To understand why you believe what you believe, I have found it really helps to actually write it down, otherwise, it’s just in your head, and our thoughts can deceive us easily (James 1.16 and Galatians 6.7). I have found that few people have ever written down their own testimony, so I did. When I write down things like what does faith mean to me, it actually changes or solidifies my understanding of my own thinking. Creating a personal mission statement is another piece of information I have been working on for years, without much success, but it goes something like this below, with an added statement from Jonathan Edwards.
Personal Mission Statement
The main focus and purpose for my life is to glorify God. I will do this by exercising my faith through living as Godly a life as possible. In knowing I can never be “good enough,” therefore only made right through Jesus Christ, I will seek his forgiveness when I fail. To attempt to glorify God through my life, I will strive to build relationships, while using the art of photography, writing, study, and any other avenue presented, which will glorify God through my life. Scott Fillmer
God is glorified not only by His glory’s being seen, but by its being rejoiced in. When those that see it delight in it, God is more glorified than if they only see it…. He that testifies his idea of God’s glory [does not] glorify God so much as he testifies also his approbation of it and his delight in it. Jonathan Edwards
One thing I have learned through about the pursuit of a life of faith is that it isn’t a light-switch moment, and then it’s done. It is a lifetime of consistent living, learning, and submitting to the will of God (sanctification). Below is my personal testimony. This statement here is a more formal presentation, but serves as my written statement of personal faith in Jesus Christ. I would love to hear yours as well so please feel free to tell us how God has moved in your life in the comments if you are willing to share.
My Testimony :: Early Years
I did not have a conversion experience based largely on a single event in my life. I was raised, however, in a Christian home and was baptized as an infant in a military chapel before I was six weeks old.
For the next 10-to-15 years, my parents kept me involved in the local church with most of that time being spent in two Bible-believing Methodist churches. I can recall countless Sunday morning sermons, Sunday school lessons, Wednesday night dinners and celebrations around Easter and Christmas. Most of these things meant nothing to me because I was blind to understanding God’s Word, but they were like seeds being planted that would eventually be realized. Even though I had listened to the salvation message for the better part of 17 years I went into early adulthood without a direct relationship with Jesus Christ or an understanding of what the saving grace of Jesus actually meant to me personally.
Upon graduating from high school I left my parents’ home and subsequently the church in pursuit of my own desires. I was in control of my life. I spent the next five years working and living as most secular people did in the early 1990’s, trying to replace the void in my life with material items and experiences that never quite measured up to what I would later learn was a search for Christ Himself. This constant pursuit for meaning in my life eventually led me back to Jesus.
My Testimony :: Conversion Experience
In 1993, I married Deborah. We were both unbelievers at the time even though both of us had been brought up in the Church by believing parents. Together we continued to try and resist the call of our Savior in an ever-growing materialistic culture. Prior to our first anniversary my wife, unbeknownst to me, gave her life to Christ and started attending a local church in Kentucky while I went to work on Sunday mornings.
Deborah began asking me to come to church with her, but I resisted and continued with my established lifestyle until we moved to Birmingham, Alabama. On April 29, 1994, at the age of 24 I went with her and family members to a Christian concert and that night I asked Christ to come into my life. It was at that moment standing next to the stage with several others that my life was changed forever.
My Testimony :: My Ongoing Walk of Faith
On May 22, 1994, less than a month after my conversion experience at the concert, my wife and I each participated in a believer’s baptism at a local lake as an outward expression of our desire to follow Christ.
The next fifteen years would be spent trying to undo the habits and temptations presented to me in the five years I spent away from the Church and the 24 years of living without the Holy Spirit. I would once again, for a time, resist the call of Jesus; this time to move into ministry. Instead I continued living my life on the edge of a full commitment to Christ until my faith was tested, stretched and finally strengthened by a pastor in Colorado.
Several years ago I committed my business at the time, and my photography, to pursuits of faith leading up to starting my work in ministry in 2006. In 2008 I felt a strong call to get more personally involved in ministry work, and was hired by Cornerstone Church as their director of technology. Soon after joining a church staff for the first time in my life, I also enrolled in seminary at Liberty University to pursue at least a master degree in religion. This was a very important step in my walk of faith as it led me, and continues to lead me, to growth in knowledge and strength in my faith.
While I can point to a specific date for my conversion experience in 1994, it was but one point in time that marks one decision in a lifetime of decisions for Christ to come. I don’t know what God is calling me to in ministry, but I pray I will recognize his will for my life more and more.
-updated January 2012