When I was young I was always a bit of a worrier. I used to worry that I had a brain tumour or scarlet fever. Looking back I think it was because I knew I wasn’t prepared for what would happen when I died. My parents spent hours explaining how to become a Christian. Repent of your sins, and believe in Jesus Christ. Trust that your sins can be forgiven because of His death and resurrection.
I can’t really pin down the exact date of becoming a Christian, I just remember reading my Bible when I was about 12 and realising that I did believe. Jesus really had died for me and now I had to live for Him. I was baptised later that year, and soon after my 13th birthday my family made the move from Birmingham to Brighton.
When I was sixteen I started work, and found myself starting to drift away from God. It happened so gradually that before I knew it I was living a life that was not in obedience to God. I somehow believed that because I went to church and had tried to keep the rules that I should be given all that I desired. Money, friends, relationships. I was looking for comfort in earthly treasures.
I lived my life with this attitude for several years, and found myself growing more and more depressed with the way things were going. I kept wondering why God wasn’t doing what I thought He ought to do – I was trying to get by in my own strength. I made a lot of really bad decisions during this period, and it took me a long time to realise that things weren’t really working out. It took me even longer to realise that the fault was with me and not with God.
By trying to be good and obey God in my own strength I had developed a very bad attitude. Because I was doing certain things for God I thought God was obligated to do certain things for me. Things came to a head when I was in my early 20’s. It had been several years since I had felt really close to God. I still believed in God, still went to church, still knew that I was a sinner saved by grace. Despite knowing all this I was caught in a spiral of self gratification. Things reached a low ebb and I finally cried out to God and asked Him to show me a way out of this cycle.
He did just that. Through the preaching on Sundays, reading the Bible and speaking to God in prayer, God led me out of the mess I had made, and showed me a better way. He showed me the freedom that can be found in seeking to live for Him. My goodness doesn’t depend on the good things that I do, it is the perfect life Jesus lived and in Jesus’ death and resurrection. I am freed from bondage to sin and free to live for God. It is by God’s love and grace toward me that I am able to please Him. Because my Salvation is in Jesus I know that I am eternally secure and will see Him face to face when I die and go to Heaven.
Proverbs 3:5&6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will make strait your paths.”
Ephesians 2:8&9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not the result of works, so that no one may boast.”