We’ve all heard those powerful testimonies from Christians who were converted out of extremely wicked lives. They were addicted to cocaine, prostituting themselves, living a homosexual life, bouncing from one sexual partner to another, suicidal, or perhaps had even committed violent crimes like murder or aggravated assault. We hear their stories, and we’re blown away by God’s power to change someone who had been so obviously callous to the Gospel. Their testimonies are powerful, and are used for such greatness.
I don’t have such a testimony. I grew up as a pastor’s kid. I accepted Christ when I was six years old, and so, no–I wasn’t addicted to drugs or porn or sex when God saved me. I remember being in college and hearing awesome testimonies, and wishing that I had something in my past that would make my testimony powerful. Something in my story that God could use. God was using these people greatly, but I didn’t feel like He’d ever be able to use me like that.
Then I heard a testimony from someone similar to me, who focused on the things “she could have been” without Christ. She looked back at her life and saw clear paths that her life could have taken if God were not in the picture. I could do the same, and YES, it is incredible to see the things that God saved me from.
He saved me from having premarital sex. From getting pregnant outside of marriage, or getting an STD. From embracing a lifestyle of drinking and partying. From dying in a car crash due to reckless driving. From becoming anorexic or bulimic. All of these things are possibilities that I can look back at, and can see the turn that could have taken me to those places. I can’t even begin to imagine the secondary or tertiary roads that those paths would have brought me to. There’s no way for me to grasp all the things that God has saved me from, but I do know what He saved me FOR. The truth is, though it is incredible to see what God has done in my earthly life, and all the things He has protected me from, those things are not the reason He saved me. The past, or a “possible past”, is not the most powerful part of my testimony. The most powerful thing about salvation is not the past, but the future. It is the WHY He saved us, and this is what He tells me in His Word.
He didn’t save me so that I could have this awesome life here on earth. He didn’t save me so that I could have a good story to tell, although He can most certainly use our stories. He didn’t save any of us so that we could have a better life here on earth–although many of our earthly lives are transformed by His greatness.
He tells me why He saved me. He saved me for HIS glory. For His plans. For His eternal purposes–purposes that last far beyond the 80 or so years that I’ll spend on this planet. He saved me for His work. He saved me for the furtherance of His kingdom. For the equipping of the Saints. For the discipleship of others.
For a testimony of His Salvation. For Holiness. For displaying His power. For training up a third spiritual generation of believers (I stole that line from Pastor Dwayne Carson). He saved me to mentor my own children in the faith, and to mentor others too. He saved me for an eternity with Him. For a personal, intimate relationship with Him.
This life and the story I have here….they are only a starting point. Sure. God can use my story (no matter how boring it may seem to some), but He didn’t save me so that I could have an awesome earthly life. He saved me for the same reason He desires to save everyone. He saved me because He desires relationship with me, and because He is building an eternal kingdom filled with believers that will give glory to Him alone.
If you don’t have such a relationship with Christ, please know that no matter your story, God desires a relationship with you. He wants the rest of your story to belong to him. If you look at your life and think your past is too big for God to take you, think again! Look at the Apostle Paul, or the former serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, or James Flanagan, who was incarcerated for a life of drugs, alcohol, and other crimes. A simple google search for “Criminals Who Became Christians” will bring you to thousands of stories that prove God can save ANYONE. Not only that, but He desires to save everyone! 2 Peter 3:9 tells us that God is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” No matter your story, God is calling YOU to leave your sin behind & follow Him. He wants to know you.
On the flip side, you might look at your life and think you aren’t so bad. You may look around at the world, and see yourself as a kind and compassionate person who cares for others, serves others, and is a “good person.” You might be right, in comparison with the world. It is entirely possible for you to be a kind person without Christ, but without relationship with God, all you have is the story of this life. It may be a good story, but it is only a starting point. What will be your end? With a relationship with Christ, your earthly life will pale in comparison to what God promises in eternity. He promises an ETERNAL life of relationship with Him. A life of living in a kingdom that is entirely free of sin. There will be no sadness or pain when that day comes. There will be worship, and love, and joy, and peace as all believers come together and live a life of unity and grace, and worship for the God who created us and saved us. God wants YOU to be there, and He wants His relationship with you to begin today. 2 Corinthians 6:2 says that “NOW is the day of salvation.” Come to Him. Leave your sin behind you–sins of pride and selfishness, or simply the sin of rejecting God–and choose to follow Christ. He is waiting for you.
If you want to know more about my story, or if you just want to talk with someone about Christ, please PLEASE comment below or send me an email. I LOVE to talk to others about our amazing Creator God!