How God Brought Me Back To His Fold
Testimony by Lukman, Year 2008 – Singapore
In the name of Lord Jesus, I bear testimony of an experience that happened 15 years ago but I will never forget His love.
I came from non-Christian family. Thank God through my brother who studied in Canaan School in Jakarta which is established by the True Jesus Church, I was introduced to the church.
Since kindergarten, my brother brought me to attend service every Sunday. I started to attend Sabbath services regularly only when I was in secondary school. But I was lazy and used to avoid bible study lessons conducted in church.
In 1990 when I was in high school, I was frightened after listening to a sermon by an oversea preacher. I decided to receive baptism though I had very knowledge of the bible and a correct understanding of the doctrines. At that time, baptism to me was just a symbol of Christianity. I thought all churches were the same. I did not read bible daily. I was proud and thought that I had already understood the bible teachings. Attending Sabbath services every Saturday was good enough for me. As long as I abstained from eating blood, food offered to idols, worshipping idols, celebrating Christmas, I was saved. If I remember rightly, our church in Jakarta conducted five services a week, including Sabbath service.
After baptism I attended all the church services diligently. I became proud in my heart and felt myself being strong spiritually. When we feel our faith firm or strong is the time we have to be very careful because we will let our guard down and lose our vigilance. The devil is like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. He will slowly but surely creep into our heart and when we least expect it, we find ourselves in his trap. This was what happened to me – I became complacent and lazy to attend service. From attendance of five times a week, it was gradually reduced to only Sabbath service. Eventually I stopped going to church.
From then on, the devil had full control of me. The environment surrounding me was conducive for sinning against God. My nature in wanting to show off and outdoing others in everything was a death trap for my spiritual well being. This was the beginning of my life spiraling downwards.
Like my elder brother, I started smoking in fear of my friends laughing at me. I also started drinking like my father who would drink till he was drunk everyday. I would drink with my friends who paid for the drinks. If they drank a glass or a bottle, I would double that or more. After my drunken and vomiting episode, I would regret my actions. However, the situation would be repeated again and again. At some point, I even dabbled in drugs like marijuana just to show off to friends that I could take those drugs. But I stopped before I was addicted.
My temper was foul and would challenge others to a fight at the slightest provocation. I would steal from my parents to gamble and bought illegal lottery. I even contemplated inking myself with tattoos and piercing my ears with earrings but I dropped the idea as I could not stand pain.
Though I left church, God never left me! He stayed by me throughout my wandering days. He moved me to pray for His forgiveness whenever I sinned. In my prayers, I made many promises to kick off my smoking habit but failed. Finally, I did it and I believe it was God’s strength that I succeeded.
One Sunday in 1992 for my sister’s wedding, I borrowed my company’s car to fetch the family about. After the wedding, I should have returned the car immediately but instead I drove it around with friends till late at night. By the time, I returned the car at a colleague’s house, the car ownership license had gone missing. As the care was used to transport employees to and from office, without the license, it would be illegal for my colleagues to drive the car. To report loss at the police station and getting a replacement would take weeks or months, not to mention the high processing fee. I was in a state of panic.
I spent the next few hours looking for it around my colleague’s house, inside the car and even in the drain. But to no avail. On the way back home I cried and felt very guilty. My colleagues who knew about it were very displeased. I was at my wit’s end and prayed to God. I confessed my wrongdoings and all the broken promises about quitting smoking. I pleaded with God for mercy and forgiveness. This time, I made one last promise to quit smoking if God helped me to find the license.
When I reached home I could not sleep and kept retracing my steps on the night’s activities. I even called all the friends who had been with me that night to help search for their house for the license. Where could I find a small pouch in a big city in Jakarta? The chance was so slim. In spite of the dreadful feeling, something moved me to go out and search for it. I borrowed my cousin’s motorcycle to retrace my steps. I made a mental note that the first stop would be a restaurant which we had visited that night followed by our next till I drove the car to my colleague’s house.
After I went around for about more than an hour, I felt hopeless. Then I stopped on the road in front of my friend’s house. The road was not like the roads in Singapore which are clean, neat and bright. The ground was dirty and full of rubbish. It was also very dark. I was still on my motorbike looking around when miraculously my focus stopped at the spot where the headlight from the bike was shining at the pouch. The scene was exactly like an entertainer standing in the spotlight on a stage! I realized then that we I stopped my bike, I did give a cursory scan on that spot but could not see anything as the pouch was covered in sands and dusts, it blended with the colour of the rubbish surrounding it. But something pushed me to off the bike to take a closer look. I knew instantly that was help from God. I was overjoyed and moved to tears.
God has always been with me. He loves me very much and disciplines me promptly. After the incident, I stopped smoking and went back to church. Until today I am still trying to grow my faith in God, and always be vigilant. He saw me and had compassion. It is the same as the parable in the bible about the Father who welcomed the prodigal son. He ran and fell on my neck and kissed me even though I was very dirty.
I always wonder what God saw in me. I was so dirty but He still welcomed me home. I bore this testimony three times and each time I tried hard to control my emotions but it is hard because every time I feel the love of God, my tears flow uncontrollably. I believe God has a wonderful plan for each of us that He wanted us to do. However I do not know what it is now and I am still looking for it. That is why whatever I can do for God, I try to serve Him with my best until I see Him in Heaven. I try not to reject or decline any church work offered to me even though I know that I am not a talented person but I believe God will give me the talent if I really want to do it. I do not know what will happen to me tomorrow for tomorrow I may not have the chance to serve Him. Therefore I will serve Him as long as I live.
May all glory be given to our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.