Christian resources · My Life

My Testimony | Legalism, Christian Mysticism, & Seeing My Husband Come To Christ

Sorry this post is a little late. I really hope you enjoy hearing my testimony and giving the Lord glory.

Recently, as my husband and I are looking for a church home, we have been asked what is our story? How did we find Christ? How did I become a Christian blogger?

You see, my journey and my husband’s journey has a lot of layers. So, it’s really hard to try to condense our story in 5 mins or less, though I am getting better at summarizing.

Some previous posts have mentioned pieces of my story, if you would like to check those out.
I Am So Sorry! | Why I Am Privating A Lot Of Old Posts
The Beginning of Inside Cup | My Blog Journey

But today, I’m going to give you all the layers, at least the ones from my story. Get a beverage and a snack, and be ready to sit back to hear how I thought I knew a lot, but I really knew little.

I Grew Up Going To Church, Memorized Scripture & Yet Did Not Understand Scripture

My story begins, like many others. I grew up in church.

When I was four, I was on my swingset outside, by myself, and I “asked” Jesus in to my “heart.” The stereotypical prayer did not mean I fully understood the Gospel. But, for decades, I believed heart prayers were enough. I rushed into the kitchen, Mom was doing dishes and I told her that I had asked Jesus into my heart. – And so my journey begins here…

Recommended: Valentine’s Gift – Salvation Is Found In Christ (Video Recommendations & Resources that break down why the sinner’s prayer can be problematic.)

From ages 7 to 12, I participated in Bible Quizzing. I didn’t like it. It was not a choice I made. I recall studying the books of Genesis, Exodus, 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings, Matthew, and Acts. I think we covered Genesis and Matthew twice within those years. I participated for 6 years.

Here’s the thing, from my understanding of what I remember and what I have also asked my mom about, Bible Quizzing did not consist of explaining the Gospel well. Bible Quizzing did not consist of Christian Apologetics and helping kids understand the Gospel, why we should believe, how we can prove what the Bible says with the world around us, and knowing how to answer the challenging questions the world will give.

We did not study cross references, like the Passover of Egypt and the passover of the Lamb. We studied the scripture in specific books of the Bible, memorized the scripture, and got points for getting questions right about scripture – but understanding the context, the culture, and especially the cross-references I, at least, did not comprehend. I just knew what the books said. I did not know how to explain faith well. For a long time, I had a blind faith and I did not know it.

Emotionalism & Seeker-Driven

At age 13, I had a strong desire to get closer to the Lord. I wanted to “feel” connected to Him. This related to an experience I had the year prior, which also used to relate to my “testimony” but that story isn’t important anymore. The experience I spoke of related to a situation I was going through, and there was a night in prayer I thought I experienced feeling the Holy Spirit literally. Ever since that one night, for the next year, I had desired to experience the same thing.

See, this is part of the problem.

I was more curious about experiencing God than understanding the truth of God, which explains how easily I fell into emotionalism and ultimately Christian Mysticism. I just finished a series on Christian Mysticism, so if you would like an explanation please see:

I wanted to draw closer to God. I wanted to understand better. However, I grew up mostly with life application teachings. Though I desired the truth, I did not know the truth I sought wasn’t the full truth.

Since I was set on emotionalism, naturally, I became involved with “listening prayers.” These are prayers that can fall into the category of contemplative prayer. I “talked” a lot with God.

I would believe I saw the Lord answer, quite often, through subjective experiences and symbols. For decades, I thought when I saw the number 6 He was reminding me that He was there. There’s nothing Biblical about seeking God in this manner. Seeking God, for me, was honestly more about seeking emotions and experiences, which as I shared, was my main focus. I thought it was ok. I thought this was how God intereacted with us. (Friends, it’s so much richer than that.)

Teachers like Beth Moore and Rick Warren support “tuning into God,” as Rick Warren puts it. In fact, Rick Warren’s book, Purpose Driven Life (which I do NOT recommend) was a favorite book of mine for many years. It wasn’t until I began a Bible study with a sister in Christ, over a decade later, in which when she started asking questions about what the book was saying, I first began to realize – hey, these teachings are kinda vague. But it took me about two more years, I believe, from that Bible study to fully realize the issues with Purpose Driven Life.

You see, Christian Mysticism is about vagueness, symbolism, emotion, experience, and subjectivity. It is cloaked with the word “Christian” and has many scriptures used out of context. This not to say every single thing teachers say, who promote Christian Mysticism, will be wrong. However, teachers under the Seeker-Driven/Emergent Church movement will not have the true Gospel and the true Christ be the main focus or even presented correctly. An emotional, soft-spoken Jesus is often taught because the real spotlight is on US and how God makes US feel.

Post-modernism can be thought of as a dissolution of “cold, hard fact” in favor of “warm, fuzzy subjectivity.” The emerging / emergent church movement can be thought of the same way.

https://www.gotquestions.org/emerging-church-emergent.html
And a false Christ is no Christ at all. So, like an addict, the emotional Jesus was not enough. The experiences were not enough. Feeling “connected” to God was not enough. I always wanted more. I always was confused.

End-Times Interest & Dreams

Some of my followers may remember when I used to post about my dreams. Age 13 is when I started having dreams about the end-times.

The response my church often gave regarding the end-times was that we need to “be ready.” What does “being ready” mean? Are we affirming our lifestyle to be Christian? Is this where part of my legalistic mindset was coming from? Putting my hope into what I was doing instead of what Christ did on the cross?

We need to explain what we say and not use slogans. The Gospel was the same way for me. It was often wrapped within a paragraph to a few paragraphs and a bow. Jesus died for your sins, and He resurrected. Believe in Him and you will be saved. This message is basic, and for me, it was not enough. I believed these things to be true, but I saw the Gospel as a weak topic, and it isn’t.

Growing up, I did not realize how much Revelation pointed to Jesus Christ, and instead of diving into the topic or showing a productive way of looking at the end-days, for me as a teen, it seemed like people avoided it. Which I do not blame anyone, I understand it’s a big topic, but I wish someone had taken the time to show me how the end-times really relates to Christ, and not the Anti-Christ.

I wish, like the Gospel, the end-times was not a topic discussed within a few sentences to a few paragraphs. I wish my desire for the end-times could have been used to show me the connection Revelation has to the Gospel. The bloody Lamb in Revelation relates to the atonement sacrifice we see on the cross, which we see the type and shadow of in the Old Testament when the blood of the lamb had the Lord pass over the homes. The Gospel is rich and the Bible is soaked in the blood of the Messiah.

The reason my fascination with the end-days is important is because having dreams about end-times or similar dramatic dreams with dark/evil figures only played more into my emotionalism and Christian Mysticism. I thought these were ways God “ministered” to me. Again, notice the vagueness of these experiences.

When I read through Revelation and similar studies, I thought I knew a lot, but I hardly saw the importance of Jesus Christ. I know I am not alone.

Consumed by Sin & Too Young To Date

My husband and I started dating when I was 16 and he was 15. We were not ready for dating. I was influenced by secular media on how a “woman” should be. I was lied to about how “romances” should look like. I learned a lot about compromise.

But what relationships do not require when it comes to compromise is your relationship with Christ. Unfortunately, I compromised. I served myself over God. There was a sin I had from childhood I struggled with, and it only became easier for more sin of the same nature to consume me. I was often torn with conviction from falling so much into sin.

I even had the sickening reminder that the more we sin, the less convicted we may feel. We can become desensitized easily to sin, if we choose for sin to consume us. At times, I was less convicted than others. Which is why I don’t know if I was saved, like I used to think. But the battle between the flesh and the spirit was very present for me.

Bible Reading | Sanctification, Holiness & Legalism

Since I was 13, I had loved learning about the Bible. I read the Bible quite a bit from ages 13-16, but I read improperly- not in order, and at random, a lot of the time. Bible reading was lessened when I began dating.

My home church focused on sanctification and holiness. In fact, I used to think the Gospel was a “surface” topic, and sanctification and holiness was where the depth, the meat, was at. This could not be farther from the truth, but I did not understand the Gospel in-depth. If you understand the depth of the Gospel, then you will see how sanctification and holiness naturally connect.

Since I was focused on sanctification and holiness more than I was on the Gospel, legalism put chains around me. I had a lot of questions from the vague teachings I got from the purpose driven talking and seeking Christ in mystic ways.

Struggle with My Purpose & Calling

Not surprisingly, I struggled with figuring out my calling and purpose. I had so many questions on how the Lord would use me. In the Seeker-Driven/Emergent Church movements, it’s all about your calling and purpose. There are books and sermons all about one’s calling – and a lot of them focus on vague teachings and seeking God through mystical ways relying on emotions to figure out what your “calling” is. More chains wrapped around me. I’m not alone. I’ve seen the blog posts from others and their confusion and pain at not knowing their calling.

I had the chains of sin, the chains of legalism, chains of seeking God in external ways, and the chains of figuring out my purpose and calling. Though I had the desire to learn and learn scripture in-depth, I received watered-down messages (because I was a teen), focus on sanctification/holiness, and life applications, but I did not receive a deep understanding of Jesus Christ. I was not seeking Him the way I needed to and I did not know. Admittedly, the one way I knew I wasn’t seeking Him, I did not want to give up.

College, Early Married Life & More False Teaching

Basically from 2011-2016 I developed a second hunger for the Lord. I missed seeking Him the way I did when I was younger. This hunger began toward the end of my junior year of college. Now, I was still seeking Him in mystic ways, unfortunately, but there was a desire to get back into the word. During this time, I had started to read the Bible more, still not in proper context. I was still interested heavily into the end-times.

After I got married in 2013, we did seek out a church, but it was not the best experience, and I dealt with bitterness afterward. In fact, I had prayed that the Lord would provide the next church because I was so uncertain and afraid of another bitter experience.

In 2014, there was a young couple who had moved down the hall from us in our apartment building. Now, I cherish the couple and I am grateful for all the kind ways the Lord provided their friendship and fellowship. They mean a lot to me. Just like the people at my home church. This couple was beginning a new ministry and invited me to their Bible study.

In the days and months that followed, I learned they came from a doctrine that believed everyone or majority could speak in tongues. The Bible rules for tongues in 1 Corinthians Ch.14 were not followed. The Bible says in a church setting that only a few people speak in tongues, and each one speaks one at a time, and there must be an interpreter; otherwise people need to stay silent in the church. There were no interpreters at the church. People would speak out in tongues, but no understanding would be given.

This doctrine also believed in leg-lengthening healing/miracles. There was a traveling pastor who once made the statement, while “stretching” out someone’s leg, that basically majority of problems tend to relate to one leg being more short than the other. (I’m not opposed to the Lord healing people, but I don’t think He heals through lengthening legs like this.)

There have been great videos to debunk this deception. Please see:
Fake Healing Videos Evaluated: Todd White, Tom Fischer, and more. By Mike Winger
– The American Gospel discusses this. – American Gospel: Christ Alone & American Gospel: Christ Crucified

I was never pressured into receiving tongues. The couple never made statements that they believed tongues were connected to a person’s salvation. So, I’m grateful they never pressed me into feeling like I had to receive tongues.

This was my first experience into a charismatic church. I do think there can be genuine believers in charismatic churches, but I also believe it’s much harder because there is deception in some of these teachings. From what I saw the couple very much loved Jesus and had a heart for Him and sharing the truth.

The sermons tended to be focused on life-application, though I did grasp at this church how our works are like filthy rags. We need Christ’s atonement. Years later, understanding how our works are like filthy rags helped me understand the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to the sinnner.

Freed From Sin & Starting My Blog

We moved to a different state in 2016, did not find a church. 2017 my husband and I prepared to move again, as he was getting out of the military, in the late spring. During this time, I started up my blogging. I began in June of 2016, and started to write more in 2017.

In fact, between 2016-2017 the sin I had struggled with for so long finally was laid at the feet of Christ. I didn’t know the Gospel as well as I thought. I was reading the Bible wrong. I was not in a solid church. But I knew I wanted to honor the Lord, and only God could help me with giving up this sin and repenting for good. I began to cut things out of my life that encouraged sin, specifically media. Then I would go to our office on the second floor, turn on worship music, pray and praise Jesus, and then write.

For so long, I was the one trying to control the sin, but I wasn’t putting on armor before battle. I would fight with prayer as soon as the temptation started, but it was too late. I wasn’t cutting off the chains of sin that strengthened the sin. I don’t need influences that encourage me to sin. They need to go. Jesus needs to be the focus. For once, I was finally turning over my entire focus to God. I recognized that only HE could help me and only HE could defeat my sin. HE is enough.

And He is 💖

I wanted to grow more as a Christian. I wanted the truth. I read through the whole Bible in 2017. But there was still more refining and clarity that I so desperately needed.

And the Lord was only beginning…

Fellowship, A Book On Hell & Cutting Off Chains

In 2018, I began to really desire fellowship, as we did not have a church, and I did not know anyone in the area. Ever since we had left in 2016, I had desired for fellowship and growth. I began praying for the Lord to help me find sisters in Christ in 2018. There were a few women in the blogging community I reached out to, and there was one I really connected with.

We began chatting and we discovered we had a crazy amount of things in common. Eventually, we decided to video chat, and the rest is history. The Lord blessed the first night we video chatted. The discussions were rich, deep, and honest. The Lord blessed her with not being shy, as she typically tends to be with new people. We talked about all sorts of topics and Christ.

In August of 2018, we began a weekly Bible Study. Ever since 2016, I had desired finding someone to do Bible Study with, and I was so glad that she agreed. Three years later, we are 2 books away from finishing the New Testament. We continue to meet weekly.

Toward the fall of 2018, I had hit a sort of a numb feeling. Not quite sure if it was depression or what. But I prayed that the Lord help me not fall into the numbing and isolating feeling. I decided to read another book, which I do not recommend, and what I took out of the book really began to make me think.

I read 23 Minutes in Hell, by Bill Wiese. Again, this is not a book I recommend. Lord willing, I may do a book review later to help explain why more in-depth. But what I can say is I was realizing how much I took the Lord for granted.

My life was not in agony every second. Even if I was going through horrible things, the fact I could feel a warm gentle breeze was a kindness from the Lord. The day I began reading, I recall it was a dreary, rainy, cloudy day, yet I remember looking at the trees and realizing the work of His hands is a blessing.

Again, I still was seeking Him in mystic ways, at this time, but this realization relates more to the general revelation God makes Himself known by, as Romans 1 points out. I was realizing the blessings around me that I simply took for granted. A home. Heat. Clean water. Nature. Etc. Some of the most simplistic blessings that continued to add up despite living in a corrupted world.

Just as the year prior, I realized I was not giving the Lord time. I was exposing myself to corrupted and sinful influences. I made the decision to cut out all media that encouraged sexual jokes, sex, cursing, witchcraft, ungodly behavior, etc. I cut out many YouTubers I used to watch. And this decision did affect my marriage because my husband and I enjoy watching things together. This decision cut out a lot of what we used to watch.

I felt the temptation, too, to go back and try to watch the YouTubers that I used to. But gradually, the same way sin can desensitize us, self-control helps break the hold that sin has on us.

Self-control is part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit, and it is something we can only receive through receiving Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit indwells within us for those who have put their faith in Christ. We become transformed through the renewing of our mind, the Holy Spirit helps us with this transformation after we have received salvation from Jesus.

Photo by JESHOOTS.com on Pexels.com

Iron Sharpens Iron | Learning About False Teaching

This sister in Christ introduced me to another fellow sister in Christ. What was so interesting is the first year of our new friendship, we challenged and clashed against each other. There were teachings in my life I thought were Biblical, she challenged them. And through her questions, I found I couldn’t give her solid answers, like I once believed. Similar to when Purpose Driven got questioned, I discovered I was under vague guidance, instead of solid instruction.

God used this sister in Christ a lot. He also showed me how the body of Christ can disagree, but we still come together because we have the love for Christ, which is what it means to be like-minded; Christ is our goal. I later learned the Lord used me to humble her, as well. How brilliant and kind is our King!

I began to learn of a particular cult through our discussions, and I wanted to learn more about cults and false teaching because, at the time, I wasn’t sure if the organization was a cult or not. In the fall of 2019, I began to study cults, and I slowly began to study other false teachings in the church, such as prosperity gospel, word of faith, and NAR (new apostolic reformation). Which is how I learned some of things my previous church experience had weren’t Biblical.

Through studying cults in order to help someone, I discovered the false teachings I was under. 😅 Some of the challenges I previously had with my sister in Christ, I now understood.

Prayers For My Husband

2020 was a crazy and intense year, and I’m just referring to our household. I began to search out sound godly men to listen to. I found women who had ministries dedicated to strengthening women in the word of God. You can check out my list here: Godly Men & Women I Recommend.

Through these men and women, I discovered words like “exegesis” and “eisegesis.”I learned about proper Bible studying. I learned why I needed to stop listening to Joyce Meyer. I learned why I needed to give up Bethel and Hillsong because of the theology behind the words that stemmed from the church; which led to me becoming more critical about the Christian music I listened to and promoted on the blog. (See: Why We Quit Working For Joyce Meyer And Left The Word of Faith Movement & “Why Our Church No Longer Plays Bethel Or Hillsong Music.” Pastor Explains False Teachings

In January of 2020, I began praying for my husband. I had been listening to sermons more by godly men. I realized how lonely it was to be a wife and not being able to share Christ with my husband. I understood more fully why scripture warns not to be unequally yoked. The in-depth discussions I would have loved to have with him, I couldn’t. Of course, in previous years, I still desired these discussions, but the heartache was stronger in 2020.

Praying for my husband was something I did on and off throughout the years. But I knew God’s timing was not my timing. I could not be the one to change my husband, but Jesus could. I began praying that the Lord would allow me to listen to a specific sermon with my husband because I thought he would be interested. A few months later the Lord answered my prayer.

I began praying I could find godly men on YouTube that not only would help me, but could help minister the truth to my husband. The Lord answered this prayer, as well. My husband really connected with Pastor Chris Rosebrough from Fighting For Faith. Pastor Chris is blunt, to the point, and he explains how false teachings go against the word of God by going over the word of God.

The first time we listened to a Paul Washer sermon together, it did not go over well. I began praying the Lord would soften his heart to try again or we could find someone my husband could listen to regarding sermons similar to Paul Washer’s. A month or so later, we tried another Paul Washer sermon and my husband connected very well with the material.

Recanting From The False Teaching I Used To Believe (Christian Mysticism)

During April of 2020, I began listening to Justin Peter’s Clouds Without Water series, and this is when I recanted from dreams on my blog. I realized I was seeking God outside of scripture.

Ironically, even during the fall of 2019, some of the people I listened to mentioned how we shouldn’t seek God outside of scripture. I thought it was just a difference of opinion. But half a year later, I fully saw the problems of seeking God outside of scripture and the vague teachings I thought to be true were shattered.

Which was the funny thing.

For over a decade I sought God in symbols, experiences, and dreams. I treated the Bible like a magic-8 ball. But I did not understand the Gospel well. I struggled with sin. I struggled with legalism. I used my emotional experiences to affirm my salvation. But when I sought God in His word, in context, in order, understanding cross-references, seeing the fullness of the Gospel, and the truth of Christ – I received all the answers I had been looking for all those years. The depth of study I wanted in the Bible, I finally had. The sound teachers I wanted to learn from and find, I was given. The truth of God I wanted to understand finally clicked for me.

People struggled with my recant on the blog, understandably. I had a lot of questions, and I was so new to explaining myself I felt bombarded at times. Yet, I knew the Lord would use this time to refine me and help me, even if it was uncomfortable.

I appreciate the questions I received, and I learned from them. I spent a year studying some of the things brought up in discussions to make sure I could better explain myself, that I knew what scripture said, and to make sure people felt heard. It was not easy, but refinement doesn’t feel good in the moment.

My Husband’s Confession

Late spring, early summer, I began to read more and dive into theology. My husband would often find me outside on our balcony reading. I had been praying to be a good example and to be submissive and more caring. Apparently, my husband had been noticing.

In July 2020, I watched both American Gospels- Christ Alone & Christ Crucified and my husband watched them with me. There is a free version on YouTube, but I do recommend seeing the full version. See:
American Gospel: Christ Alone
American Gospel: Christ Crucified

My husband’s birthday is in July and on his birthday night he shared how he wanted to get closer to Christ. He had noticed the changes taking place in me. He knew he wasn’t where he needed to be. We prayed. We began reading the Bible together. We went through Romans, and then when we reached Matthew there was a particular scripture one night, about a month later, that began to sink into my husband’s spirit. The words of Christ would not leave him alone.

Which led to what I refer to as my husband’s “Pilgrim’s Progress” moment. It was as if the flesh and spirit tore at him at once, and he didn’t know what to do. All of the sin from his life felt like a major weight on him, a heavy burden. But as soon as he called out to Christ for forgiveness and help, it was gone. Immediately.

A Lot Can Happen In A Year…

Since then, we have both continued to grow.

I didn’t fully know Christ the way I had thought, and I’m so glad my husband prefers logic over emotion. Christian Apologetics ministered to both of us and helped us see how God’s handprint is everywhere in His creation. Exactly, as scripture said it would be.

I have recanted from many things I used to believe. The blog has been going through an editing process because of what I used to promote and believe was true. A number of posts have been privated, over half. Some have been completely rewritten and posted.

Understanding how my sins were imputed to Christ on the cross and how His righteousness is imputed to me making me justified, cleared up so much of the legalism I had.

Faith is not blind. Faith comes from the eye-witness accounts of those who saw the Savior die and resurrect. We believe in Jesus being the God-Man, living a sinless life. On the cross, Christ became sin on our behalf. He died and resurrected defeating death. Christ paid off our debt of sin. My good works are only counted righteous because of the blood of Christ, not the good works themselves. Christ alone saves me. Period. See | Mike Winger: Please Stop Saying Faith Is Belief Without Evidence

In 2021, I began praying for strength and encouragement to begin seeking out a church family. After talking with my husband, we settled on visiting a particular church. The very first day the Lord answered every single thing I had prayed for we would find in a church. But that’s for another story.

Did You Seriously Read All Of This?

I wanted to give you my testimony in-depth because I hope you understand and see how the Lord does things on His timing, not ours. I’d love to take some pieces of this testimony and expand on them, haha, I know not long enough, right? Lord-willing, maybe I will. I just want to end with some reminders.

Do not give up on people even if you have been praying for years.
-Be aware how easy it is for false teaching to blend into the church.
-Be ready to give an answer for why you believe.
-Know the Gospel in-depth.
-Be willing to be patient with someone who is under a false teaching.

-Please, teach kids directly out of the Bible and ask them questions about context. -We need more scriptural understanding and less life applications.
Stop worrying about your purpose and calling. Your purpose is that you, who are in Christ, were created for good works – Ephesians 2:10. You are called to love God and love His Bride. We are all used in different ways, but we never have to worry about it. Never.😊 Worrying about your purpose and calling is like worrying about a Christmas gift you’re going to love. AND HIS NAME IS JESUS!

THANK YOU FOR READING!!!!

Scripture To Memorize/Meditate On – (ESV) Romans 5:08, “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

*To learn more about what Jesus did on the cross and why His atonement sacrifice is so needed please see: Why Did A Loving God Kill His Son? (Does God Hate?) 
*If you do not know the Gospel, do not turn away. If you think you know the Gospel, check out these questions and see how prepared you are for the day someone might ask you why you believe: The Gospel Challenge (30 Question Quiz) – Are You Ready To Defend Your Faith?

Community Prayer – Community Prayer – November ’21

Christian Topics/Series Covered
Believer Handbook
Personal Blog: Peeking Beneath
Blog For Christian Women: UnAshamed Christian Housewife
Godly Men & Women I Recommend: Link To List
Resources For False Teaching: Recommended Websites For False Teachers/Teaching 
Video Playlist: Christian Questions, Topics, False Teachers, Insights 
Video Playlist: New Christian Believer 
Video Playlist: Understanding False Teachings
Video Playlist: Sermons To Grow From

Luke 11_39-40, _...so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy–full of greed and wickedness. Fools! Didn’t God make the inside as well as the outside_


2 thoughts on “My Testimony | Legalism, Christian Mysticism, & Seeing My Husband Come To Christ

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