Hebrews 5:12-14 (KJV) "For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."
Proverbs 27:17 (KJV) "Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend."
Every testimony of Jesus Christ working in someone's life is a life changing event that is supernaturally charged to change a person from A to Z & all for Christ's glory & honor to be showcased. It is a privelege to share a fantastic life changing testimony from Rita Farhat Kurian, here with you today.
My testimony of how I met with the presence of God's Love. His Love is stronger than any power on Earth, and when we meet God, we meet with that Love and His Holy Spirit that changes us!
A little of my background is that my great grand father was a Brahmin priest in India. His name was Bal Mukand. One day, he had an encounter with Christ and became a Christian. He was persecuted for his faith and they burned down his house and he managed to escape with his family. From my mother's side, they were Rajputs with a mix of Muslims of Punjab who originally came from Central Asia and Afghanistan, (the Mughals). My great grand parents came to Christ, I am not sure of the details. My grandfather from my mother's side name was Sardar Khan. My parents were Christians, but I was never close to Christ during my younger days and believed a lot of "New Age" philosophy and a myriad of many beliefs. Entangled in the web of different faiths, it took a miracle and revelation for me to come to Christ!
The night wind howled through the towering pine trees that stormy night in Darjeeling and rattled the windows of our cottage while small dry sticks of pine cracked and fell on our red roof. The hill seemed to groan with despair while the wind around it wailed. I sat in our drawing room, staring at the log fire crackling merrily in the fireplace. I was 12 years old, a lot of situations arose. I was not at peace with myself or with life. It just seemed everything was dark, looming and uncertain in life. That night as I was about to fall asleep, I remember feeling sad and asking the Heavens, "Are You there? Do you care? What is Life?" I fell asleep in the drawing room and fell into a deep sleep. That night, I had a dream. I saw the sky, cracked blue gray, and then I saw a face in the sky, He was looking down at the world. There was a look of sadness in His eyes. In my dream, I had a sense He was sad about the condition of the world. I knew who that was although this face did not resemble the traditional pictures of Him. It was Jesus! I got up in the early hours of the morning and I was crying, but these were tears of peace and joy and acutely a sense of cleanness, a feeling my soul was washed. That morning was different, I knew Jesus was real, I experienced His presence that night. I kept this dream to myself but was internally at peace with that pervading sense of cleanness. God answered my cry that night by revealing Christ in a dream!
Human memory is short and needs to be reminded constantly of things. The years rolled on and that image and experience faded from my life. Jesus was a faint picture in my mind. I really could not understand the Bible and nothing ever spoke to me. I knew God was there, but it seemed He was not involved in my life and He was busy taking care of others, not me. My prayers never seemed answered. One winter, when I was a teenager, we went to Chennai, and when I came back, I was suddenly hit with an unbearable depression to the pit of my soul. It seemed when evening came, I was afraid, lonely and sad, and during the day, was filled with a deep sadness, I lost my appetite completely, could only drink tea or Wai Wai (Thai noodles) and I started weeping all the time. I found no one could help me. I was going through this for a whole year. By now, my mother was a believer of Jesus and had a group of praying friends but I could not see how any of them could help.
The Death Trap
I came to a place where I was so depressed and hopeless I wanted to end my life. One day, I raced up the hill from my house mumbling something to my mother.
My little black dog, Sultan raced me for some time, his presence was comforting for the moment but then he disappeared and I went on right up to town, which was miles away. I went to medical shop, bought a whole lot of tablets and a bottle of red wine. Somewhere I had read that wine hits the heart fast and a person can end it quick.
I took all the tablets and the wine and made my way back, by now I was drowsy and sleepy, by the time I reached home, though drowsy, I suddenly had a sense of destiny … I suddenly knew I did not really want to die. I tried telling my mother to take me to the school infirmary. My mother did not really understand how many tablets I took and she told me to sleep it off. I knew if I slept I would never wake up. So, my mother reluctantly took me to the school infirmary. The school nurse, a sharp forthright woman asked me curtly, "how many?" I told her and she promptly took a doll's leg and beat my arms up. I did not feel much. ( Later on, I found out the arms usually lose sensation when a person is dying.) She briefly told me not to sleep or I would not get up. She told me to fight it, a sense I already had. Then she gave me a liquid solution.
She could see I was fading so she kept speaking to me. I heard her saying she was trying to avoid taking me to the hospital or it would be a police case but if my bladders did not work, it meant the kidneys were shutting down and she would have to call the town hospital.
The hospital was too very far for this anyway now. Though I my sense of life seemed to be fading, I had a heightened sense of awareness of atmosphere. I also knew then that nothing in this world is worth the taking of human life. Also, it is only one life, we do not get that chance again.
Towards the end of this awareness, I started seeing a barbed wire, which was iron hot glowing red and I saw black rats running around the red-hot barbed wire. I knew for certainty that I was dying and where I would go was not heaven; it would be a miserable sad place, it looked very grayish from the distance. I was going to an endless eternity without God. Something was very gray, and I sensed I was going to that gray place, it was a sad place and I had a lot of regrets of a wasted life.
I realized that nothing on earth was worth taking one's own life, because that torment will follow us if we take our lives in suicide. No problem on earth is worth suicide. I was suddenly aware that I did not know Jesus, the Jesus who appeared in my dream when I was 12, the Jesus of the Bible. I seemed to know that I was slipping away to death. The message that Christ died on the Cross to die for the sins of the world so they could enter Heaven was true. To be separated from God in eternity is a frightening thing. It is not just a story.
I felt a deep sadness for a wasted life and I started talking to Jesus for the first time in my life, almost bargaining "Jesus, please save me, please, if You do, I will serve You!" Then, Jesus heard that cry, He answered. Shortly after this, I started to get better, the danger passed and the nurse made me tea. She was clearly relieved. I was exhausted and fell asleep that night in the school infirmary. The next day was the most peaceful day I experienced the whole year since that depression. The depression was gone, lifted up and flew away and never came back again in that attacking intensity. That suicide attack never came back in my life again. Suicide, I learned was a spirit that flew away when I called to Jesus, and it could never come back to me again. Suicide is designed by the devil to take people away from Earth before their time.
Land of Forgetfulness
Wretched miserable human beings, thankless and forgetful. I went through a few more years where I forgot the promise that I would serve Jesus. I just did not seem to grasp the things of God. I knew Jesus was there, but I could not understand the Bible. I went through a period of spiritual mysticism, believing in all powers, forces available to help us, reading all spiritual philosophies and even went to Katra, a place near Kashmir where a goddess is supposed to have great power. As I went to the underground cave where the goddess's spirit lived, I felt a power hit me as I entered the cave, but it was a cold power. This power was real, but it frightened me.
I also read books on Lobsang Rampa, some of his philosophies and certain comfort from a variety of philosophies. I liked their explanation for the way of life, it brought a peace to my situations. Strangely through all this, I had a sense Jesus was real, but I did not know how to reach Him and did not think He was personally for me. That dream of Him at 12 years old faded from my memory.
Then I went through a black phase in my life, not like the depression & I before. I was in Delhi at that time with my sister, Anita, who was a big help to me at that time. I did go to Calcutta to stay with my other sister, Yasmin, later on. The Cloud of His Presence
On the sixth day while I was in Calcutta, in November 1992, one evening I was sitting in my sister's corner room and I picked up a Bible. I read the Gospels, I was suddenly struck by the love Jesus had for people, the forgiveness. I always thought I was a relatively good person who could never harm anyone but that night as I read the Bible, I suddenly saw for the very first time in my life I was a sinner, wretched and how much I had hurt the Lord by turning away and I wept tears of repentance.
I then had the most amazing experience I ever had in my entire life. I felt a power, like supernatural Love wrap me up like a blanket. I was in the midst of this very powerful force, Love, it was not my love. It was not human love. I was immersed in this cloud of Love for two weeks. After that I was filled with a love for people I knew was not mine. I felt I was walking in Heaven. I could forgive people who had harmed me, and that was not natural forgiveness. I knew it was not me.
I could love people with a love that came from beyond me! I was allowed to experience this wonderful presence of Love, which I believe was the Presence of God with a pure love for people, and such joy that I felt I was in heaven. I call it the cloud because I was wrapped in it, it was like living in another world altogether. This Presence of Love left me after two weeks when I started worrying again about things, like what should I do, where should I work.
After this experience, I started to understand the Bible for the first time, as before, I did not understand it and now it became alive to me! I started to speak to God, started praying and really felt the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life. God has truly changed my life in the reality of His presence. Where there was darkness, now there was light. At the point of death like I had before, I knew that time that if I had died, I would go to an eternity without God, a place which I later found out was called hell. But today, I know and have the assurance that if I die, I will meet Jesus, and His angels will take me to Heaven. I knew things for certainty now, where before I was desperately trying to believe things that brought me into deeper darkness.
I know God sent His Son, Jesus to the world for every single human to believe in Jesus who was the only sin offering for the world, that on believing on Him, who became a sacrifice for humankind and recognizing our need for a Savior beyond our natural means. We can never do enough good for our salvation, we would be exhausted trying.
The bridge is broken between us and God and the Spirit of God, when we allow Jesus into our lives, He enlightens us to spiritual truths we could never otherwise understand with natural thinking. The presence of God's Love is stronger than any power on Earth, and when we meet God, we meet with that Love! It is so powerful … God is Love!
I John 4:8: "Whoever does not love does not know God because God is love.” Wind and Fire
In 1994, I went to Darjeeling to spend some time with my mother and also to pray for the Lord to direct me, to show me what to do, praying for something more, I did not really know what I wanted. I went on a 10-day fast praying much. At around the end of the fast, on Sunday morning, we went to St. Andrew's Church which is at the very top part of Darjeeling town in Chowrasta. We arrived early before the Sunday morning service. That day, Mr. Cicir Ghissing, Colonel's Ghissing's brother asked the people present if anyone wanted a special time of prayer, we could join him in the vestry. I went along. As I entered, Mr. Cicir Ghissing was praying softly and the atmosphere was charged with the power of prayer, I knew this was different. As the time of prayer continued, I saw people weeping. I saw a girl I knew from school days. She started to weep and wail loudly and I somehow knew that God was touching her though it was not something to be alarmed about. As I stood among the others, I suddenly seemed to hear and feel a thundering and the next moment, I felt a fire touching me, not burning me but very warm, I especially felt that fire in my neck, which was a liquid hot sensation.mI knew something was happening, I felt like a force around me gently swaying me, almost like the wind.
It was an amazing experience, but I did not know what to make out of it. I was very new in the Lord and did not even know my Bible properly. We went home and I cannot remember how the day went, but I do remember waking up very early the next morning.
Our cottage in Darjeeling had the full view of the Kanchenjunga mountain range on a clear morning, and that morning as the sun rose, shinning on the snow mountain range, giving it a beautiful pinky gold hue, I stood out in our veranda looking at the mountains. I then started to pray and to my amazement, when I prayed, it was not in English but another language and when I prayed, I felt the same burning fire rising from deep within me like a ball and also my neck started to burn with that same fire! I later realized that I had been given the gift of tongues!
After this, I had the fire to serve the Lord in His Kingdom, something I could not do before. "I praise the Lord for all the wonderful amazing things He has done thus far for me and His beautiful presence in my life as I seek to walk with Him daily."
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