My Journey from Being a Catholic Believer to a Spirit Filled Christian

Evie - South Australia

Photo of Evie

Raised in the Catholic Church

I was raised a Roman Catholic. We went to church most Sundays and kept all the Catholic traditions. I had my “first holy communion” when I was in grade 3, which meant that we could partake in eating the holy bread (waver) in church which represented the body of Christ. Actually it not only represented the body of Christ, through prayer the priest “made it into the actual body of Christ”.

When I was about 13 years old I had my “confirmation” which was meant to be the time to receive the Holy Spirit. I was well prepared for this big event after attending several days of prayer, talks, group work concerning this theme. Expecting at least a little bit of manifestation when the priest laid hands on me and prayed, I left quite disappointed as nothing really happened. Anyway, they said we had received the Holy Spirit from this day on. I continued going to church as I believed there is a God and I had a bad conscience if I didn’t go. However, the rituals in church did not make much sense to me, when to stand up, when to sit down, going to the confession box and telling my sins, of course not all of them, to the priest who then would give me the remission of sins.

At some stage a new youth pastor came into our church and he introduced some new things like youth mass where we had guitar music and singing, youth groups, prayer meetings and more. There was a group of highly motivated teenagers and young adults who met for prayer meetings and singing choruses which drew my attention as I did believe in God and wanted to get to know Him.

You can talk to God directly and read His Word

During this time a girl told me that I could talk directly to God and that He could give me answers through the Bible. I was very astonished but she continued saying that she would often pray and ask God for answers and then open the bible and God would show her exactly what she needed. Well, this was enough motivation for me to buy my own bible. Roman Catholics usually don’t have a bible or think they don’t need one as the priest would tell them anyway what’s right and wrong. At first I felt ashamed going to the shop and asking for a bible but I wanted to find out about this prayer and answer issue and I ended up with my Catholic bible in my room reading and praying nearly every day. I thought if I don’t have time for God, He won’t have time for me. This went on for about a year I think and God definitely led my way and held my hand. “Draw nigh unto God, and he will draw nigh to you…” (JAMES 4:8)

Through reading the Word of God He was able to change my thinking and to work on my soul. “For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged 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.” (HEBREWS 4:12)

I still went to the Catholic Church, seeking for God, but at some stage I had to leave in the middle of the ceremony as everything seemed very hypocritical to me. I could not help it. I asked God often to show me the right way and He did. Although there was not really an alternative to the Catholic Church in the area where I grew up. 

Receiving the Holy Spirit

When I started my studies I lived away from home for most of the week. I joined a Catholic prayer group once a week where we met for short prayer and a big breakfast afterwards. One day someone whom I knew back from school, turned up. He started preaching about the Holy Spirit and baptism and our group leader became very aggressive; so much so that he nearly punched him. I just listened to this conversation and did not know what to think about it. When Michael, my old school acquaintance, left, I ran after him and could not help asking him to pray for me as I always believed in prayer. He joyfully said he would do this and invited me to a Pentecostal meeting. First I denied as I was always very cautious but after a few invitations I agreed to go there with my boy friend who was eager to find out for himself as well.

We ended up joining a Christian meeting in a living room. I certainly was not a person who could be easily convinced of something new and I was very skeptical. However what was most impressive at this evening was the singing; it was very powerful and full of joy - and everybody joined in wholeheartedly. Something I never experienced in the Catholic Church. Anyway, we had a lot of questions and they were all answered with the Scriptures. I could see, these people really knew their bible and the Word of God was the foundation of their lives.

When I was back at home I still had a lot of worries that this was a sect and I asked the Lord for an answer. When I opened my bible at a random page I read the following scripture: “But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy (which in the German bible is translated with ‘sect’) so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets.” (ACTS 24:14) So here was my answer directly from God. It was not a sect; it was a group who worships the God of the bible.

The next thing I wanted to see as proof was the speaking in tongues. So we went to a meeting where these gifts were operated and I heard my schoolmate speaking in a new language which I never heard him do before. Everything went very smooth and orderly, there was no crazy screaming or rolling on the floor. In my heart I knew it was from God. Also I think the assembly group prayed a lot for us to get saved. I know I was drawn to the meetings a few times when my feeling told me differently. Not too long and I got baptized under water in a lake and buried my old life. Afterwards we went to pray for the Holy Spirit. And this time I can say I really received the Holy Spirit as the Scripture says: “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (ACTS 2:4) I started speaking in a new language through the Holy Ghost and this was my uttermost proof that the Word of God is real. Nobody would be able to ever take this from me.

My Journey as a Spirit-filled Christian

This was my journey from a Catholic believer to a Spirit-filled Christian and I praise God that He led me this way. “Ask and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” (MATTHEW 7:7)

That's how I got converted in 1990 to the God of the Bible and a lot has happened since. I moved from Germany to Australia as a calling of God, got married and have 3 beautiful kids. Life has never been boring since. The path has not always been easy and at times I was extremely desperate and lonely and could not see any light at the end of the tunnel, a few times I hit rock bottom and thought it would be better to die than to live.

But one thing I know, there is ALWAYS a place to go: down on my knees to pray to God; and He was always faithful and lifted me up again and showed me His light and peace and most of all God gave me new strength to go on. If everything fails, HE never will! “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” (ECCLESIASTES 3:1)

There is a purpose for every life and I am so glad I found the narrow way.

Evie

Comments

Very interesting

Hey,

I am a Christian and I found your post when I was searching on Google for someone to answer a question! I have a few friends on social media that are catholic and they talk about the Lord a lot and how the Holy spirit leads them through their life to do certain good things. I’m not sure why it’s bothering me so much but as a Christian being spirit filled I don’t get if they are following a religion that I don’t believe the Lord would want them to follow how are they feeling the spirit? Is it a false spirit, the enemy or something their making up? In your story you said you didn’t feel any different when you were catholic so I’m just curious as to how they feel they are doing the right thing being catholic and what spirit they think they’re feeling guide them.. Any words from you would be appreciated. Thank you!

Hi there, thank you for your email and for reading the testimony. I think your question is not a really easy one to answer, however I am happy to give you "my 5 cents". First of all we know that every good gift is from God and God is good. If somebody is doing good, I believe, we can say that it is influenced by the Spirit of God and not of the devil. If we draw our character from the Spirit of God, God's Word, we will do good. "He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil." 1John 3:1 (KJV) "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." John 10:10 (KJV) So, doing good can't be influenced by an evil spirit. Then, there is different stages in a christian journey. People might be seriously seeking God but having not arrived yet at the crossing where God can fill them with the Holy Spirit. For me personally I can say, speaking in tongues is part of receiving the Holy Spirit and I certainly did not receive during the ceremony in the Catholic Church. However, it took me also a few years, searching the bible and getting to the point where I then could get saved. God was leading me all the way because I wanted to follow Him - even when I was still part of the Catholic church. Finally, we have to judge everything by the Word of God. If, what we say or do is according to God's will, what He teaches us in His Word, then we know we are on the right track. Sooner or later the road should lead every christian on to become more Christ-like. What seems so clear and easy for us, sometimes does not look very clear for others. But in 5 years time maybe things will also look different for us than we see them now. We all grow up in our flesh and spirit. "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ." Ephesians 4:13 (KJV) So, we get judged according to our fruit. And also we are meant to continue "speaking the truth in love..." Ephesians 4:15 (KJV) and praying for our friends. It is not so much about a feeling but about doing what God says we should do. Concerning your friends I'd say the Holy Spirit can be with them and guide them although they might not have received yet the baptism of the Holy Spirit. If they are sincere seekers we can trust that God will lead them on. God bless! Evie

How do I talk to Catholic's (mostly relatives) about a relationship with Jesus without turning them away immediately. I mean the apostle's creed says it all and the Catholic's say this at every Mass right, so maybe the question to them would be do you really believe this? Please help me bridge this gap. I think there is an urgency to tell people.
thank you,
I was raised catholic, and went to parochial school.

Hello,
thank you for your comment on my testimony.
What comes to mind is a conversation I had not too long ago with a spirit filled christian who visits the elderly in a catholic old peoples home.
She goes there with the intent to preach Jesus and show His love, so she talks mainly about Jesus. Catholics then often try to refer to "Holy Mary", but she just ignores these comments and continues to talk about Jesus. This is a non offensive way in engaging them in a christian conversation and also emphasising God's love rather than criticising and pointing towards the differences. This particular lady says that many of the elderly women give their life to Jesus.

In my opinion - especially with catholics - it is often better to preach by deeds more than words. And of course prayer for the relatives is very important, so God will prepare their hearts and open doors for conversations.
But surely people will see a difference in you and seeing this will be more than a thousand words.

Stay strong and all the best,
Evie

Hi Evi, I am very glad that Jesus saved you this wonderful way and as an eye witness of your conversion in those times I can really confirm publicly that the Lord is really as wonderful and faithfull as you have written. I made similar experiences also in my life. To God be all the glory!

Hi Evi, I am very glad that Jesus saved you this wonderful way and as an eye witness of your conversion in those times I can really confirm publicly that the Lord is really as wonderful and faithfull as you have written. I made similar experiences also in my life. To God be all the glory!

Interested in the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Should I seek? Am 60 and would like to grow into a fuller Catholic Christian. Wish to remain single (never married) and not pursue marriage or priesthood or consecrated life. Any ideas and any people my age who could help me ?

Dear friend,

thank you for your question. I think you should definitely seek for the infilling of the Holy Spirit as God promises this gift to everyone who seeks and it is a vital part of being a Christian.

"If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" (Luke 11;13)

"Repent and be baptised everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." (Acts 2;38)

We also have a very good theme sheet about the Holy Spirit which you might want to study:

http://www.cai.org/bible-studies/what-bible-says-about-holy-spirit

Concerning help please have a look at the following link which will show you if there is an Assembly Group close to where you are and please get into contact with them, they will be very happy to help you. And yes, we do have members in your age group.

http://www.cai.org/about-us

All the best and God's blessing,

                                                 Evie

Dear Evie,
Thank you so much for sharing your testimony about becoming spirit filled...
I'm a born again spirit filled believer and have a Catholic lady friend, and your testimony has encouraged me to reach out to her more.
Please do let me know if you have any tips or advice about how to broach the topic of praying in tongues or even how to approach being filled with the Holy Spirit without offending her or judging her?.
Thank you and God bless

Dear Bruce,

I am glad that my testimony was of benefit to you. Here are a few thoughts that come to mind in regards to your question.
In your situation I would talk about your personal experience receiving the Holy Spirit. This is something nobody can deny and you know best what miracle it is so you can even “proof” it that the scripture is true. You could show your friend what the bible says about this topic. We have two very good articles on our website about “What the bible says about the Holy Spirit” and “What the bible says about water baptism” which might help you.

Above all we should not be afraid to tell the truth as the truth can set people free and can also open the eyes of your friend to full salvation.
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32).

Sometimes people are offended by the word of God as also Paul writes: “Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?” (Gal 4:16)
And Paul also says: “For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God” (Acts 20:27).

When I got converted I received the Word of truth and also people prayed a lot for me and let the Holy Spirit do His work in my soul. As a general “rule” we say: 20% talking and 80% praying. “ The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16b)

God bless you and guide you!

Evie