February 2, 2016
Growing up as an Amish boy, I was very close to God and nature. I was so close, in fact, that the whole world was pretty much blocked out in my mind. For instance, at one point in my childhood, one of my older brothers ran away and left home for a few days, and I had blocked things out so well that I didn't even notice he was gone until my sister told me. I was undoubtedly the black sheep of my family, and at times, I got picked on for it. In spite of being the black sheep, I still had a close relationship with most of my siblings.
As I grew older and became a teenager, though, the rebelling began. I first rebelled against God, and then I began to rebel against my Dad; we clashed pretty hard. When I was sixteen years old, I asked the Lord into my life, and I felt “saved” for about three days. Then, the initial excitement wore off, and I was right back into the middle of sinning even worse than before. I eventually got baptized (sprinkled) when I turned eighteen years of age, and it was at this time that I started thinking about leaving the community because of the undue pressure from the community elders on the young folks. In addition, tension was escalating between my Dad and I because I wanted more freedom.
One day, I became brave enough to let my parents know that my plans were to leave the Amish. I told my Mom first, and then she told my Dad. As could be expected, they were pretty upset, but I felt I just couldn't live the way I was any longer, so I left.
After leaving the Amish, I started living a pretty unruly lifestyle with my newfound freedom. I didn't realize I was plunging myself even further into bondage with the women and alcohol that I was associating myself with, and to top it off, I soon realized that I was becoming the person that I had accused my Dad of being, which was money-hungry and selfish. I finally decided it was time to settle down a bit, so I found a steady girlfriend, and over time, we got engaged. We were living together, which would bother me a little here and there, but any time it did, I just told myself that we were planning to get married, so we should be fine.
At this time in my life, I would read the bible occasionally, but I rarely went to church. One day, though, I was listening to Irvin Baxter with End Time Ministries on YouTube, and he was talking about all the prophecies being fulfilled. He said that we need to be right with God, and that if we were living with someone that we were not married to, then that was called fornication, and the bible specifically says, “Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, adulterers, or idolatrous will inherit the kingdom of heaven.” As I listened to Irvin, it was as if he were speaking right to me. I felt very convicted, and I immediately repented and prayed for forgiveness. I also asked the Lord to give me grace and strength to do what was right and what had to be done.
The relationship between my fiancé and I quickly dissolved because she thought I was living quite a radical lifestyle. Asking her to move out was not an easy thing to do, but the Lord helped me through it all.
What I learned from my experience is that we truly do reap what we sow, and that we cannot be saved just by praying a prayer and continuing to live in sin and bondage. We also can’t willfully sin and expect God to honor our prayers. Instead, there must be true repentance and a willingness to submit to His will before he can help us out of our bondage. If we are still in bondage to sin, it's because we still want to be, and we would rather live for self than submit our will and our life to God.
This testimony has been published with permission from the owner.
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