I would like to give my testimony, so that it might encourage someone who has had similar experiences.
My name is James Thomas LaCroix. I was born April 15, 1972 in Urania, LA. I grew up in church, but for many years I ran from God. I turned my back on Him for a while, believing that no god could exist allowing the heartache and suffering I had endured. I rejected Him in my heart. Something happened in my life that at first only strengthened those feelings, but eventually led me back to the cross. My first cousin, Amanda Joiner, died. She was one of my best friends and, although we were several years apart, shared many of the same interests and personal beliefs in our lives. When Amanda died, I questioned God. How could God take someone so young? I asked God to give Amanda back and take me instead, but, of course, He didn't.
God saw past the angry young man and saw the future servant that I would become. He held His Hand over me even from my birth. When I was born my mother and I nearly died on the delivery table. The Lord saved us both that day and He has saved me many times since. Satan has attempted to kill me several times. He has not only tried to kill me at my birth, but also by electrocution, drowning (twice, once combined with hypothermia), carbon monoxide poisoning, a car accident, and once when several pieces of sheet rock fell on me as a child. I am fully aware of these attempts, but only God knows the number of times when I was unaware of His Hand protecting me. Because I put my faith in Christ, the Bible tells me that nothing the devil brings against me will accomplish anything, unless I accept it. Many times the devil has formed weapons against me, in the form of attempts on my life, trying to lead me into a destructive life of sin, attempts to shatter my faith and remove myself from God's Hand. Christ has walked with me through it all. Through faith in Him, and the power of the Holy Spirit, I have come through the valleys.
Satan is dreadful when he tries to take your life. But, he is a beautiful angel when he brings that which seems right in the eyes of man. The biggest, at least in my mind the biggest, sin I have had to overcome in my life has been pornography. All praise and glory goes to God for my deliverance. I was introduced to pornography at about twelve or thirteen by someone close to me in my family. This person used pornography to promote an immoral and unwanted sexual relationship with me. I thought of myself as saving my family, if I kept this hidden. I held my self in contempt for many years, both for the shame I felt and for not being able to stop what was happening. Satan used this to undermine faith and lead me into other sin. God has shown me that I was not to blame, nor was the member of my family. While we both still have to answer to God for our actions, Satan is the cause of the pain, guilt and heartache that I felt. He is also the source of the sin that was being committed. When I turned to the Great Healer, the pain and anguish I had felt for so long was lifted and I was like a new man. But, I still had another problem; I was still addicted to pornography. I tried for what seems like years to overcome that personal disgrace, on my own. Finally after feeling that I had nowhere else to turn, I turned to The One that I should have turned to first. I laid the battle at the feet of God and asked that He fight it for me. Not until I reached the point where I realized that the battle was never mine, did God deliver me of something that I could not seem to control. Many people want to blame a person or God for their pain, but the cause of pain did not originate with God or even man. Satan introduced man to sin and, therefore, to hate, pain, suffering, anguish, defeat, loss, unhealthy desires, and any other negative emotions you or I can name. Satan is the cause of all things evil, but man is to blame for our part also. The Word of God tells us that we are not subject to Satan, and are not bound to do as he commands, so we must be held accountable for the sins that we choose to take upon ourselves.
Why then do we blame God for all the things that go wrong in our lives? It is simple, we are trained to blame Him. Not by Satan, although he invented the idea. Satan has taught man subtly through little lies that God is the harbinger of death, allows sickness, allows us to live homeless in the streets, takes our job and families, causes our heartaches. How? By telling us that it wasnít in Godís will. Ití not in Godís will to be healthy? Not in His will to be happy? Not in His will to be successful in life? These are all lies from the father of lies. All we need do is look to Our Father and His Word and we can find the truth to turn these lies around. When we trust in God, we will find that life has never been better, no matter what is going on around us. Christ said, ďI leave you My joy.Ē That we can live in joy and should be rejoicing in Christ always. He wants us to live in triumph over all the things Satan brings against us. I have lived through and gained victory over enough, through Christ, to be able to proclaim Him as the Conqueror, and he made us more than conquerors. Do you not know that Christ died for our sins? That means He died so that we wouldnít have to be condemned by sin, but also so that we wouldnít have to live in sin. Christ conquered death, not so we could live in these bodies forever, but that we could have eternal life with Him in heaven. We should also know that physical death is not final. It is only the beginning. For some it is the beginning of that eternal life I just spoke about. For others it is the beginning of eternal death, their souls cast into the bottomless pit prepared for Satan. The pit of Hell was never intended for man. God does not send people to Hell. By ignoring the salvation that Christ offers to all mankind, we condemn ourselves to Hell.
I am not a professional writer. I didnít go to school to learn how to write. I donít know the art of writing a compelling piece that would bring everyone to their knees in repentance. I can only hope that someone is reading this and understands that God does love them. Maybe it is your first time to feel His love. Christ died so that we might live. He died because sin was brought into this world, and through Him it is forgiven. His name is the only name we can call upon for the remission of sins. All you must do is call on the name of Jesus, ask Him for forgiveness, and turn away from the life you have been living. Announce it, donít be ashamed of Him. He is faithful to forgive us, and will have no remembrance of our sins, so donít let the devil tell you otherwise. Paul says that we should not even judge ourselves, but that is a hard lesson to learn.
If you are a person that is turning to Christ, Satan is not going to stand quietly by. He will fight very hard to keep your soul in his corner. He will tell you that you are not forgiven, or that everything that Christ says is a lie. The tells us that Christ will give you the power to overcome anything Satan tries to defeat you with. If you read this and decide that Christ is the and that you have been searching for, then I ask you to go to any church, find a minister, call him if you have to, and ask him to pray with you. You donít need a minister, but you may be more comfortable praying with someone. He or she will also be able to show you the verses of the Bible that will empower you in Christ. These will be important in the coming battle that Satan will rage against you. And let me encourage you not to think the battle will be a private one. Many times I have seen Satan attack a new believer at work, at home, and in other ways. This is why the Bible tells us not to forsake the gathering together with our brothers and sisters in Christ. We all need each other.
In closing I would ask each of you to remember me as Christ is taking me through this process of beginning a new ministry. Many doors will have to open, as well as hearts. But I have faith that I will succeed, because God laid this mission before me. If He planned this ministry, I can only hope to follow His path. God bless and keep you all until His return.
There is power in the Word of God and in our testimonies.
The world is not looking for churches filled with self-righteous Christians but churches that are hospitals for the sick. Filled with people who KNOW what it is like to hurt and NEED Jesus.
We have all been hurt and needing Jesus, some of us just don't act like it.
The world doesn't want to know how good we have been but HOW GOOD our GOD IS!
Thank you for this powerful testimony!
Ro, Publisher, www.BelieversBay.Com