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The Right Way?
By: Israel Makhijani,
Gurus, Krishna, Rama, and other religions never brought me any happiness. Inside I longed for something which I could not quite put my finger on. I even went to Vaishnav Devi Mandir at Jummu Kashmir, Haji Malang and other holy places to find God, but all to no avail.
My increasing unhappiness led to alcohol and suicidal thoughts. Hard times came for our business: we prayed to our Hindu gods. Things just went from bad to worse and I was frustrated. This all led to even more drinking. I was fed up with my messed up life. Nothing was going well, including my marriage.
Pouring myself into my business, I decided that if I could only accumulate money, I would be honored by God and man. With time, I did well, but that did not help. I now had money and all the comforts, but my unhappiness had only increased. Trying to solve this through expensive bars and social clubs numbed my feelings, but nothing really changed.
For ten years I tried to stop drinking and clean up my life, but I could not control myself. There was some force, which was dragging me to do evil in spite of my longing to be a good person. I was in a foreign land and wanted to go home, thinking that I would rebuild my business and things would improve. One evening as I was making plans my eyes focused on an old newspaper lying on top of the garbage pail. It had a small advertisement in the corner, Through Jesus Christ many miracles are happening every day. Write for prayers to Life Study Fellowship, Norton, Connecticut (U.S.A.)
I wrote them immediately. In a few days I received some written prayers. Each prayer began with, Dear Heavenly Father and ended with, I ask these things in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. A few days after this someone left a pocket testament Bible at my house. Since I did not know any of my neighbors, this was a puzzle to me. I had never read the Bible in my life. I hated Christians and felt the Hindu religion was the best of all religions.
Nevertheless, I was curious to read about how Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross. So, while traveling on the train or sitting in a restaurant, I began reading that little Bible. Whenever I read it my emptiness vanished and I would forget my problems. Peace was coming into my heart. Soon it was not enough just to read the Bible. I knew I had to start putting it into practice. God knew my weaknesses. I was a greedy man, who always expected material blessing and a quick profit. He knew that I had prayed in Jesus name for miracles and was trying Him as a last resort, and He showed me many miracles.
About that time I came across a stranger at a rail way station. Within a few days he became my close friend. His brother wanted to start a garment business. He made me a partner, through I did not invest a penny. This was really a miracle since it was not possible to believe strangers in New York City.
God spoke many things to me through the Bible. Then a lady invited me to a group called the Full Gospel Business Mens Fellowship of New York. When the speaker finished I went to him and asked what it meant to be born again.
He explained John 3:3, unless a man is born of Gods Spirit in this world, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. Immediately I accepted Jesus Christ, who had loved me so much. I had many doubts, but God still used me in various ways, such as talking to people about Him. The devil attacked me in very tricky ways. I kept Guru Nanaks (the Hindu and Sikhs last prophet) thick and heavy framed picture on one wall and on the other a plastic picture of Jesus Christ being crucified on the cross.
As I was praying to God, suddenly there was a loud noise and within a few seconds, the Hindu gods picture fell off the table and into the garbage pail. It somehow actually jumped the few feet from the wall to the garbage. The doors and windows of my office were shut tight. Through this experience, I got the message. There is only one true God.
God showed me not to keep a bank balance of what I gave to help others. I did not really know what I should be doing because there was nobody to guide me. Whenever things did not work out just like I thought they should, I would get mad or become discouraged and question God.
On one occasion I was fed up. As I was out walking, I passed a church. I was somehow drawn to go inside. Halfheartedly I entered and sat on a bench. I found a Bible lying there, opened it and began to read at random. It said, Behold my servant whom I uphold It went on and on in this vein. Then I read, As the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so your Lord will rejoice over you.
A few days later I woke up at 5 a.m. Without knowing why, I turned on the TV and came across a program talking about the Lord Jesus Christ. The moment I put it on, he spoke these words, God wants to know when you will be free.
When he said that, a great conviction came over me. Immediately the program ended and I started praying, Lord, forgive me. I had stopped telling others about Him and was not reading my Bible or praying, as I should.
That day I got a very big order from a department store. God was showing me that He was my source and that all I had to do was put Him first, especially in money matters. One problem I had was with other women. My wife was not with me, and I began praying for help in this area. God answered this by taking my appetite away and leading me to just the right person when I needed some encouragement. The devil always attacks in those areas where you are not aware of danger, but Jesus trains us in the way we should go.
Then one day I saw a beautiful girl. She gave me her phone number. After reading about King David and Bathsheba, I concluded that God wouldnt mind if I committed adultery once in a while. I had it all justified in my thinking, reasoning that God would forgive me.
That night I saw a vision. I was bound and a white figure stood opposite me. Real fear came over me. Suddenly, deep inside, I spoke, Forgive me, oh Lord, I wont do it again. The moment I said that, both my hands were loosened and I was completely free. The white figure was next to me. I truly repented after that, praying regularly and asking for forgiveness of my sins every day. The Bible says, Whosever is born of God does not commit sin... I knew that God would pick me up if I fell because the Bible says that and He had done it again and again, but that was no excuse for me to sin. I had to clean up my life and my thinking.
I started living a serious life. God taught me to run from evil and seek good. Once again I started preaching the Gospel in the streets. One time late at night a very big young man came up to me with a knife, threatening to kill me. As I simply looked up and said, Lord God, I know where I am going, the person suddenly changed his mind, put his knife down and asked forgiveness. Another time a person raised a bottle to hit me with it, but suddenly stopped, bowed at me, and went away. Events like these were common. One night, while rushing to catch the underground train, I heard a womans cry. I looked back to see a man coming at me with a knife. To my surprise, a power made him fall down the stairs and he became unconscious.
Soon I realized that I had to go back to my own people with the Good News about Jesus. I did this and started a Christian fellowship. I have since started another evangelical group in England.