November 1, 2004
Revival & Reformation Testimony
by Yolanda Palmer (Ullanda Innocent-Palmer)
“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony: and they loved not their lives unto death.” Rev. 12:11
”No repentance is genuine that does not work reformation. The righteousness of Christ is not a cloak to cover unconfessed and unforsaken sin; it is a principle of life that transforms the character and controls the conduct. Holiness is wholeness for God; it is the entire surrender of heart and life to the indwelling of the principles of heaven.” DA 555
My Brothers and Sisters In Christ,
I would like to take this opportunity to share with you the revival and reformation that has taken place in my life. I am so happy in Jesus that I am compelled to share what He has done. This is my re-conversion experience in which I have been recently blessed with a new found love for Jesus Christ. I feel like there is a fire shut up in my bones and I can't stop testifying daily what the Lord has done in and for me. The Lord has had me fasting and praying for the outpouring of His Holy Spirit so that His power can have full sway in my life.
Beginning in August 2004, I took a spiritual inventory and I had to admit that I'd lost my “first love.” My joy in the Lord was drowning in the sea of Laodicean lukewarmness. I felt spiritually dead. Something was wrong. I know that feelings, in and of themselves, are an unreliable gauge of a person's spirituality, but I knew deep down that something was missing. And so the Holy Spirit started me into a consistent, daily study of the Scriptures and also led me to the messages of counsel through Testimonies to the Church , and Last Day Events . Today I can testify that the Holy Spirit's power to transform our nature into a Christ-like character is real! Praise His mighty name!
Subsequently, I received confirmation that God's Spirit had taken hold of my life in a way I have never experienced before. I was given the privilege to sing for the Net 2004 crusade with Walter Pearson. While in my hotel room I was impressed to earnestly pray and repent of my sins so the Holy Spirit would minister to the people in the music I was to sing that Sunday evening. God answered my prayers and the Holy Spirit moved mightily so much so that I finished the song shaking and in tears. After the song, “Sinner Man,” had finished, the pastor who helped me down from the stage kept repeating aloud, "Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!!!” And he continued with these words as he took the microphone from me. He could not stop saying, “Hallelujah!” Also, the Praise Team leader with one hand raised heavenward embraced me with the other as she too kept repeating the same words of praise to our AWESOME GOD IN HEAVEN! Hallelujah! Glory to God for what He was able to accomplish through a filthy, wretched sinner like me. I can only say, “Hallelujah to the Lamb!!!”
This experience has taught me that the Lord wants to use His people so that He can be the one who is given the praise for His goodness to us who profess His name on the earth. Through His people He shines the light of His love upon our pathway so that we may be used of Him to lead others to Him as well. He tells us to search for Him and we will find Him when we have searched for Him with all our hearts. I am so happy that He is near to us and loves us so much.
He has truly changed my life also in the way I dress now. I was living in spiritual adultery with my gods of fashion. Now I look to the Lord for the attire He would have me wear to His glory wherever He sends me to minister. At the program for Net 2004 He took charge of my wardrobe. Normally I would wear a beautiful, striking, expensive, knee-length suit (which I thought was fairly modest), and have my face all made up to look as glamorous as possible, comb my hair to suit the styles of today—all done in order that people could tell me how lovely I looked. I thought this was how I was to present myself as I ministered for the Lord before His people. But God led me to read the book, Last Day Events , and He showed me that somehow I had slipped back to my gods of fashion.
With the amazing revival and reformation that God has wrought in my life, now I no longer wear what I desire to wear but, rather, I prayerfully look to Him. And so for the Net 2004 program the Holy Spirit had me to wear a long simple black skirt and a simple cream top and jacket that covered me totally. Except for using the translucent powder that I was asked to wear so the camera wouldn't show a glare on my face, I was impressed to ask the makeup artist not to put any other makeup on my face (lipstick, eye shadow, blush, etc.). The Lord also impressed me to put my hair up in a simple style that would not draw attention to me. I am amazed at what He has done in me and for me. It is such a joy to walk in His will because I know it is pleasing to Him and He can now shine through me and receive all the glory.
I just can't stop praising the Lord! He has totally and completely convicted me about the health message as being the right arm of the Three Angels' Message, and shown me the relationship of dress reform as it pertains to health, both physical and spiritual. No wonder EGW received her visions of health and dress reform at the same time. The Lord blessed me to REPENT! AND BUY OF HIM GOLD TRIED IN THE FIRE. Now I see more clearly my role as an SDA Christian to put into practice these truths from the Bible and the Testimonies. What a blessing it is to truly dress modestly, removing my robe of worldliness and putting on Christ's robe of righteousness.
The Holy Spirit took me into my dressing closet and showed me what was acceptable and what needed to be discarded. From my closet God removed all my knee-length skirts, my pants (in keeping with the Bible instruction for a woman not to wear “that which pertaineth to a man.” Deut 22.5; Testimonies vol. 1, pp. 421, 457-9). Also, He showed me to put away all my sleeveless sweaters and dresses, and my high, high-heel shoes, all of which are unhealthy and immodest for me to wear as an SDA woman who professes godliness.
My closet was left almost bare. But if that is what it takes to save me, then praise the Lord! The fashion industry can no longer entice me according to its dictates. It was Christ who suffered and shed His precious blood for my sins and He desires full reign over my entire being. I must decrease and Christ must increase… I Thank God for the blood! The process of true sanctification has begun anew as with fasting and watching unto prayer I wait by faith for the outpouring of the Early and Latter Rain.
What was I to do with my discarded immodest, fancy wardrobe? God instructed me not to give (or sell) them to my dear sisters in the Lord, but to give them back to their rightful owner, “the world.”
The Holy Spirit also impressed me to go throughout our home, to remove all my gods of display that I used so lavishly in my decor. As I walked through each room I prayed for the blood of Jesus to cleanse and remove every unholy influence. This home belongs to God and I knew He wanted me to remove my gods of display. I had so many fancy pillows on my sofa that you couldn't sit comfortably without moving them aside. Consequently, many things were sold and used for the Lord's work such as our worldly paintings, statues, fancy beaded feathered lamps, pillows and other items which had caused me to stumble over my pride of worldly treasures.
Before my revival and reformation experience, I had found myself lamenting over the Sabbath service complaining that it was so dead. But the sweet Holy Spirit led me to realize that the service was not dead—I was! He then showed me more of the “SECRET SINS” that had crept in causing me to lose my FIRST LOVE and preventing me from entering into the joy of the Lord. God then showed me other sins that I was guilty of and I almost cried when I found out what they were. I had not realized that my first love had become The Bachelor, the Oprah Show and the Home & Garden TV program. I saw very little fault in watching them. But truth be told, while I never missed watching The Bachelor every Wednesday night and the Oprah Show every weekday, I found myself missing prayer meeting—regularly; and everything had to come to a halt when Oprah was on. Almost nothing could stop me from rushing home to make sure I was able to watch Oprah daily. It was like an addiction-- I had to have it! I know for sure, without a doubt, that the Lord loves Oprah and all her talented staff very much as He does all His children; and yes, I am sure that God wants my home to look neat and attractive-- but somehow all these things had come to consume almost all my time and affection. Because of all the good that I saw the Lord doing through Miss Winfrey on National television, I, along with countless millions, have come to love her like a sister. But it is because I love Jesus much more than Oprah that I have had to face the truth and repent. He reminded me that His coming is near, even at the door and in this time of earth's history I needed “to make my calling an election sure.” I can by His grace live above the world, renouncing all sinful pleasure-- ”Be not conformed to this world nor the things of the world but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."
Then God took me a step further… All worldly activity for the purpose of pleasure seeking, which I once enjoyed, God asked me to cease from (such as Disney World, Universal Studios, watching competitive sports games (Lakers' basketball, or football etc), because I would get so excited when watching these games with Shaquille O'Neal, and God forbid if Shaq (the number one player in the world of basketball) were to walk into a room where I could get a quick glimpse at him up close. What vanity he would feel to see me making a fool of myself.
Well, speaking of vanity, God reminded me that I too had changed my name to receive the praise and adoration of men when I adopted a new name, Ullanda, as my stage name as an Atlantic recording artist in my secular singing career. God humbled me to return to the name I was given at birth, Yolanda. [On worldly pleasures please see EGW references including COL 54; Ev 695-6 (1883); Ms 4, 1898]
Schubert, my husband, is amazed at the change and so happy for me in Jesus. Together, by God's amazing grace, we, like Daniel, have purposed never again to eat of the king's table (the world and all its sinful pleasures). Gifted with the Holy Spirit's presence, we are determined to fight the good fight of faith and help finish the work by blowing the trumpet of the three angels' messages. It is my earnest prayer and only desire to say as did Christ, “The prince of this world cometh and hath found nothing in me!” When we repent and return to our “First Love,” Jesus Christ and Him crucified, the promise is: “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.”
“Take heed to yourselves lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that they come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all things that shall come to pass and to stand before the Son of man.” (Luke 21.34-36)
This is my story. Praise the name of the Lord! Come Thou Lord Jesus!