I am writing to share with you what has been happening in my life recently. My husband and I have been a part of a church for a few months now, and we’ve just finished SFL. I cannot begin to convey how much we have learned and grown. I am getting baptized tonight and wanted to share my testimony with you all.
When I was 12 we started going to church regularly for the first time. I was baptized and believed that Christ was my savior and started reading my bible and praying. I was a good kid by the world’s standards, but I didn’t know the gospel, I wasn’t broken by my sin and I wasn’t changed. By that I mean I lived just like the world. I didn’t look different from a non-Christian. I loved the things of the world and really only wanted God for what he did for me and how he made me feel.
This continued on into college and eventually I abandoned God and started questioning everything. I was empty inside and trying to fill that emptiness with all the things that are supposed to make you happy, but it wasn’t working. After about a year and a half of this I went to a church one night, and I was completely broken. I decided to change my life and live for God. I had passion for a while, but eventually that dissipated. I was back to living like a good person in the world’s eyes, but I had no desire for God. I was just like the seed Jesus talks about in Matthew 13:22: “As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.”
Eventually I got married to my husband and moved to a new city. We joined a church where we heard good solid doctrine for the first time, and it blew our minds. We were surrounded by some of the most intelligent people and learned so many things about God. I eventually began to trust that all this knowledge I was learning was assurance of my salvation. The funny thing was that the more I learned, the less I was looking like Christ. I became arrogant in my wisdom and complacent in my actions. I was not bearing the fruit that Jesus says his disciples will bear. I felt convicted at times, but I valued so many things more than God, and I wasn’t willing to let go of those things. I was like the rich young ruler who wanted God for what he could do for him. When God showed me what I needed to give up, I just walked away. I still continued to deceive myself into believing I was saved.
Fast-forward to about midway through Story-Formed Life training, and things are finally starting to sink into my brain. As we discussed the Scriptures intently each week, it was like a veil was taken from my eyes. If I say I have faith, then I will want to do the things that God has commanded and I will do them! I’m not advocating a works-based righteousness, but there must be some kind of fruit if someone is truly in the faith. I didn’t have fruit, and I knew that I had never really believed in the Lordship of Jesus. I said that I loved him, but my “love” was no love at all. I saw Jesus as more of a means to an end instead of seeing that he was the end. I thought I loved my brothers and sisters in Christ, but it was just superficial and selfish.
God has given me a sensitivity to sin that I did not have before. He has given me a boldness to speak about him because I finally love him! His word has been on my heart and mind like it never has before.
I know time will be the test, but I am confident that he will continue the work he has done until it is complete. Each day I get up and choose him instead of the world, and I know this will continue until I die. I’m getting baptized today to publicly declare that he is Lord, that he has saved me and that I am a new creation in Him.