I believe that my experience is somewhat similar to many others who grew up in Christian families. I grew up in a family with a Christian background tracing back five generations. My mother would tell us Bible stories as bedtime stories since I was little. But even while we were very young, my mother would continually remind my brother and me that salvation is a personal decision. Just because my parents were saved did not mean that we were too. So when I was in the seventh grade and attending a gospel meeting at my school, I remember the speaker telling us that Christ loves each one of us and that He died on the cross for us. Since I grew up going to Sunday school, that wasn't anything new to me; however, this time was different. It must have been the work of the Holy Spirit, because deep inside my being I had such a strong yearning to choose Him and accept Him as my personal Savior. So I stood up and walked to the front of the hall in front of all my friends. That marked the beginning of my Christian journey.
My parents sent my brother and me to a boarding school the following year, so I learned to be independent at an early age. However, I never really sought the Lord until my second year in college when I began to realize an emptiness from deep within still existed. At the same time, I met a group of Christians on campus and I began to have fellowship with them. Through such fellowship, I began to become more seeking. I started having more personal time with the Lord and my prayer life was strengthened. During my time with that group, there was one thing that I would constantly struggle with, and that was discipline. They were a very discipline oriented group of believers and I constantly struggled to find the balance between the desire to simply love the Lord and the need to be more disciplined. Many of my questions were often unanswered. One verse that often puzzled me was John 15:5, in which the Lord says, "I am the vine; you are the branches. He who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing." I found that the Christian life was one full of self-struggles to be perfect and holy. My brother at that time had already been meeting with the believers in the local churches for quite some time. He would often invite me to their meetings and I did find that their meetings were so much more enjoyable.
In the summer of 1993, I came in contact with the local church again when I was visiting my parents in Vancouver. At that time, my mother had just started meeting with the believers from the local church in Vancouver. Since I had to drive her to the meetings, I ended up staying with her during the meetings. I began to find the Lord to be more enjoyable than I ever had before and that meeting with these believers in Christ was a great joy. I began reading materials from the ministry of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee. The first book that I read was a biography entitled Watchman Nee: A Seer of the Divine Revelation in the Present Age. At first I was reading the book in hope of finding out more about Watchman Nee and the local church. However, as I read the book each time, I found that my love for the Lord was stirred up and my faith was strengthened. At that time, I remembered a brother in Christ once told me that the way to know whether a ministry is good or not is whether or not it brings you closer to the Lord. I can testify that this ministry certainly does.
In July of 1994, I attended a semi-annual Life-study video conference that lasted for about a week. The Life-studies are a book-by-book study of the Bible with the emphasis on God as life to be man's supply. The books that we studied that summer were Joshua, Judges, and Ruth. The conference was truly an eye-opening experience. I had never seen the Bible opened up in such a way. I realized for the first time that the Old Testament is full of meaning and that our Christian life has a purpose. Our salvation is not just a ticket for us to go to heaven when we die, but to gain Christ (Philippians 3:8) as our all-inclusive supply. From the conference, I saw that Joshua was, in typology, a type of Christ, fighting to bring us into the good land, which is also just a type of Christ. Just as the good land was a land of milk and honey to the Isrealites, so our Christ should be in our daily experience. We can enjoy His goodness and sweetness every time we come to Him for supply. In addition, that piece of land is good in its spaciousness. This signifies that with our Christ there is also no limit. Also in the good land are the fig trees. Judges 9:11 tells us that the fig tree represents sweetness and good fruit. Actually, that speaks of the sweetness and satisfaction of Christ as our supply. All these things are for us to experience. Oh, how I praise the Lord that He is the all-inclusive good land for us to enjoy.
Then in the book of Ruth, I saw that we need to be like Ruth, finding rest in her husband, Boaz. Boaz with his riches is also a type of Christ. That solved my struggle as a young Christian. I realized that Christ does not want me to struggle to be perfect or holy. He simply wants me to come to Him and rely on Him. Just as the Lord says in John 15:4, "Abide in Me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me." Oh how I enjoy such a word. I have never received so much life and light through the Word. That training unveiled God's Word to me. Praise the Lord that the way to overcome all the negative things in our Christian walk is just to enjoy Him as the good land. This of course is just a glimpse into what I enjoyed that summer. The healthy teaching (Titus 2:1) and the truth in the ministry is definitely far richer than any other that I have seen. Now I've found that Christ is the most enjoyable One of all.