My name is Steven Matlock.
I am grateful that I can type my testimony of how God called me to Himself.
There have been some rough moments in my life, but all glory and praise go to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! By His Saving Grace, I am alive and able to share His mercy & kindness with you.
Let me begin by saying that I grew up in the Bible Belt.
In the lower part of Arkansas, near the state line of Louisiana, I lived on the outskirts of an overgrown town called El Dorado. No, El Dorado was far from the city of gold, but it was a decent place growing up as a kid. College football, deer hunting, four-wheeling, and fishing were the main hobbies and conversations around that area. Many people were religious churchgoers.
I was one of those religious churchgoers.
I was devoted to the youth group on Wednesday nights, helped with worship on Sunday mornings, lent a helping hand when needed, and participated in church events throughout the year. Though I was unaware until I was older, my salvation was worked base. Not to mention, the thoughts of people controlled my decisions in life.
I claimed to be a Christian because I heard the Gospel over a hundred times, but my heart was far from the Lord. I only knew of Jesus Christ; I could not accept His saving grace. I told myself I knew what Jesus had done for man, but I thought my sins were too great for redemption. I truly believed I was an abomination, a damned man. My sin kept me lost with no hope for salvation.
While I was going to college, I struggled with depression. The years of lies of making people think that I was something were haunting me; I could no longer wear the mask of being a Christian when I knew I was not. In my second semester in college, in the Spring of 2010, a summer mission trip (North Woods Project) that Campus Crusade for Christ led took place in Canada. I remember asking the Lord to provide for me to go to Canada. And the Lord did just that; God provided me the funds, time off from work, and a passport to travel to Northbay, Ontario, Canada.
While in Canada, one of the leaders, Scott Downey, invested time in me. We had many conversations, but one of them I still remember clearly to this day. We were walking in one of the city parks in Northbay, and I shared with Scott that my sin, lust, was too great. I remember him telling me, "Steven, by you saying that the Lord died for all your sins except for that one, you're telling me that Jesus's death on the cross was for nothing." That was a difficult pill to swallow at that moment, but I knew Scott was right. I claimed that the Lord's sacrifice for man's sin was pointless. I was belittling the Gospel.
Not long after that conversation, the Lord allowed me to read His Word and hear His Word preached about His Saving Grace. After hearing the Gospel so many times in my life, God allowed me to have an understanding of The Gospel. I understood then that His death on the cross was for all man's sins, including my lust. His Saving Grace is a gift, not something to be worked for or earned. Then and there, I confessed and repented from my sins to Jesus Christ and put my faith and trust in Him as my Lord and Savior. I believe He overcame the grave, conquered death, ascended into heaven, is now seated at the right hand of God, and has provided the Comforter to all He has called to Himself! Praise to God He made me a new creation, born again, an heir within His Kingdom!
Since that mission trip to Canada, the Lord has been sanctifying me. He is helping me by shaping me in His likeness. I have sinned and fallen into temptation many times, but I no longer am enslaved to my sin. He continues to change me and use me for His will. I am not condemned but forgiven. My identity is no longer in this world or my flesh but in Jesus Christ!
The Lord reminds me that I am free because of His sacrifice for my sins. My rebellious/sinful nature towards a Holy, righteous God makes me deserve hell, God's wrath, but Jesus paid my ransom. He took my sin upon Himself so I can stand before God the Father as a righteous man.
The Lord has provided me with the Comforter. The Holy Spirit has sealed me; adopted I am into God's family! I have hope, joy, peace now, and a purpose to live my life for my Lord, not for man, knowing that I will be with my God for eternity!
I hope that my testimony was an encouragement to you.
If you do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as your Lord & Savior, I would be glad to talk with you about God's Saving Grace. Feel free to reach out and ask any questions about my testimony or the testimony of Jesus Christ.