I was born into a Christian family, but that does not in any way qualify me as a child of God. Since I was young, I knew the so-called appropriate words to say in prayers and the rules to follow in church, but deep down, I disliked the idea of being “bound by” teachings of the Bible and surrendering control of my life to God. From time to time, I would pray to God, but only for asking Him to satisfy my material needs and solve my worldly problems.
A few years ago, I got myself into some serious trouble. I prayed to God as I reckoned that He was the only one who could help me. Instead of answering my prayer swiftly, God taught me a valuable lesson and made me realize that I had all along been treating Him like a “Genie with a magic lamp”, seeking Him only when I had a “wish list” in mind. I was deeply ashamed. For the first time in my life, I truly appreciated that Jesus died on the cross (and rose from the dead) to take the punishment for my sins. Therefore, I have been justified by faith and have peace with God through Jesus (Romans 5:1). While God is happy to provide for my needs, He desires more than that. He loves me dearly and longs to build an intimate relationship with me.
By God’s grace, I have experienced transformation from the inside out. I began to comprehend that being a Christian does not mean giving up a “comfortable” life because we are to get rid of our old selves and old habits. Instead, we are all created in the image of God. We are designed to be submitted to God’s sovereignty so that we could find true freedom in Him and live a holy life for His glory. Following earnest prayers, I decided that it is time for me to get baptized and make a public declaration of my faith as well as my determination to live a new life in Christ.
One day, we would stand before God and be held accountable for how we have spent our days. Let us encourage one another with Romans 12:2, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.