Since Victory is already celebrating its 30 years, I’m expecting many great testimonies of God’s goodness and faithfulness to the church – one of such stories is mine – a unique account of how God used the church in transforming me to be the person I am currently. Please forgive me if I cannot delve into specifics as my memory is failing me!
Prior to having a relationship with Jesus, people who knew me thought I was already a Christian – being the “good” person I was. To say good by the standards of this world would probably at least mean having no vices, being hardworking, attending Bible studies, being part of a Christian organization and doing all the religious stuff, being an outstanding student and an obedient daughter. In short, I’ve lived quite a decent life.
Or so I thought.
I honestly can’t remember the feeling I had being new in the university but I know I’m glad I had a close highschool friend around. Going to college in a new city surrounded by new people speaking a dialect different from what I know, I was comforted by the fact that we’re studying in the same school and even taking up the same course. My highschool friend, by the way, is a Christian and so it paved the way for me to meet her fellow Christian friends who were also supported by the same scholarship program that she’s part of. That’s when I heard of Victory. It was called VCF then (short for Victory Christian Fellowship). One thing led to another and I found myself attending the youth service conducted every Friday nights back then to reach out the young generation for Jesus. I really don’t remember who invited me to the youth service but I remember attending such for a few times being the religious nut I was. I also undergone One-to-One – it’s a way of the church to establish biblical truths and lead someone to follow and know more about Jesus but I wasn’t able to finish such being the person who didn’t know how to commit.
But of all the happenings, I remember my discipler, when we’re having One-to-One, asked me if I think I deserved God’s grace. Striving to get the right answer, I said yes.
And I was totally wrong.
I missed the whole point. Looking back, I realized that I didn’t truly know Jesus and His significance in my life. I didn’t have a personal relationship with Him. I was busy doing good deeds but what Jesus wanted was my heart. I realized it’s possible to perform religious duties like attending youth service, going to church on Sundays, sending bible quotes or being part of a Christian group but if the person doesn’t come to a transformation of the gospel, then all such religion is motivated other than Jesus who supposedly should be the reason behind all the religion. At that time, I was just conforming to a standard that was too low, a standard I myself set, thinking I was good enough.
It’s amusing because a Christian friend who encountered Jesus Christ after passing the board exam remarked on why I hadn’t shared the gospel to her thinking that I was already I Christian back in college. I thought about it and realized I cannot share the cure if I didn’t know I was that sick and in need of healing.
I didn’t know I was a sinner destined to die because I didn’t meet God’s standard. But because God so loved the world, He gave His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross and save me from my sins. It was not because of my good works but because of Jesus’ choice to save me that my relationship with God was restored. And by putting my faith in Him and His work on the cross, I received life, not only in this world, but an eternity with Him in heaven. Because of His death, I am redeemed from the bondage of sin and brought to life by His precious blood. Because He conquered death, I am a new creation and am more than a conqueror. In Him, my past is restored, my present secured and my future sure.
If I would summarize my testimony, it would be something like this:
“Don’t ask me to tell you when I was converted. Like a lot of church kids, I don’t have a specific day when I repented, put my trust in Jesus, and was saved. For me there was no breakthrough moment. God poked and prodded and shaped me through countless small, seemingly insignificant experiences and decisions and friendships. Do you know the kind of slow transformation I’m talking about? You don’t really see it while it’s happening. But later you look back and realize you’re not the same.” – Joshua Harris
As I look back, I’m amazed on how God orchestrated events and placed people in my life that He used in leading me to Him. My story is just one of the many testimonies in the church, although each one unique, there is one thing common in them or rather, one person holding all those stories, all those lives together – Jesus Christ. Truly, nothing won’t compare to knowing and experiencing Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. And I hope that you will have a personal relationship with Him, too.