God's Word Showed me the Way
My name is Andi and I would like to tell you how God helped me to choose the right way to take in life, and how I learned that there is a difference between merely believing that there is a God, and actually believing/trusting/obeying Jesus Christ and His Word.
I was born in Germany and brought up in the Protestant church, which meant that I had a certain belief in God and the Bible. However, I never really took the Bible seriously, and believed that by being a good person and not hurting anyone I would make it into heaven. As I grew up I was involved in a lot of church work such as youth groups and activities for the elderly, and I really enjoyed this social involvement.
A Happy Childhood - but Something was Missing
I had a very happy childhood, a caring family, good friends, no problems in school and grew up in a stable environment. On the whole I considered myself to be a “good girl”. I remember vaguely that at some point during a youth camp organized by the Protestant church, I was asked if I wanted to give my life completely to Jesus, which I agreed to. So we knelt down and prayed a prayer… I meant it, but no one really explained to me what it all meant and how to go on from there. Bit by bit my original enthusiasm faded away and I felt embarrassed to let family or friends know about it all, as anything to do with faith or God was not really openly talked about.
I soon found myself abandoning all the moral standards I had always adhered to.
After finishing my high school degree I was uncertain as to what to do with my life and decided to go to Italy for a few months to work as an au-pair. It was a great experience, but I soon found myself abandoning all the moral standards I had always adhered to back home. My life went downhill, mainly because of various life-attitudes influencing me during my time in Italy. Without going into much detail, I started becoming very selfish, just wanted to have fun and ended up hurting a few people along the way. After returning home from Italy I felt an immense guilt and knew that what I had done was wrong. I had hurt someone very badly and not lived according to what I knew was right before God.
The Turning Point!
After that I went to university in Germersheim, Germany. Praise God, shortly after starting my studies in languages and translation, I got to know a fellow student who explained to me what it truly meant to be a Christian. He explained that I had to repent of the sins in my life (by acknowledging them and not doing them anymore), be “born again” through baptism as an adult, and receive the Holy Spirit with the sign of speaking in tongues. This meant “starting from scratch” and leaving my old life behind, with all its mistakes and guilt. I also learned that because God is a righteous God; He will pardon the ones who turn to Him, but punish everyone who does not live according to His will:
“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works… And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” REVELATION 20:12,15
I was painfully aware that my sins separated me from God, but was overjoyed to hear about God’s forgiveness and that I could “leave it all behind”. However, I still had some doubt about what he had told me and did not want to attend any of his church’s meetings. Instead, I started praying earnestly to God and kept asking Him about the right way for my life. God answered powerfully – first through a scripture I opened up randomly in my Bible:
“And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.” ISAIAH 30:21
How God Showed Me the Way
God drew me closer and closer by showing me in some amazing ways that salvation through baptism and receiving the Holy Spirit was the right thing to do. In one Spanish lesson we were given a sheet of paper with a list of words we had to read out to practice pronunciation. The first word was “faith”; right in the middle of the sheet I found the word “baptism”; and the last phrase, to my complete surprise, was: “the way”. Many similar things happened and I felt God’s presence wherever I went, leading me to the decision to follow Him completely. So I made the decision to get saved according to the clear instructions in the Bible, through baptism by full immersion and receiving the Holy Spirit. I still remember the day as if it was yesterday, as straight after the baptism the heavy load of guilt I had carried around fell off me. I did not only “feel” cleansed, I was clean, a new person with a new aim in life: to pass on God’s truth to others, warn them of the coming judgment and live according to His will:
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” ECCLESIASTES 12:13,14
I have never regretted the decision I made back in 1993, and the Lord has blessed my life in many ways since then. After some years of missionary work in Scotland my husband John and I got married, we have moved to Australia since and now have four children.
With greetings from Australia,