by Shirley Alt
My honor goes to Dr. Solomon for what I learned from the Grace Fellowship seminar and how the Holy Spirit used it in my life, and I am sure the lives of many others over the years. Dr. Solomon planted seed in my soul which took root and continues to go deeper and fuller every day of my life.
I was raised in the country in WV and attended a small Methodist Church all of my youth. Every summer they had revival services at the tabernacle close to the church. In June of 1957 at that revival, the Holy Spirit convicted me and I went to the altar for salvation. My years as a youth were partially spent noticing that some of the adults did not live what they were teaching. No one seemed to want to take the responsibility to have a youth program and there were several of us around the same age. In 1961 we moved to Indiana. Then starting in 1966, we started attending a Baptist church there. That ended with the “older adults” voting the Pastor out (who I believe was teaching the Word) but some did not want to conform to the Truth. We left that church and went to another Baptist Church across town, where we experienced “rules taught to show we were saved and the works we should be doing.” Many of the things that I saw there frustrated me, but I could not put my finger on it. I was living a “good life” serving in the church, being there for every service, etc.
THEN in 1975, God brought Charles Solomon there to do a weekend Exchanged Life seminar. Since I was working in the Christian school there, I was able to attend every session that he taught. I began to recognize things from his teaching that was part of my life. I would not have labeled myself as one being rejected, but as he taught the symptoms of rejection, I saw myself in almost every one of them. After that weekend I focused on studying his books, Handbook to Happiness and The Ins and Outs of Rejection, while all the time growing more restless in my soul. In the summer of 1976, it came to a head and I knelt by my bed and prayed, “Lord, if all there is to being a Christian is living and acting like the world, what is the use to call myself a Christian??” His response to me was “What if My Son had not gone all the way to the Cross for you??” That broke my soul in a million pieces and I said, “Well Lord, there has to be a better way and I am not learning it in the churches, so You will have to show me the way.” I can look back today and realize that I needed to go to the Cross and die to that “old man.”
In the fall of 1976, I began to ask the Lord about moving to Lynchburg, VA and becoming part of TRBC as we had been listening to Dr. Falwell, Sr. on TV before we went to our own church and were always lifted up. I now KNOW that all of this was the work of the Holy Spirit in my life.
We moved to VA in May 1977, and in the fall, God began to take me through a breaking process, taking me to His Cross (Gal. 2:20). By having heard Dr. Solomon, I knew what was going on, so that enabled me to cooperate with the work of the Holy Spirit, taking me to the Cross. It was a very emotional painful broken time as He used the Word to break me free from my soul/flesh control and taught me what it means to truly walk in the Spirit. Situations were happening that only God could fight for me in, and the first part was He had to work on me, demolishing soul life and exchanging that for Spirit life. First His hand had to be turned on me to break soul control and burn away the dross I had not seen that hindered Spirit flow through my soul. Had I not been through the Exchanged Life seminar, thereby allowing me to know what was going on within me, I do not know where I would be today. Acting in my flesh at that time, would have brought a different ending, I am sure.
That Exchanged Life seminar planted a seed within me that was able to take root during my brokenness to produce a spiritual harvest. It was a seed that rooted, with roots that went deep into the Word of God taught at that seminar. The seed had fallen, and the verse given to me, “Except a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone” [John 12:24], so I knew that I had to die to the old man that was controlling me at that time instead of the Holy Spirit. I began to study and read the Word with greater intensity and read books Dr. Solomon had on the book list. Life on the Highest Plane by Ruth Paxson was one of them, plus many more. I think I read every book he had on his list at that time. God was leading me step by step through the process, the Holy Spirit doing the cleansing, purifying work that needed to be done. Day by day, more of the soul/flesh life was surrendered to be exchanged for Cross/ Christ Life. There were days I spent the whole day in study and prayer, allowing the Holy Spirit to do His work within. A continual process of uprooting of things that I had no idea was affecting me like they were, and He always had His Word there to lead me, to comfort me, to encourage me as He sat by the fire I was going through. Yes, there were very painful days, it hurt to die to what I was, but oh the blessing of yielding to the Cross where my old man had died and allowing resurrection Life to take its place.
Dr. Solomon’s seminar became the root from which my spiritual walk with the Lord has developed. It has been ever onward and upward ever since that day, and to this day I stand amazed at all the Holy Spirit has taught me, as He, one by one, brought Bible studies at the perfect time to grow me up into spiritual maturity. It is a a process that has continued to this current day and I know will continue till He calls me home. Now the growing desire is that God will use me to teach this Truth to others so that they too, may grow and mature. We have the fullness of Christ the moment we are saved, but we have to surrender, yield daily to Holy Spirit’s control and what a powerful blessing that has been as I have yielded to His work within me. I learned that no teaching will destroy the soul/flesh life, that it is in the trials of life and yielding to the discipline of the Holy Spirit and the powerful Grace of God in my life that brought change. I could not learn teachings and in my flesh attempt to change; it had to be HIS GRACE through the power of the Holy Spirit, exchanging my life for His. I witnessed the Pastor who was at the church attempt in the flesh to bring about change in people. It has to be the work of the Holy Spirit; we are only His vessel through which He does His work. I now, in any trial or circumstance, can rejoice and ask Lord, “What are You wanting to teach me in this???” “Where can I be changed in my responses to reflect Your character????” I’m excited to allow more of Him to be manifested through my earthly body.
The message of the Cross [Rom. 6:3-14] keeps unfolding and my understanding keeps expanding. I grow daily praying to live each day in the flow of His Presence and Provision by the living, ever-present indwelling life of Christ [Col. 1:27].
I will be eternally grateful to Dr. Charles Solomon and his exchanged life ministry and for the work of the Holy Spirit making it living reality in my life, so that He can do His work through me into those He chooses to bring across opportunities my path of life.