WEDNESDAY NIGHT I SHARED MY testimony with a young Bible school student. I was currently in Colorado visiting my daughter at Bible school and she says to me that her friend wanted to hear my testimony. Faith had shared a few things with her, but she wanted the whole sordid story.
Now, it’s been a long time since I shared my full testimony. Hearing myself tell her some of the things I did and was involved in brought back horrific memories and tears. I typically will just share with people a few things here and there, because I would rather shine the light on Jesus and His infinite mercy than my nasty past.
I was a gross sinner with a past of sexual abuse, brokenness, neglect, instability, gross fornication, drug abuse and much more. Yet, even as I heard these things coming out of my mouth, I couldn’t believe I was talking about myself. I have been serving the Lord for 28 years and I am so far removed from that old person that it sounded like I was telling her about someone else’s life. This is the power of the gospel. It is not just that Jesus has the power to save me from my sins, but His resurrection power is the power and ability to literally, not figuratively, transform a life.
I am not even near the old Crystal who was sexually abused as a child and began a life of drugs at age 9, constantly dragged from one place to another. I have been not only redeemed from a life of destruction, but healed from a life of pain. It is nothing that I have done, but the power of God working within me to heal, restore and make whole.
My friend, you cannot heal yourself, you cannot do enough to make yourself whole, nor can you run far enough away from your past to make yourself a new creation. It is only through the power of God that you can be made whole. “Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” II Corinthians 5:16-17
Paul said, “we regard NO ONE according to the flesh” who is in Christ. You are a new creation. Here’s where it gets tricky. You have to appropriate that power by faith. There were many many times over the years I did not feel forgiven, but I appropriated His power to forgive my sins by faith.
There were multiple people that told me that because of my past, I was forbidden to do things. I had to appropriate the above word of God and walk in what the Lord called me, not what man called me. I had to flee from my old past life and separate from the world. This was hard. I was lonely for a huge season of my life. But God stood with me and I kept running toward the prize.
I didn’t allow old thoughts back in, but cast them down in the name of Jesus. I did (and still do) spiritual battle against my flesh and take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. I had to cleanse my life of all that offended God. After all, I was a new creation.
I was a new Crystal, born anew of the Holy Spirit. I saw things differently. I filled my heart with God’s holy Word and sought the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Friend, it takes time to actually feel differently; but don’t quit. You will get there. The power of the cross is the power to be renewed. Stop doing things in your own strength and might. You cannot make yourself whole, I don’t care what someone told you.
You cannot heal yourself from past pain. I don’t care what someone else told you. There’s no amount of medication to make you well. I don’t care what someone else told you. No amount of serving, giving, or running away can make you whole. Only the power of the cross. Sit under the mighty and restorative hands of the Master Potter and stop squirming.
He alone has the power to restore and make whole. “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. BUT YOU WERE WASHED, but you were SANCTIFIED, but you were JUSTIFIED in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” I Corinthians 6:9-11Not by your own works, lest any man should boast. In Christ alone. #runyourrace
To Learn More About Pastor Crystal please visit the Leadership Page