I was 32 years old and felt something was really missing from my life. I had married just days before my 30th birthday and thought that I finally had what would make me satisfied in my life. But something deep inside me still was not satisfied. My wife had a mother who continually sent us boxes of religious books, which I told my wife to throw away. No matter how many times we told her to stop, she kept sending them anyway. And then I began to see changes in my wife. They were not drastic overnight things, but were gradual changes in her attitude about everything. She was happier and more content.
One day she finally told me that she had been saved because of reading one of the books and asking the Lord Jesus to come into her heart and be her Savior. She had been saved for about six months by then. She told me she was going to church on Sunday and I told her that was fine, but not to expect me anytime soon. So she went each week to a place nearby. What I didn’t know then was that she and her new found Christian friends were praying for me diligently. I began to sense a need to know more of what was going on in her being. I began to ask more questions. And finally I met some of her new friends and began to attend on Sunday, not knowing what I was doing. They all told me the same thing, “Just ask Him to come into your heart and He will.” After two more months of wondering what to do, while driving my car alone one day, I said out loud, “Jesus, if You are really real, then I want You to come into me too.”
That was the beginning of my new life. There was no big dramatic change in me overnight. But little by little I began to realize He was inside me. My heart was filled with a hope and joy I had not known before; and I wanted to know and meet with every other Christian on the earth!
My wife and I happily met with a certain denomination for a few months after that. However, we had a feeling that the Lord wanted us somewhere else. At that point we began to hop from one place to another over a number of weeks. But we didn’t feel the peace to stay in any of them. We did enjoy fellowshipping with many of the other Christians we met, but we felt to keep looking.
Finally I told my wife we should stay home and pray for a Bible study. I knew the Lord was real, but I wanted to know where He wanted us to be. It bothered me that there were so many denominations divided from one another, with so many different practices that kept them apart. Then my sister, who had been saved through the speaking of my wife, found the meeting place of the local church and just walked in on the Lord’s Day morning. She loved the meeting and called to tell us about it. She said that this church did not have a name; that they just were the church in Seattle. She told us about a Bible study on Thursday evenings that this church had; and so my wife went the next week.
I was working nights then, and when I came home that Thursday night my wife’s eyes were shining and her smile was so overwhelming! She said, “Tom, you HAVE to come to next week’s Bible study. You won’t believe how wonderful it is!” This was the answer to our prayers! We wanted to know where God wanted us to be, and He showed us clearly. The moment I walked into the first meeting I just felt so at home. I found out that I had a human spirit and that Jesus lived there. I also found out that I could contact Him in a rich and enjoyable way by calling on his Name! These were not things that were just told to me but were pointed out in the Word of God; and the Word was very clear.
That was 19 years ago. Over these years I have come to love the ministry of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee so very much. Through their ministry, many Christians have begun to practice to meet in oneness as in the book of Acts where all the Christians were just ONE —where the churches did not have different names, but were just identified by the cities they were in. The book of Revelation clearly shows this by stating: “send it to the seven churches”…and then proceeds to name seven cities. The ministry in the local churches has opened the Bible wide so that I can see the things that have always been there! I love John 17! This is the Lord’s final prayer to the Father before He goes to the cross, and it is very much concerned with the ONENESS of the believers. The ministry opened my eyes to this.
I do truly praise the Lord for His marvelous mercy on me and my family!