Building my Relationship with God
After my conversion experience at a retreat when I was fifteen years old, I knew that I wanted to live my life for Jesus and to help others to get to know him. A short time later when I moved away from home to train as a nurse, I made time each day to build my relationship with God through personal prayer and daily Bible reading. I was growing in discipleship but as I slowly grew closer to God, I was also becoming more aware of my small sins and faults as a teenager.
Addicted to Heavy Metal Music
Although, I had been spiritually blessed so powerfully by Jesus, there were still parts of my life that I had not given over to him. I loved listening to rock music, especially satanicallyinfluenced bands. All my friends were into heavy metal and I just went along with them. At first, I didn’t like any of the lyrics, I was much more impressed by the musical rhythms and the vibes attracted me. I don’t know, even now, why I was so addicted to this type of music. I had a collection of fifty CDs, with the music of famous satanic bands and I wore T-shirts with the bands’ logos and messages printed on them. I knew, at some level, that what I was doing was wrong, but I didn’t want to stop. I knew that this music was not doing me any good spiritually and deep inside, there was always a prompting to stay away from this sort of music, but I never listened to that inner voice and I realise now that I was shackled like a slave to the satanic music.
Keeping Me away from God’s Grace
When I prayed about the situation, I was shown that it was troubling my soul, and keeping me away from God’s grace and mercy and from his plans for me and my future life. So I decided to attend another retreat and during this, God showed me a way to be able to make use of my love of music for his glory instead. I was inspired by a small group of young Catholics and I again began thinking about evangelisation and my future plans to work for Christ as a living gospel. While there, a thought came to me: ‘Why don’t I use the good things about music as a way of proclaiming the Good News, like King David had done with the Psalms?’
Music is a Gift from God
It was then that my way of seeing music changed. I realised that it is a spiritual gift from God. I decided that instead of listening to heavy metal music, I would create worship songs with good catchy rhythms and lyrics that spoke of pure devotion to God. I didn’t know how to start writing music, so I decided that God must have a plan and I would wait and surrender myself to him for this new endeavour. I assured myself that God knew what he was doing. But while I waited, unfortunately, I drifted back to listening to the heavy metal music to which I was still enslaved.
My Blind Eyes were Opened
God is good at reading our hearts and he saw that I was trapped by this music. Exodus 34:14 tells us that God is a jealous God which means that he doesn’t want to share our hearts and souls with anything that is not good for us. So he showed me that I needed to get rid of this bad habit. A few months after the retreat, I caught flu and developed symptoms of a viral fever which couldn’t be diagnosed. Even though I was treated with several different medicines, I wasn’t getting any better. One day I was lying ill in bed listening to ‘Megadeth’ and other gothic metal bands. I still remember the moment, when I realized: ‘I am terribly mistaken’. A new track began with the words ‘Our Father, who art in hell.
Suddenly my blind eyes were opened and I thought ‘What am I doing? Am I working against Jesus, and against his gospel? This is the exact opposite of what I want to do? Am I killing him again by crucifying him with my sins? Am I again scourging my Jesus?’
I Broke the CD into Pieces
So, without a second thought, I jumped out of bed, stopped my CD player, took the CD out, and looked at it. Then suddenly, deep inside me, I heard someone telling me, ‘Get rid of that CD and stick to me. Stick with me and you will be cured of your spiritual blindness and the after-effects of the sin that is ruining your soul and keeping me away from you.’ It was my beloved Jesus again. I quickly broke the CD into pieces and threw it away. To my surprise, I started noticing my fever symptoms disappearing miraculously. I didn’t take any more tablets and by that evening my fever was gone. I believe that Jesus cured me, Thanks and glory to him for keeping me close to him and guiding me safely back to him. I now know that even when my sins were leading me away from him, he grabbed me and bound me closer to him.
I Replaced the CDs and T-Shirts
I threw out all my evil CDs over the next few days and went to Confession. I found it difficult, initially, to get rid of the CDs, which formed a collection made over a number of years. But now, instead, I have got a collection of spiritual and joyful, praise CDs. I also started changing my T-shirts to gospel graffiti and the Word of God as a way to evangelise. Once I had surrendered this part of my life to God, he was able to use me to help him in his mission here on earth. I was chosen as a Christian leader within my nursing college, with many responsibilities, even though there were plenty of other people who I thought were more spiritual or more qualified than I was.
Let Me Lead the Way
Whenever I am unsure what to do, I remember Jesus saying to me: ‘Don’t worry, I am with you, stick with me, follow me, let me lead the way.’ I have let Jesus teach and transform me and I have seen what he can do with a willing servant. At the end of my time at college I was able to organise an evangelistic retreat for three hundred of the first and second year students. Now, I have come to the UK and I believe that God has a purpose and ultimate plan for sending me here to help with his long-planned mission to re-evangelize the UK and Europe. My advice to you is, first of all, give yourself fully to God’s holy plans and trust in him, then he will guide you and use you as an instrument in his mighty hands. He wants the first place in your heart and in everything that you do. That’s all he asks of you.
Written by Prince Paulose