I don’t have the right words to express my spiritual state in wilderness between November 2006 to June 2008 but in the Words of God I found Psalms that matches so well with me and they are Psalms 6, Psalms 13, Psalms 25, Psalms 26, Psalms 38, Psalms 39, Psalms 42, Psalms 51, Psalms 57, Psalms 63, Psalms 69, Psalms 71, Psalms 77, Psalms 86, Psalms 88, Psalms 102, Psalms 130, Psalms 142 and Psalms 143. I lost myself and lived in my flesh though I had a burning desire in my spirit to get right with the LORD. In those 20 months there was not a single day when I had not cried in my spirit and also often at night I woke up silently crying and longing to be back with the LORD. I wanted to feel His Presence and have the joy of being with Him. My relationship with my family worsened and I felt everything in my life was going wrong. I became short-tempered, aggressive and only negative thoughts came in my mind. I will call myself sinner of sinners and the chief sinner among the sinners. Recently on 29th August 2010, I was given by a sister to prepare a sermon of Luke 7:36-50, as I was praying to God to reveal this scripture portion to me. I came to know and have been able to compare my life of wilderness was in many way similar to the life of the sinful woman who came to the Pharisees house. Like her I knew the salvation of God and had the faith to come and receive forgiveness for my sins believing that God will not only forgive me but will also say “Shalom” to my life. Unlike her, I didn’t have the privilege to be at my Savior’s feet and show my love and gratitude by continuing wetting His feet with my tears; and wiping them with my hair; and kiss His feet and anoint them with most precious ointment but in faith my Spirit is continuously showing my utmost love and devotion to the LORD. Because He forgave me much that’s why I love Him much. I would like my testimony to be remembered as “the overwhelming love story of the Savior and a saved”.
When I studied in 6th Standard, one day the Sister told us that it was very important to pray to God “May Your will be done” and also have faith in God that whatever He does is for our good because He knows the end since the beginning. Many times I felt that everything was going wrong in my life but because I always prayed for the will of the LORD to be done in my life, I had a hope that everything will turn out to be good. Anyway, when you are in the mouth of struggles it becomes very difficult to believe that God is with you. I often cried “Why have You forsaken me O LORD! Deliver me from my iniquities and let you mercy and grace shine again on me” Examining my situation I would end that I was battling within myself because in spirit I know and believed God of having control in my life and in the other I was tied in my flesh which always made me feel as a loser.
I’m glad that God blessed me with faith and because of that I was able to endure everything trusting in God that all He had done in my life prior to my wilderness was true and He will also make a way to deliver me. I did not doubt the existence of God because I had personally known the presence of God. I knew and so praised the LORD that though I would live or die, though my life made was made for a purpose or not yet God is the Creator who holds everything in His hand and He is worthy to be praised. My life didn’t make sense to me but I believed with all my senses that God was, is and will be forevermore the LORD and God Almighty.
Now I look back to all those days which I call wilderness and felt far from God but God was not far from me. Even that time He held my hand to help me overcome all obstacles; His covering was still with me. I look back to see His good blessings in wilderness: I got a job within few days after reaching New Delhi, He blessed me with good health. Earlier I had so many sicknesses like poor eye sight, often had severe stomach ache and headache, leg pain, very bad skin problems, unable to live in extreme climate conditions etc. but after coming to New Delhi though I got sick many times yet I did not visit doctor for any problems as such because God was and is my Healer. I did not struggle for day to day life like most people struggle when they are totally new in a city and especially when they are young girls. I lived in my comfort zone. I even continued my studies and did well with that. I had people around me who loved and cared for me though they were unbelievers. I had favor from everyone who knew me. God was with me even when I did not feel Him. He is a faithful God who never leaves us nor forsakes us. His eyes are fixed on us and He shelters us under His wings even when we do not see Him.
Then, in July 2008 the cloud that covered my vision began to lift up and I started to see and feel the presence of God. It might be that I had passed the test of wilderness that God put me through which was not by my strength but because of the mercy and love of God. I got contacted with my childhood Christian friend in New Delhi and she introduced me to a brother who gave me a Bible on 5th July 2010. (Today I have all my three Bibles with me, one which my mother took away from me; my brother brought with him to New Delhi and the other which my father took; my younger sister brought here. So, one who was crying to read the Word of God got everything back that was taken.) Praise the LORD for this. I also registered with a website that ministered to me in a great way, through that website I also got connected with brothers and sisters who counseled and prayed for me which made my deliverance from my old self that I became in wilderness easier. God took all these wonderful people to whom I’ll be highly obliged all my days to guide and minister to me in a way that the LORD had planned. I thank God for bringing them in my life. I’m truly blessed to know them and have them as my brothers and sisters in Christ.
After I got the Bible in July 2008, I was reading it like I was thirsty for it since thousand years and I wondered how I would be able to give my exam which was in the same month. Yet, God was with me and I did well there too. (From August 2007 to June 2008, I had spent hours and hours on internet reading different websites about religions of the world and also about different dominations in Christianity itself. I even downloaded e-sword in early 2008 but was not able to understand it and neither had the same passion in reading it though I often tried to read it. May be it was because I was in spiritual wilderness). The brother often visited me and prayed for me on the phone and when he asked me if I would like to go with Him to a church which was near New Delhi, I agreed for it and he started praying. I heard him speaking those words which I didn’t understand and I asked him what he was speaking while praying, he said that it is called praying in tongues and when God blesses with His Spirit we also start speaking in tongues. When I reached home I was praying to God and I opened the Bible to find Luke 24:49. I firmly believed that God will bless me with His Holy Spirit, so I will obey Him and not go to Church outside the city. I shared about this to the brother and he agreed.
On 28th July 2008 (Ask me how I remember the dates and times so correctly? Well, since my childhood I had a habit of writing down all the dates, time and the situation on a diary which seemed important to me because I wanted to keep track of my own life. Apart from this I like underlining verses in my Bible but sometime when I feel that God had revealed to me something through His Words, I immediately underline the verse and write the date beside it so that when I look back to those verses it will be personally more meaningful and encouraging to me.). I will not call it a vision neither a dream but beyond visions because that was so real to me. I saw brightness and light around me which did not come from a source of light but from LORD Himself and there was so much Holiness around Him that I could feel Holiness (People say darkness can be felt but even light and holiness can be felt). There was no heaven and earth neither did I see anything else but only the LORD in His glory and than I saw my spirit standing at the right hand of the LORD. He suddenly took my hand drawing me closer to Him. I saw His hand and yes indeed we are engraven in the palms of His hand. I had so much joy to be with the LORD but I could not express it because I felt all my nerves had stopped working and everything was just lost in the LORD and attended to Him. He than held be closer to His heart and I felt like I could feel His heart within me, immediately I felt His joy and pain like of a Father for His children whom His own hands had created. Neither was He speaking nor did I speak anything but it seemed like we were talking without opening our mouths. (As I’m writing this I feel these words do not justify that glorious moment I had in the presence of God because no words can express it – it can only be felt). He than spoke (without speaking) that “I will put My words in your mouth”. I lifted up my head to see His face to ask “When LORD?” but before I could see His face I felt like I had fallen on my bed with a great ‘thud’ that actually woke me up. I felt like I had landed on my bed from somewhere. My body was trembling and I had the same feeling of holiness like I was with the LORD. I woke up and found some verses in Bible which I feel I should not share now, it was 4:28 a.m of 28th July 2008. The next night too I woke up and saw two brilliant rays of light around me in my bed and also heard myself speaking in the languages I didn’t know neither was I able to control myself. That evening I called up the brother and shared with him of what had happened to me, he said if it is from the LORD it will give me peace and joy or else my spirit will me troubled. It was the Spirit of God because I was filled with peace and joy. After speaking to brother on phone I was praying; and praise God I started praying in tongues in between my prayer. I was so happy and excited that I again called up the brother and shared with Him my joy. Also, it was fulfilled for God had blessed me with His Spirit so next Sunday I was in the Church outside the city. I obeyed God and He answered me.
Everything was going well. I was praying to God to reveal to me my own sins that I didn’t remember or which I didn’t know was sin so that I could ask forgiveness and be freed from that bondage. It is very important to know very specifically what are sins are because until we know it we cannot completely overcome it. We should come before the LORD and confess our sins. God is merciful to forgive us and deliver us from our strongholds when we submit to Him.
On 12 January 2008 when I was in the office my friend called me up on phone and she shared something that had happened few days back. She said that she was with her uncle who was an evangelist and they were listening to a song. I don’t remember what that song was but she told her uncle that the song they were listening was so much like my life and then she shared my testimony with him. Then all of sudden he spoke without actually thinking of saying it (as my friend said to me) that “She is the bride of Jesus”. That came as a surprise to my friend because she knew that I loved the LORD so much and also often I had shared with her my vision in which I saw myself like a bride coming to the LORD who waited me with arms open wide. I used to say to her that the best day of my life will be when I’ll leave this world and enters the gates of Heaven because I hoped that the LORD will wait for me there. Her uncle also told her to inform me that God will bring a greater test to me in time ahead and when I am able to come out of it successfully, the LORD will bless me abundantly. I was filled with tears of joy as she shared this. It was like I had waited so long to hear this. Can you imagine the joy one haves when they know that their love and devotion is acceptable to God and He is pleased with it? It is said that when we will be at the wedding feast of the Lamb as written in Revelation we will be called Bride in true sense and this life is the preparatory period before that. What a blessing that I got to know I was chosen before that! But, I also wondered what more test was before me as I felt I had already gone through so much pain.
Things went on smoothly, until first week of November 2009. I was in a relationship with a man who was an unbeliever. This all started when I came to New Delhi in 2006. He had been the most caring and loving person. He had been on my side in very decision I made and helped me through everything. I not only loved him but also was obliged to all that he had done for me. I always prayed for his salvation. He is such a nice human and I believed that he deserve to know God and be saved. Our families had no objections in getting us married. But in my spirit I was troubled because after all he was an unbeliever, though I firmly believed that one day he would be saved. His parents did not know about my faith and neither my family thought that I was serious with the LORD. Then, God gave me strength and I said boldly to his parents that I am a believer of Christ. When things turned out that either I choose them or choose Christ. I declared that my First Love is Christ and I can and will be ready to sacrifice anything or everything that comes between me and the LORD. I said I can live without the man whom I loved the most as a person (more than my family, so he was the biggest sacrifice for me to give up) but I cannot live without Christ neither can I stop walking in His ways. I was so much hurted. Brother and sisters in Christ prayed for me. My family also knew about it and finally they also accepted my faith and this truth that I was, is and will be crazy for Christ all my days. I can live and die for Christ but I cannot live for a moment if someone asks me to forget Him. The LORD is my only passion and love for Whom I’m just ready to do anything.
I think I had passed the test and God restored to me everything that I had lost all my life. My family relations were restored. My family acknowledged and accepted my faith. My spiritual life is getting better and better each day. I have become an emotionally stronger person. I am able to see and understand things not as earlier but through the eyes and heart of the LORD. And, my relationship with the person I loved was restored and praise God he is not only saved but shares the same passion with me for the LORD, who encourages me in very way to walk in the ways of the LORD and also sometime surprise me with his own walk with the LORD and at times I learn things of the LORD through him. God is just amazing. Everything is so good and beautiful if we trust in the LORD and keep Him as our First Love.
Before I end, I want to confess one of my sin which I too didn’t know but God revealed to me recently in August 2010 as I had been asking God to show me my hidden sins. Unknowingly, I had tested the LORD many times which is a very grievous sin. I didn’t know that in asking God to do certain things with certain conditions; I was actually putting Him to test without even knowing that it was sin. But after knowing it, I came before the LORD with prayer and fasting confessing my sin and in faith I have received His forgiveness. Many times it happens that God forgives us but we are not able to forgive ourself and in that too we sin for not truly accepting the atoning sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. Until we forgive ourself we don’t have the confidence to come before the LORD and that slowly creates a gap in our relationship with the LORD. I sinned and I am a sinner yet after asking the LORD to forgive me, I also forgive myself so that my past will not become my stronghold for the devil to use against me in future. I fall many times but then I take the courage to walk again with the LORD because I know I cannot live without Him and I have to keep on walking with the LORD until I am with Him to be with Him forevermore.
The story of my life is so smooth now but in spirit I have started to feel like something is going to happen that will turn around my life. I look back and see that I had just climbed stairs of faith with the LORD and the real journey awaits me. It is not that persecution and trials will not come ahead in me life but after climbing those stairs of faith I have become a stronger person in faith who cannot stumble because of the assurance that GOD is always with me. I don’t fear to face my life ahead though whatever it may bring; in the end I believe like my vision the LORD will welcome me with open arms to receive me. May be that I will go to the LORD young because like my eagerness to be with Him, He is also eager to receive me. I belong to You my LORD.
It was the grace and mercy of God that He choose me and after many years of knowing Jesus Christ without knowing His salvation, I was finally saved because He redeemed me with His precious Blood and gave me hope of eternity in His resurrection. My testimony and everything else proclaims just these words: “It’s all about You, Jesus Christ.” Everything that I write is not about me but for the glory of God, it’s all centered to Him because my life revolves around Him. Generations of people come and pass by but the Only One who remains is the LORD and His Word. He stands firmly declaring His Majesty and Power through the awesome works of His Hand. If I see myself in midst of the vastness of His creation, I am nothing but a dust yet His had shown His favor on me so I stand and say I’m blessed and worthy because of His salvation and I have the privilege to come before His Throne and worship Him; this is my joy and I praise the LORD. In days and years to come, I don’t want anyone to come and say that I have written my testimony to show about myself because this is not what I think and even the thought of being accused of glorifying myself grieves my soul to the extend I cannot write. I am a servant of the LORD but in His loving kindness had He not called me (us) His companions? Would I not shout and proclaim about the love, mercies and grace of the LORD and of the wonderful things that He has done in my life?
I often read on the net that some people describe the love and passion for Jesus in erotic way. Here I want to say that don’t push yourself in sin by thinking like that because the LORD is Holy and Holiness surrounds Him so you are blaspheming the LORD and putting a stumbling block before the unbelievers and those who look up to you as good. In spirit I’m feeling that in time and years to come this thinking will become common and will be used by the devil to deceive many believers. The truth is when you are in love with God you feel like His heart beats in you, you love His people and creation as He does, you become His companion in the joy He feels when He sees His children being saved and you also feel the pain when His people are lost. Your continuous desire is to sit at His feet to worship Him and praise Him. Love is devotion to God which is truly acceptable to Him. And, forget not He is Almighty, Awesome, and Holy God in all His Glory, Splendor and Majesty.
Praise the LORD!