Becoming a Young Pursuer of Christ
I grew up in a Christian environment due to the fact that my dad is a full-time Christian worker. I grew up going to home gatherings almost every day with him to meet with other dear believers. Although I was a child and played most of the time, I still managed somehow to get most of what they would talk about just by being in the same room as they were meeting. As I grew older, I would start to sit with them in the meeting and participate in what they were doing.
One night at a meeting, I remember very clearly that the brothers and sisters were talking about the tribulation. It was something that was new to me. That night when we got home, I asked my dad if it was true that we were going to suffer for a 1,000 years with the antichrist if we didn’t overcome during our lifetime. Naturally, I started to cry because I didn’t want that to happen to me. But I remember my dad being very calm in trying to explain these things to me. I realized that night that my life was for the Lord and that I had no other purpose in life than to serve the Lord. That night, I gave myself to the Lord. I received Him and told Him that my life was His and asked Him to use me for His purpose. I repeated this prayer after my dad that night. Even though I was only in 2nd or 3rd grade, I remember being clear about receiving the Lord, by the Lord’s mercy. Although I was young, from that day I started to be more conscious of what I did. Nonetheless, everything else seemed the same. I would still attend the meetings regularly with my parents. I would still follow my dad wherever he went.
After some time passed, the summer before my 6th grade year, I went to a Christian camp and it changed the way that I saw the Lord. I got to be with other kids my age who were also pursuing the Lord, as well as older kids who were a pattern to me. That year, they talked to us about salvation and what it meant. I had already received the Lord but there is another aspect of salvation that is very important as well – baptism. The Bible says that we must believe and be baptized (Mark 16:16). After I came back from camp, I decided to get baptized because I realized that I needed not only to receive the Lord, but also to be baptized. I did not get baptized when I was in 2nd or 3rd grade because I had not really grasped themeaning of baptism yet. My dad told me to wait until I got a little older, so that my baptism would not be done in vain or done just as a practice or ritual, but that I would really understand and want to be baptized with a real appreciation of what baptism meant. After I got baptized, I felt a tiny bit different. But still, nothing much changed in my life. There wasn’t a big “walah”-now you’re-a-new-person kind of feeling. Later on when I got older, I realized that this was normal. We don’t change overnight just because we received the Lord and got baptized,we go through a gradual period of being transformed little by little.
A Time to Choose My Path
During my teenage years in high school, I started to get rebellious against my parents because growing up in a Christian environment really limits what you can and can’t do. As a “non-mature” kid, I obviously did not understand what was good for me. I just wanted to do whatever everyone else was doing. Growing up, I never questioned my parents, I always had a kind of healthy fear towards them. But as I got older and became a teenager, I started becoming a brat,always giving my parents a hard time with EVERYTHING. But as I started high school, something seemed to change in my being. The Lord really started to become real to me, He started to become my God and not just my parents’ God. I realized that I had to make a choice between whether the Lord would be real to me or if I would just follow my parents around and go to meetings because I had always done so previously.
I remember questioning the Lord and having a really long talk with Him, then finally coming to a conclusion. I realized that I had personally believed into the Lord Jesus, and I went to the meetings because I was the one who wanted to go and not because I had just always done so previously. After this realization, I started to really pursue the Lord little by little, in my ordinary days under the divine dispensing. I thank the Lord that, from that day until today, He has preserved me. I am still here, learning and trying to pursue the Lord little by little, under His dispensing, by His mercy and grace.