Daniel Eric Gatlin
IT IS ALL ABOUT FAITH! HAVE FAITH before you come to Jesus Christ. HAVE FAITH that He hears you when you ask Him for salvation. HAVE FAITH that he has heard you and has written your name in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
I spent my whole life searching for a peace in my soul. On the day before my 21st birthday I finally found what I had been searching for. The following is my testimony.
While growing up my mom and dad would always make sure that their four children were in church. I did not mind going because I knew there I would see my friends. As soon as the dismissal prayer had ended we were outside running wild. I remember sitting in class during Sunday School and hearing the teacher explain how she experienced her personal moment of salvation. She said that sometimes she would get so sick at her stomach. I personally thought Ms. Lynda was crazy (GRIN). In addition to Sunday School, Sunday Nights were set aside for BTC (aka Baptist Training Course). In the Spring we had a Revival, then after school was out for the Summer, we had VBS (aka Vacation Bible School) and Summer Revival began to occupy everyones mind. Sunday nights and Wednesday nights I wanted to stay home because that was when all the good tv shows came on. The older I got the more uncomfortable I became in regards to attending church and boringly listening to the preacher. No offense Bro. Don (GRIN). It always seemed as if he were preaching to me and only me. In my mind I always said he was talking to “so and so” to divert the blame elsewhere. Of all people for me to be best friend’s with was the preacher’s oldest son, Timmy. It seemed like Timmy and I were unseparable. We even became blood brothers after watching Grizzly Adams. As we grew I watched all my friends walk the isle and join the church. It felt as if I were an outcast. I would listen to the Word of God being taught and preached trying to dig out the secret of salvation. I had various people approach me after services and put their arm around me to let me know they were praying for me. Since I was bashful I would just blush and say “I’m working on it” or say something I knew they wanted to hear just to get the pressure off my back. Some of these ladies have gone on to the Lord I thank them for praying for me without ceasing. Just in case I neglected to thank them I will mention their names here to let them know how much I gratefully appreciate each & everyone of them. The following are the ones I can remember for sure that took a personal interest in this lost kid:
Joyce Hollinger, Joelmer Gatlin, Ms. Deronda Goodman, Ms. Joan Walters, and Ms. Lynda Hollinger
If I have forgotten anyone please forgive me. The ladies formerly mentioned are those that made a lasting impression with me.
Everyone always said “Just ask the Lord to save you and He will.” I did just that but I did not note any change. I was not content still for some reason…I was searching for some way to “prove” I was saved. The years flew by and I was in college. Someone had gotten mad at me and deliberately told me to “Go to Hell” I boldly told them that was impossible. In my heart, however, I knew that I was not 100% sure. The week of August 8, 1988 Sweet Home was hosting revival services. Tuesday Night August 9th the preacher seemed to be speaking directly to me. I was sweating, and very nervous the entire time. I did not sleep well that night and the following day I become so miserable that I knew I had to talk to Bro. Don. I hurriedly got ready for church and as I was approaching the door the doorbell rang and to my pleasant surprise was Timmy. He said “I need to talk to you.” I said “I need to talk to your dad.” We drove off to church and I talked with Bro. Don about how I was feeling and he showed me scriptures of the Roman Road. I already knew about the scriptures. My problem was that I could not comprehend the fact that all I had to do was ask the Lord to save me and have FAITH that He would. I remember looking out the window of Bro. Don’s office and seeing folks coming into church. I prayed out loud and basically told the Lord “I am going to serve you and live for you.” Just like that, a light bulb came on and it hit me that all I had to do was TRUST Jesus to save me and have FAITH He would keep me. Immediately there came a deep settled peace in my heart and I knew I was SAVED. I have never experienced such peace in my life and I could not wait for the services to be over so I could join the church and be baptized. Before I could get to the front of the church there was a line of people waiting for Bro. Don and one of them was Keith another best friend of mine. I looked over and there was Timmy. While Keith & I made our declaration of salvation, Timmy was announcing his call to the ministry. That Summer the Holy Spirit was working greatly in Sweet Home Church. A few years later I was feeling kind of low and began to experience some doubts. I stopped and remembered “that day” and knew I was still saved. I went to Timmy’s Ordination Service and little did I know that I was going to learn of another way to know I was saved. One of the questions that was asked of Tim was, “how did he know for sure he was called to preach?” His answer blessed me as my eyes became tearful. He said that he asked the Lord to show him proof that he was being called to preach. The proof he asked for was that his two best friends would be saved. Well his sign came true because both Keith and I were his best friends and we both were saved and join the church. The devil continues to plant doubts of my salvation into my mind but I always go back to the exact day and time of my salvation and remember that deep settled peace in my heart.
(Phil 4:7 KJV) And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
If you do not know the Lord as your personal savior I ask that you accept Him and let Him be Lord of your life. You will never regret it. I cannot tell you the number of times the Lord has protected me and blessed me. When things look bleak and rough, His protective hand is always there to guide and protect.
Copyright © 2013 DEGTek Systems, LLC and Sweet Home Missionary Baptist Church