I did not grow up in a Christian home. I was born in the former Soviet Union and moved to Germany when I was 8.
It was not until years later that my sister and mother started to be interested in the Christian faith and shared some Bible stories with me. Because of their influence, I started to attend an independent Protestant church.
God impressed me of my need to make my life right with him and to confess the many wrongs I’d committed against others. But because of my pride, I was held back from complete victory. Sadly, as a result, one cherished sin led to another and years later I was still far away from God, going to clubs, dancing, drinking and living the wild life.
Thankfully God did not give up on me. My mother and others were praying for me and the voice of God kept telling me, “You do not belong here.” Amazingly, I still had the desire to be close to God, but since I’d failed before in my attempts to live for Him and make my life right, I felt like it was hopeless.
However, my thirst for the Living Water was growing stronger. One night I told a close friend that I did not have the desire to get drunk anymore. After that, I stopped going to clubs and began to make serious changes in my life as God led me forward.
Not long after, I started to watch an Adventist broadcast online and got hooked by the sound messages that were presented. I thought to myself, “This must be truth!”
One day I watched a presentation where the preacher was making an appeal to put the world aside and surrender all to God. I was convicted that the worldly lifestyle I was embracing was keeping me back from God. So right then and there in my bedroom, as the preacher was making the appeal, I made my choice.
“God,” I prayed. “You have created heaven and earth and you can give me a new heart!”
And you know what? He did! He helped me start a new life that I would not exchange for anything in the world. He also helped me to overcome my pride and make things right with those I’d wronged.
People often say, “Home is where the heart is!” As I think about the words of Peter “Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life” (John 6:68), I couldn’t agree more. There is no place where I could go but to Christ Jesus my Lord. He has my heart and He is my home, for now and eternity.
Heart Prayer Challenge:
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of eternal life. Thank you for being a shelter and refuge and a true home for us all. Help us not to walk in spiritual compromise any longer. Help us not to hold back from following our convictions. Help us not to hold on to any cherished sins, for I know these wound You afresh. We not only want You to come and dwell here with us, but we want to go home, to our real home in Heaven. Prepare us for Your soon coming! Amen.
By Roman Ril
(Roman found Jesus in 2010. He has been working as a missionary in Germany since 2011 and has a passion for medical missionary work. He and his wife, Raluca–who married in June of 2014, have just finished a medical missionary training course in the United States and are excited about helping people find mental, spiritual and physical healing. He is also co-author with his wife of the Ten Days of Prayer materials for 2015/16.)