1. Building Hunger for God
The interesting thing about my coming to God story is that I didn’t start out in a place of need. A pastor I recently had the pleasure to listen to, said that America isn’t hungry for God any more. Those words resonated so heavily with me, and they should resonate with you as well.
In order to come closer to God our hunger must be woken up. Without it, we lack motivation to pray or learn new things. We become stagnant and the distance between ourselves and God remains the same. Thankfully, His desire for a relationship with us is far greater than our own!
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”Jeremiah 29:11 NIV https://jeremiah.bible/jeremiah-29-11
Even though my relationship with God was stagnant he put people into my life with the purpose of waking up my hunger. I’ve always said that I feel the presence of God through other people and I truly believe He used this to pull me closer to Him.
In 2020 I had the opportunity to meet Peter who is now a good friend and Spiritual mentor. For the first time I was given an example of someone who lets the Holy Spirit work in their life. This was something that I slowly grew to desire for myself.
2. Building Faith
With a newfound hunger bordering on obsession, I started to learn as much as I could. The Bible was entirely overwhelming, so instead I watched testimony after testimony on YouTube. With every new video, my heart began to pull tighter and tighter towards God. My faith slowly began to build as well.
It’s important to note that my walk in building faith may look very different from yours. Some people are able to pick up the Bible without any issues. Church is a great option too! I do recommend finding someone who can be your spiritual mentor like Peter is for me. That person can be someone in your family, a friend, or even someone in the church.
Eventually I realized, the only thing keeping me apart from God was myself! That night I sat at the foot of my bed and I prayed with an open heart and mind. “God I want to know you like these people do. You have done so many wonderful things. Reveal yourself to me.”
Now I have to admit as I prayed, I was filled with terror at the idea of an Angel or Jesus coming into my room and putting their hand on my shoulder. Looking back at it now, God was telling me I wasn’t ready for that yet.
That night I went to bed with no confirmation or spiritual revelation. However, my hunger to get closer to him still remained. A few days later after watching more testimony, I was determined to make the connection; no matter how scary it was. I sat at the foot of my bed and prayed a second time. “God I want to know you like these people do. I don’t know how to hear your voice yet, so speak to me in a way that is impossible to miss. Give me a spiritual experience that I cannot deny.”
The second time I prayed at the foot of my bed, there was one major difference. I had complete faith that God would answer my prayer in some way.
“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord…”Jeremiah 29:12-14 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/jer.29.12-14.NIV
3. Faith Challenge
I challenged God, and in return He challenged me. Within 24 hours, my life turned upside down. My roommate and I were both going through extreme emotional turmoil, spiritual attacks, and our friendship started to fall apart.
In an attempt to save it we spent a lot of time walking in the park silently. It was awkward until I broke the silence with big ugly tears.We were both in a lot of pain. My pain came from a place of empathy.
My roommate, suffers from depression and I knew in that moment she felt like her worst fears were coming true, that I would abandon her like everyone else in her life. I also knew that she had made the decision to end her life.
In a desperate attempt to end her heartbreak, called out to Jesus one final time, “Jesus, if this is the one prayer you hear please let it be this one. I just ask that you lay a blanket of healing over her and to remove these thoughts from her mind.”
With some time she was able to calm down emotionally and she eventually said, “The craziest thing happened when we were crying. I suddenly got this vision of purple. I didn’t know if it was a cloth cloak or a living flame burning away my thoughts.”
The moment she told me, I was awestruck because I realized that Jesus had answered my prayer. He had answered both of my prayers. My faith was rewarded and Jesus brought my roommate a moment of peace and healing.