How I Found God after Years of Seeking
I would like to tell you how God opened my eyes and showed me that He is really alive. It was between the ages of 12 and 16 that I started seeking the truth. I often thought about right and wrong and wanted to know why such cruel things as war, rape, murder, etc. happen in this world. I wondered whether the stories I had heard about God were true or not, and if there really is only one God.
I grew up praying to God every day and going to the Catholic Church on Sundays, but when it came to questions about the meaning of life, I couldn’t get satisfactory answers. Every religion gave me different answers to my questions. Some people said that you have to go on a pilgrimage to a special place to please God, and some said that I should pray to Mary, Peter or some other dead person to get to know the truth and to be saved after my death. However, the Lord showed me the following verses: ISAIAH 42:17, and the 2nd commandment: DEUTERONOMY 5:8-10.
Others told me to do good works to get to heaven and some even answered with: “Jesus loves you like you are - so do what you want - He forgives you – that is what the Bible says.” But I couldn’t believe all that. I wondered what kind of God could be "bought" with a pilgrimage or by doing good works? How real is His grace and love if He can be bribed?
... I saw no sense in existing in such a corrupt and crazy world...
What about the bad things I had done before and continued to do again and again? What is right and what is wrong? Who defines it? Who cares? The more I asked and wanted to know the truth, the more different ideas I got about God. Finally, when I was about 18-years-old, I was sick of seeking. I was very disappointed and even tried to kill myself twice for I saw no sense in existing in such a corrupt and crazy world. Fortunately both attempts were unsuccessful, and after the second attempted suicide, I suddenly knew in my heart… "There is a God and He wants me alive." For what reason? … I had no idea.
I cried out to God: "I will stop seeking on my own, I’m sick of it - if you are the living and loving God and you really are interested in me, then show me that you are real! Lead me to that church, assembly, group or wherever you want to have me. If you are God - you can do miracles without the help of my works." And then I made a promise: "The next time I get in contact with an assembly telling me about God, I will join them fully, no matter what they tell me to do. If you are God - lead me! If there is no God - then nothing matters anyway!"
PSALM 18:5-6,16,19 says:
“The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me. In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: He heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into His ears… He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters… He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me.”
And that’s how God drew me out of the dirt!
I was 20 when a guy from Christian Assemblies International asked me to join a meeting with true Christians. Well - I wasn’t convinced by what he told me, but I joined the meeting anyway. It was unusual for me to meet in an apartment - with just about ten people around. But I thought: "It doesn’t matter how many they are - what they preach is important."
...there are signs following if you have the Holy Spirit, like speaking in tongues...
What really surprised me was a Scripture they showed me: MARK 16:17-18, which says that there are signs following if you have the Holy Spirit, like speaking in tongues. I had never heard that before and realised that for almost twenty years I had just listened to what the priests in the Catholic Church preached, but had never taken out a Bible to read God’s Word on my own. I had never compared my life with the Scriptures that we should rely on as "Christians".
During the meeting the people started praying in the Spirit, but I still wasn’t convinced. "What am I doing here?" I asked God and myself. And suddenly I remembered the promise I once made! It was more than a year since I had made that promise and I’d totally forgotten everything about it till that Sunday in February 2001. I was shocked and had to make a very unusual decision. I said: "Okay, Lord, I risk everything I have. Help me out if my decision is wrong, but I will join this assembly as I promised and give my life into your hands completely - do what you want with me - now!”
...free from all the wrath I had kept over the years...
It was like a big roar and I felt free for the first time in my life: free from all the wrath I had kept over the years, knowing now that nothing counts other than salvation through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for all my sins and a new life from now on! My tears were flowing and I remembered that sometimes at home I had those weird syllables in my head for some years. Was that this ‘speaking in tongues’ that the people around me were doing? I just started speaking out what came into my mind and it formed itself more and more into a language I had never heard before. You can’t imagine how happy I was, and still am, since that day when God opened my eyes to His Word. Later that day I was baptised under water, for I knew the scripture in MARK 16:15-16.
I’m thankful for God’s mercy, and that He has chosen me too. To see His works and miracles and to get to know Him more and more is so important in order to understand the things that are going on in this world!
Take the risk - and ask God to show you that He is real!
LOVE in CHRIST,