By Marvin Suson
In the early 1990s, I was part of a cult known as the Jehovah’s Witnesses. While I was part of this cult, my sister Judy and her husband Scott prepared to rescue me—an intervention.
Over Labor Day weekend of 1993, they came to Austin, Texas where I was working on my doctorate in music. The intervention became two hours of disagreements. Scott and Judy were trying to get me to read the Bible and tell me simply what it meant. But I had been brainwashed into believing that only the Jehovah’s Witnesses could tell me what the Bible meant. That’s their power. They convince you that you can’t read the Bible on your own. The next day Scott and Judy flew home to Milwaukee, but they left a book by a former Jehovah’s Witness. I stayed up all night reading it.
While with the Jehovah’s Witnesses, I thought I had discovered absolute truth, but after reading that book, I had doubts. I felt empty not knowing the truth. The next morning, as I walked to the bus stop on my way to class, I prayed, “God, I want to know you, but I don’t know who you are. Is Jesus God? I believe that the Bible is the truth, but I can’t read it and understand it on my own. I want you—not the Jehovah’s Witnesses, not Scott and Judy, not anyone else—to make me know the truth. You’re God after all. Please help me to know the truth so that I won’t have any more doubts.”
As soon as I said those words, I heard a voice. All it said was, “I am the Lord.” While I sat on the bus, I took out my Bible, and suddenly I could understand it. It was an indescribable transformation. I instantly knew that Jesus is indeed God. That was 9 a.m. on September 7, 1993.
In John 8:58, Jesus declares that he is the great I AM. In 1993, God declared himself to me. He revealed who he is and that Jesus is God. When I heard the voice say, “I am the Lord,” he was pouring his Holy Spirit into me (Ezekiel 36:27) so that I would know the absolute truth (Romans 8:15-16). In John 8:31, Jesus promises that if we abide in his Word, we will know the truth and be set free.
Despite this promise of Jesus, it’s easy at times to feel that life is out of control. Do you ever feel like things have gone so wrong that you find yourself wondering Where is God? Maybe you still trust God, but because of difficult circumstances you think, “If I were in charge, I wouldn’t do it this way!” Life is full of moments like this. But I’ve come to believe that God is constantly calling us to trust in him and his promises to us. If we abide in his Word, we shall know the truth and the truth shall set us free.