Hallelujah, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, I testify and share a few words. I am Sister Siew Jiuan from PJ Church.
I was born into a Buddhist family but from a young age, I had often been exposed to the Christian religion. I attended Sunday bible classes occasionally when I was younger and was often invited by my friends from other Christian denominations for Christmas celebrations. Despite that, I knew little about their church doctrines and since there was no follow-up from them, I did not pursue the gospel further.
I was first brought to the True Jesus Church by my husband after we graduated from the university. After work, I attended a weekly truth-seeker’s class for a few months to learn about the church’s doctrines. Thank God that I could accept the teachings with a submissive heart. In 2004, I received His grace when I was baptised in TJC. I continued my life as a Christian and life was smooth. As time went by, I became busy building up my career and life got busier when I had children. As life was smooth, my reliance on God was minimal. I sought little guidance from Him in my life. Instead, I relied on my own wisdom and ways. Despite being a fairly good Christian (according to my own standards), I realised that my relationship with God had not grown.
My faith remained stagnant until sometime in year 2012 when it occurred to me that I had to improve myself spiritually. God must have shaken me from my years of slumber in a subtle way. Thank God for that! I prayed hard to God and my heart was moved and God’s grace and love has awakened me. I regretted not realising this earlier. All these years, I had only just followed my husband’s faith and had not worked hard to grow my own.
In retrospect, I always thought I’d done pretty well as a Christian. After all, I attended church services, read the bible, offered tithes, did no harm but showed kindness, patience and love to others. Moreover, the blessings I received have been plentiful all these years. However, as I got to know Jesus better day by day, I realised that I am far from the standard which He requires us to be. God is so merciful to me! As we are living in this world, our flesh is weak by nature and easily compromises to worldly standards. Therefore, we need to constantly seek strength and guidance from Him to preserve us.
As I draw nearer to Him, my spiritual sensitivity also grew, and I realised that it became easier for me to do what was right in His eyes as I would often hear an inner voice chastising me if I do otherwise. I gain more when I serve Him and His church—my faith has improved, and my fellowship with other brethren has also grown. To this day, I am still learning and growing every day.
Once, I went indoor rock climbing. The level of difficulty increased from one station to another. At the last station, there was an auto belay device for protection instead of a person belaying me on the other end of the rope. When I reached the top, the instructor asked me to let go of both of my hands in order to go down. At that moment, my hands were frozen for at least a few minutes. As my rational mind kicked in, I realised that my life depended entirely on the auto-belay device to bring me down safely. Fear crept in and I was stuck up there for some time as I, refused to let go of my hands. I actually had no doubts about the reliability of the device but when fear kicked in, my confidence withered. Only when I’d let go of my fears completely was I able to release my hands and descend slowly to the ground.
Relating this experience to our spiritual life, I’ve learned that if we let our fear take control of the situation we are in, our faith will be shaken. “Fear not for I am with you” (Isaiah 41:10). When we believe that God is there for us, we should entrust our burden to Him totally and rely on Him to keep us safe. ”Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will take care of you” (Psalm 55:22). Learning His word requires diligence but an unshakeable faith requires total trust in Him and a firm conviction before we are able to put His words into action. I pray and hope that even if any storm comes ahead of me, my faith will be strong enough to withstand the test.
For sisters and brothers who like me, had come to believe with their spouses, do not follow your spouse’s faith without growing your own. Let us not waste any more time as we have less time than before. “That now it is high time to awake out of sleep, for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed” (Romans 13:11). May He give us the strength, humility, and wisdom to continue this long-haul journey and preserve us right until the end. Amen.