Pick Up Your Cross, Testimony
by Cheryl Gilbert
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"When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, 'Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it.'"
(Mark 8:34, 35 NKJV)
I have been a Spirit-filled Christian for 26 years now. When I came to the Lord at age 25, I was emotionally shattered and a drug addict. It was when I was home alone one morning that I decided to turn on the TV. As I was flicking through the stations, I came across a preacher talking about Jesus and our need for Him. As I listened, it was as though the preacher was talking directly to me. I opened my heart to everything he was saying, and the next thing I knew, I was down on my knees, weeping, and asking Jesus to forgive me and to come into my train-wrecked life. When I got up from the floor, I was truly transformed in my spirit! I felt like a thousand pounds had been lifted from me. From that point on it was as though the clouds were singing and the trees were clapping their hands. I was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues. I was set free from my drug and alcohol addiction, as well as my cigarette addiction. I had such an intense hunger for God's word. I remember reading the Bible and crying for the first year.
Many years after my conversion, I was introduced to the deliverance ministry, and from there I began to minister to women who were born into generational Satanism. I experienced and witnessed the power of God in wonderful ways. Although I experienced God's power in miraculous ways, I also found myself gradually becoming run down emotionally, spiritually, and physically. In hindsight, I had my own hidden wounds from a childhood of emotional, verbal, and physical abuse. Unaware to me, I needed my own inner healing. After two years of working in the SRA ministry, I fell into sin and lost everything, including my marriage of 23 years.
Even though I was powerfully set free from my drug addiction and filled with the Spirit, I inwardly struggled with same sex attraction, and even though I had my own deliverance done and continued to renounce Satan, I still found myself struggling. The Lord was using me powerfully in ministry, but yet, I had this personal war waging inside of me. I didn't understand the deep seated root of iniquity, and my own need for inner healing.
I eventually gave into the lie that I could be gay and still live for Jesus. I fell into deception and began to embrace the gay "Christian" gospel. I lived in sin for 6 years, all the while trying to justify my life style. However, I lived in torment for 6 years, as I lost the assurance of my salvation I once knew. Even though the gay gospel message was saying I was safe, and showing it "scripturally", I lost the peace of my eternal security that I once knew.
I began to fast and pray and seek the Lord. I was confused at this point and wanted the Truth. While fasting, I had a dream in which I was taken to a cubicle in hell. I have never experienced such fear, darkness, and separation from the Lord in my life. There were demonic creatures that would come out from the walls of stone surrounding me, and they would rip at my hands. Once my hands were devoured, the flesh would come back onto them, and they would repeat the process over again. As I cried out to the Lord, I didn't think I was ever going to be able to escape from that cubicle. It felt hopeless - there was no way of escape. The next thing I knew, I was awake in my bed, and thankful to the Lord that I had been delivered from the cubicle. The Lord manifested Himself to me after that dream, and encompassed me in His love and began to show me that all homosexuality is sin, and for those who don't repent they will be assigned their own cubicle in eternal hell - only unlike me - they will never be able to escape. As I felt His love encompass me, I could hardly sit in His presence. I was overwhelmed with the spirit of repentance. He loved me so much that He allowed me to experience the horrors of hell that I might turn back to Him. I literally felt the scales of deception fall from my spiritual eyes. Whom the Lord loves, He truly chastens. His heart longs for His people to be set free from the deceptions of this world, and turn back towards His holiness.
That was almost 4 years ago. I walked in a spirit of heavy repentance for several months as the Lord set me free from the powers of darkness that enchained to me.
Today, I am set free from that deep root of lesbianism. The Lord has brought me a long way in the past 4 years, through a continuous process of inner healing. I understand the root of iniquity in a way now that I missed before. Ana Mendez Ferrellís Ministry has been a factoring source, along with the the work of the Holy Spirit in my liberation and freedom from Satanís hold on me.
I have been called as a forerunner to minister to the captive souls of iniquity, sin, and deception within the church. The Lord continues to teach me that the only way to full liberation from iniquity, sin and the bondages of Satan is to embrace the fullness of His sacrifice on a daily basis. This can only be done as we exchange our life for His. And, if we are to be like Him, we are to suffer like Him. This is what is meant by picking up our cross and following Him. The cross must be embraced and applied to the hidden parts of our soul, spirit and body. As we surrender to His holiness, He is faithful to transform us into His image. For without holiness, no one will see the Lord. He made the way for us. He paid the ultimate price once and for all. Yes, the fullness and blessing of heaven awaits us here on earth and continues into eternity, but we must pick up our personal cross and put on the armor of God and fight, if the fullness of Christ's sacrifice is to transform our lives unto the end.
It will take a special ear to hear what the Spirit is saying to the church in this last hour. For, the majority of Christian's are held in captivity by a watered down gospel that is powerless to set them free from sin and the demonic strongholds that enchain their body, soul, and spirit.
Just as Jesus called the people to Himself, along with His disciples, so He calls to His end-time church. My prayer, as I continue to write His heart, is that His church will hear what the Spirit is specifically saying in this last hour.
"He who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit is saying the churches." (Revelation 2:29 NKJV)
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Wow! What a powerful testimony that I hope will reveal the truth to a lot of people. Glad to have you on faithwriters.
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