Wanted to do a post nearer to the beginning of this blog, which would include something of my testimony; my story of coming to faith in Jesus – yet another of many examples of the utter weakness of mankind and the great glory and mercy of God! It’s not in any way that i feel my story is so great, but it is my hope that my story may be a help to others either searching for God (though, as Paul states in Acts 17, “He is actually not far from each one of us”) or for those (like myself) who were certain we had found Him years ago, only to discover that we didn’t actually know Him at all (ala Matt. 7)!
I grew up in a Christian, Protestant home where my father was a minister and my entire family were regular attenders and involved in church. I am told that the age of four, i asked to accept Jesus into my heart and became a Christian. Much of my memory growing up involved, at least, God and the Bible and church. And yet very early on, there became this very real difference between the person you saw on Sunday at church (this would also have included in the presence of my parents or their friends) and the person you would have seen anywhere else. These two people spoke differently (or at least used different *ahem* “ways” of communicating), acted differently, and – most importantly – felt differently. And what was worse, though i was keenly aware of this difference, it never seemed to bother me all that much; i assume b/c i was making all sides happy and thus was happy myself (let’s just leave my ‘people-pleasing’ issues for another day). There would be – of course – times (like after a really emotional summer camp chapel service for instance) where i would feel convicted of this ‘double life’ and “rededicate” my life to Christ (Christian-ese for asking Jesus into your heart again), but the conviction would never last and the guilt was no more than a worldly sorrow (2 Cor. 7) which would soon fade. At 16, i was water baptized, and could have explained all the reasons for baptism pretty well to you, however the double-life i had lived up until then just continued right on afterwards without even a hiccup; only now i was even more convinced of my “right standing” with God.
*I feel at this point i should step back from the story for a moment, simply to highlight a two key points:
1. The fruit of my life and the true state of my heart showed clearly that I had not been born again by the Spirit of God
2. I was fully convinced that – b/c i had “prayed the prayer” (a few times even!) and been baptized, that I had been born again by the Spirit of God
Tune in for Part II