Watch: Justin’s testimony
Justin shares his journey of growing closer to God through church courses and prayer ministry to confess and remove blocks between God and him, to a point that he now experiences God in a personal Father-son relationship. Praise God! Watch his testimony below.
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There’s nothing wrong with attending church services and serving the church.
But at the end of the day, I realise it is a relationship that our Father wants to have with us.
My name is Justin and I’m 40 years old. I gave my life to Christ 16 years ago. And I remember my first six to eight years of my journey, I would call myself a “surface-level” Christian, really not understanding much of what being a Christian needed to do and what it meant.
And about eight years ago, when I moved back to Asia, I got plugged into my church and our church here locally offered a lot of courses and material.
One of the courses that I took was on the topic of pure desire, really teaching men about sexual purity.
And it came at a right time, because I took that course a year before I got married.
What I learned the most about the course is the struggles that I had; if I try to fix it myself, I realised that I was powerless. Throughout the 12 months, with the support of the men and the community, I realised that by inviting God into my heart, that was really the power behind the transformation and how I overcame the struggles that I had in the area of sexual purity.
There’s a big lie that’s been planted in all of men’s heart, is that we’re the biggest and baddest person when it comes to sexual purity.
I still remember the first time we met as a group of men, most of them are people who I didn’t know. But when people started to share about their struggles in such an honest and authentic way, not only did I realise that I wasn’t the worst and baddest person, that everyone struggled together, that really encouraged not only myself, but everyone in the group, to share authentically, their deepest and biggest struggles. And that was really the beginning of healing in the area of sexual purity.
In addition to the Pure Desire course, I also enrolled myself to the prayer ministry. I didn’t have much expectations nor did I understood what it meant.
But through one of the prayer sessions, I realised that I had a relationship with God that has always existed, but was part of my blind spot.
I remember at the end of the prayer session, I was clearly and vividly picturing Jesus sitting next to me, putting His arm around me, telling me how much He cares and how much He loved me. And before that, I thought my relationship with God was very distant.
I am one of many millions of Christians. Why would God pay attention? And why would He care?
But that prayer session completely changed my point of view and perspective. And it also made my heart a lot more tender. It made me realise how much of a relationship my Father wants to have with me. And it was very eye-opening.
This prayer ministry and the prayer that I had was different to all the others because I was given all the time that I needed.
And it was purely led by the Holy Spirit, not by human beings.
And when we went into prayer, it was really focused on God and focused on allowing the Holy Spirit to come in to be in our presence and guiding our prayers and even our thoughts. I was able to hear God and feel God’s presence so much more.
So, when I got married, that was about six years ago, we had children the following year. So, we were busy raising a family and I realised the things that I lacked as a father and as a husband. And I remember one of the courses that was offered at the church was a parenting course. And one of the things that I learned from that course was a priority chart. I remember that page of that book vividly. There was a one, two, three priority.
Number one is God. Number two is marriage. Number three is children. And then four, five and the rest; work and everything else.
That really changed my perspective because I understood then, that if I didn’t have a vertical relationship with God, if I didn’t put God in the driver’s seat as a priority, nothing in the rest of the priority chart would matter.
Being a father is an extremely challenging job – and rewarding.
But the more I experience trying to be a good father, the more I realised how much I lacked.
And remembering how much I had gotten out of the prayer ministry, I decided to revisit and have another prayer session to see how the Holy Spirit would lead. And this was about two years ago when I went back to the prayer ministry and carved out the day to go into prayer and really allowing the Holy Spirit to lead. And in that prayer session, I took something out that was completely different and I never anticipated.
And the theme of that prayer session was really focused more on the Father and son relationship, the sonship that I’ve always had but once again was part of my blind spot.
At that point, I already knew I had a strong relationship with our Father, but I never saw him as a Father to me.
And that prayer session really confirmed and assured me that He is truly a Father to me. And that I’m His son. And that was an extremely blessed feeling and a very special feeling that I’ve never felt before.
Since that, in the last 12 to 18 months, I felt that I was able to feel the Holy Spirit much more than I would ever imagine. And I remember in a few Sunday church services while I was worshiping, tears would come down my face. These weren’t tears of sorrows. It was really joyful.
And I remember vividly, every time when I reacted that way to a worship song, I could hear God saying to me, “I love you so much, son.”
And that is once again, something that I’ve never experienced – the closeness with God and the Holy Spirit – really being in the presence as I worship Him.
And people ask sometimes, do you hear God? And my response is, I don’t necessarily hear Him in an audible voice, but it’s more like an impression that He has upon me and on my heart.
I think that requires a tender heart.
In the past, when my heart was so hard, if you can picture that, you can’t have an impression on something that is completely rigid.
But because of the softening of my heart, God can now have an impression upon it. And that’s how I hear Him through the Holy Spirit.
And I’m very much like to continue to keep my heart tender, and the way I do that is through confessing my sins.
Personally, I’m a prideful person, and I know that. That is one of my struggles. So, I find myself often having to come before the Lord in my prayers and confessing the things that doesn’t please Him. It’s a lot of hard work because my natural tendency is to be very prideful, but through confession, through admitting that God is so much more infinitely bigger than I am, and that I am powerless and He’s all powerful, He continues to keep my heart tender.
My commitment is just like the priority chart that I mentioned earlier, to have God as my number one, to continue to have my vertical relationship with Him, and take a step forward in improving that relationship every single day.
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