Joshua Firestone

JoshuaFirestoneI ASKED JESUS TO REVEAL HIMSELF

   My name is Joshua Firestone, and I was raised in New York City as a Jewish agnostic. The world of Darwin, evolution and MTV was far more real to me than Jesus and the Bible. My relationships were shallow and based on convenience although I did not know it at the time. There was no real deep meaning to my life. My purpose was to live for the moment and enjoy friends and family.

     After college I traveled to Alaska and met a man named Art who questioned my way of thinking, challenging me to pray to a personal God. I thought he was crazy to believe that Jesus rose from the dead. Intrigued, I decided to prove him and all Christians wrong and take Art’s Jesus prayer challenge. Yet if they were right, I also wanted to know. There seemed to be stability and joy in Art’s life and the people around him that I didn’t have.

    So at 23, I made my first prayer to Jesus asking Him to reveal Himself to me in a way I could understand. “Jesus, I am an honest skeptic. But if you are real I ask that you reveal yourself to me in a way I can know 100% without a doubt you are good and relevant. I have done things wrong in my life and ask you to forgive me. But if you are real and don’t reveal yourself to me, I will move on, assuming you are not there, don’t care or are not all powerful.”

    The next day I dismissed Christian beliefs as well meaning and wrongheaded but ok for them to follow. Within minutes after that assumption, I started thinking about my college girlfriend. Yet shortly afterward, something started to fill the room, a warm presence, different from anything I had ever experienced. I felt it slowly come toward me, penetrating my stomach without being intrusive or violating. I sat up and moved to the edge of the bed, planting my feet on the ground so I could study this event more. A minute passed by and I felt my head, heart rate and respiration. All vital signs were normal yet I couldn’t figure out what was happening. This presence of love and joy surrounded me but my eyes saw nothing out of the ordinary. I said aloud, “what is going on here?” Unexpectedly I heard a voice reply “I am with you.” Now this voice was not audible, nor was it my “reading” or “thought voice.” It seemed to becoming from inside and outside at the same time. I was really curious to know who was speaking to me. “Who are you?” I asked. “Jesus” the warm presence filled with love replied. My agnostic mind couldn’t believe what was happening. Yet my heart knew it was true.

    The next day I awoke to notice that the room looked the same, but there was that presence around me and in me, that came only the night before. As I walked to the bathroom He spoke again, “I am with you. You prayed and asked me to reveal myself to you. I am with you and now I am in you.” And the presence also made it clear that it was Jesus talking to me. So I decided I would go downstairs and tell Art and his family, not knowing what they would think or say.

    Art listened and then said, “You have received the Holy Spirit of God.” I did not know that once you ask Jesus to forgive you and come into your life, He fills you with the Holy Spirit. Well, Art proceeded to open the Bible read Philippians 4:7. “The peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.” I quickly grabbed the book out of his hands to read it for myself. Sure enough, it described what happened the night before. Later I would read from the same book that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Rom 10:17). But for now I was just amazed that a 2000 year old book could actually predict and accurately describe what just happened to me. For years I would continue to test the Bible’s truth’s and explore this new relationship with God whom was like a father and friend to me.

    Back in those days I would ask Christians of “How did you come to believe in Jesus?” They would then tell me their stories. Some spoke of miraculous healings with tears in their eyes, i.e. healed of cancer etc... Now I wondered if God/Jesus could do something about my bad asthma that plagued me since I was a kid.

    So I decided to experiment with my second prayer to Jesus and it went something like this. “Jesus, I know that something has happened to me. I have so many questions. Are you the only way to heaven? Is there a hell? What about good people who don’t know you? Do you engage in real miracles or can that all be explained by science and the scientific method? Can you cure my asthma and if you can, would you do so for a regular person like me?”

    I went to bed that night and forgot about that prayer upon waking. The next morning I habitually grabbed my oral spray medication, when I felt the presence now within me communicate the words “test me.” I remembered my prayer and said, “oh yeah, well this will be quick and I am glad no one is looking.” I took a deep breath and exhaled. No wheezing. I exhaled hard many times for as I wanted to believe, I didn’t want to be made a fool of and suddenly find myself wheezing again after telling others about Jesus. For 6 days I said nothing but breathed freely. After that time, I decided that surely something amazing was happening, and I made a decision to tell my family….

    Yet the Christian road isn’t always easy and sometimes life gets rough. My family thought I was crazy and there were many times I made mistakes and had to apologize. Yet in time, people started seeing a difference in my heart, behavior and writing abilities. Three years later my brother moved in with me and soon also prayed to Jesus. And this happened right when he was writing the legal brief to stop silent prayer in schools!

    If I had to describe one breakthrough in my Christian walk, it was the practical application of learning to walk by faith in everyday living and make a difference in people’s lives. This came about because a man mentored me for three years, helping me to understand that God is the standard, and not me nor my limitations. Action guided by faith in the Lord’s character and what the Bible says, has led to joyful more powerful living, giving me hope and joy to share with others. The freedom to try new things and experiment in life has become more of a reality. And the Lord after years of praying sent me a good woman…but if I tell that story, I could be writing forever.

Joshua's Hearing His Voice Testimony

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