Growing up as a pastor’s daughter, I always had a knowledge of God—I accepted Christ at age seven during vacation Bible school and renewed my faith in Him when I was 18—but it wasn’t until later in life that I surrendered fully to Him. During the early years of our marriage, my husband and I hosted a prayer meeting in our home, and one night we talked about sanctification.
I am sure I had been taught the doctrine of holiness but had never personally experienced it. Honestly, I wasn’t sure why I needed it—we were serving the Lord in our church and rearing our children in a way we thought was God-fearing. A gentleman attending our meeting wisely suggested that I ask the Lord to show me why I needed it. So I did just that, and the Lord began to point things out within me I had never seen before, starting with pride. I asked Him to sanctify me, and He wonderfully did! He then began to truly transform my heart and my relationships with others. Praise God!
As the years passed and my children were all in school full time, we desperately needed a second income. I found employment and subsequently enrolled in college to earn a degree in business administration. I was soon consumed with worldly endeavors and all the cares of this life. We continued to go to church on Sunday, but I became a nominal Christian without even realizing it.
About nine years ago, life became filled with an increasing sense of discontent and uncertainty. As I lay asleep one night, I was awakened by an audible male voice that distinctly spoke these words to me: “Get ready for the rapture.” In the days that followed, I began to take an inventory of my Christian life, and I found myself to be spiritually bankrupt. I repented and turned my life back over to the Lord, and my husband and I began a journey together to seek Him diligently. We started to read the Bible together as well as books by Christian authors.
God’s love reached out to us in abundance, and we have since been consumed with a desire for intercessory prayer for our family, our church, and our nation.
The Lord has poured out His Spirit upon us in amazing ways, and we have witnessed His miracles of healing and deliverance in both our life and that of others. Spending time with His Word has blessed me with knowledge and discernment. When He leads, I am compelled to write and share words of encouragement and edification to believers and be a light to those still searching for Him.
“The Lord GOD has given Me The tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. He awakens me morning by morning. He awakens my ear to hear as the learned” (Isaiah 50:4).
Praise God! The message Jesus spoke to the sleeping Sardis church in Revelation was for me, and He has been so faithful! I pray for a great reawakening in the Church in this generation.
Elaine Cook Brown is a member of Columbia First Church of the Nazarene in South Carolina.