We all have our stories to tell of how we came to know Christ, and I always love to hear them, as they’re never the same. I grew up in a dysfunctional secular household in London, England. I had a warped view of spirituality from a young age, and this led me to seek ‘truth’ in my own way. I was bit of a magpie grabbing onto whatever things of this Earth that fit in with the way I wanted to live my life, till eventually I came across a movement called the New Age. It’s a movement heavily into improving, ‘the self’ and worshipping ‘the self’ through a wide range of spiritual beliefs and practices. I latched onto it and run, even qualifying as a life coach in such matters.
I was into self-help books, astrology, tarot cards, I went to mediums; I believed in reincarnation and studied past life regression. I was into reaching higher states of consciousness through meditation, which I learned through yoga, in turn making me curious about the yogi teachers themselves. I believed there were many paths to God and it didn’t matter what religion you practised, as it all led to the same place and that it was a personal choice on how you chose to get there.
I was running wild, partying, clubbing, drinking, shopping, consumed by the image beast. I was careless and reckless in my behaviour, mixing with the wrong crowds. I wore a mask to the world, not wanting to be me, as deep down I was wounded, lacking self-esteem, and running away from life. It got to a point that all the doors closed in on me, and everything that could go wrong, went terribly wrong. I was caught between a rock and a hard place and went through a serious bought of depression. I was broken and wounded and felt like I had no one to turn too. In my pain, suicidal thoughts wreaked havoc in my mind. When I had a realisation of the selfishness of this act, I had a feeling of remorse and that I was ‘not right’ as a person; I was a self-pitying mess and I just randomly started to repent of the things I’d done wrong in my life. I didn’t realise at the time what I was doing, but I know now, that in the Lord’s mercy He had given me a spirit of repentance.
And Jesus heard my cry and reached out to me and gave me an overwhelming peace that night. In Psalm 34:18 it says ‘The LORD is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit’ it didn’t matter that I wasn’t a Christian as the Lord is no respecter of persons. In my pain and torment, I just knew to cry out. That night the Lord took the broken pieces of my life and mended me together again. What months of therapy couldn’t do, Jesus did overnight, He healed me. The following morning, I looked at the world with fresh eyes, I literally felt like a new person, something had happened.
I knew it was Jesus because I’d been staying with my grandmother at the time, who was a Christian. She had been praying for me and had given me prayers on bits of paper to pray, saying it will help me, so I read them hoping that they would, as I was desperate. She was always watching the religious channel, and as I sat with her something must’ve unconsciously sunk in. Because of this I wanted to know more about Jesus and started to read the Bible, I always thought that he was some sort of teacher, like one of the gurus from my meditative yoga practices. And as it says in Jeremiah 29:13 “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” So, I sought Him. I’d heard about Jesus and all the misrepresentations of Him, but it’s not until that night in my room that I came to know the real Jesus, the Son of God! What’s really humbling for me, is to know that even if I was the only sinner in the world, Jesus would’ve gone to the Cross for me. In John 1:12-13 it states, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
Soon after these events, I found myself working abroad, and was led to a Christian volunteer charity worker, who was a pastor. I told him about my past and he showed me some verses in the Bible, that really spoke to my heart like, Colossians 2:8 “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception [pseudo-intellectual babble], according to the tradition [and musings] of mere men, following the elementary principles of this world, rather than following [the truth—the teachings of] Christ.” and also Deuteronomy 18:9-14, among others.
I had to renounce the New Age religion and repent properly of all my sins. I had to personally invite Jesus into my life, to come into my heart and make Him Lord of my life; as Jesus didn’t come into the world to condemn the world but to save it ~John 3:17. Romans 2:4, tells me that it was the goodness of God that brought me to repentance. Jesus full of grace and truth became flesh, He came to show me the way to the Father. Day by day He started showing me the Father’s nature, so I can become a child of God, through His Word and faithful teachers to help me grow in the Lord.
When I realised how much I’d been deceived, it shook me to my core, but my journey didn’t end there, it was only the beginning. The Bible says in John 8:32, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” I was aware of my sinful habits and wanted to get rid of them – as the Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. I realised, I was a slave to sin and wanted to be free of this Adamic nature, in Romans 6:6-7, “For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.” James 4:17 states, “So for one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, for him it is sin.” Jesus didn’t come for those who call themselves righteous, but came for repentant sinners, I can confess that I am now one of them.
As the Bible states, that everyone who has got a hope in Christ Jesus, purifies themselves, just as He is pure, and are not mere hearers of the Word but doers also. 1 John 3:2, “Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be, has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see Him as he is.” He came to crucify my fleshy desires on the Cross, so that sin shall not have dominion over me. The Holy Spirit that was given to me the day I was born again, is making me into the nature of Jesus. Something I like to remind myself of from Galatians is… “I am crucified with Christ Jesus daily, it’s no longer Lori who lives but Christ Jesus who died for me and gave Himself for me.”
Since becoming a Christian that hole in my heart – that was reserved only for God – that I tried to fill with the empty things of this world, started to slowly get filled with Jesus, as something in the spirit realm had taken place, the third heaven, God’s Kingdom. I started to build upon this relationship with prayer, talking to the Lord, reading and looking for guidance via His Word the Bible; which is living, breathing, sharp and active, like a double-edged sword. And when it goes into your soul, it cuts things, breaks things, and it changes things. It weeds out the garden of our hearts so it’s pleasant for the Lord to reside there.
My goal is to follow in Jesus’s footsteps and be like him, and meet Him when He comes again, this is the hope of my glory in Him. I want to run this race with endurance, fear and trembling in my heart, to live a life pleasing to the Father and allow the Holy Spirit to do a work in me, so that He can work through me, to fulfil all the plans and purposes that were ordained from the foundation of the Earth and bear lasting fruit.
The Lord works in miraculous ways, wooing us and convicting us via His Holy Spirit, as Titus 3:5 states ‘He saved us, not by the righteous deeds we had done, but according to His mercy, through the washing of new birth and renewal by the Holy Spirit’.
I pray that the Lord will continue to meet with each and every one of us at our point of need and continue to drawer us unto Himself to have a lasting loving relationship with Him.
By Lori McPherson
**How to be saved: The Path To Salvation, please click: HERE