We are all are on a spiritual path, from those that deny there is a spiritual world to those that deny the physical world.
Many, though, have some religious beliefs. For me, it started when I was born to Christian parents which provided me with knowledge of the Bible.
But we can be bad all by ourselves…
A Way that seemed right
When the years of my youth were over I found myself in a dark place. I made decisions that isolated myself and filled me with sadness. I became addicted and attached to computers, video games, and movies which led to the snare of pornography. I had pain that I wanted to soothe with a strong intensity. I was fearful and extremely anxious most of the time speaking very negatively about myself. I tried to go to college, but I could not pass an easy English class because I was insecure and fearful of talking about myself. I avoided my emotions which didn’t make it better but made me feel almost insane. So, I begin to see that something needed to happen.
I went to church from a young age and was baptized when I was 10. I believed innocently in Jesus but chose selfishness instead. I received a book after the baptism intending to help me at a young age understand and grow in faith. The small discipleship book stayed on my shelf only glancing at it once.
I was fooled, tricked, deceived, hoodwinked, and defrauded by sin – selfish desires. It’s difficult to describe what it was like back then. I found what I wrote many years ago: ‘I awoke from as from a dream, how did I become this weak, hurt man’. I believed I could receive what I needed from those tangible ways, but what I needed was spirit. Yet, there is something spiritual happening there – it’s called idol worship in the bible.
Spiritual Turning Point
A turning point came around age 21 when one day looking at extremely tangled-up wires connecting to the computer. I had untangled them a short time ago and they became tangled up again. I said to myself “I can’t untangle the wires of my life without help, it’s impossible”. The ugliness of sin was shown clearly to me.
Around this time there were people at my church sharing their joy in their salvation and I wanted to have that too. It seemed that I was so messed up – I felt worthless and so depressed that I did not want to live. I was headed to self-destruction. My selfish sin held back – now the damn was about to break.
I kept hearing about God who could do the impossible. He could take anyone, really anyone, and bring salvation. Jesus said in response to this very question, “what is impossible for man is possible with God” (Luke 18:27). For what seemed like a year, on Sunday’s my heart would believe, but during the week I’d ignore my heart.
There was a moment where I decided to completely believe and trust in God to do what he said he can do. I remember thinking if God wants to do nothing then he has that option – I am trusting in Him to do whatever he wants. My life was in His hands, and that seems to be an important part of trust – to trust fully. I confessed with my mouth and believed in my heart that Jesus Christ is Lord who is risen from the dead.
I had love toward others, not selfishness. I had emotions – lots of them. There was now an ability to say no to sin. I didn’t live for what I wanted or live for what made me feel better. I started to live for Christ (Gal 2:20). I am now confident there is no life apart from Christ. The scripture verse that explains what happened and is my favorite verse is 2 Cor. 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
Also, “He delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins”, Colossians 1:13,14. From death to life was the turning point in my spiritual journey. The love of God in forgiveness through Christ cleansed me and brought me into a relationship with Him.
It was nothing that I did, “…not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.” Titus 3:5
A free gift, we only then need to receive it.
– only believe.