“God Had to Bring Me to My Knees”
My story is a testimony of God’s mercy and longsuffering in my life. He brought me to true peace as I read and studied His Words in the Bible. I live with meaning and purpose, and a secure hope of a home in heaven. But it wasn’t always this way for me…
I grew up in a Christian home. My parents were active members of a Bible-believing church. God was extremely good to me in placing me in an environment where I could hear the truth of God from an early age. Like most kids, I had a tender heart towards Jesus. I believed that He died on the cross for my sins, that Hell was for sinners, and that Heaven was for those who were saved. (Note: “saved,” “salvation,” and “born again” are Biblical concepts referring to the forgiveness of sins by God and the rescue of a person from the power and penalty of that sin. This is God’s requirement for everlasting life.) When I was 5 years old, I remember praying and asking Jesus to come into my heart so that I could go to Heaven when I died.
“From that point on I was actively involved in serving in my church with my parents. I continued on like any normal Christian kid would do.”
Generally, I was a “good kid” and stayed out of trouble. It was during my college years, that I noticed some things lacking in my spiritual life. I’m sure that there were other people that noticed as well, but most people probably assumed I was a Christian. (I Samuel 16:7, “For the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.”)
I continued on in this same spiritual state for years. As time passed, I became distracted with many things in the world. I let the lusts of my flesh control me. I allowed secret sins to reign victorious in my life. These sins held me captive and ruined any hope of experiencing a Spirit-filled walk with Jesus Christ. Through these years, I often doubted my salvation, but I clung to the memory of my prayer when I was five. In my heart, I honestly knew that my personal walk with God was non-existent.
When I met my wife, it was God’s loving-kindness that brought us together, for it was during our early years together that God began to reveal the depths of my heart to me.
“My heart was often pricked with conviction, yet I continued on – convinced that I was generally okay with God.”
The Bible says in Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” It was the preaching of the Word of God, that brought conviction to my unsettled heart. Many Sunday mornings, I wanted to come down to the altar and confess to God who I really was, but I held back and doubted whether my feelings were genuine.
God also used many different Bible studies I was involved in to show me that I had never come to a place of true repentance. Job 42:6 is mentioned in one of the studies: “Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” My attitude toward my sin could hardly fit this description. I did not see God’s pure holiness and my wretched sinfulness. I did not see my sin as God reveals it in His Word.
My sins of anger and pride were the largest sins that God brought to my attention. These sins had continued to surface and finally came to the forefront of my heart. Through a dark trial in my life, Christ revealed to me how devastated I was in my sin. I intended to kneel and pray for help for my family in this trial, but in that moment, God sent conviction so heavily into my soul that I turned my focus from the needs of others to the deep rooted sin of my own heart. I was compelled by the Holy Spirit of God to cry out in desperation with a deep sense of personal sorrow for my sin. I finally saw that I had a heart full of wickedness, and that it was my sin that nailed Jesus to the Cross. I finally saw that I was wretched to the core. Psalm 51:4, “Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight:”
God put a spotlight on me, and He brought me to a place of humility.
“I cried out to God to have mercy on my soul and save me from my wickedness.”
I experienced His tender love for me for the first time in my life. I suddenly knew what it meant to be accepted by a holy, loving Heavenly Father!
That was the day that Jesus came to me. I sought Him, and He found me in my sin. The Bible says in John 6:44, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him:” That was the difference. My prayer as a young boy was sincere, but was motivated by a fear of Hell. Now God’s conviction was a supernatural work as He revealed the depths of my sinful heart and drew me to Himself.
God was merciful to me. He patiently guided me through His Word and His Spirit. He settled the doubts that nagged at me for so many years and has given me a new desire to humbly walk with Him. Psalm 40:1-2a says, “I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock.”