From a very young age, I know that God exists and loves us but do not know God personally. I didn’t know His characters well. I was in this state until Secondary School.
During my Secondary School, I received Bible study materials through the mail. Nowadays, we call it snail mail. Till this day, I still don’t know who arranged them to be sent to me (God bless the sister or brother). The Bible study materials were from Australia. From the materials, I began to know more about God and Jesus – who God is and what He did for me. The materials guided me to say the sinners’ prayer and that’s how I accepted Christ into my life.
I didn’t really grow much in my relationship with God. It was a shallow relationship.
In 1990, I went to Australia to further my studies.
I believed that God has prepared my path to Australia. My father accompanied me, on my first trip to Sydney, Australia. It was my first time traveling so far away from home.
On the plane, I sat next to 2 girls. We chatted with them and found out that they are Christians, and they joined the Overseas Christian Fellowship in Australia. They were going to Melbourne and I was going to Sydney. Before the plane stopped at Melbourne, they gave me a contact number of a Christian sister in Sydney. When I reached Sydney, I contacted her and we met at the hotel where I stayed. She took me to the University and introduced me to other Malaysians who are also Christians. She has also invited me to the Overseas Christian Fellowship meeting.
I joined the fellowship every Friday and became one of the committee members as well.
Till this day, I’m really grateful to that Christian sister. We still keep in touch. Praise the Lord!
The fellowship has helped me to deepen my relationship with God. Looking back, God has indeed faithfully guided my spiritual walk – from the day I left Malaysia until my return from Australia. God has brought so many Christian brothers and sisters to my life to support me during my 4 years stay in Australia.
In Joshua 1:5
God said to Joshua:
5 No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.
This promise is still true and real to believers today – “God will never leave you nor forsake you.” I have tasted the faithfulness of God – He keeps His promise.
In 1992, I attended a Conference organized by the Overseas Christian Fellowship. The Conference was held in Brisbane, at the north of Australia, in the state of Queensland. I will never forget my first personal experience of God during one of the worship sessions. We were singing the song the Power of Your Love. When it came to the chorus –
Hold me close, Let Your love surround me
Bring me near, Draw me to Your side
And as I wait, I rise up like an eagle
And I will soar with You
Your Spirit leads on
By the power of Your love.
I could feel His hands holding me, His love surrounding me. I felt so close to Him. I had tears in my eyes. I could feel His love for me – so real, so personal. I will never ever forget that moment. It was a wonderful assurance of His love for me. I felt surrounded by his presence. Whenever I am depressed, I will always remind myself of that experience – God loves me, I know it and have felt it as well.
Coincidently, not by chance, God spoke to me of His love for me again in Brisbane when I went there for training in 2001. I bought a book entitled – “Too busy Not to Pray” by Bill Hybels and started reading it before going back to Malaysia. God gave me another assurance of His love from the book. I read that passage while I was at the airport waiting for my flight home. The passage said – “I love you not because of the things you do for me”. You don’t have to do something for me to love You. I love You as You are”. Wow ! I felt that it was God speaking to me directly from the words. As I read, tears flowed from my eyes. He loves me just as I am – not because I have to do this or that to earn His love. He loves me as who I am. That kind of love is for me only – very personal and unique. I felt so joyful, so precious and special. Now, not only the Bible tells me that He loves me, but I have personally experienced His love.
One more amazing thing - One day, I found out that the bible study materials that I have received during my Secondary School days were from Brisbane, Australia! Not sure what God is trying to tell me. Indeed, Australia has a very special place in my heart because of my experience with God.
The verse that impacted me most throughout my journey as a child of God is from Psalm 37:4.
Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Over the years, I have learnt that as I delight in God – praying, reading His Word, serving Him, His desires became my desires. My desires are no longer mine but His. God has blessed me amazingly as I walk with Him daily – blessings from family and friends, church and a good working environment. There were ups and downs but God was faithful and He delivered me from every struggle that I faced. I have seen and tasted that the Lord is good. I earnestly pray that all my family members, relatives and friends will experience the amazing, unconditional and sacrificial love of God.
Indeed, these 3 characteristics of God have touched my life the most:
God is faithful
God is love
God is good
All Glory and Praise goes to God!