This is the day I spoke six words I never thought I would say in my entire life. "I want to follow Jesus Christ"
After several months of sincere investigation, I came to the conclusion that Jesus Christ is who He says He is, and that He wants to be found by us. It took a giant leap of faith, and the hardest part for me was to step away from my ego and out of my comfort zone. From the moment I realised that He was trying to reach out to me throughout my entire life, I opened the door for him just a little bit. Then He took his screwdriver, unscrewed the hinges, and destroyed that door for once and for all.
Agnostic, but not without hope
I didn’t believe there was a God; everything had to be proven scientifically to me. But along came the most personal gift I could ever imagine; my future wife as we speak. She told me about Jesus for over three years, she talked about who He is, what He has done for us, ... I was truly happy for her; but I didn’t want to hear anything about it. My mind was made up! At least, that’s what I thought… I had noticed something about her, and her friend-believers, something that I couldn’t deny anymore…
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. (John 13:34-35)
Glory, forgiveness & eternity
This investigation, this road to the truth, was not easy and was filled with a lot of doubts. Some days I even forgot to where I was heading; I felt completely lost. I was ready to give up this investigation. From this moment on however, I felt something dragging me back on the road I was walking on... This strong feeling/presence kept on growing inside of me, for two weeks. Again, I felt like something was dragging me towards the truth. Now, there was a point in time when I became really frustrated and angry. I really yearned for the one and ultimate final proof, before I could let Him enter my heart and life. On my way home from work, I actually cried out to God. I yelled at Him: “If You are real and You are who You say you are, show Yourself to me! Let me know it’s not just my imagination”. That’s the point where everything changed, On that moment, God revealed Himself to me. How did it feel? It was about 10 seconds of unconditional love, being home, being accepted, being forgiven, I felt His glory, ... and all of this together at the same time. If there is some way to compare it, it would be an ultimate cozy blanket of love, falling over you. A second after that, I felt a strong urge inside of me. I cried out to my mother that I forgave her for leaving me, even if it wasn't her fault and I don’t blame her. The biggest weight in my life finally fell off my shoulder. I can tell you with an honest heart that I could never invoke such a feeling by myself.
You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13)
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you (James 4:8)
For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. (Luke 11:10)
Insights and repentance
I’ve realized that I was not living to the fullest. I was looking for long-term pleasure in the things that weren't able to provide us with sustainable pleasure. I was going through life, working for acceptance, trying to be somebody and always looking for more. Throughout most of my life I was living for myself, loving and serving myself first instead of the people closest to me. I believed the lie that receiving something satisfied me more than giving something. I've build a brick wall around myself, to defend myself from any harm, but it also disabled me to love people outside of me. And… the solution was always in front, above and next to me, but I couldn’t see it.
Jesus, Son of God
He has an infinite sea of love for all of us. He knows us better than we know ourselves. He will sometimes disagree on the things we do, He will cry for us, but He knows we are merely human beings. He knows what it is like to be human, to be around darkness, He experienced it himself. Everything that we come short - to meet the bar God has set for all of us - is in Jesus’ perfect sacrifice on the cross. We have all stepped away from God and His glory, and have decided to rule the world for ourselves without Him, which is the foundation of sin (missing our goal in life, true purpose). God became human to reveal Himself in the fullness of His glory, to teach us about who He is, but mostly to serve and love others like nobody else before. Only our true faith in Him, and the undeserved loving grace of Him will save us from sin, death, and will give us eternal life with Him.
But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
Open your eyes
The evidence of God is all around us. His fingerprint in EVERYTHING is noticeable for those with their eyes open. Surrender to his eternal and unconditional love for you. It doesn’t matter who you are, what you are, how you feel, what your background is ... His love is for all of us and He wants to set us free from all darkness in our lives, so we can live life like in the way it is meant to be lived.
For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:16-17)
We will never be perfect and live in exactly the same way as He did. Jesus' ultimate sacrifice became the glasses through which God looks at this world: all perfect and forgiven in Christ Jesus.
01.09.2003 — Fernando PauwelsDe Ethiopische man
19.12.2019 — Willem CômeVan punker tot prediker