My name is Will, and I am so thankful for this opportunity to share God’s goodness and grace throughout my life. I’ve broken down my testimony into three formative episodes that show the progression of my relationship with God over the years and highlight his faithfulness in growing my knowledge and love for him.
Episode 1 – Knowing of God
From a young age, I attended church with my family. I grew up going to Sunday school where I learnt Bible stories and memorised Bible verses. Thinking back, it’s hard to recall a time in my life where I did not know about God. Although I grew up in a Christian environment, these habits of Bible reading did not follow me outside of church and my focus shifted to school, tutoring, and other extracurriculars. I believed that God existed, and he was an ‘important’ part of my life. But my life was more about doing well and achieving for myself.
My view of God was very thin and legalistic. I thought that as long as I went to church on Sundays and lived a good moral life, I would be in right standing with God and therefore saved from condemnation in hell. I was extremely self-righteous and felt entitled to God’s providence and prosperity because I obeyed his commandments. The only reason I would pray was to receive God’s blessing and goodness in my life. God existed purely to benefit my life as long as I held my end of the bargain by following him and not sinning. This laid the foundation for much of my early Christian life. Over the years, God would slowly break down this skewed consumeristic view I had of him and reveal his true self to me.
Episode 2 – God’s Love and Man’s sin
For much of my early high school years, my view of God was still one-sided and consumeristic. I still believed in God and considered myself as a Christian. I still strived to live a good moral life where I listened to and obeyed God’s laws. But gradually my friends and the cultural norms around me would begin to influence me more and more. Nevertheless, I continued to go church and attended many church camps, conferences, and events. It was during this time of my life where a seemingly endless cycle of spiritual highs and lows began.
I would learn of God’s great love for me in sending his Son Jesus to die for me and be spurred on to live my life for God. Then slowly but surely, the desire to live for myself would creep back up and once again. I would be consumed by academic achievement and the acceptance of others. This would repeat with every camp and conference. And through it all, I still never opened the Bible outside of church and when I prayed, I would only ask for things from God. Though I understood God’s love for me, I was still missing the other half of the picture. I did not yet see the seriousness of my sin against God.
It wasn’t until late high school when I began leading at my school Christian group, where I understood the sinful state of my heart and my need for Jesus. The cycle of spiritual highs and lows would finally be broken. After one particular school Christian camp, I departed not only with an intense spiritual high but also a deep desire for God’s word. Within the next week of school holidays, I bought a Bible and read it for myself for the first time. The truth of Scripture overflowed as I was reading, and I began to see the Bible as God’s true and living words. For the first time in my life, the Bible was precious and valuable to me.
As I continued to read the Bible for myself, I realised the absolute depth of my sin. I realised that I could not save myself from it, no matter how much I tried. Obeying God’s law did not save me, my “good” moral life did not save me, but the blood of Christ alone was what saved me. Finally after all these years, I embraced this truth and began to live zealously for God with a newfound gratitude for what he had done for me.
Episode 3 – Bought at a Price
As I stepped into university, I was met with the great dilemma of life – what am I going to do with my life? Seeing many of my friends head straight into university with great big dreams and ambitions, I was fearful of falling behind in life and once again I was faced with the temptation to pursue success. Was I going to live my life striving to be successful in this world or was I going to continue living to please God? Through the university ministry and my church community group, God slowly eased the grip of personal achievement in my life. I realised that I was not only saved from my sin but also saved to live my whole life for God. Christ had purchased me with his blood and therefore I no longer have ownership over my own life. My life belongs to God alone. My life is no longer mine to live for myself by it is for the will of God.
New Life in Christ
I still wrestle with the temptation to live for myself and pursue success, but I now know that my life belongs to God. My life is in his sovereign hands, and he will never let me falter. I no longer have to succeed to be significant, but God loves me as his chosen and treasured possession.
I share my testimony to encourage you with God’s goodness in my life. For those of you who may not personally know God, I would like to ask: Have you ever thought about who your life belongs to? If you are running your own life, how is that going? Are tired and weary from living life your own way? God is good and gracious; would you turn to him today?
There’s this lovely Christian song by Emu Music called “This Life I Live” that was on my mind as I was writing my testimony. I feel that the first verse comprehensively captures the reason for my faith in God. May this song be my boast for God, for the rest of my life.
“This life I live is not my own,
For my redeemer paid the price.
He took it to be his alone.
To be his treasure and his prize.
The things of earth I leave behind
To live in worship of my King.
His is the right to rule my life,
Mine is the joy to live for him.”