As I did a few updates to my website the other day, I read some of the articles I’d written a couple of years ago. It is quite fascinating to me, because so much has changed since then. It is amazing how God can completely change a human if you let Him! The pages of history are filled with stories of people becoming completely changed after they received Christ into their lives.
My life has improved so much since I became a Christian (this is true for my wife as well). Words cannot express just how much. I thank God so often that He called me into His family at a relatively early age. I honestly wouldn’t have wanted to go through life without having a relationship with God like I have now. It provides so much joy and comfort in every single area of my life.
How God’s Spirit Has Changed Me Personally
Here are a few ways I have changed since becoming a Christian a few years ago:
1. More conservative views–it’s funny but I’ve since heard of something called “sanctification of the spirit.” This is the process of the Holy Spirit of God working in you to make you more and more Godly as you mature as a Christian. While I am far from perfect and “mature”, I can say without any hesitation that I have changed dramatically in this regard. My personal views on things like politics, movie selections, friends, and more have grown very conservative compared to just a couple of years ago.
I find myself increasingly alarmed by the corruption of the entire world, and how so many seem to be falling away from God by the sins of this world, and the brainwashing of the secular ways of this world. I am often reminded how I can’t wait for Christ’s return, and how glad I will be when my course is finished in this world.
What I also find interesting is that I have also noticed that when people reject God, they tend to move in the opposite direction as time goes on. They become more liberal. They immediately start accepting things which are almost universally held as immoral or inappropriate behavior. They love the world. They love sin. I guess you can call that de-sanctification of the spirit, sponsored by Satan himself, of course.
2. I am More Positive/Higher Self Esteem–It’s almost sad to admit it, but when I lost faith and became somewhat of an “atheist” for a year or so, it really messed with my head. While atheism itself doesn’t teach a specific tenet on your own self worth–the general worldview held by most in the atheist community (ie, that you evolved and are just matter and chemical reactions that will one day die), led me to the pretty reasonable conclusion that my life was really utterly pointless, that people were relatively insignificant in the scheme of the universe, and that life itself was totally meaningless.
Of course, that isn’t to say that all atheists feel this way. I am sure some have developed their own “philosophy” (or delusion, depending on how you view it) on why their lives are significant, or why life is meaningful–but to me it certainly isn’t the natural conclusion of the beliefs within atheism. This view was so deeply ingrained in my mind, that even to this day I find myself sometimes having to correct my thoughts and remind myself of God’s great truths.
The Bible teaches that you are an individual created with purpose, intent, and meaning–that life itself has meaning which stretches beyond our simple lives, and that people are special creations of God that we should love and cherish. What a wonderful revelation! That alone is worthy of much reflection and praise, and yet I feel a sense of bitterness towards my past doubts/atheism for not letting me realize that simple truth at a time in my life when I so desperately needed it. It also pains me to realize how many may be lost right now, and feel so sad and frustrated by life due to a similar belief.
This, by far, has been the hardest thing for me to “change” in my mind. I have to actually force myself to realize that my life is significant, and that God has a special purpose for all of His creation. As the Bible says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
This new worldview has really shaped my life for the better in other areas as well. My business has been doing better. My health has improved (and I’ve actually added some lean muscle), and more. So I am thankful that my life is on an up-swing. And while I know things won’t always be easy or pleasant, I hope and pray that my general direction stays the same. At least I have Jesus to carry me through the hard times!
3. My Relationship With God Keeps Growing–I find myself seeking out new ways of understanding and worshiping God. I usually listen to many sermons each week online (many by Adrian Rogers, and others). I hope to really do more in-depth scriptural studies, and expand on my current knowledge of the Bible. I also hope to begin memorizing many facts, scriptures, and the general (brief) outline of each book of the entire Bible. My wife and I pray together much more frequently, in a very deep and intimate way.
I am even slowly starting to warm up to the idea of finding a local church. I’m not quite ready yet (as I want to accomplish a few more studies, learn a bit more, and get some other things in order first), but its something I would like to do for sure in the future. I don’t think it will be an easy task, but I hope to find a church I can really enjoy and fellowship with others. I’d also love to find a pastor like Adrian Rogers. I think he is definitely one of my top ranked preachers I’ve heard. (Update, I’ve been to church since I wrote this article, as this is what God commands).
4. I’ve Learned More Accurate Doctrines–I don’t have a strong religious background (growing up). When I first came to accept Christ, I had many influences that had shaped my worldview (atheism, Baptists, Jehovah witness articles, secular humanism, other denominations, etc). Because I studied independently and tried to look objectionably at all doctrines/views equally (in an attempt to discover truth), I adopted a small blend of a few false cults/denominations. In a few of my earlier articles, I noticed a hint of some of these alternate views coming through. I was also much less conservative then, and I’ve grown far more conservative since.
After much study and prayer, I’ve thankfully come to a place where I am confident in my faith. I am a Christian first, a Baptist second. The church I now belong to is a Baptist church, and the pastor is awesome. He’s a wonderful Bible teacher/preacher and a very down-to-earth man.
Conclusion: A Lot Has Changed!
I can only imagine how other things may change throughout my life, when so much about my personality, beliefs, and so forth have changed in the past 2 or 3 years. But I know this much–as long as I have God in my life, things will always be okay, and my direction is always going UP, especially after death.
But I often find myself wondering what my life will be like in 5, 10, 15, or 20 years. What will have changed? Will any of my hopes or dreams come true? Will anything interesting happen in that time? What challenges and heartaches will I face? Will I be a better Christian? Only time will tell.
But at least I am on the right path. I know in my heart, that without a doubt, Christianity is where I belong. And nothing will ever take me out of the blood-stained hand of Christ.