Level 5 - Life Stories
This Level 5 page contains encouraging life stories of people's journey towards God
WHY I FOLLOW JESUS - BY WILLIAM
I Can Relate
I can relate to those who have a hard time believing Christianity is real because of how they see a lot of "Christians" live and act. Why believe in Jesus just to believe in something? I would rather deal with reality than live in some religious fantasy world.
Decision To Follow Jesus
My decision to follow Jesus wasn't something I entered into easily. In fact, my spiritual journey, which started when I was in seventh grade, followed a long and winding path till I came to realize that the Bible was true and made Jesus lord of my life when I was thirty years old. In seventh grade I really wanted God in my life so I started going to church and even made my parents come. I was raised in a cult but at the time I didn't know that.
I was baptized and became very involved in the church. But I never saw anything that I would consider to be "of God". My observations of people in my church and my friends who went to other churches were that most of them were hypocrites. They "acted" one way on Sunday but the rest of the week they were no different from people who didn't believe in God from what I could see. They were always trying to impress people and had a nice religious façade but there didn't seem to be anything "real" in a spiritual sense.
After about a year of observing "religion" but not seeing any love or joy in people's lives I concluded that God was not real. So I decided this religious stuff wasn't for me, I didn't want to be a phony. From that time till I was in my twenties I never stepped foot in a church again except for weddings and funerals.
Wondering If God Existed
Later when I was twenty-five I started wondering again if there was really a God or not. Twice in my life since eighth grade I had what you could call "miracles" happen to me. But since I didn't believe in God I blew these experiences off as something weird or of my imagination. But at twenty-five those experience made me seriously consider if God was real. It wasn't that I wanted to believe in God because I was scared of dying or needed something to believe in. But I knew if God existed he would be the most important thing in the entire world. So I prayed and asked, "If you are real God I want you but I don't want this phony religious stuff." That began my quest for God in earnest.
Since I associated "phoniness" with Christianity I started my quest for God looking into "New Age" spirituality. I enjoyed my spiritual experiences and the people I met and made friends with but none of it really satisfied me, there still seem to be something missing. So again, I prayed, "God, all I want is the truth. If you aren't real I can live with that but if you are real I want you more than anything else.
Answer To Prayer
Finally, when I was twenty-eight God brought some "real" Christians into my life. At the time I sensed that these people had something different from what I had experienced before but I couldn't quite put my finger on what it was. I watched their lives and saw they were consistent, not perfect mind you but full of "real" love.
They knew I was interested in spiritual things so they invited me over for dinner and shared with me about God and the Bible. At Christmas they gave me a Bible so I started reading it. Some of it was hard to understand so I would ask them questions every week. This went on for nine months as that is the time it took me to read the whole Bible.
The Answers To Life
During this time of reading the Bible I was amazed & awed from what it said. It spoke to the questions and issues of life like nothing else I had ever come across. I came to realize that it indeed held within its pages the very words of God. I came to understand that I was separated from my creator, my God and the proof of that was the darkness in my heart, the desire to rule my own life and all the bad things I did. I saw in the Bible the message of ultimate love in God giving his own son as a payment for all the evil I did. What amazing love, how can it be that God would send his son to die for me!
So I confessed to God that I was in rebellion against him wanting to be my own god rather than give him his rightful place in my heart, in my life. Then I turned in my heart back to God and received what Jesus did on the cross for all the evil I did. At that point the Holy Spirit came into my life and became the source of power to live the life God wanted me to. Now I live to follow Jesus. It isn't always easy but it is good- very good.
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