So... I thought I'd be going to bed, but here I am.
When the Spirit directed me to come down and write down my testimony, I wasn't (and still am not) quite sure what to write. This certainly isn't due to a lack of testimony comparative to other times I've done this, but rather quite the exact opposite. It is because my testimony seems to be in new territory altogether.
After reading the book "Journey To The Veil", I felt quite deeply that the principle of following the Spirit at any cost was true. I have always known that God would never lead me astray. I didn't, however, always identify the Holy Spirit correctly.
John Pontius' explanation of how to decipher the Spirit seemed both simple and elegant, so I decided to try it. Instead of writing it all down, I simply follow any prompting I have that seems like it could possibly lead to good. So far, it's been working quite well. Although, it's hard sometimes to break away from the "bah, why am I thinking THAT?" mentality, while casting it away as something I don't need to do, it becomes quite obvious, after obedience to the prompting, that it came from Christ.
For example, I've been fasting much, much more often than I ever have in my life, and although drastic overt changes aren't immediately apparent, I feel the change inside me, and the change in my thinking is quite dramatic. No real examples come to mind to illustrate this, but it's as if thinking along the lines of pure truth is as natural as is any thought has ever been to me. Feeling loved, patient, and confident come naturally while in the mode of "following the Spirit at any cost". Thoughts on how to better parent my children through difficulty come, and when I act upon them, the result is usually a more happy, harmonious home. Loving my wife and showing it comes more naturally.
It might sound a bit weird, but I feel more authentically "me".
As far as my testimony goes, I'm more sure now than I ever have been that God is real, and Christ is my personal savior. I have an intense testimony of the Holy Ghost, and how He wants to help direct my life for good. I know the Holy Ghost is capable of directing our lives for good, to the same degree that we am willing to follow His counsel.
I feel deeply that God, Christ,and the Holy Ghost want the best for me, and I feel that my life is being directed, almost at an hour-by-hour basis right now. Some of the promptings I feel are so, so quiet, it's almost as if they are passing thoughts, which will disappear into nothingness if not immediately grabbed and acted upon. I'm still learning what is the voice of the Spirit, and what is the voice of Jason, but I feel I'm progressing.
One thing I've been learning, and this might be only for me, is that I haven't regretted acting upon any prompting that has come in, whether it be mine, or The Spirit's. This may be due to various interpretations of those voices, but I feel that it is because the Holy Ghost has been prompting and guiding me a lot. This may or may not be due to increasing amounts of promptings, but I rather think it is because of my attitude and willingness to follow the promptings. My guess is that after following a prompting, the Holy Ghost will be more able to guide me, due to my previous obedience. (Isn't this stuff great!? The super cool thing is - anyone can do this! Any baptized member of Christ's church has access to *continuous* guidance of the Spirit. I guess He just gets tired of prompting us when we don't obey. Try obeying *all* of the promptings and see what happens.)
I also have a testimony that God will never lead us astray. Never. We might lead ourselves astray and blame God for it, but it's up to us to learn how to properly interpret, and then follow His guidance. Quitting my job was one of the hardest things I've ever done, but even harder was the lesson which immediately followed. That was, "Sometimes God lets us suffer a bit in order to help our faith grow." If you don't know what I'm talking about, simply read my journal entries from the past year. There were some entries which were very, very difficult to write, reflecting experiences I had which made no sense whatsoever, within the context of my then-understanding-of-what-faith-was. It's hard for me to admit that I murmured. I questioned, and I doubted. But.... and this I'm just now realizing...
God allowed me to doubt. He allowed me to question, and yell, and become frustrated with Him. He also loved me enough to put me in a situation where He knew I would be led back to relying upon his grace to pull me through. I'm not sure, but I think that if I were to be put through the past year over again, but do so while having a steady job, with enough money, I might have had a greater chance at falling into disbelief, rather than clinging onto faith like it was the last thing I had to hold on to. Oh, I'm constrained to proclaim that God is good! Hosannah unto God in the highest! He truly has snatched me from an everlasting hell, and seen in His great mercy to allow me to learn through suffering and trials, the goodness with which he entreats mankind.
When the heavens open, if only for a second, and allow intelligence and understanding to flow down to me, I am in awe at how much grace God truly has, and at the same time, am in awe at my own nothingness. With God, I am capable of anything. In and of myself, I am nothing, and barely capable of drawing my own breath (because God has given it to me.)
Thank you Heavenly Father for prompting me to come and write. My testimony has grown, and hopefully yours (whoever is reading this) has too.