My Testimony
by Davin Dahlgren, October 1996
I was raised in a Christian home. I went to a Christian school. I asked Jesus to be my Saviour at a fairly young age. I followed all the rules. I was a real good kid. But there was a problem. I was bored and depressed. I was all ready to go to Heaven -- all I had to do was wait around until the end of the world, which everyone assured me would be any day now. The older I got, the more miserable I became.
Then, about a year and a half ago, God began to show me what the problem was. It started when Ron, the pastor of the church I attend, gave us a series of sermons which all related to one thing: the real goal of the church, which is maturity. I didn't know what it meant to be spiritually mature, so I began to search through the Bible. I wanted to know what maturity meant. I wanted to know how to get there. As I searched, God showed me a little bit more and a little bit more. The more He showed me, the more I realized how insufficient my faith had been. The more I saw, the more I wanted to see.
I started to see just how much of the religion I was raised with was just the doctrines of men. I had faith in what generations of men who had lived before me had said and done, but no idea at all of what was really important. You've probably heard the expression, "He can't see the forest for the trees." Well, with me it was that I couldn't see Christ for the church. Everything that the organization had taught had been the dead works of the flesh. The words of men passed down from generation to generation.
And God showed me what was really important. Christ. Not just the historical figure of Jesus — the outside fact of what He had done to save me — but the present-day Spirit of Christ, inside me, right here, right now. The actual presence of the Living God whose desire it is to intimately communicate with each one of us. Then I got really excited. I made my goal the same as that of the apostle Paul in Philippians 3:10-11: "That I may know [Christ], and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead."
Over this last year and a half, I have seen God work in ways I never would have imagined. And it hasn't been easy. At times it's been painful and scary. I had no job, and I knew in my head that God would provide me with something, but in my heart, I still worried. He has given me a better job than I could have imagined I would get. I've been isolated from my closest friends, but God blessed me with a godly woman to encourage me. I've had other Christians tell me that the things which God has been showing me are too spiritual, intimating that that barren religion that used to be all I knew is the only way to be a Christian. But God has been renewing my mind. And every day I look forward to His continued working.
It's the greatest thing in the world to realize that I don't have to wait until I'm dead to be with God. I can enjoy Christ right now. And praise be to God, you can too.

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