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Stories of Lives Liberated

Nick

Nick

Once enslaved to materialism. Now liberated with my eyes on the heavenly prize.

Who I Was Before Christ:

I grew up hearing words like “God”, ”Jesus”, ”Christian”, ”Religion”, etc. But I did not know what they meant or was I encouraged to explore their meanings. So I laid off this interest of mine and went on with my life. I never really put much thought into crucial questions like, “What am I really living for?”, “What is the most important thing in life?”, “Why do I exist?”, “Why even live?” Meanwhile, the world around me kept telling me to stop thinking and keep going. But I did not know where I was going, I had no idea what I was going to do with my life and how to proceed. So I chose to shut off my brain and just follow the rest of the world. The high school I went to was filled with kids from very rich families and they loved to compare. Whoever wore the nicest, most expensive jacket was the coolest, etc. To avoid being laughed at, I chased after those nice things like every other kid at the school. I didn’t know this then, but those “nice things” became my “god”, and I worshipped it.

I didn’t stop there. My “friends” at the time didn’t have very good influence on me at the dorm either. I remember that one time when a roommate showed me a porn website, I was first ashamed and scared, then I started to like it and soon enough, I became addicted to it. I was dragged into this mud pond, which looked harmless but is deep as hell, and I chose to stay in.

So I kept on living my life and did everything that made me happy, and I was, at least for a little while. But after the rush of happiness and glory, I always seemed to leave empty handed. I felt like I left something behind and there was nothing in front. I was never truly satisfied.

What Changed?:

I came to college. Being new to the Twin Cities I desperately needed friends and the first group of people that reached out to me was people from a church in Minneapolis called The Rock. I had no experience going to church and those people were very nice to me. I really appreciated their hospitality but I thought “religious people are just wired this way”, I wouldn’t accept their beliefs right away.

But time, changed my opinion about religion and these “religious people”. After long enough time interacting, being friends with, even living with some Rockers (people that go to the Rock.), I started to sense something different from these people. They were different from the friends I knew from my childhood.

They were not always nice. They were not always Mr. or Ms. smiley face. They had flaws and weaknesses. They were not some “nice and perfect Christians”. Instead, they acknowledged their imperfections and they put their faith in a God that is good and perfect. They realized they had a desperate need for God because without Him, they were just as bad, greedy and lustful as everyone else, if not worse. They were not better than anyone, they were new creations because the God they believe in changed them. It was not some kind of superstitious, legalistic “god” that they believed in. Instead, their faith was so vibrant and full-of-life because their God is the true living God!

Who I Am Now:

Finally, the life questions I had when I was still a kid, can be answered now. God created us in his own image and we ought to live this life to glorify Him. I was never truly satisfied because the “gods” that I worshiped (brand name clothing, fancy cars, sex, etc.) were things of this world, created by God. Until I turned my back on them and worship the Creator, my life had no meaning or direction.

I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior over two years ago, but it wasn’t until I started taking the initiative to seek and follow God did He start to speak to me and guide the direction of my life. I no longer pursue the nice things of the world and God also gave me a hand so I could pull myself out of the porn addiction I had for 5 years. The freedom I received felt incredible!

I am by no means even close to perfection, I wrestle with a lot of things and God’s been showing me grace constantly. I am certain I will be more and more like His son, Jesus Christ, in time as I yield and submit to Him.

If you asked me “what do you have in life?” before Christ, I would’ve told you I wasn’t sure if I had life because I didn’t know what I was living for but I had some nice stuff.

If you asked me now, I would say: “By the grace of God, Life and Freedom!”

 

 

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