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Deborah
by Debi Fields

My name is Debi Fields, and I live in a small, west Texas town. I am 40, happily married for almost 13 years (third and last time, but that is another story). I have 4 kids--two step- children, & two with my husband -- ages 20,18, 12 and 10. Right now I am "Suzy homemaker", with a part-time job to support my computer habit. I will try to give as much of my testimony as I can--it is hard to really know someone just based on a few statements of belief.

There was never a time in my life when I didn't realize that there was a God, and I have known about Jesus since a young child. I grew up with an on/off Church of Christ legalistic background and I know all of the steps to "get saved" --Hear-Believe-Repent-Confess-and -don't- forget- to-be- Baptized-in-water. I did all of those things at about age 14, but there was no change in my life, because it was a head-knowledge about the Lord, and a belief that just didn't quite go all the way to my heart--mind you, I wanted it to, but true repentance is wrought by God. I got married at 17, divorced at 21, and went through a period of "Well, I'm going to hell anyway, I might as well have fun on the way". Tried the marriage thing again at 23, divorced again at 25, and all this time I am going through a hell here like you wouldn't believe--I wanted to be good, and right, but I just couldn't. I tried the Baptist thing, thinking it would be a little easier, but there was no life in me...Regardless of what my head knew, I was on my way to hell in a handcart, so to speak.

When I got married the last time, my husband and I went through some 'wake-up' calls from God. We started going to a home bible study and to church--Southern Baptist--and there we were confronted with a choice. I used to wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat; I knew I was going to hell, and God was working big-time now. One night after one of these episodes, I just lay there, knowing I could do nothing. All my life, I had tried and tried to make amends, to come to Jesus, but there was no place found. (In my heart, I had not wanted to give up sin.) I finally cried out to Jesus for the umpteenth time in my life, and this time, I placed everything that was dear to me on the altar--my husband, my kids, my home, my life. I told Jesus that I would give up EVERYTHING just to be right with Him, and for the very first time in my life, I heard Him speak into my spirit--"It's okay. It's okay".

THERE was that peace I had heard of, but that had eluded me since I was a child. My life totally changed. I didn't Have to read my Bible, and go to Church and 'do' all of those so-called 'Christian things', but I wanted to, and I dived in with both feet. I didn't just read my bible, I devoured it for hours on end. I was at the church every time the doors were open, and I wanted nothing to do with anything that didn't have to do with the Lord. I still struggled with sin, but this time, it was conviction and not condemnation. This all took place when I was almost 33, in the winter of 1992-93.

I had no inkling that the people in my church were 'hypocrites'. For the most part, I found myself not measuring up to their outward appearance, and I was way behind them in "Biblical knowledge". I had no clue that there was anything wrong at all....until one day.... I was at home, and had been burdened, (I guess that is the correct term), and felt the need to pray. Like any good Baptist, when you need to pray and you don't know exactly what for, you start at the top of your 'prayer list'.

I got down on my knees in my living room at 2:00 in the afternoon, and started the standard prayer I approached God with. I said the words, "Lord, I'd like to pray for my Church and my Sunday school class"----and before I could get the words out of my mouth completely--with my eyes closed, I SAW a tiny little dot of black before my eyes, and it suddenly spread out like a bottle of spilled ink until I could see nothing. At the same time, I began to weep with a broken heart like I had never known before-- even my divorces and deaths of close family did not hurt like this--I wanted to die, it hurt so bad. I couldn't finish praying, but I asked the Lord what was going on, and for Him to show me what to do. I had never felt so helpless in my life. Two days later, (early November 1994) I went to the regular monthly business meeting at church. The subject was brought up that since Christmas day fell on Sunday this year, why didn't we just have a (quote)"abbreviated service"; a little music and a very short message, so everyone could go home and be with their families.

...I was flabbergasted--and so angry I could hardly speak, but I did. I raised my hand and said "Excuse me--this is Jesus' birthday" [I have since learned better, but I believe I was being blessed in the light I had at the time.]...

"and you all want to 'abbreviate' the service? I don't get it--why don't we spend all day up here?" Every single eye in that room just looked at me like I had totally lost my mind, and I knew then that there was a big problem. This one lady sitting next to me said "Well, that's the only day some people have to be with their relatives." I blurted out "So, bring them with you." But the 'vote' was taken and everyone except me and one other lady voted yes--and she just didn't vote at all-mine was the only opposing vote. I grieved for hours over this.

The next day the lady that did not vote called me and told me she was sorry she didn't vote with me, but she didn't want anyone to be mad at her. She knew there was a problem, but she hadn't said anything to anyone--she leaned toward all of that 'demon-casting out/blood-line drawing' stuff, and thought we should go and confront the pastor and the deacons. I said no, I wasn't going to do one thing but pray until God said different. I called a close friend to help me pray and ask for help in knowing how to pray for this situation, and I went immediately into my prayer closet. I prayed for guidance and knowledge and wisdom--I didn't want to DO anything--I was just heartbroken over the true spiritual condition that I had just seen. While I was praying, I felt God-- (I do NOT know how to explain this to anyone). He gave me this scripture--II Chronicles Chapter 7, verse 14--'If my people, who are called by name, will humble themselves...." (you know the rest of it) and so I turned to my Bible. As I was looking it up, God said "Read ALL of it", and so I began reading at Chapter 7. Instantly,I could understand just what was about to happen to this church. (At the time, I was limiting God to this one church, although later He assured me that it was a much larger thing than I had thought). He was going to bring it to nothing, and make it a laughingstock. I asked the Lord, "Why are you showing ME this? What can I do?" and He said clearly, "YOU are going to tell them." At this point I began to get afraid--I argued with God, because I was a good Baptist, and women don't preach--Paul said so. God said "So was Deborah, DEBRA". Now I am no stranger the idea that even Satan can disguise himself as an angel of light, and I began to waiver--Was this God? I know that we are not to cause strife and division, and I didn't want to be a pawn of the devil to hurt this church. I had to look up to see where the story of Deborah was located, and when I found it, I began to read "and Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, she judged Israel at that time." (Judges 4:4, KJV) That verse seemed to just leap off the page like fire and burn into me. I kept on reading the story--it was the first time I had ever read it--and when I finished it, I said to God--" but even if that is true, they won't listen to me. I am a very new Christian, and we aren't even part of the leadership of the church. They already think I am next to nothing. And how do I know for sure that this is you, God, and not the devil tempting me to tear up something and cause trouble?" God said, "Keep going", and so I read on into Chapter 6, and when I got to verse 12, where an angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, I began to get cold chills. Verse 14 and 15 say "And the Lord looked upon him, and said, "Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have I not sent thee?"

(Verse15) "And he said unto Him, "Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? Behold, MY FAMILY IS POOR IN MANASSEH, AND I AM THE LEAST IN MY FATHERS HOUSE".

I began to cry, as I realized that the Lord was calling me to do a thing, and it was precious indeed. He was even having mercy on my doubt and unbelief. I was so awed that God still did things like that.

In a few days, I went to the pastor and told him what had happened. He had tears in his eyes when I finished, and I told him that I didn't know what to do besides to come and tell him--I assumed that the Lord wanted it done immediately, but he said we'd both pray, and God would show us the timing.

I felt sure it was NOW, but I bowed to his authority. He told me several times over the next YEAR that if I could "work that into your testimony without upsetting people", "we'd try to let you speak sometime soon, but 'the deacons are NOT going to let you preach'. (Like I had even asked to) Anyway, after another year had passed God called me to "come out" and gave me the scriptures of Abraham's departure from Babylon, and the one from Revelation chapter 18 verse 4.

In October of 1997, a man in that church got up and began to rebuke the people for their sin, and made lots of people mad--in the middle of the service, a bunch of people got up and followed the pastor out, and this church of over 300 members now has less than 100. For weeks, all anyone in town could talk about was how God had humbled the Baptist church for her hypocrisy and sin. The pastor still has not got a clue, and we still get a church bulletin today. On every one of them, at the very top of the 'prayer list', in all caps, it says "PRAY FOR THE UNITY AND SPIRITUAL DIRECTION OF OUR CHURCH".

This is the dearest part of my testimony, but it is not all of it by a long shot. I know because of the things that I tell you here that I am called of God to follow in the spirit of Deborah, and obey Him in whatever He is doing. There have been other confirmations of this call, both in scripture and by the spirit of the Lord operating through other Christians.

I pray you will accept this as my word of testimony of my trust in the only Lord and Savior of all, Jesus Christ.