By Susan Bates
(Workshop 3/2014)

Grace: the empowering presence of Jesus Christ,
enabling me to be who He has called me to be,
and to do what He has called me to do

There it was again. First a puzzled look, then the dawning of hope-infused wonder gently overcoming the stubborn despair that had been etched into her countenance by years of disappointments.

“This is true, isn’t it?”

I nodded.

“I mean it sounds too good to be true, but it’s right here in the Bible.” Tears overflowed onto her reddened cheeks, but this time, they were tears of joy, and no longer the bitter residue of a wounded heart. Once again the promise of Jesus had come true before my eyes: “Know the Truth and the Truth will set you free.” Jesus Christ, the living Truth, The Way to live victoriously over sin and self, and the abundant Life every believer has longed for, had set one of His beloved children free in a way she had never dreamed possible.

I felt so privileged to be part of this miraculous transformation; one that I knew would positively impact her life forever. Just as it had mine. A prayer of thanksgiving welled up from within me, “Thank you Father, for answering my heart’s cry…”

As the Director of a Rescue Mission for women and children, for years I had sought to find God’s answer for the depressed, addicted, and abused people that came through our doors every night. Yes, we shared the salvation message with all, but to take every person through the in-depth counseling, deliverance, and healing they needed was impossible. But knowing God’s heart for the “least of these”, I knew He had a simple Truth to bring every one of them freedom from the power of Sin, deliverance from the trauma of the past, and hope in the midst of desperate circumstances. And God answered my prayer by bringing me to Grace Fellowship International.

Though I had read several books that taught the Exchanged Life, by watching the conference DVDs and attending the Workshop I came to know the Person of Jesus Christ in me and as me in an unshakeable way. This awareness has continued to free me from a lifelong struggle with depression and perfectionism.

Then, as I learned how to share these truths with others, I participated in their joy as they too received the freedom one can only get as they lose their life in order to find it. The icing on the cake came with the privilege of meeting Dr. Solomon, his family, Dr. Woodward, and other members of the G.F.I. family, as fellowship with them was alone worth the investment of time and money. They have continued to pour into my life with loving encouragement and wisdom, demonstrating a profound servant humility.

My life, as well as the lives of those I serve, my family, and many others with whom I have shared the Exchanged Life, will forever be enriched by my time at Grace Fellowship. If you have the opportunity to attend the Conference/Workshop, do not pass it by. As the “called out ones”, we must learn of the power of God that is available to every one of His children (see Eph. 1:19). And not for our sakes only, but for the sake of the world around us that is being destroyed for lack of knowledge (see Hosea 4:6). If the Church truly awakened to the empowering Truth contained in Galatians 2:20, the truth that G.F.I. emphasizes, we would see transformation in individuals, families, communities, and nations.

God is calling His children to awaken from our self-induced slumber, and shine with glory of our Savior and King. Let’s embrace His mandate to disciple the nations, for truly, we were born for such a time as this.


Susan is a biblical counselor and speaks to groups across the country about God’s provision for living through Christ. Learn more about her books and speaking schedule at http://shineministry.org