Returning from missions in the summer of 1990 I was a radically changed young man. My sole purpose in life was to pursue an intimate, personal, real, knowledge of God, being fully surrendered to Him in every moment and share the wonder and glory of my new reality with anyone who would receive it. Several significant things happened together:
1. My parents accepted and encouraged my enthusiasm instead of trying to contain it. (This was no easy task as I was overly fanatical for the average bear!)
2. The people in my church, (which happened to be a calm, traditional church) took note of my changed life and encouraged me to share. This allowed me to speak to adults and children in church services, adult classes, children's classes, small groups and one on one. It affirmed my new found passionate faith and helped me discover what I was good at and not so good at.
3. Though some friends rejected me and we went our separate ways, several people at school were significantly impacted by my influence and we started several Bible studies, prayer groups, witnessing groups and more. This gave me confidence that God was at work in and through me.
4. I read, memorized and devoured the Bible (along with sermon tapes and church services) and spent lots of time in personal prayer. (One of my favourite memories from this season of my life is kneeling on the red throw rug in my room by my bed, enjoying God's presence.)
All of these things worked together to form a time of great growth in my life. But one more significant factor here...
5. I blew it a lot! I sinned. I lied, I got arrogant and proud, I lusted, I manipulated, I dishonoured my parents and much much more. How could that be? Well...that what I asked myself every time I recognized my own sin. Then I would repent, thinking I would never, never, never do it again. Of course, I would sin again. I learned a very important principle in that season. I am a mess, apart from Christ I will do nothing by blow it. I need to quickly repent and slowly improve my holiness.