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Monday, 18 March 2013

My journey through the wilderness- Part 1

I came across some older writings of mine containing part of my early testimony and thought I would share it on my blog.  Although we put posts on our blogs, we can sometimes know very little of one another's testimonies so I thought it would be nice to share a little of mine on this post.   It will be in two or three parts because of the length of it.

Coming out of Egypt

I had not long come into the church and many Christians, wishing to help me in my Christian walk, brought me books and tapes on Christian doctrines, so many in fact that I began to feel swamped.  Up until that time I felt my teaching had been very pure, from the Holy Spirit, just God and me and the Bible.  Now I had all these different voices coming in from different directions, and when I tried to learn from these tapes and books they appeared to contradict one another.  So I asked God to show me what was true.  My prayer came out in the form of a song.


Father I ask You which road do I take

which sign points the way to Your throne
I'm stood at the crossroads of life and death
and I can't find the way on my own
I can't find the way on my own, my own
I can't find the way on my own                                         
I'm stood at the crossroads of life and death
and I can't find the way on my own

Show me the way Lord to blessing and life

I ask You to open my eyes
There's so many voices saying 'This is the way'
I can't tell the truth from the lies
I can't tell the truth from the lies - the lies
I can't tell the truth from the lies
There's so many voices saying 'This is the way'
I can't tell the truth from the lies

So take my hand Jesus and lead me along 

the road leading back to my God
I want no great riches in this world of sin 
I need only Your staff and Your rod

I need only Your staff and Your rod my Lord 
I need only Your staff and Your rod
I want no great riches in this world of sin 
I need only Your staff and Your rod

God answered me through several scriptures that I knew the Holy Spirit was pointing out to me.  I was shown that when the Israelites were coming out of Egypt they were told to eat only unleavened bread (Exodus ch.13 v.3).  I could see that as a newly born Christian (part of God's spiritual Israel) I was at that stage spiritually, just coming out from the slavery of the world, so I too had to eat unleavened bread.  I wanted to know what these words meant spiritually, as the Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians ch. 2 v.14 'But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.'  I wanted to know what God was telling me here.  

I could see from Matthew ch. 16 vs. 6 - 12 that the word 'leaven' referred to 'man added' doctrine.  'Be careful', Jesus said to them.  Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.'  They discussed this among themselves and said, 'It is because we didn't bring any bread.'  Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked“You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? Do you still not understand? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? How is it you don’t understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

The whole of John ch. 6 is about Jesus being the bread of life.  He is also portrayed as the 'Word of God'  in John ch.1 v.1.  I felt the Holy Spirit was telling me that I had to receive the undoctrined word of God.  Some of the books and tapes that I had been given appeared to have teachings that were additional to, and which appeared to me to contradict, the scriptures.  The words that my father often spoke to settle arguments when issues arose amongst we his children, 'Let's see what the Lord says',  constantly came back to my mind, so I sought the Lord for His guidance and wisdom in my trials.   I also realized, as the Bible says, that the gate would be narrow and hard would be the road that led to life,(Matthew ch. 7 vs. 13,14), and there could be no compromising with the world if I was to serve God and work out my salvation. 

The children of Israel, on their journey to the promised land, had gone through many trials and temptations, and many had fallen on the way.  I would travel a similar journey and they would be an example to me of what to do and what not to do as I learned.  The Bible confirms this in Paul's first letter to the Corinthians in Corinthians ch.10 vs. 1 - 11 which reads 'For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea.  They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea.  They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiriutal rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.  Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.  Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did.  Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: 'The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.'  We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did -and in one day twenty three thousand of them died. We should not test Christ, as some of them did and were killed by snakes.  And do not grumble, as some of them did and were killed by the destroying angel.  These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come.'

I did not want to fall so I prayed to God constantly to help me.  One of my prayers took the form of a poem which I called :-

No compromise

Father keep me faithful 
to all that I have heard
while listening to Your Spirit 
ground me in Your Word
Keep me on that path Lord 
upon that narrow road
no matter how hard the journey 
no matter how heavy the load
Lord keep me obedient 
to all You're telling me
release me from all worldly bonds
Father set me free

And Lord if I should grumble
saying 'Manna every day'
remind me of Your sacrifice
and the price You had to pay
Open up my ears Lord 
to all You're telling me

for Lord I know Your discipline
can only set me free
and God forbid that I should fall
because of unbelief
when seeking after worldly things
can only bring me grief

So if a soul should say to me
'Just a little compromise'
remind me that a little sin
is still sin in Your eyes
and who am I to tamper
with the perfect Word of God
when I know the One who holds the staff
can also use the rod
So Lord prepare that place for me
that mansion in the sky
for although I've not yet won the race
.... I'm really going to try


Life and Breath and Everything Else said...

Thank you for sharing this. I can relate, when I was a new Christian people tried to point me in different directions of what to believe. It was very confusing. The best place to find the truth is in the Bible, that I know for sure :)
- Lauren

Brenda said...

Hi Lauren,
yes that is so true. It is good to share and be encouraged by one another but when we are very young Christians we are not always mature enough to be able to sift what is being told us and sometimes, as you say, it can be too confusing at that stage. Good to look to the Word, the manna in the wilderness eh? God bless

child of God said...

Hi Brenda,
Being a new Christian can be so confusing when people are giving you different material to read and absorb. Really, like you have pointed out here, we only need Scripture, prayer & mature believers to bounce our thoughts off of.

Again hon, I love your poems. :) Beautiful, so beautiful.

Thank you for your faithfulness as a prayer warrior.

Brenda said...

Hi Child of God,
I think I feel for young Christians the way I feel for tiny babies, they are so vulnerable. Perhaps it comes from my early experience. Thank you for your kind comments, I think poetry is simply thoughts put into verse. I used to know a lady who almost literally spoke in rhyming verse. I have never heard anything like it. God bless you and your lovely ministry.

Frank E. Blasi said...

Dear Brenda,
I grew up as a Roman Catholic, believing that the Seven Sacraments were the way to Heaven rather than faith in Jesus Christ.
When I first believed in 1973, (I dislike the word "converted" but that what actually happened)I had to undo all what I have been taught as a child and re-learn. Therefore I visited Christian bookshops and bought for myself literature to help me understand the Bible better. I also bought various versions of the Bible, including the Nestle Interlinear Greek/English New Testament, after some Jehovah's Witnesses threw me into confusion over the doctrine of the Trinity.
Nowadays, I turn mainly to the Bible itself for divine revelation and for God to speak to me.
But in my heart I thank these authors in helping me set out on the straight and narrow road.
An excellent testimony,

Brenda said...

Hi Frank,
yes we all have different experiences don't we. I wouldn't even know what the 'seven sacraments' are, and that is what I mean. Sometimes we miss the simplicity in Christ. I have always enjoyed conversations about the Bible but I think it was my father's voice that led me, if you like, into seeking the truth from the Bible. As a result of what people would call a 'near death experience' at the age of twenty eight my interest in seeking God increased. I used to let some Jehovah witnesses come to the house when we lived in Adelaide. One day we read from John ch. 3 where it says 'except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God'. I said 'What does this mean?' They were nice people and they tried to answer but nothing they said made sense, or gave me a revelation of what that scripture meant. I felt like I had crumbs of a loaf of bread but I wanted the whole loaf. This scripture stayed in my mind to such a point that I could not sleep. I started to cry one night, silently because I could not share this with my husband (he could not understand all this interest in 'religion'. Suddenly that night it was as if a voice said to me'You have asked everyone else, you have not asked Me.' I prayed to God to show me what it meant. My prayer was answered within a very short time. Perhaps I will put that testimony on my blog one day. God bless you.

Never Forsaken said...

I feel just as you do about the need to stay focused on the pure Word of God. Although it is okay to read what fellow believers have to say, it is easy to muddy the water of the well when we make man's words or opinions equal to God's. I seldom read anything written by modern christian authors anymore. I have even began listening to and singing the old hymns instead of buying CDs by popular artists because so many have watered down/changed the Word of God in their lyrics.
Each believer is given the Holy Spirit to interpret the truth of the lessons contained in the well as life experiences.

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.(2 Pet 1:20-21)
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.(2 Pet 2:1)
I loved reading your testimony, it has helped remind me of what this journey with the Lord is all about. And it served as a warning since I can sometimes be a grumbler and complainer like those Israelites!
~God bless~

Brenda said...

Hi Lisa,
what you said in 'Each believer is given the Holy Spirit to interpret the truth of the lessons contained in the well as life experiences' I find absolutely true. The Lord confirms many things that He speaks to me through other people's testimonies and writings now that I am more mature in Him, but it always has to tie in with scripture and I come to know what He is saying to me. I know that everything He guides me into is for my welfare even though my natural mind might question it, and many times it does. However that is what maturing in the Lord is all about. It is a learning journey, a renewing of the mind, and our God is very patient. One of my favourite hymns is 'How great is our God' which ends with the verse 'He's the name above all names' God bless you.

Paul G said...

Hi Brenda, I like your testimony and looking forward to your next post.
It is marvellous how the Lord Jesus saves His people to the utmost and loses not one of His loved ones but leads them out of Egypt and into the promised land, but did you notice that all of them died in the wilderness except two Joshua and Caleb.

As for me; I ate the leavened bread of the Catholic church, especially the doctrine of the trinity till the Lord Jesus brought me out of that wilderness of sin and into the promised land.
Meanwhile I noticed that this leavened doctrine the trinity gradually leads them all back to Egypt or death in the wilderness on sin.
Kind regards

Brenda said...

Hi Paul,
nice to hear from you. Yes, Joshua and Caleb were not afraid of the 'giants' who they knew were without protection. They trusted in the protection of the Lord and encouraged the people not to be afraid of the giants but to also trust in the protection of the Lord as He led them into that land. However, they still wished to be back in Egypt and this did not please the Lord. The Lord understands our fears and if we seek His face He will instruct us through the scriptures, giving us examples of those who overcame fears through complete trust in Him and will help us to do the same.
God bless

Priscy said...

Hi Brenda, I trust you are doing great. just had to share this post on twitter cos its very inspiring. waiting for the continuation. Blessings

Brenda said...

Hi Priscy,
lovely to see you. I signed up for twitter a couple of years ago but I don't know enough about it to use it. I need a lot of tuition about sharing on line and I am terrible for having ten fingers in ten pies so to speak. Thanks for your kind comment, hope you are well busy lady! God bless

Maleeka said...

This is a solid poem. I love the obedience to God displayed in this work! Thank you for stopping by!

Brenda said...

Hello Maleeka,
good to meet you. Having my mind renewed according to God's ways can only bring good in my life, in spite of the deceiver trying to make it look otherwise. I only have to look back over the thirty years I have come to know the Lord and see that the pictures of what would come(portrayed in my natural mind by the enemy) if I did what the Lord was telling me to do as I sought His wisdom in certain situations, did not happen. In fact the Lord has provided for my needs. There are always trials in our lives and I don't believe we should tempt the Lord by trying to do things in our own strength, but I would encourage anyone to draw close to the Lord in those trials to seek His advice and wisdom. God bless

T-Childs said...

I've absolutely loved reading this testimony Brenda, and enjoyed the skillful poetry that backs it up; it's one of your very best posts, amongst many others. You always seem to understand scripture and manage to apply it to your life so well; we can all learn a lot from you. Yes I too love the scriptural idea of 'coming out of Egypt', that as Christians we leave the hard bondage and hard labour that sin and disobedience can bring and into the 'Promised Land' of peace, security and living our lives obediently to God's will. It all works out in the end, even though we will all suffer many trials and tribulations.

Brenda said...

Hi Tim, thank you for your kind comment, although I don't know about learning from me, all learning will come from the Lord. We all link together as far as learning is concerned as we all go through different things and build one another up by sharing. I think that I have always found that the wisdom of God hidden in the scriptures is amazing,and the Holy Spirit enlightens that wisdom for us and shows us what is really going on in the spiritual. Satan says 'If you worship me I will give you all you see'. Jesus says if we first seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness then all the things we need will be given to us. Many people who don't know the Lord are under the misunderstanding that we lose something when we follow Jesus, the truth is that life really gets better. Much of my old way of life was not really enjoyment. God gives us our heart's desire but quite often we receive those things in a completely unexpected way.

R's Rue said...

Beautiful! Thank you for sharing!

Brenda said...

Hi Regine,
nice to hear from you. Just popped over to your blog.
God bless

Laurie Collett said...

Wonderful post, Brenda, and beautiful poems! If we yield to the indwelling Holy Spirit, He will teach us the meaning of the Scriptures and give us discernment when we read commentaries or other works. But the best place to start is the Bible, and we should read it daily to know what we believe and what God's will is for our life.
God bless,


Such a sweet fragrance in your words-- and the truths you teach are truly morsels of manna to the reader's spiritual nostrils!

It's like something cooking in the oven of the soul -- the reader just can't wait to taste your delicacies from your first word to your last!

God Bless You!

Brenda said...

Hello Laurie,
that is very true. When I first came to the Lord I felt completely as if I was being guided to feed as a baby would feed the milk from its mother. As I matured more in Him then I was able to understand His ways more. They are so different to ours aren't they? The natural mind will try to justify itself even when it is completely wrong and I am still learning this, that man's thoughts are not His thoughts. God bless you

Brenda said...

Hello Stuff,(I think that's what you sign yourself as).
Thank you for your kind comment, I know that you know, as I do, that the only beautiful truths that can come from anything any of us speak are the Lord's truths that He has shown to us all and brought us to share with one another in our testimonies and commentaries. It is only since I have been born again that I have seen just how ugly my carnal nature was and still is capable of being. I really value this 'on line' church gathering as every one has 'something cooking' that is so encouraging. God bless you

Eya Ayambem said...

The undisputed word is the unlearned bread I need daily. Thank you Brenda, God bless you for sharing this.

Eya Ayambem said...

Undiluted word, unleavened bread

Brenda said...

Hi Eya,
yes that's right Eya, we pick up our daily bread individually, and if we wait on Him and trust Him then He will bring us through our trials and temptations. God bless you.

This comment has been removed by the author.

By the power of Your Spirit, we receive courage to stay true to the race... Amen

Brenda said...

Amen Brave African,
nicely put.

S. Knowles said...

Brenda this post really came to me at a time when I felt really horrible about a few thing's I have done over the past few day's. I feel I have been unloving to several people when I know better and the I should be truly loving, I felt I have been, mean and repaid evil for evil in certain places when I know I shouldn't have. It's like I have been going through so much these past 4 or 5 weeks, from one thing to the other. Your poem at the end has me crying because it's how I feel. Those are the words I want to say to God right now. I want to return to the straight and narrow road because I have fallen I feel, I listened to that horrible voice would les me to compromise when I shouldn't have I know better.

I also feel the Holy Spirit led me away from false doctrines and the leaven of the Pharissee when I first got saved, because I stayed to my self a lot, Me God and my bible in my bedroom everyday, people tried to get me to read Christian books and go to church even now people still do, but I ma honestly afraid of being contaminated with lies and religion.

I want and will let only the Holy Spirit and Him alone I want to guide me. I want to only listen and abide by that still small voice of the Lord. I am glad for His mercy because I have needed it for the wrong thing's I have done. I feel there have times over these post weeks when I may have been tested but failed.

Brenda said...

I know exactly where you are coming from, but what is far more important is that the Lord knows exactly where you are coming from. We are all tested and we will all fail at times, because we are not yet perfect. We are in a battle but it is not with one another, it is spiritual and is with our spiritual enemy, and the Lord knows exactly how to bring us through the trials. We do need to gather together as the body of Christ to be able to mature and build one another up, but there are wheat and tares in the Kingdom and if we seek the Lord daily and ask Him for wisdom He will bring us to distinguish between what is His word and what is not. Remember we are in the process of having our minds renewed in Him and our thoughts and ways are different from His initially. He is a loving, patient God and wants all to be saved. He understands that we are flesh, but the battle belongs to Him. Cast all your cares upon Him, He cares for you. He is well able to bring us through our wilderness.
God bless you and keep you in the secret place of the Most High where you shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

S. Knowles said...

Thank you so much Miss Brenda, your words and I believe prayer have brought a peace over me. The enemy has been trying and trying to the point where I use to think of God pretty much all throughout the day, but I feel my mind has been straying on other things where it should not have been and as a Christian I feel I should have known better.

I thank you so much for your encouraging words, there are day's when I feel like I have no where to turn for encouragement, so I pray and I pray, now I have been getting encouragement from everywhere. Praise God. I am so grateful for His mercy and patience and Love. I hope when He searches me and tests my heart what He finds pleases Him, and I become more like Him. I am thankful He led me to you. Your words uplift me when I am feeling low each and every time because His Spirit dwells in you, and I know it is the Love of Christ that dwells within you as well sister. God Bless you.

I also enjoyed reading the comments from your viewers.

Aritha said...

Thank you for your open blog. I understand what you write. It's very special you share this piece of life with us. I think you walk with God, like Enoch. And that's something I should do. Every day, grabbing His hand and be guided by the Word of God alone.

Brenda said...

it was lovely to hear that your peace has returned. Where you say 'there are day's when I feel like I have no where to turn for encouragement, so I pray and I pray, now I have been getting encouragement from everywhere.' this is the perfect example of where our answer to, and protection from, the enemy's voice lies - in our prayers to God. He loves us, and reveals this love more and more as we seek Him. I never cease to be amazed how this undeserved communication with our creator was brought about for us all through the sacrifice of Jesus. If we keep Him in our heart He will win the battle in our mind. God bless you.

Brenda said...

Hi Jedidja,
I was lying in bed this morning thinking that I haven't been over to your blog for a while, I must take a trip to Holland today. I really believe that Christians should share with one another, as many of us go through similar trials while learning God's ways, but that it is essential that we seek God in prayer and pick up our individual daily 'manna' from His word each day. Then we are strengthened in our weaknesses and will mature in Christ. I have noticed many things during my thirty years as a Christian that have been 'added' to the Word of God that would 'take' from His Word if I allowed it to influence me, but I know that, just like Daniel, if I refuse the king of Babylon's rich food then I will stay healthy. God bless you - hold fast that which is good.

Ken said...

Hi Brenda,
I love reading and hearing peoples testimonies. There is a lot of bad teaching out there. What all of us need is the word of God dwelling richly in us. I am looking forward to reading the rest of your testimony. May God bless,

Brenda said...

Hi Ken,
Yes I love hearing and reading people's testimonies too. This testimony is only a small part of my full testimony but if it encourages anyone then that is good. I know that there are a lot of good teachings out there too, and I have had a lot of good fellowship. God bless.

Lista said...

You really have a Gift, Brenda. Your Songs and Poems are Truly Lovely and I like your "Eat Nothing but Manna" Insights. Sometimes this is the Best thing to do at first, rather than Worrying about all that Complicated Theology, for some of it is indeed off Track, so the First Task is most definitely to Saturate oneself in the Word and to become thoroughly Familiar with every part of it.

Brenda said...

Hi Lista,
thank you for your kind comment. I do believe that the Word of God has all we need as far as teaching is concerned, and it has to be enlightened to us by the Holy Spirit. God's Word is the same yesterday, today and forever and the Holy Spirit has the ability to reveal through it any situation that any person is in at any time, and to give wisdom and instruction to that particular person regarding that particular situation. It is a living word and is full of revelation and guidance, a word where time and distance mean nothing. Many times I have been troubled and, after seeking God's wisdom, have been shown through the scriptures a situation that is spiritually the same as what I am going through that might have happened thousands of years ago. As believers we are in this world but not of this world and I see more and more the vast difference between the two. The poems and songs have only started coming into my mind since I became born again,( apart from one I wrote as a child, called 'The lease of life') and I truly believe that whatever we are given must be used for God's purpose and glory. Too often man's organizing will quench the Holy Spirit, and this is not how it is written it should be. There must be freedom for all to share when we gather together. God bless you and your family.

David C Brown said...

Interesting - and telling - comments. We can only give absolute trust to God's word.

Brenda said...

Yes, that is very true David, God's word is the plumb line that all doctrine has to line up to.