Posted July 31st, 2012 at 12:06 PM by Luke
Hi, my name's Luke. I'm new to the support group. Here's my story. I was raised in the United Pentecostal Church, but never had a serious relationship with God until I was 17. At that time I was searching for God, not knowing which religion to subscribe to. I was reading all kinds of literature from different religions. One day, I prayed to God, "God, I don't know what to believe. There are so many religions out there and I don't know which is the right way. I don't understand". Then I opened a Bible and read, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not to your own understanding". I knew that God had spoken to me personally. This convinced me he was real. I began devouring the Bible and praying, but I didn't know the Gospel. From the moment I first believed, I had it in my mind that I had to be sinless in order to be accepted by God. Perhaps this was because of confusing teaching about repentance I was exposed to as a child. I began to rid my life of anything I considered to be possibly wrong.
Soon I had it in my mind that I should attend a UPC church and that not doing so would be rebellion. No one told me that, I just assumed. I had a lot of false assumptions at the time. So, I went to a UPC church and received a detailed word of knowledge. I took this as a sign that this is where I should be. Despite all of this, God was with me during this process. I fell in love with God. I worshiped him from my heart and felt a great contentment.
Soon, I was taught of the need to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost which was evidence by the recipient speaking in tongues. One night, I was praying in my room and during the prayer, I said, "Lord, I thank you that I can receive the Holy Ghost anywhere!" Then I went to a member of that church's house who lived near by and asked if we could pray. She began to pray and said, "Lord, I just thank you that Luke can receive the Holy Ghost anywhere!" I became very excited at that confirmation and began to aggressively praise God. She spoke in tongues as I worshiped God. Then we stopped and a pulsating Energy surrounded me. "What's that I feel?", I asked. "That's the Holy Ghost," she replied. I couldn't stop smiling for about five minutes, and I ran home, leaping for joy. But there were no tongues. And there were no tongues for the next five years that I attended that church. I expected God to "possess" me and literally take control of my body and speak tongues through me. There was confusing teaching about the subject and it was sometimes described as such.
Well, because I could not speak in tongues, I did not believe I was saved or right with God. It was taught that one reason that a person may not receive the Spirit was because of not repented of or "known" sin. This intensified my false belief that I had to achieve sinless perfection to be accepted by God. I became obsessed with trying not to sin. This obsession...