The Truth About God

June 23 2013 / ShareHim in Bloomsburg #599
by Joshua Fleming

Personal Testimony of Joshua Fleming.

If I was to explain the harmonious series of events that God used to inspire me do a ShareHim evangelistic series on campus at Bloomsburg University, I would probably need a lot more space. If I had to use some scripture to describe the experience I would use the following verses:

“I know that [God] can do everything, and that no purpose of [His] can be withheld from [Him]” for “[He has] made the heavens and the earth by [His] great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for [Him]” and ultimately, “with men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible (Job 42:2; Jeremiah 32:17; Matthew 19:26).”

God is taking me, an anxious, shy, self-conscious, yet determined “Peter-like” person and forming me into His humble servant. Through the ShareHim presentations I have grown closer to Christ, and have become a little bit more like Him. This is something I wish would happen faster at times, but apparently, as I have learned, God knows much better than I do the pace at which this should occur. I try very hard to be more Christ-like and to do “impossible” things, but quickly I am humbled to realize that I am by no means qualified to do this alone.

Currently, I am a graduate student at Bloomsburg University studying exercise science. I first began to read my bible and to understand what Christ did for me during my undergraduate years at Bloomsburg University through a men’s small group. A couple years later I learned about the Seventh-day Adventist church from a neighbor whom I had never met after he went through a bible study with me on Daniel and the Revelation. When I began to share the truths I learned about the Sabbath, the state of the dead, and other incredible things with my Christian friends at school, none of them responded. In fact, most of my friends seemed to grow distant. This was a huge discouragement for me and put a damper on my spiritual life for a time. Yet, after diligent searching, I was confident that God had led me.

When I heard about ShareHim after a visit to the Blue Mountain academy, I was strongly impressed that I should use this on campus at Bloomsburg to reach my friends. I also had a desire to bring this message to an atheist group on campus. I believe that a true understanding of Christ and His love for us can be a powerful message for those individuals who are really searching for the truth, even those who are very philosophically or scientifically-minded.

So I prayed and prayed and prayed. I prayed that God would help me with this event if it was His will for me to do it. Then I prayed and prayed and prayed that He would provide a location on campus. I had something in mind, but I did not know how to reserve that location, so I just tried to reserve a different room that I knew I could get. Unfortunately, all those rooms were full. After making some phone calls, however, God graciously provided me with the location where I imagined it would be to begin with: “Delight yourselves in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). Then I prayed some more and decided to make some flyers and I called the presentations: “The Truth About God.” This whole process was like pulling teeth for me. My cherished sin of a “fear of what others think” was beginning to die, but not without a fight. I had to talk to others about the presentations, there was no escaping it. As I invited people on Facebook and in person all I kept thinking to myself was, “I can’t believe I’m actually doing this.” Then I would remind myself, “The Spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak,” and, “with God all things are possible” (Mark 14:38; Matthew 19:26).

After advertising, it was time for me to prepare for presenting the series. I have never been a great public speaker, especially when it comes to spiritual things. I have enough trouble talking to people one-on-one and carefully reading their reactions to be sure not to offend them or not to do anything that would hurt their opinion of me. When I am in a group full of people this becomes overwhelming because then I have to worry about what all those people think of me at once. Thankfully, God helped me to put this into His hands. He is the only one that can help me to speak the right words. Instead of “sugar-coating” things, I was preaching what God gave me to preach.

I initially prayed that God would fill the entire room with people. This would mean bringing in over 100 people. Although only about 7 people came, I know that all the heavenly hosts were gazing intently on this event, and that God himself was right there in the room with us in the form of His Holy Spirit, as Jesus promised: “I am with you always, even to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20).”

Seeds were spread as I presented what God had for me to preach along with the ShareHim presentations. Although mostly Christians attended the series, a couple people came who did not know Christ. Although most of those individuals stopped attending, I later learned that one of them turned to Christ as a result of a prayer group that she began attending. My roommate also met a girlfriend who is a Christian, and he bought his own bible which he is beginning to read and ask questions about. Although I did not have 100’s of conversions and baptisms from my experience with ShareHim, I did have the honor of proclaiming the mystery of the gospel of Christ.

Since I am a graduate student, there were times when I had no idea when I would find the time to practice for my next presentation. Many days I would be up at 4:00 am or earlier in order to make sure everything was prepared and I would hardly be prepared up until a few minutes before my presentation each Monday night after work. Looking back I can truly say that it was one of the hardest things I have ever done, but when I say that, I boast not in my own strength, but in the strength of Christ. I may be tempted to be discouraged that there was little response to the meetings, but I will not yield to that temptation knowing that I did exactly what the creator of the universe instructed me to do. I trust that He will do the rest. “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil” (Psalm 23:4).

Thank you ShareHim for providing a tremendous resource for me to do this. If it was not for these presentations I would have had a lot more trials trying to do something like this. I am glad that everything worked as it was supposed to and things went according to plan. Through this experience I have gained confidence in Christ and in the message of the church for today. I praise God for the Seventh-day Adventist Church and for this ministry.
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