I am compelled to write this letter to you after reading such a testimony as yours.
As I read your words, my old way life was being reviled before me. I thought I was the only one who was plagued by pride and suffered separation because of obnoxious behavior.
If you have time I tell you my story. I grew up in a catholic home and was baptized as a baby. I was raised by two loving and caring parents. God was not a major part of our life. I thought you just had to be good and you would go to heaven. I was very popular in Jr. high school but when I went to High School I was a nobody.
The transition from somebody to nobody was more than I could handle so I shielded my self with pride. I became a smart mouth know it all. I was so critical of other people, I was trying to make my self appear greater.
I started going to this very conservative church that was totally against the spirit of God. My faith was based on how much you could know the scriptures and very little about behavior. I was so zealous for knowledge that I studied only controversial matters because I liked the victory in knowing more. I could prove the ceasing of tongues and all the other common arguments so I thought. It only made matters worse. I became so full of pride and so critical that I was a Pharisee. A wolf in sheep's clothing so to say. When I turned 21 I lost my girlfriend of 8 years. We meet in Jr. high school and when she left I was totally alone.
I was on the verge of destruction. I turned to drugs to ease the pain but they brought no fulfillment. The next three years was a struggle for my life, but in the summer of 99 I met the daughter of a preacher and my life began to change. Her father was a spirit filled preacher and I was a hard headed know it all. I attended his church for three months but refused to participate in the worship service and ignore the message. On one Sunday that would all change. It was worship time and everyone was rejoicing but me. The preacher during song service walked up to me and lifted my face which was facing the floor and said in a forceful voice "what are you hear for" "what are you here for" he repeated. I felt something break inside and the tears began to run down my face. I was broken, yet I finally had victory at the same time. That day I asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior but the battle had just begun. The carnal mind rage against the Spirit of God for it was well trained. I was enveloped by flesh and the Spirit could not move. I had no clue that your own mind can be God's greatest enemy. After months of seeking to be filled with the Holy Spirit victory finally came. I went to my now father-in-law wanting to be filled at all cost. He prayed over me but the mind was fighting with thoughts of unbelief. Then I heard the Spirit say "speak, speak in faith" and the words I spoke, I had know understanding of them. It was the first time I did something that my mind was not in control of because there was no understanding of the words. The mind soon retaliated that evening and was wanting to repent, because my mind said that I made it up.
The next day a Spiritual High I like to call It swept me off my feet. I could no longer deny that the gifts were for today. My walk had just begun, the pride was to return and the Spirit told me that if I ever forgot where I came from I would go back. That's what happened the old person that was nailed to the cross some how got off. I became critical all over again and I began to see sin working in my flesh and was unable to repent at the time. I cried out that God would have mercy on me and he replied "Do unto other as you would have Me do unto you."
I'm 26 now and still working on overcoming the flesh and probably will as long as I live. The is a way to victory and it is a walk that we must walk with Jesus. No man knows the way even though they themselves or on the path. I thank God for His Holy Spirit to guide me where no man can lead, and for giving me strength to over come my weaknesses. Glory to God and may He be exalted by His people.