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testify: joel

March 2, 2010

my life has been a series of decisions i’ve made and then understanding afterwards. i decided to study graphic design and then realized i had a knack for it and that it was a great outlet in the service of the Lord. i decided to play football and then realized it would be one of the most important factors in my character and spiritual growth. i decided to start writing a blog and then realized people would actually read it (besides my mom). it’s not that i had no idea what i was doing when i did these things, just the wrong idea. ¬†undoubtedly, though, the most important of these decisions was when i asked Christ to come into my life and then (about seven years later) understood that decision.

it’s actually really difficult to say exactly when i was first saved. i remember when i was about five, i sat at the large oval-shaped table in my living room, bowed my head, and asked Jesus to save me from my sin. and then i ran back outside to play again. it may sound a little hard to believe, but this event has been so firmly implanted in my memory that i do believe that this was certainly the day that the Spirit of God came upon me. just that memory of sitting at that table is so vivid amidst the hazy general memories of kindergarten.

remember what i said about ‘seven years later?’ in seventh grade, i was discipled by my youth pastor Pat Boyd and it was then that i truly understood the concept of Salvation. just talking in his office, he posed the question,”why do you think you are going to Heaven?” i can’t remember exactly what my answer was, but i do remember the answer to his follow-up question of “how many times did you just use the word ‘i’?”–three. i was so reliant on that moment at the living room table and had not given enough notice to the true Moment of Salvation. i knew that Jesus’ death and resurrection was the only way that we are able to gain passage to Heaven, but i didn’t know it. i knew these concepts in theory and doctrine, but i didn’t know them in Truth (which, as it happens, is the only way to truly know something).

this, i believe, is how God works in the willing spirit. i’m pretty sure none of us understands what he or she is doing until they actually do it (and maybe not even then). i still don’t know why God has put certain things in my path, but i do know that He put them there, and that, if He wills so, i will understand them later on. i’ll be honest with you right now; i don’t know exactly why God has brought me to Mississippi, but i do know that He has. looking back, i cannot see any other path that would have pleased Him more. all i know is that God is working out the puzzle, i just have to be the piece in the right place.

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