A Journey Into Peace
"Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it." Matthew 13:46
I spent many years searching for God's people. The one's that spoke and lived a principled life by "thus saith the Lord". I would asked others within my church if they knew of another church within our organization that lived like this and so many replied "I know what you mean, but I am sorry. I do not know of one. But try going..." and they named a certain church within our church organization. Year by year I searched, hoped and believed God would not fail His words.
At the end of 2000 we bought a computer and I realized that it might be possible to locate what I was searching for via the internet. So vowed to myself that if God's words were true, I would find His people that lived "thus saith the Lord." Just before spring 2001, I had found that the main body of the church organization which I attended had many "off shoots" and divisions within the organization. This was something I was not aware of. Careful attention was now given when I studied these groups, and although some came so close, they were not as God had said in totality, so my search continued.
"But God will have a people upon the earth to maintain the Bible, and the Bible only, as the standard of all doctrines, and the basis of all reforms. The opinions of learned men, the deductions of science, the creeds or decisions of ecclesiastical councils, as numerous and discordant as are the churches which they represent, the voice of the majority,-- not one or all of these should be regarded as evidence for or against any point of religious faith. Before accepting any doctrine or precept, we should demand a plain "Thus saith the Lord" in its support.
"Satan is constantly endeavoring to attract attention to man in the place of God. He leads the people to look to bishops, to pastors, to professors of theology, as their guides, instead of searching the Scriptures to learn their duty for themselves. Then, by controlling the minds of these leaders, he can influence the multitudes according to his will." The Great Controversy, 1888, page 595:1-2.
My search lead me into chat rooms via the internet. Soon I found a couple of chat rooms from my own church organization. Most often doctrines were not taught through scripture, but often only as opinion. And sometimes when doctrines were taught they were delivered with harshness to those who would not accept. My heart yearned for a people who had the fruits resting on them as spoken by Christ Jesus.
"Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Matthew." 7:20
Mid-spring early in morning chat, a woman of my years came in and began to share. Clearly she knew scripture and Spirit of Prophecy. I began to chat with her daily and soon learned more about her. By June she sent me a package prepared with answers to my questions. And by the end of August I began studying the "Pot of Manna" and I was humbled as I realized per the scriptures that God's people were to return to a standard more ready for heavenly living than I had ever thought.
It was now that I realized I had found something of value. Something that man could not do. Which was to convict my heart to desire to obey, not with determination of self, but with a heart that was kindled towards God. I wanted to please Him. Now what I had not shared with you, it is that I had a secret prayer. Now ever since I can remember, it was my experience that every time I prayed my mind was filled with temptation so much so, that I could not concentrate during my prayers. The longing for peace and rest while praying was great, it was all that I wanted and prayed for many times.
As I continued in studies, the issue of dressing for Christ Jesus came up. Now this was an issue that I did not think was important at all. In fact, I believed at that time God did not care how I dressed, and presumpted that He only cared for what was in my heart. But yet again, I was humbled by God as I realized He does really care a great deal how I represent Him, after all I am to be His faithful employee (steward). This once stubborn woman (yes I am speaking of myself) who boldly stated that she would not give up her shorts for a dress now found herself before God and found wanting. I still can remember well at the moment when the Holy Spirit humbled my soul. A great wave of a desolution of pride was consumed as a fire consumes all in its fiery path. It was at this moment my heart was broken on the Rock.
One day in early Autumn I recall beginning to pray. Something happened! Something I had only hoped for, prayed for, longed for! Beautiful silence! The only voice I heard was mine in prayer. For the first time in my life I was praying without constant temptation. But the silence in my life did not end there, no! Christ sent me His peace each time I drew closer to Him so that not only did I have peaceful prayer but peace within. It has been several years since that moment but God has continued to give me His peace and rest is in my soul. This peace is only one that God could give, for I have never found it elsewhere.
"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:27
Then in 2002, at the beginning of the first day of December, as the sun set after the Sabbath, I was baptized in an icy cold river with many surrounding me in song. In attendence was my beloved husband, my three children, and there was a dear friend who drove all the way from South Dakota with her husband to be with me on this special event. Also, the dear Sister who introduced me to living truth was flown in to be a witness to the baptisim. And along with her and her family she surprised me as she brought another young chat friend of mine who was also a witness to this event.
To each searching for the Lord's wisdom, pray, study the scriptures and ask for the Holy Spirit to teach you all truth and He will!
"Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me." John 5:39
"If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" Luke 11:13