Thank you Anita for your encouragement to write this down and keep it!
Well, I don’t know for sure how to describe what happened. Certainly, I know I cannot possibly describe it well, but I shall try.
All of my childhood, I was taught Biblical truth by my parents. I memorised scripture, was in church every time the doors were open, etc. There were times in my adulthood that I “tried” so very hard to BE a Christian. Yet, there was always something missing. I didn’t have the same sort (not the same exact) but the same sort of convictions I saw others who I felt were saved, had. I felt strongly about doctrinal truth. Yet, in retrospect, I can also see where that could have been a matter of pride, even though the Bible would forbid such and certainly the Sovereign Grace Baptist Church I was in would have taught against all manner of pride and arrogance.
Eventually, I gave up, turned my back to it for the main part, and slid as far down that downward spiral as God would let me. In 1 Chronicles there is the story of Manasseh. While I certainly was never King of anything; I am guilty of the same sorts of sins; the same sorts of sin that God judged Israel for by sending it into captivity in Babylon.
My life in the last 5 years has been very difficult. Deepest and darkest of depression was with me every waking moment. I felt that life had no meaning and I literally hated where I lived and wasn’t that keen on the people among whom I lived either.
Nothing got better either. The depression only deepened. My life was a total misery.
Two years ago, I visited XXXXXXX and was sitting under the teaching of one I call brother both in the spiritual sense as well as feeling that kinship with him in an earthly sense. If I could trace back to a time when I TRULY saw the fact that I NEEDED God, that evening in service in XXXXXXX would be the first time. From a human standpoint, this is when the Lord began to work on me. Yet, the Bible says His work is finished. He settled all of this before He laid the foundations of this world.
A few nights ago, I guess it may have been a couple of weeks ago, I was in bed, and all of a sudden, out of NOWHERE, I saw myself as a sinner; filthy, horrible, wretched, stinking.
I started praying for the first time in YEARS, to the true God. When I say I prayed for the first time in years, I mean it. It had been that long since I had actually cried out to God for anything other than my own selfish wishes, which is not prayer.
I actually had the audacity to begin to tell God that I deserved better than what I’d been given and all of a sudden, I saw that I did not. My mouth was stopped. I was stunned. And then I said, “No, Lord, I don’t.”
There was no sinner’s prayer of me accepting God, as I finally understood with my heart rather than just my head, that it was all about God accepting me and there was nothing I could do to merit salvation. What else can one say to God when seeing themselves as nothing but disgusting in His site, but “Oh God, please be merciful to me, a sinner!” I realised then, that my prayer was the result of God saving me, rather than the reason God saved me.
Since then things have been happening so quickly. All that knowledge that I had accumulated over the years has come back and to the forefront, only this time, it is precious to me. My “want to” has changed.
Certainly, I don’t believe it is my job to convert the masses. Especially as I see that truly Salvation is of the Lord. He started it before the foundations of the world were placed and He will see it through eternity. It’s not up to me to judge another person nor is it up to me to try and get them to walk an aisle and make a profession of faith, as if that does any good anyway!
My duty, ah, it’s more than that – it’s a joy… My joy is to serve the Lord, live my life as best I can, trust in Him to continue to grant me repentance unto life, and to be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks the reason for the hope that is in me.
And that's not the end. This is the beginning.