Series 3 Introduction: Personal Testimonies

Personal testimony is one of the most powerful witnessing tools available to Christians to spread the Good News.  Intellectual persuasion is rarely successful in winning souls for Jesus, because of the preconceptions most people hold onto.  In this country (Australia), most of them have had prior negative exposure to the Gospel via the media, schooling, parental and peer influence, or contact with churches that didn't get the message across effectively. Too often the reaction to the Gospel message is, "I've tried that, but it didn't work." If you tell someone something spiritual that happened to you personally, they either have to accept it as truth or think you quite mad. In any witnessing, a touch from God Himself is usually what swings the pendulum to salvation.

In this next series, I'm going to share with you many of the experiences I've had during some 4 decades as a Christian, as well as relate what I have learned from them.  I will explain as much as I can, without identifying others if there is any chance of this giving you a negative impression of them. I am quite prepared to be totally open about myself and my shortcomings (of which there are many!), but I reserve the right to protect the privacy and identity of others, even to change their names if that is necessary. Basically this is my life story in brief.  There are a thousand other episodes I could tell you about, but these are the most important, relevant because they explain the background that led to my convictions.

The truth is that, no matter what you've been through, spiritual experiences, once they're over, don't make a heck of a lot of sense in the worldly realm. Yet it is usually these very experiences that finally convince you beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus is a real, living Saviour, waiting to share a real-time relationship with you.  And the potential spiritual fruits of that relationship are unimaginable. I pray that your walk with Jesus will be enriched by reading these testimonies and inspire you to seek similar intimacy with Him for yourself.

You may notice that the previous series have comprised 12 essays plus an introduction and a summary.  The reason I’m leaving this series at ten, is that the story isn’t over.  I’m expecting big things to happen, and I’m leaving room for them!

It was late 1969.  I was close to turning 22 and still had not found anything that made sense of this world we live in.  But that was about to change.

It was 1970, when the Lord had me take those first tentative steps to learn to trust Him implicitly.

The Lord’s Prayer
1970. Outreach to people involved in drugs in Sydney’s King’s Cross held some wonderful learning experiences.

Years of turmoil
1971-1981. When you are as passionate as I am about something you believe in, you find it very difficult to compromise.  I needed someone to listen to me, but there was no one. 

Hearing from God
1981.  Many have claimed to hear the audible voice of God. This is the closest I have ever come.  And it was a life-changing experience.

Writing a Christian Novel
1974 - 2002. When there is no one to listen to what is burning in your heart, you have to write it down, instead.

Not Talking to God
1983.  Out on the wide river of life, or up the creek without a paddle, God is always faithful, even if we aren’t.

Years in the Wilderness
1982 - 1990. It should have taken the Israelites 11 days to get from Egypt to the land flowing with milk and honey. It took them 40 years. Many of us also spend years looking for the Promised Land, often in the wrong places, and sometimes disappointment brings us close to giving up.

It was 1990, when the Lord had me look death in the face.  All of life’s problems and confusion suddenly didn’t matter anymore.

A New Beginning
1991 and on. Having recovered from what should have been a fatal illness, made all my values change. Important things now look trivial. Am I more careful now? No, I would say I am more of a risk taker than before. This is a testimony about change; changes God wants to make in me.