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A Story from Joshua Arnold.

Shared with me by a friend.

I turned 33 years old today, praise the Lord! Jesus is the reason I have made it to 33. He literally holds me together and up by His power.

It wasn’t until a few months before my 28th birthday that the LORD our God called me out of the world, and granted me the gift of repentance and saving faith. I was not seeking Him. Instead, I was hating and rebelling against Him. For a couple of years before I was saved, I had New Age beliefs that were the result of my rebellion against the natural revelation of God. I did a lot of strange things.

Just to name a few: I would do chants to myself in my mind at night when I was in my bed. I did them because I thought that I could completely manifest the reality I wanted if I thought of things long enough.

I collected crystals with hope to ‘manipulate the energy field around me’.

I burnt sage to ‘cleanse the energy field and to get rid of evil spirits’.

I once went 20 months without eating a single cooked meal. I ate a completely raw food diet, and refused to take any supplements because they didn’t come from raw foods. I believed that cooked foods ‘lowered my vibration’, which in turn, I thought, put me into a lower spiritual position. My body became extremely weak and sickly looking because of this.

It wasn’t until years after I was saved that I realized, in a way, that I was doing all of those things in order to earn my place with God.

I wanted to be in a higher position spiritually, and so I labored for it to the point of sickness. I denied myself many things that are lawful, because I thought I would be more spiritual.

Before I was saved, I used to be obsessed with writing songs, and when I wrote them, it would be as if some power above my own would feed me lyrics that amazed me.

I would draw occult symbols on the paper I wrote the lyrics on, as though I was under the influence of some other spirit.

I considered myself extremely sensitive to the spiritual realm. I would be talking to people, and suddenly in the eye of my mind I would see some sort of wicked entity raging at me.

When the LORD called me out of the world, I had a very rough time. I became very sickly looking from all the stress, and felt that I was constantly being spiritually attacked. I would have very dark thoughts and think very strange things. It seemed as though I was being heavily attacked because I had been freed from the bondage it Satan, and was drawing near to Christ.

The LORD delivered me from the bondage I was in. He delivered me from my own rebellion.

He gave me rest after I was shown that all of my laboring to be in a better position spiritually was in vain. It is only by the gift of faith in Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit that a person is reconciled and in a favorable position with God.

The Lord revealed Himself in a saving manner to me, and I have never been the same since. I would not be celebrating my 33rd birthday to the glory of God today if it were not for our compassionate and tender Father that set His saving love on me in eternity past. He is worthy of praise forever and ever!

I want to thank everyone who messaged me happy birthday. Thank you all so very much for the happy birthday messages. I have so many in my inbox right now. I am not going to be able to reply to all of them anytime soon because there are so many, but I want everyone to know that I am very thankful. I hope you all enjoy this day the LORD has made!


I thought about this upon reading Joshua’s post.

Professor of History at Tulane University Kenneth Harl points out the Roman vision of the gods was they met you at the well and talked to you. Sometimes the gods would rage on you because of something you did that displeased them. Other times they charmed you, or gave you gifts, etc. When Christianity came along the pagans thought Christians were atheists because they “took away the gods.” This is why they persecuted Christians unto death for the next 250+ years. Christianity produced “the silence of the pagan gods”. Christianity replaced the voices of the pagan gods with the revealed teachings of the prophets and with scripture and written understanding of the spirit of God, who Himself, being spirit, is beyond human understanding except through a still small voice that is within every Christian.

But the pagans continued to try to interact with god via performing external rituals so as to earn god’s approval by their own efforts.

This is very similar to what Joshua was trying to experience. He wanted to meet the gods “at the well”, so to speak, to have a direct experience or appeasement with them, earning their favor by external acts of worship. And he completely missed the real spirit of God who sent the messiah to propitiate his sin and heal his separation from God. Jesus taught us we have to be “born again” to have right relationship with God, and this happens via faith (trust), not via any act we can perform.

Not understanding this, Joshua was on a “works trip”.

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