Hi, my name is John and I’d like to share with you my experience of becoming a Christian.

When I was 17 I was kicked out of home due to being rebellious.

I thought this was great at the time, feeling finally free to do all the things I wanted to do.

My primary interests were parties, getting drunk, smoking weed and skateboarding.

Due to my chaotic life I stopped attending school a lot. I actually wanted to go, but the anxiety of facing everyone was overwhelming. Finally I was told I couldn’t complete my final year due to low attendance.

Holding down a job or even completing training courses proved too difficult at this time.

Due to a range of offences, I was finally kicked out of the share house I was living in, and then another one.

The novelty of my newly found freedoms started to wear off and life became miserable, as I slowly realised a life of self-gratification leaves you very empty.

At 19, I moved into my own apartment and was determined to use this opportunity to turn over a fresh new leaf. I needed a steady job and more importantly, longed to find meaning in my life.

Feeling particularly down one day after a long period applying for jobs, I begged God from the heart for a stable job so my life could become more normal.

The same day I was called in for an interview for a Hospitality Traineeship. I got the job and it became a positive turning point (thank you God!). So that was the job for now, but I still needed some answers.

In a search for answers, I started reading many books, mostly about philosophy and spirituality. I also started meditating.

Once a week, I spoke to a youth counsellor who was also a spiritualist. She told me about her ‘guiding spirit’ that would lead her. She claimed it told her to buy a gold pentagram to wear around her neck which would protect her. All this was interesting to me, and I asked her to pray that her spirit would protect me.

She did this, encouraging me to keep calling on this ‘angel of light’ to protect me. As she called on this spirit, power came down over me and felt like it flowed through my body. It felt good, and I left feeling elated as though I was walking on a cloud.

I continued calling on this spirit whenever I felt in need of protection. Over a short period of time I lost any positive feeling from this experience. It seemed like being haunted, as if this was a deceptive spirit that had suckered me in.

2 CORINTHIANS 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

Sometimes when crossing a busy road, I would have a strong suggestive impulse to throw myself in front of a truck. It was scary, because it seemed like the thought didn’t originate from me.

Alone in my room one night I felt an overwhelming compulsion to go down on my knees and pray to God. I started asking if He was Jesus or Mohammed or Krishna, etc. Suddenly it was if God gave me faith in that moment and I knew all the things I had heard about Jesus were true. I prayed from my heart that I could follow God, knowing I didn’t realise what sort of life that would be.

Shortly after this prayer I ran into a Christian in the street. We spoke a bit and then I wanted to leave (mostly I didn’t want to be seen speaking with a Christian preacher). As I was about to excuse myself I heard a very clear, still voice that said “This is what you have been praying for”. It stopped me in my tracks.

We talked about the Bible and he showed me some scriptures. What surprised me was the spark of life I saw in him. He opened up his Bible to show me about the need to be baptised and born again. I could see that he truly believed what he was saying and this was very real to him. It left an impression on me.

In the following weeks I attended some meetings with born-again Christians, and found they could give many answers to my questions, using only the Bible and not their own philosophy.

I knew I had a window of opportunity to follow the God of the Bible and be saved. To cut a long story short I was soon baptised and received the gift of the Holy Ghost, with the sign of speaking in tongues (ACTS 2:4).

God has done many great things in my life, including giving me a sound mind as His Word promises, taking away fear, depression, anxiety and dependence on alcohol (2 TIMOTHY 1:7).

It took a while for me to realise what God had actually saved me from 1 SAMUEL 15:23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft but I am grateful for the new life He has given me, and can freely give you too.

One of the most difficult things has been giving up my own selfishness, but hanging onto the promises in God’s living Word, everything is possible! (PHILIPPIANS 1:6).

In Christ’s love, John