How I Met God (My Mystical Conversion)

sIf God loves man, why does he command him not to eat the forbidden fruit? This is the story of my mystical conversion. In 1980 I left my homeland Malaysia and went to Chicago to do my residency in Internal Medicine. I met Dr. John Lee, a UBF missionary, at Cook County Hospital and he invited me to study Genesis. One night before going to bed, I was preparing Genesis Lesson 2, God Planted A Garden (Gen 2:4-25). One question asked, “If God loves man, why did he forbid him to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil?”

What kind of a God is this?” This question made me very angry. I thought to myself, “God is setting the man up to fail! He put this tree right in the middle of the garden where he will always see it, and says, ‘You must not eat it!’ (Gen 2:9, 17) It’s like putting a stunningly attractive woman in the room with you and saying, ‘Don’t even look at her.’” [I was a non-Christian, single and very lonely at the time!] I was confused and confounded for half an hour by my table in my poorly lit doctor’s dormitory room.

God is God. As I pondered, it was as though I heard the words “God is God.” My understanding was that God had every right to command the man to not eat the forbidden fruit simply because he is God! With this realization it felt as though I entered a timeless luminous state with my young life in my twenties flashing before my eyes. For a few hours, it felt as though I existed in a bright eternal timeless state.

When I realized that God is God, I acknowledged and understood the following for the first time in my life:

* God is my Creator God who created me and gave me my life. This seems so obvious (Rom 1:20). Yet it was the first time I had ever thought or considered this.

* All my life to that point, I lived with no thought of God. Everything I ever did , decided, planned and thought about was only for myself, my benefit and my pleasure (Phil 3:19). If I ever mentioned God, it was only to curse and swear at him in anger for feeling frustrated, even though I did not believe in God!

* For the first time I felt the weight and the horror of my sins. I wept for several hours considering that I owe everything to my God, yet all I ever did was to live for myself and no one else (2 Tim 3:2-4).

* I was shocked that I was still alive! Realizing that I had lived in willful unrestrained rebellion against God, I was genuinely shocked that God did not and has not destroyed me! I wondered, “How could God have let me live for so long, when I completely disregarded my God who has given me everything, including my very life?”

* I felt Hitler was a better man than I. I thought, “At least everyone knows how terrible Hitler was. But I pretended to be good in order to look good, while inside I was full of unspeakable, immoral, nasty, wicked, vicious ungodly thoughts” (Mt 15:18-19; Mk 7:20-22).

* I understood that God loves me and that my sins were forgiven. My tears of emotions fluctuated between my rebellion against God, and God’s grace freely extended to me. I knew how horrible I was, and yet I was completely loved and forgiven. I couldn’t believe how this could ever be. Before studying the gospels and the cross, I understood and experienced God’s limitless mercy, love, grace, kindness, patience, tolerance, forbearance, etc. I understood the gospel of my salvation before knowing anything about the atonement.

s* A bright light filled my room. While feeling as though I was in a timeless eternal state, I also felt my room being inexplicably transcendently bright and radiant for several hours, even though it was night! It felt like the radiance and brightness of God’s very presence (2 Sam 22:13; Eze 1:27b-28), and like being in the presence of One who lives in unapproachable light (1 Tim 6:16).

When that day began I was not a Christian. That night I became one. The next day I knew I had become a different person (2 Cor 5:17), saved only by the grace of God. Ever since then, I prayed that God would enable me to testify to his grace all of my days (Ac 20:24).

I have no doubt that my entire mystical conversion experience was the work of God and the supernatural working of the Holy Spirit.

Do you have a conversion story to tell?

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