Posts Tagged ‘God’

The Occult

under Written on July 22, 2010

I was saved as a Senior in High School in December of 1986.  I had been involved in the occult and had seen (and heard) many strange things.  Over Christmas break, I picked up a rather thick commentary on the Book of Revelation, and read the entire thing.  I accepted Christ as my Savior when I read Revelation 21:21.  Thereafter, my entire life changed, and even though I didn’t know anything about going to church, I read the Bible voraciously.

That summer, I was sitting in the driveway, leaning against the garage door, when the Lord spoke to me very powerfully the words of Haggai 2:23:

In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, saith the LORD, and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith the LORD of hosts.

I read the words but they were aimed DIRECTLY AT ME.  I was in shock.  I closed up the Bible, and refused to even look into it any further for over a year; it took me about 5 years before I could mention it to anyone else.

I eventually studied it out, and found that the name ‘Zerubbabel’ means (as far as they can tell), ‘scattered in Babylon.’  Big whoop, huh?

I continued to look for answers.  Eventually, the Lord spoke to me through Zechariah 4:7:

Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.

This verse has greatly shaped my life as I have studied God’s Grace and found freedom from religion, etc. But I still didn’t understand.  Why this name?  Why “scattered in Babylon”?

Last month, 25 years after the first revelation of this name, I went on a missions trip to Azerbaijan.  The week before we left, our team leader told us that the ‘book for the trip’ was to be Haggai; the missionary in Azerbaijan had chosen this as the source for our devotions while we were there.  My ears perked up; I knew something else was going to be revealed.  While in Azerbaijan, the Lord showed me that Zerubbabel’s mother had named him based on her current conditions, not based on what God could do in his life. Zerubbabel was NOT scattered, nor was he in Babylon!  He was in Jerusalem building the Temple!  (Sometimes the labels other people give us are completely wrong!)

Today, I realize that this is a church planter’s name.  ‘My birth name, Christopher’, means ‘one who bears Christ,’ like an evangelist, but ‘Zerubbabel’ is the name of a man who lays the foundation of a new work for God.  And he finishes it by God’s GRACE.

I look forward to seeing how God continues to unfold this name in my life.  It is extremely humbling to tell this story, and I feel very vulnerable sharing it, but I think it may help others.

Mistake and Unwanted

under Written on July 18, 2010

My name before I came to Christ was mistake and unwanted

Most of my life has been marked with abandonment, mistreatment, and disowning, first from my parents and then from many others who were supposed to love me. Most of my life I have felt there was something wrong with me, that I did not fit in.

From the time I was a baby I was abandoned, pawned off on others. Once my parent went looking for a new place to live and left me with a baby sister for nearly 6 months.  Events such as this have followed me through out my young life and I learned early my name was mistake and unwanted. Hurt and pain followed me and fear was my constant companion.

When I was 14 I came to live with people who introduced me to the name of Jesus. The told me about going to hell, and I did not want that. So alone in a room I bowed my head and asked Jesus to save me. Nothing special happened, time passed and I forgot about the whole event.

When I was in my late 30’s a minister came to our home looking for my husband–intending to instruct him about salvation. My husband was not home. The minister and I talked. In our conversation he asked me if I ever read the bible. I said no. After a few more questions, he learned I was saved. From that moment, my journey with God began again.

My journey has not been an easy on. Today I have learned my name is no longer mistake or unwanted. Today I learned that my name is WONDERFULLY MADE. The Lord says he knew me in the inner secret places where he created me. He made me with His purpose in mind. He used my mother as a place to form me and whether she wanted me that was not important to the Lord. God knew He wanted me.

Today I am learning what it means to be WONDERFULY MADE. I praise God for His mercy.

Before I close my story I would like to share to dream the Lord gave over 40 years ago. This dream is a real today as it was then. When I dreamed this dream I did not know what it meant, but it made me feel so loved, I would like to share with you.

I must have been 13 years old. My dream was about being in a group of girls, none of which liked me. They where making fun of me and left me all alone. I was so frightened I started to cry. All of a sudden a large hand came down around me and gently scooped me up. At first I was frightened. The giant attached to the hand seemed so friendly, but He never said a thing. He gently lifted me into a castle with many rooms.

He set me down gracefully. There in the middle of the floor was a big fire and food to eat and place to sleep. I heard the gentle giant say, “Don’t be afraid I will protect you, this is your new home.”

I felt the safest I had ever felt. I felt the warm love of someone who thought me to be important. I was then awakened by my father. It was time to get up for school. I was very upset and wanted to go back to sleep, but I couldn’t. Many years later when I came to Christ, the words of Christ came to me. “I go away and make a place for you, a place that has many rooms.” I knew then that my dream was God showing me that He loves me. God said, “I will care for you, fear not, you are WONDERFULLY MADE. You are my daughter.”


-O Ronning