Thursday, September 21, 2006

Part 3 - My Life Story - by Mark

In my hurt and in anger, instead of turning back to the true God, I turned to drinking and to partying.

Through this I thought I could ease my pain and find fulfillment.
I had a lot of fun with new friends who drank a lot.
We did a lot of crazy and exciting things, some of which were illegal.
However, my heart just kept getting harder and harder.
I wasn’t sensitive to other people and I only cared about myself.
Just like I had used God, now I was using people to get what I wanted.
I didn’t like who I was becoming.
My heart was thirsty, but all I could I find was dirty water.

Often I would wake up with a hangover along with even more pain and regret.
My parents too were being hurt by the kind of life I was living.
I started listening to all kinds of bad music to make myself less and less sensitive to the pain that was in my heart.

When I got to college, away from my high school friends I realized I needed to quit drinking.
I tried for a year to stop, but I couldn’t.
I was addicted and locked into the party culture.
My twin brother Doug also was heavily involved with partying and he also wanted to change.

One day he told me that he was going to work at a Christian camp during the summer break.
He had met some Christians that invited him to come.
Of course, I couldn’t imagine why he would want to do that.
“You are not going to have any fun this summer!” I told him.
I was going to go and make lots of money and party with my high school friends,

I thought that they would restore THE HAPPINESS I USED TO HAVE.

However, when I went home, my friends were also pretty depressed-looking people
They tried to enjoy drinking and partying, but I could tell that in their hearts, they were just like me: Unsatisfied.

I worked hard that summer work and made a lot of money.
I bought a new music system and tried to fill up my heart with that.
I spent a lot of time on my physical appearance, lifting weights almost every day and buying the right clothes
No matter what I did, I couldn’t fill my heart.
Sometimes I would come home at night and just cry because I was so empty.

At this time my twin brother came back from the summer camp.
When I started to talk with him I could tell he had changed.
For the first time in our lives, we were completely different people.
I noticed right away that he had joy, peace and a wisdom that I didn’t have.

I tried to be happy, but I wasn’t.

As I went to bed that night I thought to myself,
“He must have read the Bible, maybe that is why he has so much wisdom.”
I dusted off my Bible
and prayed, “God, my life isn’t going well.
Please show me wisdom like Doug has?”

I flipped open the Bible randomly
and the first verse that I saw was Prov. 9:10.
It says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.”
I was shocked!
I had just prayed for wisdom and here was the answer!
Stunned, I read the verse again.
I realized that I had not been fearing or respecting God at all.
I prayed again, “God, I know that I am not respecting you, but please help me to!”
I flipped randomly to another page in the Bible
(by the way I don’t recommend this type of Bible study,

God doesn’t always work this way.

However, that night he was.)

The next verse said, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit whom is in you, whom you have received from God?

You are not your own, you were bought at a price, therefore honor God with your body.” (1 Cor. 6:19-20)

I had learned, like I said, growing up that I was bought by Jesus sacrifice on the cross for my sins.

I belonged to Him.

However, the thing that stuck out was the part that said: “You are not your own”.
I sunk to my knees and told God, “I am not doing a good job of leading my life.
Take over, lead my whole life O God, it is yours. I can’t do it myself.”
I asked God, “Please forgive me for living like this,

“By my lies, selfishness, pride and immorality I am apart from You.”

As I prayed, God’s Holy Spirit filled the emptiness of my heart with his love.

It was an unbelievable experience.

God was with me!
For some reason the next day I woke up and I almost completely forgot about the night before.
I didn’t understand that Jesus had become my Savior and the Lord of my life.
I was saved... but I didn’t know it.
I remembered a party was that night and I got all ready to go.
As I was driving there I started to think,
“I shouldn’t go to this party.”
I started to drink a little and realized, “I shouldn’t be here.”
I left and I asked God to forgive me again.
Then I remembered the prayer that I prayed and that the Holy Spirit of God had come to me.

I realized that already the Holy Spirit of God was already beginning to actually lead my life the best way!

For about the next year I never had a bad day.

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