Step By Step

1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Romans 12:1-2

Step by step and little by little, the Bride is being perfected and making Herself ready for the coming Bridegroom. This sister gives testimony of what may seem small to most people, but for her it was an obstacle that was in the way of her receiving many more blessings from the Lord. 

I was privileged to be raised in a Message home. From a little girl, I wanted to serve the Lord, but sadly have failed Him in so many ways.

He’s helped me, been with me all of my days, but I didn’t know Him like I do now. And every day I long to be more and more like Him.

From an early age I loved to read and write. My parents tried to give me a strong foundation, and as a kid, I just had a wonderful imagination. I began to devour books as I grew into my teens. I didn’t have many friends so it was the perfect escape from everyday life.

Outside of regular kid mysteries and school stories, I began reading religious historical fiction, also romance novels. Sure, there were people that criticized my passion to read, but sadly Satan just pointed out their faults too. My books were my friends so I justified them. The devil’s usual argument to me, "you have to do something." Of course, all along I’d bump up to that in my heart. It was my roadblock. I wasn’t ready to surrender.

Marriage and kids slowed my reading down, as I began to see how silly many of them were, but there was just this little nudge in my heart for all those lovely volumes that sat upon my book shelves. I was rather proud of my extensive collection. Some of them were now limited editions, and yes, they were Christian, or so the devil lied to me. I knew in my heart, I wanted a deeper walk with the Lord. In fact, I was getting desperate.

The more Tapes I heard, the more I knew I lacked. I remember watching my grandfather and saw how excited he got when we were to listen to the Church Ages. I just got frustrated. I grew tired with just living the letter. I wanted that Hidden Life, the Inter-Veil that Brother Branham spoke of. But of course, bump...there was my roadblock.

It was at a testimony meeting where Brother Amalong spoke of the work in Mexico, that I saw something so real in God’s servant that I wanted. At first, I felt so sad for the people in Mexico, how little they had, but by the time he was done, I felt sorry for myself. I was at a crossroads in my life and knew it was time to make my decision. That night I promised the Lord, I’d get rid of those books; every single one of them.

Have you ever been so convicted in a service, but the moment you walk out the door, the devil has given you 1000 reasons why it’s still ok?

I went home, and took out every single book and put them on the floor so I wouldn’t lose my resolve. "It just so happened" that my in-laws were having a garage sale. Now who would buy those kinds of books? Much to my surprise, they were the hot item, nearly every one sold with the exception of a just a few! I want to add this, because it’s really special to me.

My young son, at the time had a collection of Pokémon cards, (he had previously been going to public school). My husband and I hadn’t given them much thought, they looked pretty harmless. When we realized they were something more, we asked our son to give them up, but they were his treasure. Normally, we are not that kind of parent, but both of us thought, being he was so young, felt just to leave him.

It was a while after, that my young children were watching as mommy took her special books and stacked them on the floor. As I was bundling them up for sale the next day, I asked them, “Is there anything you feel to get rid of?” To my surprise, my son walked to his room and brought me his Pokémon collection. It still touches my heart. He has never looked back, and neither have I.

I was afraid at first when I saw my books stacked at the garage sale, all those great stories swirling back to my memory. It may seem silly, but sometimes change is very hard, but God completely delivered me. There is not one speck of my heart that desires them anymore. Praise God!

I still love to read and He’s given me plenty of reading material to feed my soul. It has become a new Message to me. My Agapao Tablet has my cup running over! What a blessing it has been in my life!

Now I get excited listening to the Church Ages! Oh, what a blessed Word. I used to go to bed thinking of all my stories, writing in my mind. Now I fall asleep thinking on Jesus and I wake up thinking on Jesus. I have been set free.

My friend, my sister, or my brother, it’s not just books I’ve been delivered from, but so many petty worldly things. Things that just creep in. I always tell my children, if you feel that nudge in your heart about something you’re doing, talk to the Lord, He’s telling you something.

Satan’s usual whisper is, “You can’t do That ALL the time.” Or, “Its ok...other people do it.” For myself I was afraid; what was I going to do with myself and all my time! I dreamed for years of being a writer one day, but as the song says, “All my ambitions, plans and wishes at His feet in ashes lay.”

If you have a roadblock, just trust Him - He will satisfy every longing. He will fill all the loneliness and disappointment. Don’t be afraid, He will help you. I know, because He did it for me. Jesus set me free.

Sister Christina

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