Updated: Dec 11, 2019

- From Rule-Follower to Christ-Follower.

As I move forward through the ongoing process of sanctification, I now look back with disgust at how I lived before submitting to Christ. On the outside, I likely appeared to be a next-to-perfect ‘goody two shoes’. In reality, though, I was a rule-follower, not a Christ-follower. I avoided breaking rules in order to maintain a good reputation for myself. It was all for the praise of my name, rather than the glory of God. My heart was evil – “deceitfully wicked” actually, as Jeremiah 17:9 says. Sin was my ruler. I lived for myself, to please my sinful, selfish nature and that life was unstable at best. My foundation – the one I’d built for myself – was shaky, unsure and unreliable, and I struggled with major insecurities daily. Though I was not clinically diagnosed with either anxiety or depression, they plagued me throughout my later years of elementary school and into my freshman year of high school. There were numerous occasions where I found regular student life to be too much to handle and I distinctly remember my first panic attack at school. How could I get so flustered over the trivial, normal tasks of a student? The answer is simple: I had built my life around becoming the perfect student/daughter/peer/etc. I craved perfection. It was an idol. My grades determined my happiness; my sense of fulfilment was guided by how I performed and what other people thought of me. God was Someone I talked to occasionally, but I didn’t care enough about what He had to say and I refused to entrust my life to Him. The Turning Point However, throughout high school, I gradually became convicted of my outrageous, arrogant pride and began truly believing the Word of God. Christianity was starting to be more to me than just the religion of my parents. It was clear to me that if the Bible was true, I had a problem. Keeping in mind the standard of God’s law, Romans 3:23 explains the obvious: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. And, in Romans 6:23, we are told that “the wages of sin is death”. If I carried on living in rebellion to the Lord’s commands, I was going to die and find myself gnashing my teeth in Hell – no matter how many good things I tried to do, whether I called myself a Christian or not. God is the just Judge of the world and He would not let a sinner into His holy presence in Heaven. He cannot; that would be in total opposition to His utterly sinless nature. But, God demonstrated His extraordinary love for the world through the death of Jesus Christ. As Romans 5:8 says, “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” His blood sacrifice was (and is) the fully sufficient atonement for my wretchedness. What loving-kindness, what mercy He has shown me – that the Lord even allows me to live another day, let alone the fact that He has granted me this precious gift of eternal life! It is beyond my understanding why He chose to rescue me. New Life & Identity in Christ. To put Ephesians 2:8-9 in my own words, it is by grace I have been saved, through faith in Christ. This salvation has not come from anything I’ve done; I did not earn it and I certainly do not deserve it. In His awesome grace, God has given me this wondrous gift so that I cannot boast about my achievements. No! They are less than rubbish compared to His character and what He has done. All the praise, glory and honour belong to the One Who has conquered sin and death, to Him Who has risen from the grave and Who stands victorious over Satan’s schemes! As for me, I continue on in the new life He has blessed me with, desiring that my heart and mind be further redeemed from my old ways of living. I turn my gaze from the temptations of sin and offer myself as a living sacrifice, a joyful and willing slave to righteousness, a faithful servant of the Lord, because He is my Sustainer & King and He is most trustworthy. I look forward to the day we will meet face-to-face.

To read this testimony and other edifying posts from Emma you can check out her blog :https://myredemptionforhisglory.com

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