Warning: long post ahead, of a glorious testimony to the Lord God!
Some of you may remember me blogging about a Christian homeschooling family we had been praying for. One of the children rebelled and left home at 16. The life this child then lived for the next two and half years was the kind that leaves children dead on roadsides or in motel rooms. Then about a year and a half ago, this teen came to church with his parents, and went up to the front of the church at the end to rededicate his life to Jesus. It was a true miracle, and there was much rejoicing.
Only after a few weeks, the teen left church again. He could not break away from his circle of friends, or the drugs, which had bound him. So we started praying again, and that is where it has been since then. There had been no change, other than the teen was no longer a teen, and by long practice he seemed set in a lifestyle that would one day kill him.
Then this year, the parents began learning the things I have been blogging about recently. That to safeguard your investment in your children, the parents need to walk in the paths and the ways of the Lord. That if the parents repent and return to the Lord with all their hearts, and do all that He has commanded, then the Lord will circumcise the hearts of the children.
Now all of us knew that if there was one child among us that needed a circumcised heart, it was this one that we had been praying for, for nearly five years now. But this is the toughest case any of us had ever heard about. This child: lived with Satanists, pagans, and witches; did hard drugs including meth; stole to support the drug habit; and worse; and that is only what I know about. There were children of evangelical parents who had left the church years ago in much better (in man’s eyes) circumstances than this child, who had never yet returned, so why did we think this child would?
Well, the parents did indeed repent, and do everything they could learn about: No pork or seafood. Doing no work on the Sabbath day and keeping the Sabbath day set apart. Celebrating the feast days of the Lord. Dedicating themselves living olahs on every Sabbath, new moon, and feast day. Remembering Jesus, our sacrifice for sin, with the bread and the wine. The mother is now researching how to write the Commandments on the doorposts of their house. (We learned something cool about that, a blog post will be coming up about it.) If it is found in the Scripture, they are doing it, Old or New Testament, doesn’t matter. Their motto is the Word of the unchangeable God is everlasting, so they have committed themselves to obedience, without assuming themselves wise enough to figure out what to follow and what to discard – they are just following all – out of love for the Lord God, Creator of heaven and earth.
I guess all the repenting started about April, and the more the parents learned, the more they repented of and changed. Then in August, we learned in church about the perfect heart. One of the things we learned was the meaning of the Hebrew word for “perfect”: that its root means “a reciprocal friendship.” In other words, He whose heart is perfect toward God does what the Lord asks of him, and likewise, the Lord does what the man with the perfect heart asks of Him. They reciprocate.
As the mother was falling asleep that night after church, the Lord spoke to her: “You have been faithful to obey Me in everything you have learned so far. Is there anything you want Me to do for you?” And she replied, “I want my child (meaning this one that we have all been praying for) to have a circumcised heart toward You.”
A few days later was a new moon, and the mother had made a feast to honor the Lord on the new moon, and invited all the children. But this one child, she couldn’t track down to invite. An hour before the dinner, lo and behold, this child shows up on the doorstep. The mother, thinking one of the siblings had managed to find him and let him know about the dinner, was thrilled that he would come to a celebration honoring the Lord. She just welcomed him in with a big hug, prattling on about how delighted she was that he came, and all that the Lord had been showing them about the new moon and the feast days. She didn’t even find out until later that the child did not know that anything special was going on, and just got the idea in his head to show up at his parents’ house.
During the dinner the parents were sharing with their children all that they had learned, and at the close of the dinner, the father took the bread and the cup, and reminded all the children that Jesus, who knew no sin, endured the cross, the breaking of His body, and the shedding of His blood, to take our sin upon Himself, so that we, who knew no righteousness, could become the righteousness of God in Him, by faith through grace — not by works, lest any man should boast of anything before God, who would receive ALL glory.
And this child was blinking back tears, and took the bread and the cup. But then after that night, the parents did not hear from him. But he, without saying a word to anyone, started coming over for the Friday evening Sabbath dinners at his parents’ house. The next new moon day was the Feast of Trumpets, on September 13th. On that feast day, this child told his parents that he had spent the last week collecting his things from all his drug friends, cutting ties, telling them not to contact him again because he wouldn’t reply. He flushed whatever he had that was connected with that lifestyle down the toilet. He began praying, and quit smoking. He walked into a Bible bookstore and bought himself a Bible, because he became so hungry for the Word of God that he couldn’t stand it. He has been devouring the Bible as he used to devour the drugs. I can hardly type this without crying.
He has been in church with his parents and his family every Saturday night since. He has been at every Sabbath dinner at his parents’, and at every Feast of Tabernacles dinner since the Feast began. He is absolutely glowing with new life. He is talking about getting his GED and then going to school. He wants to be a missionary. It wasn’t this way before, when he went up to the front of the church before. He has a circumcised heart now; that is the difference.
I just want to let everyone know, that the Creator of heaven and earth lives, that His word is true, and His promises are true, and when He says: “Repent and return, and I will circumcise your heart, and the hearts of your children;” He meant it, and He did it, and He will do it. Hallelujah!
Wow, that's as amazing and inspiring a story as I've ever heard!
… and even more amazing when you have been walking with these parents through the past five years, seeing every development, and every setback, unfold, and wondering why on earth this much grief and heartache and destruction was assigned to this family, and then seeing, in such a short space of time, the Lord completely transform this child from the inside out! This is indeed a Feast of Tabernacles of joy for them!