayed for a while. After a while, he stood to his feet and hugged my neck. He said, “Preacher, I want to love God like you do!”
I stood in total awe thinking … I am not sure you understood my testimony, it is me that needs to love God more.
Fast forward sixty days later, on April 20, 2009, I was involved in a gas fire.
I was working late in the evening on building a fire out doors and the fire blew up in my face catching my hair on fire and burning my face. I put the flames out with my hands.
My children ran inside and called for my wife. She came out and asked me how I was feeling and what happened. I told her that I was having difficulty breathing and she rushed me to the hospital.
The doctor took one look at me and said, “Sir, If you were just a little bit worse I would have to intubate you and fly you to the burn center at UVA.”
There were 2nd and 3rd degree burns on my nose, ears, forehead, and hands.
As I waited for the doctor in the hospital room, the shock began to wear off. The feeling began to return to parts of my hands and face. The pain was so intense that it was almost blinding.
Both my wife and my aunt were there with me. They placed cloths on the burns. They prayed for me. As I began to shake uncontrollably, I prayed to God and asked Him to ease the pain.
After several moments I remember praying, “Lord, you are trying to speak to me. What are you saying to me, Jesus?”
Instantly, it was as though I was standing in front of a very bright light. The light was so bright I could not look into it.
A Voice came out of the light and called my name saying, “You don’t love me like you have told people you love me. You don’t know me like you said you know me!”
I began to cry. I said, “Lord, I wanted to love you more. I have tried with all my might. I don’t know how to love You! What has hindered me?” I knew that voice I heard was the voice of the Lord Jesus.
He replied, “You have been a selfish, arrogant preacher. Most of your ministry has been out of your head and what you knew in your mind rather that what you were in your heart. Very little of what you have done has been for Me and you have given very little of yourself to Me.”
I repented agreeing with God. I asked God to give me another opportunity to serve Him. A wave of peace and forgiveness flooded over me. Peace, and joy that was totally unspeakable filled my heart. I knew right then that He had forgiven me.
As the peace of God flooded my heart and mind, I prayed, “Lord would you give me the assurance that what I have seen and heard is real and I am not in shock. Would you remove these scars and heal these burns?”
The light suddenly disappeared and in a moment I was back in the bed.
My dad was there, sitting with my mother. My grandparents were beside my wife. I raised myself up, and I will never forget my dad asking me. “Son, what has happened to you?”
I grabbed his hand crying and said, “Dad the most terrible thing I can think of is for a holiness preacher to go to an awful hell! Shortly afterward the nurse came in and gave me some pain medication.
Somewhere around 2 a.m. I was released from the hospital and sent home. About 7 a.m. the next morning my wife awoke and walked over to the side of my bed.
She removed the bandages from my head. In utter amazement, she called out my name and said, “The burn is gone….there are no scars on your face at all!” Hallelujah!
I was totally and completely healed! God had once again shown me another mercy and the evidence of His love. He had confirmed His word to me while in the emergency room.
Since that time, I have never been the same. I can say that our wish is to completely dedicate our lives and love to Jesus.
I know that I am a living testimony of the love and grace of God. If ever a man didn’t deserve this love – I didn’t. He loved me and I want to love Him more – O what Grace!
In August of 2009, the Lord led us to begin a ministry with the goal of sharing with others the love of Jesus and walking in the power of His resurrection.
The mission statement of our ministry to is to “Know God, and To Make Him known”
The goal of our lives is found in Philippians 3:10
“That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;”
The key to a holy life is knowing God and loving Him above all else.
Mat 22:37 – 38 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment.
The end result of holy living is Walking in the Spirit.
Eze 36:27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.