Surviving a Deceitful World

My Testimony

I remember when I was a young adult in church. I loved church. It was where my friends were… we sang nice songs… we shared meals… etc. I couldn’t think of anything better.  I truly loved church.

I also remember that my life was just that: MINE. It was easy to be “nice.” To say “nice” things to people. To do “nice” things for people that I liked. It was easy to be a “nice Christian girl.” Except that I was on my way to the Lake of Fire.

You see, I had “church,” but I did not have Jesus Christ. I thought I did because I went to church. I thought I did because I tried to be a “good” person. I thought I did because I knew some stuff from the Bible.

But I lived my life however I wanted. I did whatever I wanted, however I wanted, whenever I wanted. I was “free.” No one could tell me what to think or how to live. But I’d be in church every weekend, and sometimes Wednesdays, because it felt so nice just to be there.

I would look at the older ladies in church. Some of them seemed mature in their walk with God… wise, Godly women. I would think, “That seems like a good thing to do… I’ll try to be like that when I’m their age; in the meantime…”

I was DECEIVED–completely blind and deaf. You see, I thought CHURCH would save me. I thought it was a done deal–”Sign here.” Yipee! I’m in.

But  I had absolutely no fear of the LORD. I thought:

–He knows I’m trying my best (well, at least, not as bad as others).

–I’m only doing how I understand things (not that I bother to seek understanding).

–If I’m doing something wrong (not if, but when), it’s because God didn’t make it clear in the Bible.

After a while, I did not even bother to even go to church.

So, I continued worshiping a god after my own imagination… the god of ME and MY THOUGHTS.

But you know something? My loving, precious Heavenly Father did not give up on me. He pursued me. He set me up. And then, He confronted me.

“REPENT!”

I had never really heard that. I thought it was when we were sorry for having messed up… until the next time we messed up. Or that it was when we “repented” for not being a Christian, and then started going to church.

“GOD IS HOLY! GOD SAYS FOR US TO BE HOLY!”

Wait a minute… I have to do SOMETHING, too? I have to make up my mind to follow Him and trust that He will give me the strength to overcome all the sins I’ve come to enjoy and cherish?

“JESUS IS ALIVE.”

Yeah…. way up in Heaven, no? What? You mean, like, He can speak to me? He can guide me?

I can’t really explain what happened. I just know that God had mercy on me and OPENED MY EARS and MY HEART, so that I could truly SEE and BELIEVE that He is for real. In fact, there is nothing else that is real beside Him.

“Everybody” has heard that Jesus “died for our sins” but this never had an impact on me–it was like hearing a cliché… mostly, because of perception and observation; the fact that Jesus “died for our sins” seemed of little  consequence, other than people decided to start going to church. It was “life as usual” + “church.”

But this life we think we have is a mirage–it’s all fake: what we call LOVE (fake!); what we call JUSTICE (fake!); what we call MERCY (fake!); and what we call CHRISTIANITY is FAKE!  It is if we think that the ultimate expression of being a Christian is going to a building called “church”, giving some money, and trying to be good.

Someone was obedient and loving enough to tell me to repent unto eternal life, now it’s me who tells you with all the conviction of my being: Repent.

Repent.

Repent.

Turn away from your sin.  Ask for forgiveness from God for a lifestyle that doesn’t put Him and His will first. Ask Him to regenerate your heart and mind so that your desires will change to be pleasing to Him. He hears a sincere and humble heart.  Seek Him and He will not let you down.

How do I know this? Because He loved you enough to send His Only Son to die, so that YOUR debt for sin would be payed up; He loved you enough to really rise back from death to share the victory with you; He loved you enough to plan all of this out since before you were even conceived.  For you.

God is Patient, Merciful, Loving.  

But He is also Holy and Just.  We cannot have His Grace if we reject this gift of repentance.  Just like I have to remind my 2-year old all the time: It’s the parent that makes the rules.  I don’t go up to my Heavenly Father and tell Him, “Hey, I’m going to believe in You my own way, okay? So I hope You like it.” We don’t get to decide how we’re going to be saved. Jesus is the ONLY Way, Truth, and Life. It is only by His blood that the filth of our sin is cleansed, to become acceptable unto the Father, who is Holy. Without Jesus Christ as our Lord, we are on our own on the Day of Judgement, with our own sins, before a Holy God. Just what do you think will happen?

Repent for not believing.

Repent for being lukewarm.

Repent for complacency.

“Seek and you shall find.” I tell you, this is true. You won’t know until you do it. Jesus Christ is ALIVE today. He is REAL. Go to Him. Seek after Him. He will not let you down.

Comments on: "My Testimony" (2)

  1. When I entered the church, the first person who caught my attention was a woman of about 50, walking on her knees towards the altar, with a rosary in her hand. She was absorbed in prayer, I could tell, because she never paused when people passed her way to get to the other side of the church. She kept murmuring a prayer, her eyes closed and hands clasped tightly together. That scene is not uncommon in Quiapo, as well as in other churches in the Philippines. The Philippines is a country of “the prayerful and the faithful”… and I was glad to be back in my homeland for a while to visit Quiapo church and other churches in Pampanga (my hometown) my Mom and my sister usually go to. I feel like my faith has been nourished by the devotion I have witnessed in Quiapo. There was a man without one arm, who was praying beside me and wiping the Black Nazarene with his tears; an old woman who could barely walk went around to touch all the images displayed with the Black Nazarene. A little boy was praying solemnly, instead of playing or running about just like what other children do when their parents take them to church, and when his Mom told him that they should be going, he asked for more time, because he wasn’t finished praying yet. I realized how little my faith is compared to the many Filipino devotees who come to church regularly to pray. I am not a devout Catholic. In fact, I used to object religious statuary and I didn’t like to hear Mass. I was one of those who used to say, “Why do Catholics worship images?” I have read an article which explains this, but it’s another topic that I don’t have enough knowledge and right to talk about. If you are interested to read the article, here is the link to Catholic Answers .

    • Luisa Garcia said:

      Hi, Lynette. Thanks for reading and sharing. You know, I wrote this post a while back and I think I would write it a bit differently now. God has been opening my eyes a whole lot more to understanding His Love for us, and I now realize His people (those who truly love and long to live for Him) are found in every church denomination and these are His Body (aka “Church”=ekklesia, called out ones). He longs for us to trust Him alone, to go to Him as our first response, and not last resort (like I used to do). He knows the hearts of His people, and THAT is what He is after, like the Lord Jesus tried to explain over and over. It is about the heart and nothing external, for the external is of the things of this world and not of the Spirit. If we live after the Spirit, then we live. Amen! Glory to Jesus! Now I understand that a whole lot more than when I first wrote this. Seeing the devotion and love of others toward the Lord is edifying and a blessing. I don’t find that too much around where I live. I want to thank you so much for sharing. God bless and keep you!

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