I grew up in a community of vast diversity where all sorts of religions, languages, and ethnic and cultural traditions were practiced and tolerated. On the surface there was a perceived harmony of sorts, but deep in the heart of those around me, I knew there were always layers of insulation, suspicions and even animosity. Well, I was no exception either. Although I professed no allegiance to any particular religion, I considered myself a Buddhist because my parents practiced Buddhism. Our neighbors and many friends in the town were of Catholic, Anglican, or Protestant faiths. Daily, I also came across many Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, and even tribal people who boasted of their head-hunting rituals, but no one seemed able to show me the pathway to God.
If you had asked me about God, I would have told you that there was a God somewhere in a far-away place. In order to receive heavenly blessings and good fortune in the afterlife, I thought one only needed to live a humble life, to do good deeds while on earth, and to revere and worship the mystical gods in many forms or statues by means of some religious rituals. I was always very observant of how some professedly religious people lived and conducted their daily walk; however, what I saw turned out to be a great disappointment to me. Needless to say, I grew more confused and mystified about who the real God was and began desperately searching for Him. Although members of my family and I had some exposure to Christians, as there were a good number of missionaries and Catholic priests and nuns in my hometown, I heard no truth concerning God and His eternal plan. To me, these people were just good and moral people and Christianity was just a “foreign?religion.
My search continued through my high school years. Then one day the Lord marvelously touched my life and I became a true believer of Christ, much to the shock and dismay of my family and friends. God is too real for me not to believe in Him. In the initial stage of my salvation, I was content to be a Sunday churchgoer, striving to be just another good Christian. I read the Bible and prayed regularly, hoping to attain to some form of godliness; however, there was a deep yearning in my being for something higher and deeper in life. Something must be missing, I often thought. I knew that religion and ethical teaching could not satisfy me or fill that void. One day, hallelujah, the answer came in a swift way: through the faithful speaking of the Lord Jesus through His servant in a local church conference I attended along with a group of young believers who loved the Lord dearly. I discovered for the very first time that I have a human spirit, and that God has an eternal plan which includes me, which is to be built with other members of the living Body of Christ, the church. At that point, I sensed the flood of an unspeakable joy and an inner rest and peace in my being that I had never felt before. I knew that this was where God wanted me to be.
Oh, it is such joy to realize that my living Christ has nothing to do with culture or institutionalized religion. In order to find Christ, I needed, as Hebrews 13:13 says, to “go outside the camp?of organized religion to really experience Him as my life, life supply and everything.
This is just one of the many aspects of how my life has been changed by the Lord through the faithful ministry of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee. The Lord has grown in me and has become more precious to me each day. It has been almost 30 years since He revealed His eternal plan to me and I can truly testify that I am so glad to be in the local church, serving Him.
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