Called to service this Pennsylvania man escaped a life of panic, anxiety and addiction. Delivered by Jesus, Christian Leaders Institute student Jamie Marks tells us his inspiring testimony.
I am Jamie Marks, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to service and set apart for the gospel of God. I live in Meadville, PA of the United States of America.
–1 Corinthians 1:26-27 ESV / “For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;”
I began talking to God when I was 5 or 6 years old and I was saved when I was 12. A van ministry picked up kids in our area for a vacation Bible school. This vacation Bible school is where I learned about Jesus for the first time.
When I was 18 I first felt called to service for the Lord. I took it serious enough that I enrolled in a Bible school. I stayed one year before I left thinking I would be better off in a different school. Little did I know that I would not take my calling serious again for many many years. All of my time was spent running from the Lord.
I ran but I could not hide. Over and over throughout my life the Lord would remind me of what he wants me to do. Over and over I would ask,” why me? There are plenty who you can ask.” Sometimes I would simply say I couldn’t be called to service in the Lord. I always had an excuse.
As a result of not walking with God and not even trying to obey Him I suffered greatly. Addiction, panic attacks, anxiety and depression were my life. The Lord was always with me and in short periods of clarity He would often remind me I was called to service by Him. At one such time I decided I would just tell the Lord I will do what He wants. As soon as I did this my life changed. No panic attacks, anxiety was gone and I was healed from my addiction.
Saying I will do as Jesus asks was one thing. I had to show the Lord I was serious. I asked my pastor about school and he sent me some suggestions via e-mail. As I was searching Christian schools on line I came across Christian leaders Institute. I book marked the site to read later.
I was skeptical about on-line Bible training so I prayed about going to a brick and mortar school. A school that was accredited and I could earn that fancy degree I thought I needed. The more I looked for a school and weighed the expense; I came to realize I cannot afford to attend a Bible college or just up and move to a campus someplace. I felt so discouraged and began to pray about being called to service in God. One day I opened my favorites and Christian Leaders Institute popped right out at me.
This is when I started Christian Basics Certificate courses. I figured that at least the Lord would see I was serious and heard Him when I was called to service. Perhaps Christian Leaders Institute is just the beginning? I can always attend another seminary when I am more able. Financially, if it were not for CLI, I simply would not be able to obey being called to service with the Lord this soon. This is why a scholarship is so vital to me right now.
My ministry dream is to do the best I can in leading others to the Lord. Being an evangelist seems to fit right now but pastor I am sure will happen someday. Whatever the lord wants from me; I just need to be prepared. With my pastor’s help and CLI, I will be on the right path. I am sure the Lord will see I am trying to be as obedient as I can, called to service, with what resources I have. One thing is for sure; I am tired of running and know I cannot hide from being called to the service Jesus has provided me.
If you want to pray for me; pray that I learn to be prepared for whatever the Lord will have me do. God bless all of you!
IN HIS GRIP: Jamie Marks
Called to service by Jesus, Jamie even tried to distance himself from God to avoid his calling. When Jesus tells you there is a special path for you, it is ultimately where you will be placed.
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