I wish I can tell you that I used to be in a gang, sold some drugs, was an ex- convict and that I found Christ throughout the storms of my situation. My story isn’t that interesting. However I can tell you that my story is probably one of the most common ones you’ve heard, and definitely the most dangerous.
I grew up with a family of believers. Mom sang in the church, Dad preached. By the time I was 9 I was able to recite every single book in the bible from Genesis to Revelation in perfect order. Age 11 I began to play piano for my local church, 13/ 14 got baptized, 15 began getting involved with youth ministry.
Now throughout my teen years I noticed people my age began doing things which I classified as “bad”. I.e, smoking, getting drunk, being sexually active, excessive use of curse word etc.
For this very reason I began to think, “Wow, I am so relieved I’m not one of them” In other words, I’m so glad I’m a church boy going to heaven and not a sinner going to hell.
I realized this fact around the age of 14, and developed a large (yet subtle) ego. The very act of going to church and doing what I was “supposed to do” only added to this ego of mine. Matter of fact, there were days I felt guilty for not going to church, because I thought church was all I needed in order to be saved.
I was what you called a Pharisee type of Christian. The one who would preach about the word, but never put it into action. The dangerous thing about it all was that I sincerely thought I was doing the right thing, that if Christ were to return in those days, I would’ve gone to heaven.
On February 2011, a good friend of mine came to sleep over at my house. Before we slept, he began to ask me questions such as how’s your life, what’s your plan for the future, if KFC chicken was a female would you ever marry her? He never asked me the last question, but yes.. yes I would. Pause lol
Anyways, right before I was about to sleep there was one question he asked me which really got me frustrated. He said “Have you ever wondered why our parents love God so much?”
I literally, paused for about 45 seconds, thinking about this question. So I got up from my bed, scratched my head and answered “I honestly have no idea”. I was really frustrated with this question, until I came to the realization.
I didn’t know God. Matter of fact, I never knew God. At all.I was simply a church boy, playing the piano every Sunday and Friday.
By this point my friend and I were both out of our beds, constantly asking each other questions.
“How do they love someone they don’t see?”
“What is so great about God anyways?”
“Does God even exist?”
“Can he speak to us?”
“Does he hear us when we pray?”
We kept on asking each other questions for about 3hrs, without answering even one of them.
The frustration was literally wearing us out, so we decided to finally go to bed. But that didn’t work. We both got up out of our beds simultaneously exclaiming “No, we have to do something tonight”
We didn’t know what we had to do, but something had to be done. The lights were turned back on, and we decided that we had to pray.
Both of us have “prayed” before, but neither of us had sincerely talked to God prior to this night
The prayer went somewhere along the lines of “We want to know why people love you so much, let us know for ourselves”
This prayer lasted about 5 minutes, yet it was the most affective prayer we ever said in our lives.
Immediately, it felt as if a veil was removed from our eyes.
Words don’t do it justice, but the one thing I can remember from that day was that peace fell upon our hearts. Till this day, we are unable to describe exactly what we “felt” that day, but one thing was for certain. Our eyes were open. It was as if God answered all those questions, without him ever saying a word.
We came to the realization that Christian living had nothing to do with do’s and don’ts but everything to do with having a personal relationship with God.
From that day forward, we realized how foolish we were for thinking going to church was enough. It was a very humbling experience.
Nevertheless, the more our relationship with God intensified, the challenges of life increased exponentially (temptations, hardships, persecution, contentment etc).We accepted the challenge. We knew they would be temptations, trials and tribulations.
I would be a liar if I told you that my walk with Christ has been a walk in the park
But nothing on earth will ever disprove the existence of God, due to what happened that night.
Soli Deo Gloria