Portia’s change of heart


Just like there is a difference between knowing about a famous celebrity and actually knowing them personally, Martha Goba's life changed when she realised the same is true for God.

Martha, better known as Portia to her friends, lived much of her early life believing that she was a Christian because her parents were.

"I was raised in a Christian home and I thought I was a Christian because I used to go to church with them," Portia says.

"I did not know that I was wrong and needed to personally make a decision to accept Jesus as my Lord and Saviour."

While she knew a lot about Jesus Christ and who God is, Portia says she now realises she came to God with wrong motives.

"I was only wanting His blessings and not really willing to serve Him wholeheartedly," she explains.

The hypocrisy in her church further discouraged her.

"One such example was when a praise and worship leader in our church was secretly leading an immoral life by having an affair," she says.

Portia felt anger and frustration over the situation but realised later that she too needed to sort out the sins she had been hiding in her own life.

"I had jealousy, unforgiveness and a habit of lying," she confesses now.

Then her mom passed away and Portia realised she had no one to turn to except Jesus.

"The only person who I knew could help me was God. There were a lot of questions I had that only God could answer," she says.

Then she was at a week-long series of messages on a faith mission in Zimbabwe where she heard a challenging message.

She quotes Romans chapter 10 verses 9 and 10, which says: "If you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved."

Suddenly Portia knew she needed to do just that and surrender every sin, every unanswered question, every insecurity and every part of herself to God.

From that moment of complete surrender she says everything changed.

"The biggest change that happened in my life was that I entered a real relationship with God."

Suddenly what was once just head knowledge about God became a relationship where Portia knew Him personally as her Heavenly Father and Lord of her life.

With the Holy Spirit now living inside her, Portia had the ability to do things she had struggled to do before.

"Now I am able to forgive people who do wrong things to me. There were relationships I was able to mend and lies which I had to confess."

While she is still not perfect, Portia knows she is a loved child of God and has the strength to face whatever comes her way.

She concludes with a verse from Proverbs chapter 3 verses 5-6 that she hopes encourages others to seek after God wholeheartedly like she has.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding; in all your ways (acknowledge and) submit to Him and He will direct your paths."

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