I have had the greatest opportunity in my life to witness first-hand what God Almighty can do and has done in my life so I give him all the praise. Its often said that there is no testimony without the test. Well here is mine.
Speeding in the wrong direction
I used to live a carefree life before I got born again, well not that care-free you might be thinking about but a life of "whatever can happen will happen" kind of living. I used to enjoy it but not that much as I sometimes felt there was something missing and I could not get it physically, neither from what I did nor from what I desired to do. In pursuit of this thing that I could not get easily I used my own human understanding and came up with "clever" ways of spending my time which later led me down a path I did not anticipate.
I spent most of time reading up on the different philosophies of creation from different angles and perspectives, some of which proved that there was no God 🤦🏾♂️ and others explained the intricate science behind the human body and mind, ranging from the individual components of the Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) molecule and how it relates to other acid molecules to Stephen Hawking's explanation of the history of time .
I am not saying reading about all those things is bad but just pointing out that its often interesting what the human mind can dig up when searching for something that can fill up the void within. I thought my own wisdom would help me fill the void that was developing within but the Bible is clear
"Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart And do not rely on your own insight or understanding. " - Proverbs 3:5 (AMP)
The Saving Grace of God
It was about 5 pm on a cold Saturday when I was approached by a gentleman called Denis. He told me about how God was this amazing and wonderful person whose definition was Love. The Bible says
"7Beloved, let us [unselfishly] love and seek the best for one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves [others] is born of God and knows God [through personal experience]. 8The one who does not love has not become acquainted with God [does not and never did know Him], for God is love. [He is the originator of love, and it is an enduring attribute of His nature.]" - 1 John 4:7-8 (AMP)
I at first told him I knew God but once I read 1 John 4:7-8 again I realised I never knew him. I also realised I was among the hypocrytes Jesus talked about in the book of Matthew 7:21
' “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. ' Matthew 7:21
So I quickly asked myself who really God is. I had been told he was this Fatherly figure with a long beard, bright shining face and seated on some big throne in heaven, our final destination as Christians. I had also been told about his wrath and how he punishes those that sin against him and he was tough on all sinners. After quite a long chat with Denis he asked if I was born again to which I answered a firm NO. He held my hands prayed and told me to repeat the words he said and voila I was born again.
The Favour of God
17For if by the trespass of the one (Adam), death reigned through the one (Adam), much more surely will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in [eternal] life through the One, Jesus Christ. - Rom 5:17 (AMP)
Grace is God's unmerited favour towards the believer. Praise God Halleluyah! This favour which we have recieved from God is no longer a promise, its a reality. The Bible says is John 1:16
'For out of His fullness [the superabundance of His grace and truth] we have all received grace upon grace [spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing, favor upon favor, and gift heaped upon gift]. ' John 1:16 https://my.bible.com/bible/1588/JHN.1.16
Shortly after that prayer with Denis I began to see interesting random positive changes in my life. I began adoring worship music of all genres from RnB hit songs of Kirk Franklin, Worship songs of HillSong to HipHop tracks of Lecrae and Canton Jones. Keep in mind that this was all when I was still in my High School and the sudden (well not so sudden) craving for this kind of music kept my spirit alive, alert and aware!
I saw first hand what God's favor did in my life back then. It shielded me from vices such as alcoholism, smoking and drug abuse since these were evident back then. I began spending my free time learning how to play the drums but gravitated towards computers later on. God's favor positioned me for interesting opportunities while in school and its because of such opportunities that certain doors opened for me. Here is a video that sums up what I mean when I talk about God's favor.
Finding rest in Him
Over time, I learnt how to respond to tough circumstances that came my way. I know that God fights my battles and I am more than a conqueror since the Bible says so in Isaiah 54:17 and Rom 8:37 . I sing when sadness seems to engulf me and I remember that things are not falling apart, they are falling into place 😊.
The greatest step I took regarding finding rest in God was to forgive others and myself. Forgiveness is such a heavy mental task but its benefits are immense. God has called us to forgive each others sins (Col 3:13) and once you do so the relief and freedom you get is something I can't explain.
Having known what God can do and has done, are you born again? I shall leave you with this wonderful video regarding God's unconditional love.