Earth Shaking, Doors Opening, & Breaking Free! Acts16:26


Arnolds Testimony


As a young child I attended Sunday School. It was a normal part of my life. I grew up in a dysfunctional family. Sunday School became my escape from the worries of life and Jesus became my superhero. Family life continued to depreciate as time went on. At the age of 8 my parents separated. I was so hurt inside and didn't know where to put the pain. I soon buried all my sorrows deep within myself as I went on with life.

My father remarried when I was 11. I thought that my new stepmother would be the answer to all that I had buried within myself. It is not fair to expect anyone to fill those empty and void parts of our lives. I soon realized that this would not happen. Jesus is the only one that can fill those areas of our lives. Our life at home became worse and worse. By the time I left home I was shattered and torn.

Sinking into a lifestyle of depression and despair I found myself looking to Jesus as the only answer (Acts 4:12). I looked to my friends who attended church, and started learning about their beliefs. One of my friends had a sister who attended a different church than he did. We started calling her church a cult and her pastor misleading. As I attended my friends church I started desiring for something more. There was an empty spot inside. I felt the need for something that was more solid, true, and real.

My friend’s sister invited me to her church again. This was about the third time she had invited me! I finally asked her "Why do you feel that this is the right church?" She replied, "because everything that they teach me they show it to me in the Bible." The following Sunday I went to her church to see if she was right. I sat at the very back and felt very uncomfortable because everyone was singing, clapping hands, jumping up and giving testimonies except for me and a couple of others. During the service I was looking for something to criticize the preacher for, but I couldn't find anything. After the service almost everyone went up to the front for the altar to pray. I saw people crying and wondered why they would be crying at church. Finally the service was over. I wanted to leave as soon as possible, but everyone started greeting me, asking me how I was, and inviting me to the next service.

I began to ask questions and found answers that I never knew before. I continued to attend the church, and began to attend their Bible Study nights. I learned more about Jesus, why He died for me (Heb 9:22), and how baptism in Jesus' name will cleanse me, remitting all sins (Acts 2:38). I wanted to follow God's Word. I knew that Jesus was my only answer. I was baptized in the name of Jesus Christ one month after I first attended the church. I felt as though everything ahead of me was a fresh new start (II Cor. 5:17). I was so happy and excited!! I never knew that Jesus was just waiting for me all the time that I was needing Him. From that day I continued to look forward to every day with Him!

I went to the district camp meeting. When I arrived at the campgrounds all my friends went in different directions to say hello to their old friends. I found myself alone, not knowing anyone. I became angry at my friends for leaving me without even showing me where the washroom was! I went for a walk and ended up walking along a dry creek that ran along side the camp grounds. I felt God trying to get my attention. I felt bad for being so angry and just wanted to talk to God about how I felt and how much I loved Him. I started praying to Jesus with my whole heart. I knelt on the large rocks in the dry creek and my tears began to fall. I just wanted to connect with God and touch Him. I prayed very honestly and was very real with God. I felt God all around me and began to stutter. I wasn't sure what was going on. I tried to talk properly but kept stuttering, I never had this type of problem before. I told God that I was having a little difficulty speaking and let Him know that I loved Him SO MUCH and would talk to Him another time. I went to the service that evening. All through the service I just wanted to praise and worship our great King and Lord of all, Jesus Christ.

At every opportunity I stood and raised my hands and praised Him. When the altar call came I found myself at the altar right away with my arms raised, praising and worshiping God in spirit and in truth. God filled me with the Holy Ghost and I began speaking in a new and glorious language as the Spirit of God gave me the utterance. It happened just as I had been shown in Acts chapter 2. God filled me with the Holy Ghost just as he did with the Apostles of the early church. I felt that empty spot inside myself being filled with love and joy unspeakable!! I was filled so full that I was overflowing!! I began to jump and dance as I praised and worshiped God, overflowing with the abundance of His loving Spirit. I knew that this is what I had been searching for. This is something solid, true, and real!!

From that day I have continued through life's journeys of valleys and mountain tops. As I grew in the Lord I realized that Jesus is not a one-time God, but Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb 13:8). It is a daily, personal privilege to go before God every day and dedicate my life to Him. He is my captain. Struggles and difficulties are not just valleys to me anymore, but a learning experience where God is molding and shaping me into something more. Not to my understanding, but to His perfect understanding and purpose