I just wanted to share a few things briefly.
I have been active on this forum only 2 days now. I will try to keep this as brief as possible, but there are many things I'd like to share. I'll probably get through 1/10 out of concern that you all will nod off :)
I recently read through several of the posts on all the 25 pages of the intro thread. I was hoping to see a few more in there with whom I have already developed a special appreciation in the Lord for (won't name names though, AHEM -- lol).
Avoice - In my initial training, I was sucked into WoF for about 5 months. I still have people close to me that believe WoF, one very, very strongly. I may check out your posts for helpful info. That was one of the more recent experiences for me (2009).
Roger - thanks for sharing in the intro thread and many others. You have a fatherly love that comes across.
ValleyAnt - brother, praise God for you, lol. Seriously.
And several others, Hope, Lucinda, 4Jesus (Sandy), Andrew Strom of course, Poppie, Ezekiel Rose, AJ Horton and on and on: Thank you. Let me expound briefly.
I will likely make this into 2 threads if it gets too long. I need to do this (share), for reasons I'll explain. Primarily that I have been in the wilderness for 14 years, with little true fellowship.
"Gave my heart" to Jesus according to the method my parents taught me at age four (1978). However, something real definitely happened because this is one of the few memories I still retain from such a young age.
Baptized age 14, filled around almost age 19 (1993), after a few years living in rebellion.
Went to college 4 yrs, got Bible degree. The first 2 years were great. I was obeying God, He did some phenomenal and unique things (true revival at the college 1995, it was quite something). If you read my brief post on the intro thread, you know that 2 years into college the Lord told me to quit and I actually told Him 'no'. Wow. (I do NOT advise disobeying at all, talk about some pain).
Got married in 1997...
This began 1997 when God told me 3 times to quit my job (newly married, had been walking with Him but in "mixture" as Derek Prince calls it -- I read an excellent article Andrew posted on this site here. I did quit my job, was still living in married housing on campus.
Long story short, of this part anyway, God began to teach me through the Bible, which He had me read for months and months almost all day long. It was hard because He started this with taking me to 1Jn3:6,9 and saying literally "You don't know ANYTHING". The irony is I had just graduated from Bible college with honors lol. Talk about humbling.
I was persecuted, called cultish, etc. Many of you know the experience I'm sure :) But praise God there were days, one especially, I remember reading the whole book of Acts twice in one day over a 15 hour period. When it was done, I literally felt like there was light shining out of my face, and there may have been. It was extraordinary.
During this time, a zealous man of God spoke by the Spirit to me and a friend whom God also had perform similar sacrifices (left college). Over the years that followed, He led me to one fatherly figure, then another, soaking in everything, including even their faults, which I did not see at the time but later had to rid myself of. These times were quite difficult though, because the Spirit's presence was not consistent due to the "mixture" of spirits I had taken in.
BUT, during this time of being "fathered" by certain individuals (out of church, rejected, poor folks, but who had the Spirit and knowledge and a testimony), God taught me. He taught me from His word. He taught me things (especially doctrinally) that no man has ever taught me, and that few men teach (any?)(few men or any that I personally have discovered anyway). The point being here that GOD Himself taught me, and this is only coming back to me just today. Forgive me, but let me explain why this is something I had forgotten. (Super short version: through the pain, I chose to forget, and through the abundant delusion, I chuckedeverything for two whole years, figuring my only hope of ever learning the truth was to wait for God to reveal it, I was so sick of "mixture".)
I went through much hurt and rejection to know the truth. (In fact seeking the truth was why I naively started Bible school in the first place). I was driven by this desire to know the truth, and was convinced I was not finding it. Even during the 2 years in college that were "lifeless" (which were the last two--after I had told God 'no' I wouldn't quit college).
Everywhere I went and tried to share, I would use knowledge to cut church people down. I thought they were the enemy. I thought just telling them the truth would solve everything. Wow. We all know what knowledge can do, eh? (1Cor8)
The Lord led me to a man who lived homeless in Chicago, but who knew the word of God profoundly well. Unfortunately, he also had a bit of "mixture" in trying to tie the revelations of God to false earthly manifestations. But doctrinally, He was correct in the minutest detail that I could tell (even looking back I believe this to be the case. I think he is probably still homeless). Years later, as I tried to figure out why the Lord had me leave his influence, I remember walking and praying and telling God how I was certain this man's doctrine had to be wrong (I was looking for answers as to why, and I am the type of person that has to verbalize or write things in order to figure them out). At that very moment, it was like the earth disappeared and I stood before God naked. He said in a thundering and fearful voice in my spirit "What's wrong with the doctrine?" I was shaken to the core, had no answer, and turned the other direction for literal fear I would be destroyed.
It was at this time the Lord told me to go meet Andrew Strom in KCMO (2004). Again, long story short, Andrew told me I had a spirit of religion. Probably to Andrew's surprise (I don't know) I received what he told me and was freed from it (praise God :)
I will cease the part 1 here as this was the end of the first 7 years. I was not aware until a few weeks ago that God took me through 2 specific 7-year periods, learning first the way, and then the truth. I am of course leaving much, much detail out, like the 40-day delusion tour where I travelled the country doing absolutely nothing besides listening to voices and spending $60,000 in new credit cards (yes, you read the amount right).
But here's the reason I started this, and the explanation that I said above I would give in addition: I have had little fellowship. In the last 2 years it became so bad that I decided to shun people altogether. I was done. Threw my hands up. Sick of being rejected for sharing what I knew was true (still didn't know I was "mixed" at the time with WoF falsehoods). But I knew I had a calling and NO ONE WOULD LISTEN. Not to my testimony, not to my teaching, not to ANYTHING. Many of you know what it's like to be literally "hemmed in". :)
All this was for God's glory. In fact, I'll make this 3 parts. The third will detail the most recent events, which clearly are for His glory (the exciting part :)
Aaaaaaaaaaaand finally, to the point: Thank you. When I began to post a few things, I was convinced it would be rejected. I was convinced that, like Elijah felt, I was alone. It is clear to me that there are quite a few on this forum who love the Lord and His truth. And I am grateful to know I am not alone. When I say I love you all, which already I have several times in different threads, it is from the perspective of having no true fellowship for many years, with the exception of brief oases times. I do mean that I love you. Because I believe I may have found a handful or more of people who have a hunger for the truth of God that I do. I know, looking back, that I was restrained from being knit together with such people: I would have destroyed you with knowledge communicated in pride, and ruined relationships (Lord knows I tried it to Andrew in 2002, God bless that patient, loving brother lol).
I hope that what God has given me over the years can be of benefit to many. And it seems that the trials and wilderness have begun already to quickly fade. I know this for several, certain indicators. And so I share because you may be the first people whom I have not despised or resented for rejecting me in many years. But truly, all thanks go to God. And as you are all aware, the half could hardly be spoken in a book of all the things I would hope to share to secure the hope of being knit together in love with those who love Him.
God bless you all.
EDIT: Please permit me some time, hours, before I may be able to post. Some life commitments may require my attention this weekend. Thank you all and God bless.