Today I want to welcome Vadim to the platform. I am so excited to see the burning desire for Christ in this young man's life. He is real. What you see is what you get. I am so happy that God allowed our paths to cross and now we attend the same church and even volunteer on the same team. The moment I meet Vadim, I saw that he was not ordinary. I so proud of him for taking this step and being so raw with you guys. Vadim, thank you for taking your time to share with us.
Hello my name is Vadim Ariskin. I am 24 years old. This is my friend Natasha’s Blog and she has asked me to write as one of her guests. So I wanted to thank her for asking me to write a blog post and share it. As you read this I hope it will encourage you and reveal Jesus’s love for you! So this is my story of my journey to connect to God to finding true forgiveness and freedom in Jesus Christ!
I grew up in a Christian church going household! I prayed because that's the thing to do! I went to church because that's what I was told to do! I did these things thinking that's what a christian life is. I grew up hearing about Him but I never encountered His love for me. I had so many wrong beliefs about God. My perception about God was very legalistic and judgemental. It was really hard to connect to God because I felt like a sinner and since He is a holy God I can’t come to Him. I felt like I needed to measure up to His law and be perfect before coming to Him. I was also really sin-conscious about what I have done wrong. I would be scared to talk to God because I was unclean in His eyes and I’m not worthy in His presence. I really believed that God wasn’t proud of me and really disappointed in who I was and what I have done. I was really self-conscious these negative thoughts felt so real that I was depressed and defeated in my mind. One of the biggest things that I felt accused of was that I was addicted to pornography. It would be on my mind all the time! I’ve been addicted to it for years and I wanted to stop but I thought condemning myself was the way out. I would condemned myself and I thought I deserved this condemnation because of how bad of a sinner I was. I would go about a week or a month without looking at it then I would just fall again. I would walk around with this guilt of sin on my shoulders. I tried everything to resist it but I just couldn't do it. I would even try to confess this sin until I felt “guilty” enough that I may be forgiven of this sin but that didn't work. I just fell back to the old ways. I felt so embarrassed about my sin and disgusted in who I was. I felt so stuck that I got to a point where I just gave up not trying to not look at pornography because I would never break free from this addiction anyways! I would go through this over and over. My connection to God was based on my performance and how good I was doing from this sin. I really wanted to connect to God and I just wanted to live a good christian life. I just didn’t know what to do. However I knew that somehow that it wasn’t supposed to be such a struggle to live a christian life like this and to simply have a connection with God. I was literally lost in this legalistic view of God and I just wanted some freedom and hope to break free!
Now this is the part I’m super excited to share with you! It’s when it started to change for me. I came across this preaching from a preacher called Joseph Prince. He was preaching in such a way that was just speaking of the love of God and His grace for me. That heavenly Father loves me and He has already forgiven me fully! Jesus paid for all my sin fully and that I have been struggling with at the cross where He died for me. The way he explained it made it really personal for me. He explained it as if Jesus saw me with this addiction and died for it and He has already paid for it completely. That at the cross He has won for me! He was also saying that God’s grace is unmerited unearned favor. This means you can’t do anything or earn this favor because it is given to you freely! However in the beginning I didn’t believe it! I was so sceptical about that! What do you mean I don’t need to do anything? I really struggled to receive this message! I struggled with the fact I didn't have to “do” anything but receive what Jesus already has done on my behalf. That is the unmerited favor of God the Father!
So remember how I wanted to measure up to God’s law and I thought I was never measure up to be perfect? Well Jesus lived and measured up to God’s standard of law and fulfilled it! So just as righteous as Jesus is, so am I in this world! (1 John 4:17 NKJV) I take on the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus! Not because of what I did but because of what Jesus did! So I started confessing righteousness even tho I didn't feel righteous! I would keep repeating “I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus” over and over! I also still kept on listening to the grace filled messages of goodness of God and how he loves me and cares for me! He knows my mistakes and failures yet still chooses to love me! The message of grace is all about Jesus and what Jesus has done for us at the cross! All guilt,shame, anger of God has been put on Jesus! (It is finished at the cross) All that I was carrying has been put on Jesus! I am healed blessed and highly favored by God! Come on, isn't that just good! I received it from Him, thank you Jesus!! I also heard stories of people being freed from addiction that had a grip on them for years and they just effortlessly left and they didn't have the want for them anymore! I saw hope for myself in Jesus! I told myself if they found freedom in Christ so can I. I was so overwhelmed by the love of God that literally my addiction to pornography fell off effortlessly. It is all about me leaning on to His righteousness not my own self-righteousness. My want for pornography was no more. I simply received the gift of righteousness and gift of no condemnation. Jesus chooses me and loves me! How great is that! Praise God! My friend that is reading this I really hope you encounter a God that is full of love and compassion for you! God isn’t angry or mad at you! He loves you! A forgiving God that wants to connect to His people! This is unmerited favor! It's something you can’t earn. We don’t deserve this grace but it's given freely! Will you receive that today? Rest and receive from our Lord Jesus Christ! He is delighted that you come to Him just as you are every time! He is not looking to hurt you or put blame on you! He just wants to love on you! He is a God full of love! It's all about heavenly father and His love for me! Not my love and performance to God. I really hope you encounter the love from God and not a legalistic, law view of Him! He loves you so much! You are precious to Him and He wants you to receive from Him freely forgiveness, righteousness, salvation, and much more! That is the way of God! Don’t struggle like me and be free in the name of Jesus in whatever you are facing! Also, keep listening to messages of Grace and His love for you! Joseph Prince is one of my favorite preachers He is always pointing it back to Jesus and revealing the love of God. I also listen to worship music! This also helps me connect to God! Some of my favorite artists are Hillsong United Worship, Elevation Worhip, and Kari Jobe! Their lyrics are literally amazing! Keep on singing songs of worship that lead you into His beautiful presence!