(I had to write an essay as a school project. Since my siblings and I started going to instruction class, I realized that not many people had heard my testimony. I -decided to make this essay do double-duty)
I thank the Lord for allowing me to grow up in a Godly, Christian home. From the time I was quite young, I knew I wanted to be a Christian and that I wanted to be a real one.
I committed my life to Christ at a young age. I remember vividly how I told God that I would die for Him: it was the epitome of surrender to me. The next few days were full of peace and joy. At first, I thought that now I was a Christian but Satan convinced me that what I had done wasn’t good enough. I needed to realize that I was a huge sinner before I could become a child of God. So I decided to wait for God to show me what a great sinner I was. Needless to say, I lost my peace and joy.
As a very conscientious person, keeping my conscience clear is a very important thing to me. I couldn’t see that I was a sinner because, after all, I had confessed all my sins. I blamed God for my not being saved and pleaded with Him to make me realize how bad I was. Sometimes I felt like just purposely sinning so that I would really know I was a sinner.
Because I didn’t want to look back with remorse one day, I decided to live my life in the character of a Christian. Sometimes I felt conscience stricken for being such a hypocrite but I could not resign myself to doing any other. Mama and Daddy encouraged me to keep my conscience unsullied and to do the next right thing. I clung to this and hoped for the best. Mama gave me a verse which has become one of my favourites. “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Phillippians 1:6)
As time went on, I got pretty used to ‘living as a Christian without being one’ but I hated revival meetings and such. I was sure determined that I did not want ‘to get saved’ on ‘high emotions’ and I knew that if I responded to an altar call, that would be all it would be. They always had me dubious and uneasy, and yet, mysteriously, I wasn’t really afraid of death.
Through our family devotions, I realized that salvation is way much more of a process than an experience. Although the experience is important (you can’t be a Christian without a starting point), salvation is really a life-long affair. I realized that some people are blessed with an obvious, dramatic experience that they can look back on, but that I was not one of those. Every salvation has a starting point and I believe mine was when I gave my life to Christ. Although this was not what I had expected, it came to me so gradually that I was able to get used to each new facet of it as it came. Once I accepted it, I also discovered the blessing. Those who had this dramatic experience have the temptation to say, “Oh yes, I got saved way back in —-. Now that I’m saved, I can live the way I want because I have that experience to prove that I’m a Christian.” Am I saying that those who don’t have dramatic experiences will not have this temptation? Absolutely ‘Not!’ In fact, from my observation, an obvious experience is a big blessing because doubt doesn’t have such a strong hold in your life. The blessing of not having that such a grand experience is that Ito realize more the importance of a relationship with God. I must spend time with Him and be obedient to His Word in order for Him to continue working in my life.
The climax of my Christian life came, ironically, during a series of revival meetings. One of Brother John Loewen’s last messages was about spending time with God. Although I don’t remember very much of the message, I remember being challenged me to a deeper relationship with God.
As I pursued a deeper relationship with God, I was astounded! God actually spoke to me through His Word! This had never happened before! I also felt fed after having devotions and I was able to recall it throughout the day. I could actually see spiritual progress. I was amazed! I now realize later was that God had been there all the time, waiting for me. As soon as I gave Him a chance, by spending time with Him, He came to me and spoke to me.
Another big confirmation for me came through a message by my Uncle Adolf. He preached on the verse, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” (Romans 8:16) I had felt the Spirit witnessing to my spirit. This was infallible proof that I was a Christian! I was overwhelmed by the mercy of God. All those years that I feel were wasted, He never let me down. He faithfully did His part and waited for me to do mine.
God is still working in my life and will be till the day I die but I am overjoyed with the assurance of salvation and that I have a heavenly Father so faithful and so merciful. My heart’s desire is to serve Him and do His will because after all, my life is His.