Austin G.

Austin G.

from KS
Story #226
I attended church all my life because my parents made me and as a child. I really didn't have too many options. Its not like as a child I had much of a choice and I grew up with the idea that since I prayed a prayer at the age three and, “asked Him in” I was saved for life. Although I believe the Lord honors childlike faith it was not until later that I truly realized what it meant to follow Christ and gave my life fully to him.

For most of my unsaved life I believed that God was angry with me when I was bad and would bless me when I was good. It all hinged on my performance and I grew resentful in my later teenage years that God seemingly would punish me whenever I did the things that just seemed so enjoyable and normal. I claimed to be Christian but only so I could get the benefits of God and avoid going to hell. One day after I turned 18 I decided to totally just let it out and lived however I wanted to, after all, "I’m saved by grace” I told myself and there seemed to be no consequences to what I was doing at the time so I continued in the way I was in, and like a Jack in The Box I exploded to the opposite end of things from being extremely “religious” to irreligious in a very short period of time. I was lost and was guilty of what the book of Jude would refer to as using grace as a license to sin all the more.

Jude 1:4 says, "For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.

Although I believed Jesus was the only way to heaven, that's all He was for me and he did not really own my life nor did I have his life in me either. I would put off the whole repenting of my sin till "tomorrow" and tomorrow would come and go and I was still the same old person soaked in an immoral life style, addicted to various forms of sinful behavior. I thought for the longest part of my life until I was truly saved that all I had to do was just believe the facts that Jesus died for sins and rose again. I never gave any thought to giving my life over to His control and I truly believed I could keep going in my way of life.

In the book of James it says in chapter 2:18-19 "But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that--and shudder."

One day I went up to my usual hang out, it was a bar but was also a coffee shop and I was always up there like clock work every night looking for girls or a fun time, only with one thing in mind. However that day I pulled up there was a change of plans, not that I was aware of, but God had something greater in mind for my life beginning the following ensuing moments. After I had pulled up I was seized inside by the overwhelming guilt of who I was and how I was living. I realized that I was a sinful human being and I felt God speak inaudibly to my heart “Austin, You claim to know me but deny me in your actions and use the grace of my Son Jesus to live however you please.” I felt overwhelmed by the love of God at that moment and realized Jesus Christ died for me and wanted to give me a new start to my life, a life I had so terribly hosed up. It was that day I repented and put my trust in Him and surrendered my life to following Him. Well it ended up that I turned my car around and went straight back home in more than just the literal sense, my life also took a 180-degree turn and went back home to Christ.

Repentance is just that, it’s a change of mind and attitude about our sin that turns us around. The greatest part was He got a hold of me first, it was my doing and I did not have foggiest idea what was going to happen that day nor was I even making any effort to put myself in such a position as that but in actuality was running the opposite direction.