“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
2 Corinthians 5:17
I’m going to be very open about my testimony. I am not ashamed, because it is not who I am anymore. I pray that the Lord would bring freedom to you through this, and set your heart on fire.
Just playing games
I grew up in a Christian home, thank God. Unfortunately that’s not always a good thing. It really depends what kind of Christian home we grow up in. My parents were amazing. They grew up with a very strict legalistic understanding of God. They were never harsh with me, but they did carry some of that guilt or fear of failure that comes with legalism. When I was around 6 years old or so, I “prayed the prayer” with my mom. I am not blaming anything on my mom, or my dad. They did they best they knew. We assumed that this was how people “got saved”. (Obviously there’s nothing wrong with praying a prayer for salvation. Repentance, however is vital) So, growing up under a Christian household, I lived as a “good kid”. I went to church every Sunday. I was involved with youth group, and even with an organization called “YoungLife” during high school.
When I was about 8 years old in 1999 my mom encountered the Holy Spirit at a ladies bible study. She would later tell me that she was face-planted on a couch, unable to move. Debbie, the leader of the Bible study, came over to her and said “Kim, what is God doing?” My mom responded “God is sitting on me”. Things changed at home. When she came back from that encounter, my parents got rid of a lot of stuff. Pokémon, certain tv shows, and they anointed the house with oil. We were not happy with not being able to play Pokémon. (We would later rebel and play anyway.)
I continued to play video games all the time, and I was addicted to them. Around the early 2000’s is when I first found pornography on the internet. Obviously I was also addicted to porn in a short period of time. I also became best friends with a person I’ll call Jim (not his real name). He also was addicted to pornography, and sometimes we would look at it together. At some times we even did sexual things with each other. This was not a good friendship. I got in a lot of trouble with Jim. One time we went to a toy store and stole Yu-gi-oh cards. I later shop lifted candy and other things, but that trend didn’t continue on too far.
A new church
When we were younger we went to a Nazarene church. It was very small, and we met in a house. When we left that church I was about 10. (This was around the time I met Jim.) We started to go to a Greater Grace church. The word was preached very powerfully, and people’s lives were being transformed. I went to Sunday school and loved the people there. Later the church would be renamed; Life Community Church. I have met a lot of friends who went there. In no way am I against Life Community, in fact I love this church. I do however have a few things that I disagree with them on, but who do we agree with 100%?
In this church, and every other church I went to, I was taught the Bible as if it was all back then, or some day. I was never taught that the Bible could happen in my life right now. If anyone ever mentioned miracles, it was always “those left when the Apostles died. They don’t happen anymore.” Now I can’t say that they were cessationist, but with the way the Bible was taught, it sure seemed that way. So it was hard to believe that God actually did part the Red Sea, that He did raise the dead, heal the sick and multiply bread. It was always far off and some day, but never now.
Without realizing it, my decision for repentance was postponed. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that the power of God forces a decision. I can’t really blame the pastor anyway, it’s not like I paid attention in service. I was always playing Tetris.
I had my first girlfriend at this church. I did sexual things with her as well. We did everything but have sex. I even still did things with Jim at times during my relationship with this girl. She eventually broke up with me. I met another girl at the church and lied to her about what I did with the first girl. Mind you, I was still addicted to pornography, so sex was all I could think about, and this second girl was no exception. Jim and I’s friendship was gone at this point, and I was after this girl. I made a mess of things for her, and have since apologized and forgiven her. She broke it off with me in early 2011. To my recollection, the following 3 months were the worst of my life. I didn’t think to go to God, it just wasn’t on my mind.
But my amazing parents prayed for me, and so did many other great godly people. Later I would re-connect with the second girl in 2013, and we did sexual things together. Around September 2013, I broke it off this time. I swore up a storm, cussing the most foul things about her. Like I said, I’ve since forgiven her and asked forgiveness.
Something felt really wrong
So, 2013 in September, I moved out and roomed with my friend Peter. We roomed for about 6 months. I started to get into the Smash bros community, and I was still very addicted to pornography. All I wanted to do was be good at Smash. I can remember from the time I was 10, I always went from thing to thing, never sticking to one thing. So after it was Pokémon, it was Smash. I had this nagging sense that God was chasing me. I never stopped believing in Him, I knew that was foolishness. I just wanted to play Smash, I wanted to be amazing!
I remember thinking that I should try “going into my closet” as it says in Matthew 6. I wanted to meet God. Well I never felt the presence of God, just fear. So I remember thinking to myself, “something is wrong, am I saved?” And this nagging scripture plagued me, “work out your salvation with fear and trembling” Well I thought, “there’s no works involved! It’s a free gift, I don’t need to work to be saved!” I fought this thought over and over. Little did I know that this was God’s mercy drawing me.
So I continued to play Smash and watch pornography. In 2014, I moved back home. I met a girl from the place I worked at the time, and we met up and had oral sex. Now, I would have totally denied this sort of thing to most people. I also denied that I swore, but I swore all the time. I continued to go to church during all of this. I couldn’t shake the nagging sense that God was chasing me, He wanted my life. In my running and hiding from the call God had for me, He spoke to me.
Confronted by God
There was a day in April of 2015 where I was sitting at my computer playing a video game and watching YouTube videos. In the bottom right hand corner of the screen, there was a suggested video; “the end of Churchianity”. That title bothered me, because my life was basically Churchianity. I didn’t have a real relationship with Jesus like I said I did. I was not going to watch the movie. Then I had a thought pop into my head. “You should watch this movie.” I responded “what? No I’m not going to watch it.” Thinking that I’m talking to myself. The thought returned, “No, you should really watch this movie.” It came with an overwhelming urge to click the video. So after about 3 minutes of arguing with myself, I clicked the video.
Right off the bat, it grabbed me. The guy narrating talked about how he didn’t grow up in church. He told a story about how he read the New Testament every day for years before he gave his life to Jesus. He talked about how he saw a church in the New Testament that sacrificed their lives and experienced miracles and the power of God. But when he went to church in America, he saw nice people, being nice to each other until the next week where they met. He asked a question, “Where was the fire that was in the New Testament church?”
He interviewed some major denominations. He asked them a simple question, “is Jesus the only way to heaven?” Or “How do I make sure I don’t end up in hell?” Their answers shocked me! Because of course, I at least knew it was Jesus who is the only way to the Father. But these people responded with downright heresy! One woman said “well Jesus died because of his stance on these issues, but God didn’t need that as some payment.” I was like “WHAT?” There were more responses like that. So right away he showed the fruit of a lukewarm church. I was appalled, thinking to myself, “Do people actually believe this way? This is wrong!” Well the movie continued on.
One man said in the movie “The gospel preaching in the New Testament is overwhelmingly repentance oriented. What we have in the western world is this fluffy Churchianity that gets nobody anywhere. There’s no real salvation in my opinion. A real saved person is a disciple. A real saved person will leave everything and go if that’s what Jesus asks them to do.” At first I was appalled at the other people in the movie, but now I realized, I was one of them. I thought, “I’m not a disciple. This description doesn’t fit me. I’m not a real saved person. My life is still mine.”
At one point there was a normal guy who talked about experiencing miracles and the power of God. He made this statement that still rocks me today. “You can argue yourself out of an intellectual debate, but you can’t argue yourself out of your knee getting healed.” I said to myself “THAT’S IT! That’s what I’m missing!” Because I tried to share my faith before, but never had any (good) results.
Many other people shared their testimonies, but the part in the movie that tipped me over the edge was a song that went like this:
Take me to your holy place
Cover me with endless grace
I cried so much, and after the movie was over, I repented. I said to the Lord, “God, I don’t even know you. I know about you. Take my life, do whatever you want with it. It’s yours now.” I deleted all the history of pornography on my computer, all of the old girlfriend pictures I still had, and I threw out dungeons and dragons. That night, for the very first time, I felt the presence of God. I was terrified. I didn’t know it was Him! I learned later, and fell in love with Him. He spoke to me that night and said, “Now, tell your dad.” I said, “but Lord, he’s asleep. It’s like 1 in the morning.” 5 minutes later, my dad walks into my room. I told him what I did and he was so happy for me.
Pornography stopped that night, and I have never gone back. I also stopped swearing immediately. I can focus better than I used to, and I am no longer afraid of knives like I used to be. All of the shame and hurtful things are gone. He truly made me a new creation.
“Do whatever you want”? How about this…
Almost immediately I began to have dreams about praying for sick people and seeing them healed. I remember encountering the Holy Spirit in my room and getting drunk in the Spirit, and experiencing so much joy. As I came to know God closer through His word, and through encounter with the Holy Spirit, He wanted me to go heal the sick and preach the gospel. So I started to go out and pray for people, not seeing anything happen for a while. But at church one day, I saw the first woman get healed. I thought to myself, “IT’S ON!”
It started pretty small, and I’m still growing. Since then I have seen deaf ears open, digestive issues healed, people saved, and many other things. The most exciting thing to me during this 2 year period has been the revelation on freedom from sin. God showed me that I am no longer a sinner. I’m actually a Saint.“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:2
That doesn’t mean I can’t sin, or that I haven’t messed up. What it does mean is that it is no longer my nature to sin, which is so much freedom! And whom the son sets free, he is free indeed!
So you may be thinking, “why isn’t this happening in my life?” Well, it could be that no one told you it was possible, but maybe you need to surrender your whole will to the king. You see, in order to enter God’s kingdom, you must swear your allegiance to the king. King Jesus. He is so good.
If you are doing this, I pray that the Lord would increase His fire in your heart. Burn with passion! Be like Jesus! Redeem the time, the days are evil.