God Becoming Real to Me
I was raised Catholic and received a Catholic education during a time of theological flux within the Catholic Church. Also at this time there was great political turmoil and social upheaval in the U.S. As a result of this commotion and unrest, I decided there could be no God. In my junior year of high school a friend became a Jehovah’s Witness. She was studying the Bible in a serious way. I became interested too, until she told me that Jesus was only a prophet and had not resurrected. Even after 11 years of religious education, I had no way of arguing with her. However, I was sure that if there was a God, then Jesus was the Son of God, and had resurrected. It took me several days, but I finally found Bible verses that showed that Jesus is the Son of God and is resurrected. That year I began reading the Bible earnestly, trying to sort out Bible facts from religious fiction. Acts 2:36 says: Let all…know assuredly that God has made Him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you have crucified.
That summer, on a two-week family vacation, I filled my suitcase with books, including The Cross and the Switchblade. At one point, I stopped reading and challenged this God who seemed real to nasty people but was not believable to me. I started to realize that I was a nasty person. This matter of forgiveness and the filling of the Holy Spirit began to be logical. Romans 3:23 says: For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Calling on the Lord
The autumn of my senior year in high school a customer at my job asked my coworkers and me to go to one of his church meetings. I went and enjoyed the singing and the praying. From the Bible reading I had done, the speaking that I heard made sense; but I was still uncertain. I went to a second meeting and joined some girls who were calling on the Lord. That night I touched the Lord in my spirit. I may have received the Lord earlier in my life, but since that day I have never doubted the existence of God or questioned who Jesus is. God is quite real. Romans 10:13 says: For whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Finding My Human Spirit
I did not talk at those meetings due to a distrust of non-Catholic Christianity. I rearranged my job so I could slip in and out of the meetings unnoticed. Some of my friends came but thought I was crazy. Then one night a man taught about the three parts of man and that the human spirit was for the Holy Spirit. For me, this was like a light bulb turning on. From then on I started to trust these people. When they spoke, they had Bible verses to support their words. Psalms 119:105 says: Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
Going on with the Lord
My study of religion left me sure that God was powerful, judging, and political. With this group I found that not only does God love me, but He needs me. From the night that I called on the Lord, I have never doubted God’s existence, but many times over the years I have wanted to walk away and be left alone. What has kept me in His church, stumbling along, is the realization that my Lord has a need greater than mine. He wants a people who match Him.
Every Person Can Receive God
Romans 10:9 and 10 tell us how to receive the Lord: That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; For with the heart there is believing unto righteousness, and with the mouth there is confession unto salvation.