Watch: Dicky’s testimony

Dicky became a Christian a decade ago and recently came to understand the true power of the gospel, God’s Word, repentance, receiving the Holy Spirit, and baptism. He shares how he received a new heart through a second baptism after fully understanding what Jesus did for him on the cross. Praise God!

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Video transcript

After I chose to die to my old self, God gave me a new heart.

My wife even tells me that now, I am a new man. God has exchanged my heart of stone for a heart of flesh.

Hi, my name is Dicky. I have been married for about seven years. I became a Christian about 10 years ago. I began reflecting on my life while reading various Christian books given by close friends.

Slowly, the Holy Spirit revealed to me that God had always been alongside me in life, especially during the difficult times.

After having this conviction, I went through the church’s alpha course, learning the fundamentals of what makes us followers of Jesus Christ.

At the time, I didn’t have much of an expectation, I just knew that for me to become a Christian, I have to go through this process of baptism that I have witnessed so many times at church before. One thing I vividly felt during my first baptism was that I was thankful to God and I was really glad that God brought me into His family. But life was normal after the baptism.

There weren’t any big changes inside of me. And I continued to go about the everyday just as before.

The early years after baptism were still very much about myself, me being the centre of my life, and only asking God for help whenever things didn’t work out.

God was always an afterthought at the time. I didn’t think God would be interested in the small details of my life. I didn’t think God was able to talk to me and I always thought of God as quiet and distant. I only prayed or asked God if there were something very serious or life-changing.

So there was this class a few years ago at church that introduced to me to the character of God, that God is the Trinity and we, as God’s children, are able to communicate and relate to God – whether it is God as the Father, or God as Jesus Christ, the Son, or God as the Holy Spirit.

So I began to understand that the Holy Spirit is the One who is actively living within our own hearts.

In fact, we can even talk to the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit will talk back to us – whether through words, promptings or visions.

I also got to learn that through our childhood and upbringing, we can form habits or patterns. While some may be good but some can also put a distance or blockage between our hearts and the Spirit of God. And these blockages can be removed by honestly repenting before God from our very heart. Then God will freely forgive us with His grace and wipe our sins clean so that we can live our lives as freely as God had originally intended. For Acts 3:19 says “Repent and then turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, and that the times of refreshing may come from the Lord”.

I wanted to know this and to have this freedom, and to know the plans God has for me.

Essentially, I was tired of living a life where I was depending on my strength, my own ways, and my own energy. I wanted to go deeper and really know how to live life with the Holy Spirit. And ultimately, I was not seeing the breakthrough that was so readily available, which I had read about in the Bible.

God’s words and instructions should be simple, His words shouldn’t feel far from my spirit.

But I knew I needed help to find out what is robbing me of my freedom, so I signed up for a prayer ministry at church.

So at that prayer ministry, the Holy Spirit prompted and revealed to me memories that had led my heart to become harder and harder, events that led me to become further and further apart from God. I repented of my sinful ways and sinful responses of each event that occurred and replaced them with truths about how God would have seen them from His perspective. And the weight on my shoulders became lighter and lighter as I prayed and I also sensed the atmosphere around me was getting brighter as well. I became convinced and I vividly felt that the Holy Spirit is my Helper and I can run to Him for all things.

Because of this prayer of repentance, I began reading the Bible with much more clarity.

I began understanding the love of Jesus and God’s yearning for our hearts. My faith towards God grew stronger and I became convinced that Jesus will love me, no matter what I have done.

And in fact, the gospel is very simple, we just need to let God have it all – all of our hearts, all of our desires, worries, status, relationships, finance, and even health. I also began unravelling my subconscious desires and motivations, the subtle actions or behaviours that were so natural to me at the time, that were so under-the-radar that I used to think they weren’t a problem at all.

I slowly began to see that those actions were sinful, that I was poisoning and hurting the people close to me.

So, I decided It was time to give up everything, everything I desired or wanted to grab on to control with. I saw my subconscious as prideful, controlling, and judgemental.

All of this was the Holy Spirit’s work in me and I would not have come to this point had I not gone through the previous times of repentance and prayers.

I made a decision with my heart that my old self had to go. I wanted to be in Christ, to be a new creation, and to wash away the old.

So, I decided to be baptised a second time. This was not to nullify the first baptism but at that time, I didn’t have the full understanding of why Jesus had died for us, the price He paid on the cross to wash away my sins in order to save me. So this time, I prepared my heart for the second baptism with me saying to God that, “Yes, I want to die to myself, to die to my desires, and all the spiritual roots that was weighing me down.”

I emptied my mind and asked God to renew my heart. I had an urge for a fresh start and even closer relationship with the Holy Spirit.

On the day, an acquaintance from church baptised me in God’s nature, in the sea next to a beach.

It was a moment purely between God and me, not between earthly relationships, marriage, or even family. In fact, no one who had a close relationship with me was present on the day, not even my wife.

And right before I entered the living water of the sea, I prayed to repent of my past ways. I repented for being judgemental, controlling, and prideful.

I repented of the idol worship and occult practices of my family such that the enemy can no longer have a foothold in me.

I repented of having a fear of abandonment during my childhood years. I repented for being fearful and not trusting God. I also repented of being tied to various institutions and obligations. I then submitted all these to the cross of Jesus Christ.

And most importantly of all, I asked God for a new heart.

As I came out the water, I sensed that a part of me was left in the water. There was a sense of being emptied.

Gone were the baggages that I was subconsciously carrying. It was a sense of being freed.

My mind was light and actual emotions was being felt inside me, from my heart, and not as if they were generated from my mind like before. There were feelings of joy and happiness radiating from my heart, a feeling that I no longer need to hide my emotions, that I can be who I really am, that I can be happy in front of others.

After the baptism, I was finally able to let go of my own control and desires, I was ready to allow God to take me on His journey.

My heart has been receiving more promptings and voices from the Holy Spirit whenever I talk to God now, and the sense of connection with the Holy Spirit is much more clearer and much more direct. And God even opened doors for me shortly afterwards to minister to and to understand what other brothers- and sisters-in-Christ may be going through at that time. This is a completely new chapter to me, where God is showing me how I can partner with Him and to love the people around me.

My marriage is also stronger. I am now a better listener and more understanding when talking to my wife, as I am able to see and recognise from her point of view. I am able to be open to other people’s suggestions or opinions. And no more am I trying to hold on to outcomes or control my self-righteousness.

I have opened my heart to build relationships that demonstrate God’s love and ultimately, nurture relationships that build up and point people to God.

So, for those who are considering baptism, the simple questions to ask yourself is whether you are 100% committed to loving our Heavenly Father with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, as written in Mark 12:30. And that also means holding onto 0% of our desires or worries of this world. And to be honest, we can’t do that on our own strength because we will just fail. We need the Holy Spirit to give us a new heart so that it becomes possible.

And don’t think of baptism as just a normal church tradition. As you can see from my testimony, it is a spiritual burial to our old self and being raised out of the water as new creations.

Just as Romans 6:4 says, “For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.”

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