Yesterday, I posted the awesome testimony of Camille Jolly, a French citizen who genuinely and honestly provided all the details of her life, the drawing of God to salvation, and the various things she went through.
There were several things I could relate to, as my rebirth was just a couple of years before hers.
Looking Back – She mentioned “I needed to look back on God’s drawing” several times. And this is true! Just because one is giving a rebirth later in life, doesn’t mean God wasn’t preserving you and thus drawing you all along. I can personally look back on my own life to see exactly what she said she too went through. You begin to see the sad circumstances, sometimes evil, and see God’s hand as He didn’t just take you out or your life went into a black hole after those points.
Confusion – When you are about to be given a rebirth and just after, confusion will arise as so many things are new all at once. The “confusing” part is trying to make sense of it all from your former life. Also if you were taught false things which contradict Scripture, it can be confusing as to knowing what the truth is. However if you hold to Scripture, discernment eventually comes.
Separation – When God appoints you to eternal life, a separation (sanctification) also occurs. Some friends, family, coworkers, those you loved in your former life will be decidedly unhappy with your new life and will go away. Somethings you practiced in your former life are shown to be sinful, so God is constantly separating you from those things. It can be subtle or it can be very obvious, but indeed a new creation will ALSO be separated from their former life of sin. Now sadness and all sorts of emotions can accompany this process, but you know that you are now with Jesus, so all will be well.
The Church – You had this idea what the church was in your former life, and initially you may hold onto to this ideology. That the church is this building with a steeple, a statement of faith, and where you need to go on Sunday. However, God teaches you He isn’t housed in dwellings made by human hands, and that the church is actually EVERY born-again believer in Jesus Christ. So your ideology changes! You see the church as believers and a gathering as a fellowship in Christ.
False Churches – She mentioned in France that it was hard to find an actual fellowship/church because of the many false gospels out there. Scripture shines a light on every false church! The problem is there are 100 false churches to 10 actual churches which are teaching the Biblical Gospel. And you will discover as she did, it is NOT the size of the congregation which discerns it, most often as Jesus said “few will find it” is the case.
Directness – If say you were in a religious system such as Roman Catholicism, the very first thing you realize is that instead of their roadblocks to Jesus, there is a direct unimpeded access by faith straight to His throne. So one CAN go directly to Jesus for the forgiveness of ALL their sins, no religiosity or works can be added.
Passion for the Gospel – She mentioned this cage stage as some will call it, and I can relate. Once you are saved, you want to shout the Good News to everyone and anyone. You want ALL your friends and family to get it. She describes herself as “Peter with a sword, cutting the ears off”, and I too did this. You think at first, “why aren’t they getting this news?” so you try to force your new faith on them, and they simply get angry or ignore you. Whereas you then learn over time, you aren’t the Holy Spirit, you aren’t the converter, and your job is to simply share the Good News and then get out of His way!
Rest and Peace – One thing God graces you with is the ultimate rest and peace in Jesus. You realize that whether it be good, bad, or ugly, you are always in that rest, so a peace without understanding comes.
Sinfulness – In her case and in mine, the very first thing God shows you is how very wicked and awful you truly were all your life, and that Jesus paid your ENTIRE debt by grace alone. I was saddened, and shaking my head at myself (still do) at just how awful and evil I was. But more so eternally thankful to Jesus to pay my sins by His precious blood!
Trust – You realize that by this salvation, you can leave almost everything and trust that God has got you, that He goes before you! Camille left on a boat to a strange country, and God protected and guided each of her steps. I can relate this to as well, the leaving go and letting God. It can cause anxiety at first, but if you TRUST there is an Almighty God, that anxiety turns to joy in a big hurry.
Joy – If you listened to her entire testimony, there is a joy within her. She smiles, says some funny things, all due to this joy in her focus now in Jesus Christ and His promises. If you aren’t joyful in your salvation, I am sorry to say you probably were deceived and never granted salvation.