To talk to you about what RESCUE has done and is doing for me, I have to speak about where I came from. I’m not talking about my heritage per se, but my religious background. We all have our stories and our journeys, but one thing rung true: God is the one who saves, not man. God chooses when and under what circumstance to call people unto himself, man can do nothing to affect being born again.
It is common to hear of one growing up in church. This was me. Until my older years I “backslid” (these are in quotations because I considered if one can really slide back from God) and was doing almost everything a sinner would do. I returned to the church system through a group called “Discipleship Group” which met weekly on Thursdays. The purpose was for the pastor to disciple us, guide us in the way of truth. One evening I was emotional and spoke to the pastor about what I was going through. He decided to pray for me, and I prayed after him. I remember telling God that I was sorry for the sins that I was doing and asking him to forgive me and come into my heart. The next day I felt better, freer, it was a different kind of feeling. I broke up with my live-in fiancée and just felt better.
People were proud of me for the conversion, and soon after I slid easily into different ministries prayer offering monthly, children’s church, choir, Friday meetings, Wednesday prayer meetings – everything that had to do with church activity, I was there. However, like a poorly constructed house, my foundation was not solid. I grew fruitless. Actually, I grew fruit, but this fruit was of the prince of this world. I knew this out of the things I felt against others in the church, I was jealous, angry, envious, very prideful, impatient, selfish all the sins of the flesh. I had a soul tie with another in the church and it was a terrible thing to break, very painful for both. I still attended church, still had communion because I thought I was “ok” with God and God was “ok” with me. That was pride. Friendships ended, and relationships broke. However, I still maintained that I was “born again” because in truth, all of the works I did, things I knew of the bible things I stopped doing in flesh were reasons why I was born again. Although I could quote scripture to justify certain things or discussions, when one looked really close you could tell the fruit on the tree was worldly, and slowly others were beginning to see the fruit of the world in me – but only a few.
I met Pam through a friend of mine. At the time of meeting Pam (or shortly thereafter) I left the organized church system. The first or second meeting Pam went through the very essentials of salvation: Repentance, Rebirth and Resurrection. I did not fully understand repentance and resurrection. In fact, I gave very basic, textbook responses to repentance and rebirth, but when it came to resurrection, I had no real clue. Pam knew that I had not been truly born again of God’s Holy Spirit, but I was afraid to accept that. I was still very religious. I still believed and held on to my working for salvation.
I know now that religiosity is not just the act of attending church buildings. Some are there now that are truly born again and God would reveal himself to them to leave. It is almost like belief system that one has. During the time with Pam, I was very much religious although having left the organized church the church (religiosity) was ingrained in me. Religiosity was my belief system, although disguising it in the form of “godliness”. But God knew that I was not of his flock. During the time of officially leaving the organized church, I have had several false rebirths, where demons would either give Pam a feeling that my salvation was near and in one instance, she felt to speak in tongues. In another instance demons would give me tingling sensations and good feelings, which I attributed to being born again. But even the tingling feelings and sensations I came to understand are not of God. On one occasion, I held a telephone session and toward the end of the session Pam simply asked me to call on the name of Jesus Christ. But I found that I could not open my mouth to say with all my heart that Jesus Christ is Lord. That was surprising to me, as I never would have thought much about religious demons or spirits would prevent a person from a simple act. Of course, Pam spoke right to the demon with authority of Jesus Christ of Nazareth and commanded it out.
It took almost two years being in contact with Pam before God would save me. During the two years I went through anguish, my flesh wanted to be born again – but wanted it for the wrong reasons. I would cry out in anguish to be born again, but God did not hear me.
During the first year with Pam, I had a dream that stood out completely from everything else. In the dream my surroundings was pitch black. Not just in colour but in thickness also. However, I could see me clearly. I was alone and calling out to God, but God was not answering me. He was not hearing me, yet I was calling and calling. For the next few months I woke up every morning and went to bed every night with this heavy load on my shoulders – sin. No matter what I did or said, I could not shake this load. I went through many emotions, angry at God, angry at myself, angry at my friends/family. I briefly went through a stage where I said well if I am a sinner then may as well be happy in my sin. But I was not happy at all. I was more miserable, and those “happy” times of things I did were just temporary and when those moments were over the load on my shoulders. The kind of happy I needed was not a temporary thing.
Throughout this time Pam and I kept in contact, I was in counseling with her every month. She was firm and direct, not the soft and pliable personality that I was used to. But I realized over time that Pam was who I needed. Someone who stood firm in the faith of Jesus Christ of Nazareth who was called of God to do what she does, and ready to rebuke and speak truth to things as they were. Soon everything that I held on to for dear life fell off.
What I came to understand is that repentance is not turning away from the sins that I did, because let’s face it even people who aren’t born again can feel “sorry” for hurting someone and would turn away from doing that again. So going back to the salvation experience I held on to and that Pastor and I praying, my belief then was that the types and amounts of sins that I considered sinful against God, was what I confessed to God. Through my journey, I understood that sin was placed on me – those things that I did were symptoms of my sinful state. I did try scrub myself clean by forcing myself to be emotional and cry and call out for God or vow to “do the right thing” but He knew better, and did not respond to those fleshly attempts.
What I worshipped before was another spirit, another Jesus. Jesus said that we worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. How could I have worshipped God before being unsaved and in the flesh? Something else was receiving my praises and giving me good feelings, but it was not God.
Around Easter 2012, just before the holidays I was at work and felt a tingly feeling on my arms and neck and heard this song I used to sing while in the church called “God is an Awesome God”. At first I wanted to praise and say Yes, I am saved! But when the tingles continued I remembered what Pam taught, that those fleshly feelings are not of God. So I refused to give in. Some of you will think I was too presumptuous, that’s okay I don’t believe that God would save you through tingly feelings and a song. The main thing that I needed was true repentance of godly sorrow an understanding and belief in the resurrection that Jesus Christ of Nazareth was in flesh like you and I, and died in flesh, and rose from death three days later still in flesh. That can only happen by the power of God! Yes, I know some happen these days that try to mock Jesus’ resurrection, but the power of God changed Jesus’ body after he ascended into heaven – a Glorified body that He will never die again! He is the first to have a glorified body, and we will get those too when he return. I had to understand rebirth, by the Holy Spirit that God puts into you.
On April 15, 2012 while at home doing homework, I began to feel upset. Upset at the devil. He deceived me into following him. I followed him and worshipped “another spirit”, a fake Jesus calling that entity “lord”. Deep down in my core I refused to worship the fake Jesus any longer. I remember crying out to God in a sorrow that I had not felt before, thanking Him for Jesus Christ who died for this blotch that had been “me”. Sin. He died that even though I was following the fake Jesus, I the captive could be set free and be alive in Jesus Christ of Nazareth. I knew that I knew of a different faith a saving faith, that God raised this Man, Jesus Christ from dead in flesh like I am in flesh and only because of this can I have life, and I knew that I knew that I knew that He lives and sits beside the Father. He came to set the captives free. I was captive and He came to set me free!!
I did not think often at why God chose that time to save me. But in writing this post I now realize that: Salvation does not belong to man. It belongs to God. He chooses when or how or under what circumstance. No amount of my crying out in flesh anguish or begging could budge what God had planned to show me. This is the same for religious acts, no amount of serving in church or cleansing the outer body could affect being born again. This is a “God” thing, though His Son Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Since being born again, I’ve been in an online group called RESCUE. RESCUE is a place that I could go to and speak about issues I was going through or things I didn’t understand and importantly learn the wiles and strategies of the enemy. This group is not rigid and cold or religious, on the contrary it is warm, loving and open. Recently, I realized that this group has been showing me how to be open to trusting and loving others in the Faith. The walk in Truth is really never meant to be a stand-alone journey, Christ Jesus taught his disciples to really love one another with the love of God. In the same way we strive to walk in truth, to love – and sometimes love means to correct and rebuke in Christ – and to keep ourselves until the day of Jesus Christ’s return. RESCUE is a place of truth, and freedom.
Thank you Pam for the Truth you bring, for your love and strength in Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
To become a RESCUE Member, give us a call at 518-477-5759.