For as long as I could remember, I regarded myself as a morally superior person. I would observe the happenings of the world and conclude "If the world was more like me, the world would be a better place."
At the same time however, a gnawing sense of dissatisfaction nipped at my heart as every pleasure seemed to always come to an end; much anticipated holidays would come and then just as easily pass, video games would give me a thrill for a while but then inevitably end.
This fact of life was proved to be very frustrating to me. Everything left me feeling thirsty. I thought "Is life all just about temporary pleasure?" In retrospect, I know I was thirsting after a relationship. John 7:37 states "....If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink."
As my thirst increased, my distorted pursuits of pleasure also increased. I fell headstrong into sexual immorality and pornography, though I had no sense that there was anything immoral about it. Shortly after, the relationship I was in ended.
My gnawing sense of dissatisfaction had now morphed into a depression that crippled me to the extent that I could not hold onto a job or complete my university studies. This resulted in me medicating myself through immorality. I felt miserable as my lack of joy sprung from the reality that there was no hope on the horizon for a failure like me.
One day I was pacing around in my kitchen thinking about my predicament, when suddenly a foreign thought seemed to penetrate my thoughts "You are not as good as you think you are". Suddenly I realised how selfish I was, especially in the context of the relationship I was in. I had used the relationship for my own gain.
I now had a new problem. I became burdened by this new sense of guilt that was not in existence before. A family member, seeing my struggle, encouraged me to explore a book on new age meditation. This book was fascinating to me at the time; it taught that I was actually God and that there are no clear categories of moral right and wrong.
This created a perfect storm for a person like me who struggled with a sense of guilt. As I meditated upon these principles, I honestly felt like I was slowly dying inside. I would fall into sexual sin, feel guilty, and then meditate until my guilty conscience had been numbed.
I slowly began to realise that my problem was not solely dissatisfaction, but rather, a spiritual deadness. I realised I did not have the power to live a life that was morally right. I picked up the dusty Bible that sat neglected on my table and began to read the gospels. I was immediately struck by the strange, yet faultless character of Jesus Christ. I thought to myself 'this man is unusual but I cannot fault him, he is perfect!' This realization was enough for me to begin to believe in Him.
The pivotal moment that brought me to becoming a Christian was when I read the following words from Jesus in Luke 5:32 "I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance." I was astonished! The very reality that I thought would make me unacceptable to God, was the very reality that would lead me to eternal life, namely, the acknowledgement that I was a sinner before God in need of forgiveness!
At that moment I asked God to forgive all my sins and received the gift of the Holy Spirit to overcome my depraved addictions. I am not perfect, but I rest on Christ's finished work on the cross while pursuing his righteousness for he has said in 1 Peter 1:16 – "Be holy for I am holy"
By God's grace (undeserved love of God), I now have the privilege to work for Voice of The Martyrs which is a beautiful ministry that serves persecuted believers with practical and spiritual assistance. This is a highlight of my life that God would consider me, a person who could not previously hold a job, to serve countless believers who are persecuted for Christ.
Please share the gospel with family, friends, neighbours, and strangers for this is the very gospel that persecuted believers are willing to die for. The sole justifying reason for the Apostle Paul's suffering in prison is succinctly summarised in Philippians 1:12 - "Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel."•