Malcolm (New Zealand) - 04/23/2010
I would just like to share a brief testimony relating to the UBBS earlier this week. My wife and I and four children have been Christians for about four years now and have been pretty much molded by God and His Word since then. I guess you might say the old fashion way where He leads us Himself, slowly by our standards but in His schedule ... right on time. We have witnessed mighty works within ourselves and around us in the short time we have known the Lord.
Brothers and sisters, I guess it's unknown to you guys but all the way over here in New Zealand you also have a small family sitting in with you in your Bible studies. We have never belonged to any church (I said, "Lord where do we go?" and He said, "Nowhere" ... so I waited) but the Lord put us onto your website and we have been your silent partners ever since (I even asked for a sign on that one ... I don't trust my own mind very much).
The last couple of weeks we have been bombarded with visits from family from both sides (we used to live in South Auckland, one of the main New Zealand cities, but early on God packed us up and brought us out into the country ... out of Egypt, we reckoned). It is really hard for us sometimes being young in the lord because we often think a certain way to act is right because the opposite was wrong the last time family came, only to realize that we again acted badly. In short, our family has been blessed by God in regard to the fruit which comes from raising our children God's way. When all the nephews and cousins come, they almost make me crazy with their total disregard for any kind of respect for anything, including, and chiefly, their own parents.
Now we already knew not to judge (in theory, obviously) and on the face of it we didn't. But, underneath it all, my blood was boiling the whole time, like it hasn't since God came for me. How does this relate to the previous Bible study? Well, when they all left and peace returned to our home, I spent the next full two hours just shamefully casting down my own family and their children. The same folk I pray for every night. I knew this was wrong, yet I poured it out anyway, to my shame, and caused my family to sin, too. I sat in judgment of the lost and brought myself into heavy condemnation. To this day, I can't understand with my mind how the flesh gets pleasure and satisfaction from railing but it does. Doesn't it?! From that moment forward, I hadn't realized yet that I had started down a road that a Christian doesn't belong on -- a road walked in unforgiveness.
I didn't realize this was bitterness and unforgiveness. But our Lord showed me, as only He is able, the error of my ways. Things in my life that had been washed away years ago began to resurface. As the children of Israel, I waxed feeble in the face of the Lord's enemies because there was the accursed thing in the camp. I pressed on as only a man can with my arm of the flesh only to be continually given the standing eight-count. Finally, as I lay down in the dark, just about to press play on the latest downloaded study, I cried out to God like only a baby Christian can (foolishly thinking He was in the wrong, somehow), and said, "Lord, I have problems that I can't see and I need to know of what to repent!" I pressed play and heard the testimony of a sister with jugular problems and about her similar bitterness being the cause.
Needless to say, the tears of honest repentance began to roll as God showed my wrong to me and stuck a big cork in my trembling, foolish mouth. I judged my own family and I was bitter and unforgiving to the Lord. Yes, the Lord. I didn't know it and I can't really explain it but He made me understand the gravity of it in my spirit. I praise God for His goodness toward an egg like me and bare witness that His mercy endures. Hallelujah!!! What a wonderful Savior.
Thank you, brother, for bearing with me. I hope one day to meet you, as I belong to the same church as you and I yearn to be with you folks. I don't really have any fellowship and I really feel like I belong when my family and I sit in on your worship, although silently and electronically. I hope this makes some sort of sense. I would really like to share my testimony and God's wonders with you all, as I really feel it will be uplifting to others.
Lots of love from New Zealand and God bless all of you.