From The Holy Spirit and Christian Testimonies, by C. Marie, www.theholyspiritacts.com
“Stephanie Crowns” was brought up by a family who rarely attended church services, and if they had, it was during some selective Easter Sundays and Christmas Day mornings. Inside of sanctuaries, they worn newly bought formal clothes and presented themselves with beliefs that they looked good and appropriate to all who noticed them. But over the years, while those holidays were associated with big dinners, desserts, gifts, bunnies and Santa Clause, the focus on the Lord became more optional, while those celebrations still symbolized those particular holy holidays.
By some years later, “Stephanie” had aged and became an adult Christian woman who had a hunger and thirst for developing in the Holy Spirit, and growing in the faith. She hardly ever walked inside of sanctuaries. But the time came when she had a strong demand from within that stuck on her for a while, which constantly convinced her that she needed to attend a church service somewhere. She had some hesitations, due to an issue that involved one’s outward image inside of a sanctuary, as she and her household were accustomed to receiving backlash from the public at times, because of their appearance.
James 1:9, “Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted:”
As a single-parent mother who had very little income at the time, the only garments that “Stephanie” had were a pair of house slippers that she worn outside of her home, and an old hand-me down outfit that should had been discarded long before she received it.
St. Matthew 6:25-29, “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”
St. Luke 12:29-35, “And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;”
After “Stephanie” surrendered and planned to attend the next church service somewhere, she continued to be uncomfortable because she believed that her and her children’s lack of clothing would cause a lot of unwanted negative attention on them…
When “Stephanie” finally took her children to church with her, they all sat in the last row in the sanctuary because she did not want anybody to notice them. However, she was able to observe many of the people who screamed out their praises, ran around, stomped their feet on the ground, and jerked their bodies around.
Prior to that day, “Stephanie” basically thought that God was a super spirit who was able to step in and out of people’s time, but had not involved Himself with people since the days of The New Testament. She also changed her perception of the Holy Spirit, as she came to acknowledge Him as one who presently interacts with others.
Jeremiah 23:23-24, “Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD.”
At one point in that same church service, “Stephanie” prayed to God, cried, as well as examined and judged herself in the Christian faith.
Psalms 86:5, “For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.”
Psalms 145:18-20, “The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them. The LORD preserveth all them that love him: …”
Psalms 130:4, “But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.”
“Stephanie” also gave God some explanations of her past offenses, as she repented remorsefully of them. Besides those, she admitted how she sincerely felt about all types of issues that she went through, threw away any grudges and animosities that she had against others, as well as asked God for complete forgiveness of her own transgressions.
Psalms 66:18, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:”
1 John 1:8-10, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”
After a while, “Stephanie” realized that her time at the church had passed by quickly because the service was almost over and people were invited to come down the altar for ministering purposes. During the altar call session, she walked her children down the aisle for prayers.
1 Peter 5:5-7, “…, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”
“Stephanie” took a weekly break from everything, interacted with different businesses the days before, and served leftovers on paper and plastic items on the days of.
Genesis 2:3, “And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.”
St. Mark 2:27:-28, “And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.”
Colossians 2:8-10 and 12-17, “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.”
“Stephanie” also felt that she rested spiritually, as she took her thoughts to the Lord and constantly threw her problems in the air for Him to catch and deal with for her. Those led her to continuously feel relieved, renewed, and at peace, while her faith in God increased.
St. Luke 13:24, “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.”
Psalms 55:22, “Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.”
After “Stephanie” acquired a lifestyle in which she regularly focused on the Lord and worshipped God by how she began to carry herself, her life and health continued to feel drastically better to her.
St. Matthew 11:27-30, “All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Hebrews 4:1-11, “Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works. And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest. Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.”