Leaving Empty Religion Behind
This is a testimony of how God saved me from a life of hypocrisy, sickness and New Age philosophy.
In 1997, at the age of 16, I was an active member of the Lutheran church. Despite this, I was heavily involved in astrology, yoga and other New Age practices. I knew several “white witches” and was often tempted to go further and try things like “moving glasses”. Unfortunately I was never warned by any of the other church members or by my pastor about the spiritual danger of these things and I was even invited to a yoga seminar by one of our deacons. I was also taught in school during religious education classes not to take the Bible seriously. Nevertheless I found that something or someone stopped me from getting involved in more serious occult practices, like “moving glasses” or talking to the dead.
I led a fairly normal teenage life. I went to parties and did other teenage things and yet I grew more and more unhappy. This unhappiness was especially apparent on Sundays, when I had to read from the Bible for Sunday school. I felt that something was awfully wrong in my life. There was a big difference between the things that happened in my own life and in my church and what I read about in the Bible. I felt empty and dirty. I tried to compensate for these feelings by becoming more active in the church. I also got involved in conservation groups and other similar causes, but nothing really satisfied me.
After taking part in a seminar for future youth group leaders held by the Lutheran church I got a big shock and decided to leave. The seminar lasted for almost a week and many strange things happened during this time like drug abuse (In one room it was so bad that you got affected just by walking in there!), promiscuity, and experimenting with quite a few esoteric methods like autogenic training. Although I did not have a lot of biblical knowledge I was quite upset about the whole situation. On top of that, one of the seminar leaders tried to rape me. After that I gave up on the idea of being in a “Christian” group.
A short while later, after another one of my relationships broke up, I cried out to God to help me and show me how to lead a more fulfilled, healthy and better life. The many disappointments I had experienced with the church and my ex-boyfriends made it difficult for me to trust anyone. I was often depressed and had no inner peace. I also had low blood pressure (I had fainted a few times) and motion sickness.
The Lord answered my prayer by sending me a genuine Christian woman who told me about the Holy Spirit. I had never heard of this before and was very surprised that God still does great miracles today. I still had doubts, but soon realised her absolute sincerity and enthusiasm was something I had never seen before with other “so-called Christians”. At the same time I started to realise how hypocritical I was. I realised I had completely missed out on developing a proper relationship with God because I had not taken His Word seriously.
After this I was unable to forget what I had been told about the power of the Holy Spirit and how this could transform a person from the inside out. After several days I decided to call the woman who gave me the tract. I can still remember sitting in front of the phone and praying: ”Lord, if this isn’t a cult and you are leading me there then let this woman answer the phone immediately!” …And she did!
A short time later I went along to a house meeting with the Christian lady. From the beginning I felt like I was “at home” and I listened curiously while the others were praying in the Spirit. A deep conviction of sin, Godly fear and a desire “to make things right with God” grew within me and I prayed to God: “If this is the right place for me, LORD, and the place where You want me to be, then please give me the same gift!” Soon after, I received the Holy Spirit and started speaking in another tongue as described in the Book of ACTS.
I was baptised the very next day in a swimming pool and I really felt the burden dropping from my heart. From that moment on, I was healed from depression, my low blood pressure and my motion sickness. The Lord healed my “wounds of mistrust”, gave me inner peace and much more!
Praise the Lord!!