Aug10FriSurrender and confession lifted the burden of sin. August 10, 2018 by Geoff Moulton
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Ken Garrett shared his testimony at the Ontario Central-East Division’s congress and commissioning weekend in Toronto in June, interviewed by Major David McNeilly, then his corps officer. Garrett attends Kingston Citadel in Ontario.
Major David McNeilly: Please tell us a little about yourself.
Ken Garrett: My name is Ken. I’m a journeyman carpenter. I’m happily married and we have a 10-year-old son named Jackson. My father is a pastor. Although I grew up in a Christian home, I didn’t follow a Christian lifestyle.
DM: The last couple of years have been tumultuous for you. Tell us about them.
KG: In August 2016, after months in the hospital on life support, my mother died. A couple of weeks later, Jackson wanted to go to church on Sunday, so we did. But then he wanted to keep going. I’d meet him at the bus after school on Fridays, and he’d say, “Church on Sunday, Dad?” What kind of father would say no?
DM: Way to go, Jackson!
KG: When you asked if I’d be interested in attending a class called “Hearing God,” I said sure, thinking it would be good for my dad to get out. But God started to speak to me.
One Sunday in February, Jackson and I made it to church, despite 30 centimetres of snow on the ground. During the invitation after the sermon, I went forward and surrendered my life to Jesus.
DM: I’m glad we didn’t cancel the service that day.
KG: Right! I took a new believers’ Bible study for men. When you asked if anyone wanted to attend a “Set Free” conference in Manitoba, I said I would go. But as we got closer to the date, I started to think about reasons why I couldn’t go. Despite those feelings, we left for the conference.
We made it to the Park ’N Fly just down the road, and I lost my glasses in the parking lot. Now my sight was totally impaired for the weekend. Then we made it to airport security, and I was stopped because I had a little knife on my keychain.
DM: Security doesn’t like that kind of stuff.
KG: No. Once we landed in Winnipeg, I found out my hotel room was booked in the wrong city, and my car rental was not available.
DM: If I remember correctly, you were not in a good mood right about then.
KG: No! But we carried on. As we entered the church, we were greeted by the most welcoming people you could ever imagine. You could feel God’s presence in the building. And the whole black cloud over me just completely disappeared.
DM: And this was before the teaching even began.
KG: Right. During the weekend, I learned something new. I had already been taught to confess my sins to God, but now I was taught to confess my sins to others. James 5:16 says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” I was carrying 50 years’ worth of sin. As I confessed, I felt the burden lift and God’s healing begin.
DM: You started to sense God changing you.
KG: I did. There was also teaching on the Holy Spirit. We were instructed to ask the Holy Spirit what he would like us to do. Right away, I heard the Spirit say, “Go home and say sorry to your family.” Since my mother’s death, I’d had a lot of anger. I hadn’t been very nice to family members or anybody that I met. I also heard the Holy Spirit say, “Go and tell everyone of your filling of the Holy Spirit, and tell them to repent and confess, and tell others.” I left the weekend a brand-new man.
Once I got back to Kingston, I started to make changes in my life, with God’s help. I asked for forgiveness from the family members that I had hurt. I built a roaring fire outside, behind my shop, to dispose of all the things in my life that I’d kept hidden from God for all those years.
DM: I remember you sending me a picture of the fire. The pile was large, and the smoke was very black.
KG: Records burn very nicely.
DM: And now you’re a soldier in uniform.
KG: I was enrolled as a soldier on December 17, 2017, by the territorial commander, Commissioner Susan McMillan. I often feel unworthy, but I chalk it up to being a work in progress. I’m on a road I never could have imagined being on.
DM: We praise God for all he’s doing in your life, and give Jesus the glory. Thank you, Ken, for sharing with us.