Brax Carvette Testimony
Where would you go?
“If you were to die in a car accident on the way home tonight and you don’t know where you would go, raise your hand.” When I heard those words, I raised my hand. That raising of the hand was the first step towards a life of repentance and trust in the grace of God shown to me in his Son, Jesus Christ. When that speaker said, “and you don’t know where you’d go,” he was talking about heaven and hell. Up until that point in my life, I had been unsure of my eternity—would I really get into heaven? Growing up, my parents told me that I would. They told me that if I just believed in Jesus that I would go to heaven. But even when I was believing that Jesus was the Son of God and I was busy being the best kid that I could be, something didn’t feel right. When I would go to bed at night, all alone staring into the darkness, there was this nagging feeling that I was helplessly lost.
Darkness in my heart
I was raised in a Christian home, baptized at the age of five, a homeschooler, I knew my Bible well, and was a regular attender of the youth group. I wasn’t rebellious or disrespectful to my parents. I spent most of my days watching tv and playing video games. When others looked at me and even when I looked in the mirror, I would be considered a pretty good kid. But by the time I reached the age of eleven, there were the beginnings of something darker in my life—lust. At first I thought that I had control over it, but I found myself quickly enslaved to my own passions. I fought with it often. Felt guilty often. Asked for forgiveness often. Tried methods of keeping myself from my sin often. Yet just as often I returned to my own lust like a dog to its vomit. This insane cycle continued without end in sight. You see, as much as I hated the feeling of guilt for my lust, I loved my slavery to it. I loved how it made me feel. This is what sin feels like to the heart that doesn’t treasure Jesus. Sin is our guilty pleasure. When we don’t treasure Jesus, sin is the thing we keep in the dark because we want to keep it safe from threat. This went on for three years.
Wednesday, September 16th, 2009. I went to youth group that night like I normally did, still alone in the dark, helplessly lost and loving my sin. I had reached a point where I was tired of asking God for forgiveness only to fall back into my lust. I had reached the end of the rope. But this wasn’t a normal Wednesday night—not at all! God had chosen this day as the day he would shine the light of the gospel into my heart. We went to hear a speaker at a church and during the worship before the message, I remember saying “yes Lord.” What I was saying yes to, I had no idea, but God knew. After the message, the speaker asked us all to close our eyes and bow our heads. Then came the question, “If you were to die in a car accident on the way home tonight, and you don’t know where you would go, raise your hand.” When I raised my hand, light cracked through and pierced my darkness. It was just a little bit of light, but it was a start and it was enough. I thought that this was my moment to finally be honest with myself. After all, no one was looking—it was just God and me. But something happened when I raised my hand—I bumped arms with the friend next to me! This meant two things: First, it wasn’t just God and me that knew that I was helpless. Second, it meant that I was not alone in my need for Jesus. Next, the speaker invited all who raised their hands to stand up and open their eyes. I stood up. Another crack and more light flooded in—I could almost see. Then the speaker asked those who were standing to come to the front of the stage as a declaration before everyone present that we needed Jesus. There, in front of all of my friends in the youth group, I walked to the front of that stage. Light! All was light. I felt my heart set on fire with this light. Everything was new. I went up just wanting to be sure that God was not against me—that God had heaven in store for me. As I walked, I walked into paradise. Jesus had paid for my sin and he had won an eternity with him for me. Even that night, I didn’t realize the magnitude of what happened, and I don’t know if I will ever know all that happened that night. But oh how precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed!
Jesus, Lover of my Soul
On that day I walked away from the notion that I could be assured of heaven and yet not see Jesus as being the most desirable thing in the universe. Before that September night, I used to look at Jesus and I would think “boring” and turn on the tv. Now I look at Jesus and think “Indescribable Satisfier, Lover of my Soul, Treasure of my heart, Spring of Living Water, Source of Eternal Life, most valuable—best!” That is a miracle. To see the Light and love Him is a miracle that only God can do.
This sinner is saved
Since that day, I have sinned—every day. I look to other things besides Jesus for the satisfaction of my soul. I treasure other things besides him. I have sinned sins that I used to sin before I knew Jesus even today after coming to know Jesus. But now there are two huge differences. First, even though I sin, Jesus has changed my heart so that he can be seen for who he really is—best! Just because I sin doesn’t mean that I am lost in darkness again. Just because a cloud has hidden the sun doesn’t mean that there is no light. Just because I have moments of unbelief in God’s superiority to other things doesn’t mean that God ceases to be kind to me and continue to show me his goodness. Second, my confidence and assurance before a holy God doesn’t lie in my own ability to be perfect. My confidence is in Jesus Christ and what he accomplished in his life, death, and resurrection. When Jesus cried out, “It is finished!” He meant it. All of the wrath of God for me and my sin is gone. When I was fourteen years old, I began to trust in Jesus for my salvation. On that day, heaven’s gates were opened to me—and will never shut. Because of the blood of my Savior shed on the cross I can have a complete assurance of where I would go if I were to die in a car accident on my way home today. I pray that you will enjoy the same assurance that God has so graciously given me.