Hello there family in Christ!
This has truly been an exciting and very satisfying decision to join with RZIM Connect! I’m a 52 year old man from Texas who just recently got out of the major market radio biz and into a very exciting job with the state of Texas. My operations group handles problems on Dallas area freeways working in conjunction with local fire, police, and sheriff’s departments.
I committed my life to Jesus when I was 16 years old. I’ll tell you a secret. At the time I was truly dreading that crossroads in life, but I was terrified the Lord would reduce me to a small pile of smoldering ashes and so I did (that’s how I understood Him to be, you see). Please believe me, it was a sincere commitment although I wasn’t excited about it at the time. That day went on as usual, but the next day…everything had changed and it was, I can honestly say, the singular most wonderful experience of my life. When I woke up the very first thing I was keenly aware of was Him. He was inside me and all around me and I knew Him to be the most loving, understanding, compassionate person in existence. Also, I was consciously aware of Him being consciously aware me. I could feel His love for me and us all. Jesus had made Himself very real to me and I knew without doubt that I had met Him. It was actually real! Never would I have dreamed it possible, but it was.
All of this was the polar opposite of what I had expected to experience. For the sake of brevity here I’ll skip ahead to about 4 years later. I began to wander slowly, an inch at a time until I was living in a terrible way a few years after that. I’d repent wholeheartedly but then it would happen again. So this process went on for a very long time. I finally came to terms with the fact that I just could not continue this and repented yet again. This time it stuck and I’ve been living in repentance for 12 or so years now. Much guilt and legitimate grief over that wandering time still plagued me then and does plague me now. The longing and the earnest…hm…passion…to grow in the likeness and image of Jesus is in me. I hope you can believe me in this and I understand how skeptical many would be at a testimony like that, claiming that perhaps I never knew Him really.
There are a LOT of wonderful things that I haven’t mentioned yet that went on during that time despite my state. Many, many, stunning answers to prayer. Miraculous rescues (I call it) from terrible accidents that put me right at the jaws of death. I’d be happy to share those with you sometime if you care to hear it. These are some of things that make me think that there’s just no way I hadn’t met Christ. My heart longs for Him. There’s nothing outside of Him. He IS the way, the truth, and the life.
That whole time of terrible living my soul was not at rest, I feel I should mention. I knew it couldn’t continue, and it hasn’t. And I can speak from experience when I say that while the Lord will forgive you if you repent sincerely and turn back to Him you may very well indeed suffer consequences that you will have to live with for the rest of your natural life. It’s possible He’ll take you home prematurely if you insist on rebelling. All up to Him, of course. If that’s you I implore you to turn your heart back to Him and stay true.
To wrap, I came across Brother Ravi’s lectures a couple of years ago and was immediately enamored of his gentle and genius way of communicating Christ and explaining all manner of moral questions, questions about God, etc. that so many had for him. After his passing I began searching for any lectures he may have done on those of us who had backslidden. I wanted to know his thoughts on it as I utterly respect his opinion. That searching led me to Connect. It was a wonderful discovery.
In His love.