I am in Mexico teaching in the Word of Life Bible Institute for three weeks. The Lord ordained an encounter with a young man that asked to meet with me privately. He is currently preparing to enter the pastorate and his desire is to serve in a country that is a spiritually dark place. In our first conversation I learned that he was discouraged, suffering defeat in his walk with the Lord, and questioning whether God would use him in the ministry. He was at the point of giving up on his dreams. The Lord used His word to restore this young man´s heart in an amazing way. I shared the basic truths of the exchanged life using the wheel and line diagrams; of course I am using the Spanish Language version.
We discussed the meanings of the truths represented in those drawings, read the Bible passages and prayed together. First he was broken when he saw his life experience reflected in the wheel. He recognized that in his own strength he would never accomplish the dreams God placed in his heart. But his eyes were opened to understand that God´s design for his life is an exchanged life. He has a new identity, Christ living in him. I believe he really got Gal. 2:20! Christ is his life!
In a follow-up meeting he said that life looks different now and he has a fresh understanding of 2 Cor. 2:17; “old things are passed away and all things are being made new”. I later learned that when we first met it was his birthday! What a birthday present the Lord gave him! He now has had a white funeral, a death certificate and a proclamation of his new identity.
Well, I suppose you can guess as to what is happening now. This guy is beaming with joy. One by one guys that want to talk privately are looking for me between classes, after classes, at night … looks as though my days are going to be full until I leave for home on Dec 5.
I hope you will pray for me as the Lord brings me to your thoughts. God is doing great things!
I have been struggling in my walk with God for many years. Every time I would try to go forward in my Christian walk, I felt greatly hindered in a myriad of ways. Finally I got so frustrated I asked God what the problem was. I told God, “I am doing all I know to do; I am going to church, praying, seeking You and Your word – surrendering my life to You to the best of my ability…What is missing?”
The Lord answered me in His still, small voice: “The cross.” Well… being a Christian, I thought I already knew about the cross, but I recognize the Holy Spirit’s voice, so I started searching for answers. I began studying the Scriptures and searching the internet for ministries which specialized on the cross. I came across GFI and felt I had found a ministry which seemed to have covered the message of the cross much more thoroughly than anything else I had ever seen.
To make a long story as short as I can, my husband and I went there. (He came reluctantly). I knew from reading Dr. Solomon’s books and talking to him, that we were going there to enter into a complete surrender to God. I asked God what He wanted me to surrender first and He said, “your marriage.” I thought I had a pretty good marriage so I was a little shocked. I told my husband about it, and although I was going for four days of counseling, we decided to surrender our marriage to the Lord.
Well, after the four days of counseling with Dr. Solomon at GFI, the Lord began a total transformation of our marriage. Hidden things which had been there for a long time began to surface and the Lord cleaned us up–all by a sovereign supernatural work of God. Our marriage was completely made over and I received a “new husband” who actually loves God as much (or maybe more) than me–since God did a thorough “house cleaning” so to speak.
Yet, because I knew I still was not fully surrendering to the Lord, I was frustrated. Dr. Solomon said, “You are trying to do what God has already done.” I began to understand that salvation is by faith and so is sanctification! So I began to “let go and let God”.
Before I knew it, things got worse, not better as I came to the end of myself. I had a lot of fear and began having panic attacks and couldn’t eat or sleep for almost four weeks. It was horrible. My husband and I began seeking God like we had never sought him. I called Dr. Solomon and asked him to pray. Then the Lord showed us that my problem with panic attacks and not being able to eat or sleep was actually “spiritual warfare”. God led us to take authority over the spirit of fear and hindering spirits and tell them to leave in the name and authority of Jesus. We did this and I began to get better. I began living a normal life and could eat and sleep again.
I was still having panic attacks, though, and kept calling Dr. Solomon for prayer and assistance. He asked me if I had fellowship with other believers who understood the power of the cross. I told him I had fellowship, but mostly on the phone…and the people I knew didn’t really understand the cross like I was beginning to understand it. He said, “Well, you need real fellowship, not just over the phone. And from people who have a vital relationship to the Lord.” So Dr. Solomon found someone in Little Rock, near me, who had worked with him in ministry at one time. So, I met this person and he introduced me to some women in my neighborhood who were wholeheartedly seeking the Lord! Through their fellowship with me and their love I got healed of a lot of emotional wounds. Also, I no longer have panic attacks. Praise the Lord!
Just recently we went back to GFI at Pigeon Forge, Tennessee to learn how to better articulate this fuller message of the cross…that Christ not only died for our sins, but we also died with Him and are resurrected to new life! (Rom. 6:3-6; Eph. 2:4-7). Our lives are totally a work of grace from start to finish! I learned that the riches of Christ (through the finished work of the cross) are in our spiritual “bank account” already. We just have to “cash it” by faith, surrendering our lives and identifying with the fact that we are in Christ, not Adam anymore. It is no longer I, but Christ living in me that lives the Christian life!
I found out that even though I surrendered to God by faith in Christ’s finished work, He is still working in me for daily surrender. (It is He who does it, not I. Knowing this now, I have such peace!) He works in our will and gives us the ability through Christ. The cross is a daily thing (Luke 9:23).
As I have learned to yield to Christ in faith–believing what He said is true–I finally have entered into a more complete “soul rest”. After about four years I must still count this true and deny myself (say no to my will) in order to let the Lord live his life through me daily.
But Christ started this amazing work when I went to the Grace Fellowship International office four years ago and signed my “death certificate” to the old life. (Dr. Solomon actually makes us sign our own death certificate!) When I admitted that I could not live the Christian life, that only Christ in me is able to do that, I prayed the “Selfer’s Prayer”.
Now my life almost seems to be too easy. Truly His yoke (Christ’s way) is easy and his burden is light! (Matt. 11:28-30). I have found that Christ is not a hard task master. He is a gentle, kind servant-leader who, like a shepherd, gently leads His people. He takes us by the hand and leads us to full deliverance (salvation). Our salvation is a person, not a method or set of rules. Full salvation is through the Lord Jesus!