My relationship with Christ?


"My relationship with Christ? 
Wha-ya-mean? 


~~~~


“Tell me about your relationship with Christ?” 

My "relationship" with Christ?  swish . . . swish . . . swish . . . swish . . . 

I could hear my heart beat in my ears.  

The words caught me off guard as the unsuspecting woman seated next to me innocently prodded my empty soul. My failed attempt that afternoon in 1983 at a Christian Women's event haunted me for years to come, as I stumbled through carefully chosen words and actions.
  • I've known about Him since I was a child
  • Gone to church "most" of my life (when my parents took me) 
  • Currently looking for a church (straight up lie) 
  • God is good! --- Nod and smile --- He's so good! --- Nod and smile!!  
God's word in Ecclesiastes tells us "There is a time to speak and a time to be silent". (Eccl. 3:7) This is one of those times I should have remained silent and didn't; but then again, I wouldn't have had this story to write today, would I?

Yes, I was the GREAT PRETENDER . . . until the day God revealed Himself to me in the most tender, yet powerful way. 

And there is no pretending with God! 

But, I now had an answer to the woman's question, only about 10 years too late. 

In Christian lingo, I was saved and I had a personal testimony! 

Once the transforming power and grace of Jesus Christ touches our lives, breathing life into dry and thirsty souls, individuals once lost in the darkness of sin and rebellion, the pain of abuse and abandonment, the deception of false religion, or whatever separates us from a holy God are now able and even eager to speak openly of their stories without hesitation or having to stumble through a worldly Rolodex of religious activities, because "whom the Son sets free is free indeed. (John 8:36)

Christ sets us free to move forward as if the sin or trespass never existed at all. 





What joy! 

What freedom! 

What a testimony! (1 John 5:10) 



“I will tell of Your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will sing Your praise.”" (Hebrews 2:12, ESV) 

Our story (or testimony) is part of our Christian witness. Whether your faith experience was a dramatic conversion like Paul’s Road to Damascus experience, or a gradual awakening like Timothy’s, through the faithful rearing of a godly family, YOUR STORY MATTERS.

 Mine was somewhere in between. (Check out my Personal Testimony

I had heard others give what I thought to be impressive testimonies in the years before the Lord drew my heart to Him. I had gone through multiple altar call dedications, "rededications", and "re-rededications". I had a revolving door of dedications, and nothing “stuck”.  Nothing "stuck" because I had made it more about ME and my performance than about Him and His finished work on the Cross.

I can remember "wishing" I had a testimony like others told, but I obviously did not truly understand the purpose of one's testimony. I was so wrapped up in the emotion of the story and the story teller, I missed the MAIN ATTRACTION--CHRIST! I also used to wonder how in the world these people could share such intimate details of their lives, when I would have been looking for ways to hide it. Again, HE changes everything!!

But then, in a moment of desperation and absolute spiritual bankruptcy, while all alone in my kitchen with my coffee and Bible, Christ delivered me from myself and all the preconceived ideas and misconceptions I had formed over the years of what it truly meant to follow Christ. 

In the following months, as the Spirit of God worked in me, I found myself desiring to share with others what God had done, but like Moses, I felt “slow of speech”. (Ex. 4:10) But I learned that as I began to share, little by little, starting slow, first to myself with the highway as my audience while traveling longer distances. Then, I found opportunities to share one-on-one with individuals. Each time strengthened my faith and developed my courage to now share before many.
 

WHAT ABOUT YOU?


Before you can share your story, you have to HAVE a story, and you cannot HAVE a story without a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Church membership, an acknowledgement of God, or wearing a cross around your neck will NOT impart to you the saving grace given in Jesus Christ alone.

Christ in you, His grace and mercy revealed in your life and in your circumstance is HIS story first, and we get to share it as OUR STORY. (Col. 1:27)

With that settled, it is good to know your story. Your story is YOUR story, not a reproduction of another person's story. Your Christian testimony might include: 

·         How you came to recognize your personal need for Jesus
·         Story of how you met Jesus, how He drew you to Him, and how you responded to the call of God
·         Your conversion experience or how you came to follow Christ
·         The life transformation God worked in your life and continues to do.

Or use these simple questions as you begin: 

1.   What was your life like before Christ?

2.   Do you remember the moment of your salvation? Tell about it.

      Examples: What happened? Were you alone? Where were you? When? How did you respond?


3.   Perhaps you were a prodigal for several years? Tell about returning to your heavenly Father.

4.   How has your life changed since Christ came into your life?

5.   What do you feel God is calling you to do at this point in your life?

Telling your story reveals your personal encounter with God. It:
  • Gives hope to others in similar situations. 
  • Encourages and inspires other believers, renewing their faith.
  • Strengthens your own faith each time you share it. 
  • Puts God on display, that the world may know of His extravagant love!  
If you have never done so, I encourage you to develop your story using the ideas above, or find others online. Learn your story. Not memorizing it, but getting comfortable with it so you can easily share it with others. Remain open to God's Spirit as you give your testimony, as you may find that God will often reveal new things to you along the way, especially if pertaining to the person or people with whom you are sharing your story. 


Tell Your Story…in Jesus’ name!