25 April 2014 by Natasha Kim CM-
“I know this (trusting God) seems like a simple topic, it seems fairly easy to understand, but you know what? As a church, we don’t do it well. As a church, what we end up doing is trusting in our material advantages or sometimes, we trust in our relationship advantages.
"But at times, we find trusting God extremely difficult. It is so important that we grasp the principles of eternity now so that we are not astonished by them when we get there.
"God has a place for every one of us that He is preparing (us) for. God is preparing us for an eternity, not seen by human eyes or felt by the human instincts but only by the supernatural spirit of God. We’ve got to learn to live by the spirit and not verify the desires of the sinful nature,” shared Pastor Jim Mclaughlan from Brisbane, on 9th of April, at a Full Gospel Businessman (FGB) meeting in Summit, Subang Jaya.
There, he shared about his testimony, and spoke about how God guided him when he was lost and in need. He found God’s love for him through a series of unexpected events. After sharing his testimony and the Word, Jim spoke in tongues before prophesying and praying over the attendees.
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. (John 14:1)
The Bible verse above in John 16:33 clearly tells us that in this world, none is without trouble. But God will give us the courage to overcome it. We have an advantage! “We can trigger that advantage into our lives and become bigger in God,” said Jim.
Do not let the troubles of your heart or experiences you have in your life dominate all you do. We need to be liberated from our troubles so that we can walk in security, knowing that we have the love and light of God inside us.
In order for God’s presence to come, we need to be focused in Him, whether it is worshipping or reading the Word. But many of us have too much noise and problems surrounding us that it becomes hard for the presence of God to come.
“Sometimes our trust can be in our work places, our businesses, and all sorts of different dimensions, but not on God. How do you trust in the written Word of God? The answer is simple!
“I can trust in the Word of God. I can trust in it's integrity and I can trust that this Word is not some Word of a prophet or a mystic. It’s the Word of God. When I’m reading the Word, I’m reading the very distinctives of God’s character, His life and everything that God is,” he said.
O LORD Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you. (Psalm 84:12)
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. (Psalm 20:7)
Lost but now Found
With that, Jim began to share his testimony.
The story of his journey to Christ began one day, when Jim’s father found out that he had been kicked out of school for throwing a tomato out of the window, which accidentally hit the teacher. Though he did not deliberately throw it at the teacher, the teacher was furious and didn’t want him in school anymore.
"Dad said, 'What a load of baloney. That’s not true.' And so, he threw me out of the house. My father abandoned me when I was 16,” he shared.
He didn’t know where to go. So, he lived in a sports toilet block for a while. As time went on, he began taking drugs. “On the streets, you’re desperate,” he said.
Four years later, he was drugged out at 20 years old and fell asleep on a river bank. “My legs were in the water, and the rain started coming and the water started rising. My legs started going into the water,” he shared.
Fortunately, a Christian man who was passing by spotted a body in the river and immediately pulled Jim’s body out of the river and place him at the back of his car. In the morning, he heard a knock on the car and Jim woke up.
“There was this funny-looking fellow. I mean… at 6 o’clock in the morning, this guy was smiling, happy, and joyful, a real funny-looking fellow,” said Jim. This man told Jim that Jim was rescued from death in the river the night before. He asked Jim, “You’re on drugs, aren’t you?” Jim nodded in shame and asked if there was any way he could get off those drugs.
The man immediately replied, “Jesus can help you, Jesus can save you. Jesus can turn your life around.”
“With those words, something began to happen inside me. I always thought Jesus was a figment of my imagination. He was like Superman or Batman. Those words began to eat at me, that Jesus loves me,” he said.
From there, Jim went on his own way, but that thought lingered in his mind. Down the road, he was sent to a rehabilitation centre for drugs and alcohol.
“I was in there for three months and one time, they had a chapel where the kids would come and sing that God is not dead, that He’s alive. They talked about Jesus. I thought that these kids were so merry and so alive,” said Jim.
After the chapel meeting, Jim remained there and decided to quietly speak to God. “Oh God, if those kids are singing about you and if you’re really Jesus, if you’re really real, can I be a part of this? What have I got to do?” he prayed.
At that moment, the Holy Spirit came and filled his body and he was so joyful. “It’s like I was as high as a kite,” he shared.
There, Jim found The New Testament and kept it in his top pocket though he did not understand a word it said. Jim also nailed a cross on his bed. When everyone in the rehabilitation centre saw this, they thought that he had lost his mind. Immediately, they dispelled Jim and there he was, out on the streets once more. Located in the middle of nowhere, Jim had to walk approximately 30 kilometres from the rehabiliatation centre to get to somewhere.
“I stood there thinking, my dad threw me out, the school threw me out, the rehabilitation centre threw me out, everyone is throwing me out, where am I going to go?” said Jim.
There was a little inkling in his heart telling Jim that he needed to go home. So, he began that journey back. When he was close to his house, he saw a white cross on a hill where an apostolic Church was built. He decided that he would go there and see if they could tell him what happened to his life.
“I walked into the building while they were having music practice. They were singing to Jesus and I said 'Wow this is amazing!” he said.
He sat on the front row, and suddenly he felt the Holy Spirit coming over him again. He didn’t know what it was and wanted to try and get an explanation. The leader at that church then came to Him and heard his story. He shared the Bible with Jim and led him in the sinner’s prayer. At that time, he was 21 years old.
“I got born again,” he shared.
As he walked out of the church, he surprisingly bumped into the man who saved his life at the river. Turned out, that was the church the man was going to. This man also heard his story and Jim became his disciple.
“I learnt to trust God in my life,” he shared.
In the time span of seven years from then, he met his wife. Miraculously, his wife used to go to the school, and the day Jim was thrown out of the rehabilitation centre was the day she began praying for a husband!
Jim became the youth pastor of the church and went on to pastor churches and then pastor his own church, where he started Enlarge Ministries.
“I found in my life all the way, I had to trust God,” he shared.
It is time that we ourselves trust the written Word and capture the essence of what God's saying in that moment of our lives, as we walk in the journey of trusting Him. Be patient and allow God to do what He is going to do.
Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. (Isaiah 54:2)
But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” (Psalm 31:14)
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:10)