Warmest greetings, everyone! My name is Martha Liberty, coming to you from the beautiful Adirondack mountains of Upstate New York.
As winter slowly gives way once more to the newness of spring, my thoughts turn to another “newness”: Experiencing a newer and growing walk with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ as I continue in fellowship with New Hope Gospel Church.
I have been a born-again Christian for 31 years of my life, but by the time I started attending New Hope in January of this year, I was nearing a spiritual and mental crisis that was all but destroying my faith. This was due mostly to isolation from my family, friends, and other Christian relationships I knew caused by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. I will always be grateful for Pastor Doug's gracious pastoral care during those first few weeks!
I began to see that Satan had really done his best to sabotage my relationship with the Lord. How I could have become so broken and tangled inside as to not recognize this truth, and how I could have become so negatively impacted by his lies in my mind and in my spirit, I shall never know this side of heaven, but clearly God had intervened just in time.
The more I listened to how Pastor Doug taught God’s Word, the more convicted I became. Now, through his ministry, God has been taking my heart apart piece by piece. I have learned that we can become so accustomed to the demonic forces in every corner of our psyche that Satan can and will use these things against us over and over, unless we surrender 100% to Christ and evict them permanently.
With all simplicity and sincerity, by borrowing a phrase from Pastor Doug, I’d like to affirm what I have learned: There is no such thing as “$5.00 worth of Jesus.” Jesus must be enthroned as the Lord of your life, in your heart, mind, and soul. We must keep Him first in everything, in every aspect of our lives. It’s difficult to admit that we can’t handle life on our own, but the alternative is to face eternity alone, apart from God’s love, and separated from His presence in darkness and suffering forever!
We have such wonderful, precious promises from our Saviour, such as John 14:6... “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.” And John 10:27-30... “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.” How beautiful and how true! I was only just beginning to learn from my own experience, but now God has branded His stamp of ownership completely within me!
Other things I have learned at New Hope continue to ground me more firmly, such as the value of prayer, and understanding how we are so inter-dependent on one another within the body of Christ. I have a different background story than many others and have some emotional issues the Lord is working on, but in the process I am learning we are all unique “ones.” God’s children are not made with a cookie cutter!! God has called each one of us, one at a time, to Himself. I have been learning to accept the “me” He says I am, and have opened myself to receive all He wants to gift me with right now.
The most incredible experience of my entire Christian journey at New Hope has been discovering the gifts of the Holy Spirit and learning to use them for the glory of God. My self-esteem has grown by leaps and bounds lately as I get used to being genuine, being liked, welcomed, embraced, and loved by my New Hope Church family. I am finding that I can forget myself and love my new brothers and sisters back with all my heart!
No matter where you are in your Christian walk, or how far from God you feel, or how desperate or sad, or how impossible your circumstances seem today, there is One who loves you with an everlasting love, and wants you to come home. On my journey I was able to hear His “still, small voice” (1 Kings 19:11-13)) and that has made all the difference. Perhaps you will listen for His voice also!
I pray “that God may grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width, and length, and depth, and height; and the know the love of Christ which passes all knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:16-19). Amen.
Martha Liberty lives with her husband Arthur in the Adirondack mountains of Upstate New York. She is a mother, grandmother and passionate follower of Jesus. Martha enjoys writing stories and poetry that brings honour to the Lord Jesus. It is Martha’s hope that her writing will be an encouragement to others, compelling them into a deeper, richer faith experience.