I felt it appropriate to share with you guys my testimony of how God changed my life. I was raised in a typical middle class home, did fairly well in school and moved on to university. I was member of a church, when to Sunday school all my life and knew about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and all that religious stuff. But I never knew God personally. As a student I went through the typical motions ” drank myself into oblivion on weekends, smoked, being sexually immoral (I thank the Lord I never had sex with my girlfriend, but only because I was too scared she would fall pregnant) and did everything my friends did and what I thought a normal student should do. I actually sat in church with a hangover on some Sundays from partying the night before! The worst and sickest part of everything was that I convinced myself that there was nothing wrong with what I was doing, as long as went to church and read my Bible every now and again, I was fine.
It was in my second year at varsity that my girlfriend went to a different university about a 100 miles away. Suddenly I didn’t have as much to do on weekends, as I usually saw my friends only one night per weekend. It was then another friend invited me to their Friday night teen gathering at the church. I resisted, knowing that I was at least 3 years older that anybody there, except for my friend and the other youth leaders. After one or two lonely Friday night I decided what the heck, anything is better than this. At first it felt kinda weird, but it was fun and I became a regular.
Although I still partied with my varsity friends, I was becoming increasingly aware that my life was not OK. I was empty and every time I woke up thirsty, nauseous and with a headache the feeling became more apparent. I wanted to change, but I felt I could not break free from the influence of my friends; I still wanted to spend time with them, but not doing what we did. I started praying for them, but I was getting sad, because I did not see a change in them. I remember clearly (as clearly as a man with 6 beers in him can remember) that around that time we were at a party with total strangers and there was this one girl there, who suddenly out of nowhere stated that she believed in Jesus, but did not believe in God at all. I thought by myself, this is my perfect time to minister the Word of the Lord, and said something like this: "How can you sshhay that you believe in Jeshushh but not God!?" She obviously saw my state of mind and said in an angry voice: "There is no way that YOU will convince me otherwise!" That sentence slapped me sober. In an instance I realized that my religion was a joke and I could in no way be a Christian and keep on living the way I did.
Not long after that we had a powerful worship session at the teen ministry, all this time I was still not a leader, just a visitor. During the worship I was struggling with emotions that God was not listening to me. I wanted my friends and my situation to change, but nothing was improving. It felt that God was not listening to me and I never shared these feelings with anyone. I was standing and thinking about this during the worship when suddenly the youth pastor grabbed my shoulders and said: "The Lord says that he hears your prayers that you pray privately in your room." Look ” crying does not sufficiently explain what happened next. It was like floodgates of heaven opened at that moment, and I knew the Lord touched me. The next evening we went to a Turn the Tide conference hosted by Dr. Bruce Wilkinson. At that meeting my girlfriend and I got the chance to confess our sexual sins before the Lord and it was after that weekend that my life changed drastically.
I still spent time with those other friends of mine, but I can’t think of a single time a got that drunk after that again. Sure I’ve stumbled and fell and it took a while to grow into resisting doing everything they do. I was at a peak of a spiritual high that weekend and resisting the devil was easy. But afterwards your faith needs to be refined and you need to choose God during difficult circumstances as well, such as when God seems far. I feel more and more deeply ashamed when I give in to temptation, but God has walked a 3 year journey with me since then and I can tell you I am not same person I was then. Sure the devil still tempts me with certain things, but I tell you he is finding it much harder than 3 years ago.
I?m still growing, and I hope you can learn something from my experiences. The most important lesson I learned through all of this is that you should not resent God when something bad happens in your life. When my girlfriend moved away I felt like my world was crashing in. It is now I realize that my life would never have been this good if her moving away did not set in motion the chain of events that followed; and the love between us are still burning strong. She finished her studies and moved back to my home town, and there is a fairly good chance that we’ll be getting married soon (I just need to seek the Lord’s guidance as to that is what He wants for me).
I have grown to a place where I desperately want to work for the Lord full time. My involvement in the teen ministry has grown into one of the leaders & God has been working in me and has been developing my skills as musician. It has grown into a passion where I want to take back what Satan has stolen & kill all the lies that is being spread by him.
Moral of the story? Trust God and seek His will. You will be amazed at what He can and will do for you.