The Testimony of Florian Berndt
Knowing His Heart
Finally I've got around to writing my testimony, of how our Heavenly Father has brought me into the realization of the fullness of His unfailing love for all of His Creation.
I grew up in Germany, living right at the border to Switzerland, born into a rather liberal, Roman-Catholic family. Nevertheless, from early childhood on I had been entrenched with the idea that love needs to be earned. In school we learned about Darwinism, even though we were also taught so called Judeo-Christian ethics. How confusing for a child!
It confused me even more that the people who were involved in any form of religious activity and especially those who had great influence in it, were often also the richest, egoistical--and sometimes it seemed--the meanest people; behaving as if their underlying beliefs were not 'Judeo-Christian ethics' but the evolution theory with its “survival of the fittest.”
This confusion and the very painful separation of my parents at age eleven led me to the place where I started to ask myself questions like: Is there a God? Does He care? What is His name? I had many such questions. So I looked into the teachings of my denomination but also into other religions, even reading some of their ‘sacred scriptures;' but mostly I read the Bible.
At first it didn't make much sense to me and I had great problems with the Old Testament at first, but was strangely drawn to the words and Person of Jesus Christ. Then one night, in the summer of 1990, He met me in my childhood bedroom and life hasn't been the same ever since. I can describe the experience that I had only as similar to the one Saul had on his way to Damascus. Filled with an immense desire to know my Lord and Savior, the Son of God, better I began studying Scripture like crazy, also reading every Christian book I could get my hands on.
I also began to visit different denominations, but was shocked that a lot of the people I met there didn't talk much about Jesus , but were only eager to tell me about their ‘right' doctrine. That put me off so badly that I didn't go to any church for quite a period of time. Over the years I had learned to hear the Holy Spirit's Voice and had been released into His supernatural gifts, which in certain denominations got me into big trouble, sometimes even in those who claimed to believe in these gifts. Because I was very naive I didn't understand that it offended some when I talked freely about my experiences of God due to the performance driveness in our culture.
But what bothered me the most was that after trying so hard to fit in and strive for acceptance in all these places, I seemed to become more and more like the Pharisees, rather than the One who had drawn me to Himself. Also, I still struggled with a lot of baggage from my past. Sometimes, I even doubted that God loved me, to the point where I actually contemplated suicide, being scared that God would send me to hell if I failed in any way.
When I met my wife things started to change. I recognized that she knew the Father of all mercies and the God of unconditional love, Whose Son I had met some years ago. This greatly helped me to hope again and to be open for more revelation.
While working for a healing and training ministry in England, Jesus introduced me to His (and my) Dad, Whose unconditional Love has brought such great healing to my religion-abused heart, that I began to understand what it means to cry out ‘Abba, Father!' for the first time in my life.
After some time in England, God called us back to Germany to share the unconditional Love we both had experienced with others. We need His love so desperately, for we are probably the most legalistic and performance driven nation on the face of the earth!
While reading everything about the Father heart of God that I could get my hands on (to confirm my experience from scripture and to be able to teach on it), I came across many people who had the same experience. Not only did they help me to increase intimacy with my Daddy-God, but they also let me rejoice that there are others who heard from the same God of unfailing Love I heard from and Whom so many Christians I met sadly didn't seem to acknowledge.
In 2002 I had another experience in which Father showed me His heart for all of His creation and how He longs to draw us all back to Himself through what Jesus has done on the cross. I understood that the Second Adam had come to restore what the First Adam had lost and fear began to vanish from my heart as I came to trust in my Father’s unconditional love.
Sharing this love has become the passion of our lives as we know we are called to minister to the broken, wounded and hurting ones of this world. While church people have sometimes reacted with hostility, the ones who don't know Father yet, begin to have a shine in their eyes and a beaming look on their face when they hear of His unfailing love for the first time.
A couple of years ago, I received a dream in which I was shown the next wave of the Holy Spirit that is to come upon the earth. In it, I was told not to go back to our old way of thinking, because our old ways would not stand in what was to come, that something new was on the horizon, and that time is short.
I strongly believe that the message of the Father--and yes, Mother-heart of God is at the center of this coming move of the Spirit that will touch the world even more than the church, as we discover the truth that Father longs to restore all that was lost in the Garden of Eden.
Having said this, it's not enough to just know the scriptures about Father’s Plan, however important this may be. We need to know His heart as well! We need to know Him so we can walk as Jesus walked and do the greater things He promised we would do. So let's make our calling sure. The whole creation is waiting for the appearing of Father’s sons and daughters, so it will enter into the glory of our freedom!