In high school I realized that there was a calling on my life me to bring the gospel to people. I loved to talk about the Bible. Somehow God has opened the Word to me more than to most of my age group. As a family our community involvement revolved around the church and its activities (based on works). I grew up in this environment. Most of my Bible knowledge was based on my church doctrines, as was required from a good church member.
As I went out into life after school, I started to share the gospel with everyone that crossed my path, telling them that Jesus is the answer. During this time I also went through the turmoil of the worldly temptations that every young man usually experiences. God protected me from most of this, but none of us can be in this world and not be effected by it in some way, for all of us are rooted in Adam.
As young policeman I was confronted with the worldly person and the Christian. Too often I have seen the world reflected in the lives of Christians–in my own life and in the lives of my parents and friends. I realized, though, that God’s word talks about a victorious life in Christ. I started to long for the fullness of God in my life, but did not know how to find it. My parents could not help me, even my pastors were in the dark. They had become acquainted with this poor quality of Christian living, this was the only Christian life they knew. For me it seemed that this was the end of the line; I assumed that this kind of life was what it meant to “take up your own cross and follow Me.” All that is left now was for us to just wait for His second coming.
For more that 30 years I walked this path, longing and praying for the fullness of God in my life. Because of this longing I started to become more and more involved in church activities, attending talks that may led me to discover the key to the fullness of God. I started to read about being slain in the spirit, the Toronto Blessing, laying-on of hands, etc. This took me to other denominations. Through this God used me. I’ve led many to the Lord. My work place became my mission field. I started to experience the power of the Holy Spirit in my life. I was blessed with tongues and was used in healing people by laying on of hands, etc. But in all this I noticed that, in my prayer life, there was still this cry for His fullness in my life. I wanted a Damascus Road experience; I wanted to see God, for I believed then and only then would I experience His fullness like Paul did. On my dad’s death bed, God allowed this. My dad experienced a visitation from Jesus. Through the eyes of my dad I saw Jesus Christ. But while all this was happening in my life, the fullness of God
was still avoiding me. It seemed that in all this I was in fact only trying to satisfy the self (the flesh). I was indeed only trying to satisfy my neediness, the result of what we all suffered in Adam’s Fall in the Garden of Eden.
But through all this God was still very faithful to me. A representative of GFI in South Africa invited me and my wife to one of their Exchanged Life Conferences. That night after the first day of the conference, my wife and I were talking until early morning. We couldn’t stop talking about what we found; the fullness of God seemed at last to be in sight. For the first time we heard that the gospel has two sides to it: the familiar side–that Christ died for me, the sinner; and now the other side–that I died with Him. For the first time the crucifixion of Jesus Christ became part of me. Although I new the Cross for over 30 years, I had never understood that Jesus became my covenant. He was made sin for me, He took care of me, the sinner.
I came to realize that not many people see the Cross as a grave stone. God showed me that the Cross of Jesus Christ is the grave stone for the sin of all mankind. The open grave, though, is the sign of eternal life, for in Christ I died on the Cross, and in Christ I rose from death to eternal life.
For the first time I understood what Paul meant, that we sit with Christ in heavenly places, that we are saints and holy. For the secret is Colossians 1:26-28, Christ in me, the hope of glory. My life changed dramatically. I realized that it is no longer me that lives this life, but it is it is Christ that lives this life through me and in me.
I had experienced a lot of stress in my workplace with the change that took place in South Africa. It was not easy for us as white men in the workplace. We were confronted with many changes. Previously disadvantaged workers refused to take instructions from white supervisors. The turmoil in my workplace caused me to start taking medication because of stress.
(photo: South African Police vehicle)
For more than two years I was under treatment. During this time I was involved in several work related incidents that caused my superiors to refer me to on site psychologists for treatment. I also had to attend courses which were designed for personnel struggling to adjust during this transitional period. I’ve noticed that these people could not help me. I needed to change, but nobody could tell me how or what to do. I was a Christian for more than 30 years and I could not help myself. I then went to see my pastor and also he could not help me. For they used the same counselling principles, only with a little bit of Christian veneer.
What these people could not achieve in more that two years of intensive counselling was achieved in one weekend by the Cross of Jesus Christ through a GFI course–Curare Institute for Christ-Centred Counselling. I am still employed by the same company. Circumstances did not change substantially, but I changed and I now operate differently. My wife and I are basically full time involved in the activties of the Curare Institute for Christ Centred Counselling. We see Christ operating not only in our lives or those of my family, but also in the lives of those allowing Him to take control.
If the Cross has not become your grave stone, you are still on the wrong side of it. For you to rise with Christ from the tomb. You need to “die” with Him on the Cross. The the words of Paul are truly applicable: “I have been crucified with Christ (in Him I have shared His crucifixion); it is no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me; and the life I now live in the body I live by faith in (by adherence to and reliance on and complete trust in) the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me” (Galatians 2:20, Amplified Bible).
Note: This article was originally published as F. Scanlen’s testimony. Our associates in South Africa noticed a mistake on our part. This is the testimony of Piet Louw.
Piet commented, “I want to thank God for touching the heart of Dr. Chuck Solomon and allowing him to spread this message across the world, for many Christians are in trouble, not knowing that they need to identify with Christ’s death, in order to live with Him.”
Curare’s bog is http://debruto.blogspot.com/. Financial support for the South African ministry can be designated and sent to GFI.