Real Church. Real Life. Real Celebration.

Stand by Me

“You know that everyone in the province of Asia has deserted me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes.” – 2Ti 1:15 NIV

Maybe you can relate to the Apostle Paul when he wrote this to Timothy. Perhaps you’ve been in situations where you have been deserted and abandoned by all those around you. I know that I found myself in a similar situation when I decided to leave the church where I grew up. See, I had gotten filled with the Holy Ghost and my sister, who attended here at Gateway, told me I could pray in tongues as much as I wanted, whenever I wanted…and I did! Before I knew it, I had prayed myself right out of that dried up religious church I was in! Even though I knew we needed to go, I struggled for weeks before I finally got the nerve to tell anyone. I finally told my two children who loved the idea, and then I worked up enough nerve to tell my parents. Well, they were fine with it… for a day.

After it started to sink in, my Mom and Dad did not like my decision to leave their church one bit.  Before I knew it, they were bombarding me with many reasons why I shouldn’t go to Gateway: “It’s too far of a drive. Is it really worth it?” they would say. At the time, I didn’t realize that it was pretty normal for all hell to come against you when you decide to follow Holy Ghost. I even began to question myself. I had said I would never leave the church I grew up in, but I knew what God was telling me. Deep in my heart, I knew I had heard from God, but the voice of the enemy tried to creep into my thoughts during the day. I prayed myself to a place where I could hear God clearly. It may not have been what I wanted to hear, but it was what I needed to hear at the time to get me where I needed to be. As I battled against my flesh and what was familiar to me, I began to see what it really meant to have Holy Ghost as my Comforter and Stand By. Because, Lord knows I wasn’t getting any kind of comfort or support from the people who were closest to me in my life!

Once I started proclaiming what God had said to me, there was a boldness that came over me. When people from the old church came to me saying how much I was needed and appreciated where I was and that there was no need for me to go elsewhere, I was able to boldly say to them that I had discovered that God still speaks today and that He was telling me to go to Gateway Believers Fellowship. Boy, their heads would go “tilt” when I would say that to them! People got mad at me when I took a stand for what God was saying. Lifelong friends abandoned me. When I stepped out in faith, believing I was being led by God to the place where He had destined for me to be, I had to leave everything that I was familiar with behind me. When you hear the Master’s voice, you cannot be swayed. God said He would never leave or forsake you, and He is so faithful to His word. When others criticized, Holy Ghost comforted. When others turned their backs on me, Holy Ghost stood by me. God provided a peace that passes understanding, and I have never regretted a day since I came to Gateway!

~By Tammy Sanders

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