If you had met me at any point in my life, you would probably have thought that I was a decent person-maybe even a good one. I was born into a Seventh-day Adventist home. I learned the memory verses. I sang the hymns. I went to the right schools. I have lived a pretty pure and sheltered life. However, I faced a challenge that I believe many lifelong Adventists face. I had been inoculated with just enough Bible truth to become immune to it, if you will. I had become so used to hearing about the Adventist message that I all but rolled my eyes at the mention of it.

I continued coasting along in the Christian life. It was an easy life. I fit in well enough with neighbors and co-workers as well as my church family. It wasn't until COVID-19 hit that I was jolted awake out of my spiritual slumber. I was alarmed that, almost overnight, our entire nation changed. I realized, as I'm sure many of you have, how quickly the end time events that we have heard and read about could commence. I realized that I was not ready to meet my Savior if He was to burst through the clouds. I came across a four-part video series called The Days of Noah which highlights end time events and the importance of the Adventist message. I realized that I had not been keeping the Sabbath like I should. I decided that I was going to guard the Sabbath hours more carefully.

Now, I have to interject with a different part of my story. What I am going to share with you requires me to be very vulnerable with you. Due to more than one unresolved issue in my life, I had picked up a bad habit a number of years ago in an unhealthy attempt to cope. It was a habit that I had fallen in love with. I was addicted to caffeine. I couldn't be without it. I didn't like thinking about how dependent I had become on it because I loved it so very much. I knew it was against what my church taught. But I didn't care. I loved it too much. Nothing could come between me and my caffeinated beverages. 

One summer Sabbath evening after my kids had been put to bed but the sun hadn't gone down yet, I found myself wanting to pick up my phone. I decided to visit a website that posts biblically sound articles to see what was available to read. Wouldn't you know it, there was an article called Coffee, the Christian, and the Church. Oh boy. I did not want to read it. I knew what it was going to say. I didn't read it.

The next Sabbath, I visited the same site and scrolled to the same article. God was really working on my heart. I had been having the sweetest devotional time with Him. I realized that I couldn't harden my heart to Him anymore. I opened the article and began to read. It was strong and bold. I had to look my habit in the eye and admit that it had become an idol. I wrestled with this for a whole week after reading. I continued my habits and I also continued to have my devotions in the morning. But something felt wrong. Each day I felt that there was this big thing between me and God. I truly felt separated from God. And for the first time in my life, I couldn't bear it. One evening I was so overwhelmed at the separation between me and God that I began sobbing. I couldn't take it anymore. Finally, I loved Jesus more than I loved my precious habit.

The next morning, I got up and, in front of my children, I poured my idol down the drain. Since that day, I have not had a drop of caffeine. I sleep so much better every night since quitting! And I wake up earlier than I ever did when I drank caffeine which means I get more quiet time with Jesus every morning!

When I think of the victory that God gave me over something that I was a slave to I have so much joy in my heart! God never gave up on me all those years! He was so patient and forgiving. I have never missed my habit. I have never wished for just one more sip. I have truly experienced God's grace and His power in my life and I am so grateful. 

Some of you might be scoffing at my story. Drinking caffeinated drinks is not a big deal; it's such a small thing, you might be thinking. My idol was small. But it was separating me from God. Your idol may be small too. But it may be separating you from your Savior. 

Call to Action

In Mark 1:16-20 we read about Jesus calling several men into discipleship. Peter, Andrew, James, and John were fishing. It was the only way they knew how to make a living. It was their only means of survival. They depended on this vocation. And yet Jesus called them away from it into something so much greater and "immediately they left their nets and followed him" (Mark 1:18 ESV). If Jesus asked you to leave the comforts of life as you know it, would you do it? Do you love Him more than all else?

Oh, how I wish I could explain the peace and joy and healing I have found in surrender to God! How I wish for you to experience it too! Jesus is coming soon. He is even at the door. There is no more time to dabble in the charms of the world. Please, surrender to Jesus and He will give you victory! "Keep justice and do righteousness, for My salvation is about to come, and My righteousness to be revealed. Blessed is the man who does this..." (Isaiah 56:1,2).

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The world is in turmoil. People are looking for answers. Jesus wants to come, but people have not been ready. We are an online magazine that publishes weekday articles to encourage, enlighten and empower people to get ready, so Jesus can come.

Unless noted otherwise, scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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