“In the summer of 1987 my wife began to attend a neighborhood Bible Study. After she accepted Christ and was saved I noticed how the Holy Spirit can radically change the heart of a believer. Then I decided that I would join her at the monthly Bible Study and find out more about God’s saving Grace.
My career was very important to me; I had plans to move up the corporate ladder and advance to a Vice President position one day. I thought it was all going great until I had an extremely stressful day at the office. It seemed the office politics were very unfair, although I was a talented young designer; I was being inhibited by a boss who had many years less experience than me. My boss it seemed knew how to “play” the corporate compromise game and it didn’t matter who was affected by the circumstances as long as he was advancing.
It was literally a cloudy lunch hour by myself, that I received Christ, asking Him to forgive my sins and welcomed Him into my heart as my Savior. I asked Him to relieve me of my burdens and open my heart to others. The clouds seemed to have lifted and I couldn’t wait to share the news with my wife and others at the neighborhood Bible Study.
At first humbling yourself seems to be an insult, but how can you open your heart to a new life without first cleaning out all the cobwebs of sin? The truth is, being asked to confess my sins, meant I had them. At the moment I was free of sin I welcomed the Holy Spirit into my heart, to dwell there, and guide me through the rest of this journey with eternal life and a place in heaven next to an all knowing God.
Six weeks after that day, I was given a pink slip from my corporate job. The Lord led me into starting my own business and enabled me to use all the creative gifts that I have, realizing these gifts ultimately come from Him. It has been a challenging journey, but knowing I am only a steward of a business and life that God has given me, along with His gift of salvation, make it all so awesome and fulfilling.
The interesting thing I realized once I came to Jesus Christ was that no one before this time ever asked me about my sins, even though I went to church most of my life and spent 10 years at a Christian school. The sermons were primarily “Bible Stories”. We prepared for “confirmation”, of which I can only remember getting dressed up with a gown over my suit and the family celebration afterwards. It didn’t confirm anything.
We confessed our sins to a man instead of the Lord Jesus Christ. Even at an early age, I tried to distort my voice so it wouldn’t be recognized and sort of created the “sins” I wanted to confess to a man that knew who I was. Afterwards we were to “repent” and were given multiple prayers to go into the sanctuary to pray. For me, the words of these prayers were fired out as quickly as possible so I could get out of there.
I don’t recall ever hearing anything about salvation, confessing my sins directly to Jesus Christ or inviting Him into my heart. I knew what the “Trinity” was, but never knew why the “Holy Spirit” was given to us. Eternity, well, was an eternity. It was a long time, very far away somewhere? and you end up there after your (physically) dead.
The “Holy Bible” was Holy, therefore, only a church official was gifted enough to read and understand it. We were taught that we could not understand it! Most homes had one prominently displayed somewhere and it stayed there.