Before I allowed God to take control of my life I was mainly living for myself and my own desires. I cared a lot about what other people thought about me and also what I thought would make me happy. Growing up I would have considered myself a Christian, but I wasn’t living for God and His desires for my life. My primary concerns were being the best I could be and making myself into a good person.
Towards the end of High School I slowly began to give into the temptations to drink, and also hid that part of my life from those most important to me. I thought I could maintain a clean image — be a good athlete, a lead in the musicals, a good student — and still have my fun behind closed doors too. When I eventually got caught, the guilt I felt just drove me away from wanting to pursue God and the life He wanted for me. During my freshman year of college at the University of Minnesota I began partying almost every weekend because I wanted to fit in and I thought that drinking would fill the gap I felt in my life. The thing I longed for in my life the most was significance, and I thought the best way to find it was in the party scene, having good grades and making myself feel good, not in Christ.
But also during my freshman year of college I began to meet Christians who were involved with a group called “Cru” on campus, or Campus Crusade for Christ. They invited me to Bible studies and the weekly large group Cru meetings, which interested me enough to attend but did not deeply impact my life at the start. I thought I could just continue using my faith to make me look like a better person during the week and then on the weekend I could go back to living my own life.
I came to realize my own selfishness my sophomore year of college when on numerous weekends I drank too much at parties. My life seemed to be taking a turn for the worse, and I wasn’t satisfied with what I was filling my life with. I knew I needed to change while I still had a chance.
I remembered what I had been learning in Cru about surrendering your life fully to God and that a real relationship with Him was the only way to find true satisfaction. So one night in November of my sophomore year of college I laid in bed and decided to take a step of faith. I was tired and weary of living this double life, and I felt very empty. So I prayed, “God, I need you to change my life. I no longer want to look to drinking or following my own ways in order to find significance. Will you bring me new friends and a new life? I want to follow your way and not my own.”
Shortly after I surrendered my life to Christ I stopped partying and met some new guy friends at Campus Crusade’s winter conference called “TCX,” and they invited me to their Bible study. Learning and growing in my faith with this group of men, I found the meaning and significance I had been looking for all along. I now had true fellowship and was challenged to live for God every day and with everything I have.
I began focusing more on God and how I could glorify Him with my life, and less about pleasing myself. I found peace in my heart and a new found joy in life. The friends God led me to truly cared about me for who I was and helped me to become the man God wanted me to be. I had a new found purpose in living for God.
I am motivated to share about what God is done in my life because I know that He wants to do the same in everyone’s life who hasn’t put their full trust in Him. That step of faith to fully surrender my life to God was the best decision I have ever made in my life.