I was religiously inclined already as a kid.
I prayed the Lord’s prayer every evening, but more like a superstitious act than anything else. Nothing evil would befall me if I mitigated God by my religious act, I believed.
At high school I began to consider myself as an intellectual, and in this realm of knowledge there didn’t exist any God. I became an agnostic.
My encounters with other Christians had rendered be with a profound disdain for Christendom and I was convinced that their view of God was more than skewed. To a certain degree I patronized Christians thinking of them as weaklings who needed a spiritual crutch.
After I had finished my education as an engineer, I was about 24-25, I began to show an interest in alternative medicine, notably acupuncture and reflexology. Reflexology is a system where we manipulate the foot sole thinking that each particular zone corresponds with a body part.
The books on alternative medicine more than alluded to spiritual realities. That aroused my curiosity and I began reading New Age literature in earnest. I read thousands upon thousands of pages and my worldview altered accordingly.
After a while I somehow developed warm hands and was endowed with healing powers. People could feel how the heat from my hands expelled pain and brought relief.
I believed in Karma and reincarnation. It didn’t make any sense that we had only one life in order to reach perfection and ultimately nirvana where we melted into and became one with the light, or whatever we called the impersonal thing we considered as God.
Everything centered on finding the light which was hidden in every man and which had the power to transform us to better persons and not at least persons who knew the hidden knowledge. New Age is briefly told a mixture of Gnosticism, Hinduism, Buddhism etc. The New Age system is based on self effort. Do the right things and you will evolve. In many ways it was a tedious and confusing time. Confusing because there were so many different ways you could follow in order to nourish your inner light, this hidden nucleus which is in every man and which has escaped our attention due to amongst other things the oppressing influence from Christendom.
In New Age circles Jesus is perceived as an important prophet, as a part of a succession of prophets who will lead mankind to increasingly higher levels of knowledge and evolvement. Love is a keyword in New Age. Those involved in the movement have a genuine desire to see the world become a better place for all to live. However, one of the fruits in my life was a hate towards everything that reeked of Christendom.
In 1992 God began to call my name, and through a process which lasted through the spring and the first part of the summer He disclosed everything I believed in as falsehood. The last stronghold that fell was reincarnation, and I was free. God placed me in a Pentecostal church. That is quite a joke because when I was a part of the New Age thinking I considered the Pentecostals as lunatics.
However, it was people from a Pentecostal church He sent in my direction, who began praying for me and who very kindly and patiently repeatedly invited me to their meeting.
Politely, but firmly I declined their proposals until God, who is a smart guy, saw to that I fell in love with one of the unmarried girls. God has His methods. The first event I attended was a concert.
Nothing scary about that. I even to a certain degree enjoyed the fellowship even though they seemed to have a blind spot concerning the truth which of course I at that time believed I represented. The next event was a regular meeting and for the first time in my life I faced the Holy Spirit in a tangible way. To tell the truth; the New Age books didn’t mention Him at all. So, here I was facing a new and very convincing divine power. It became clear to me that there exist two powers in this world. Which one to choose? In reality I didn’t have any real choice. God can be very convincing!
During my time as a New Age adherent I often suffered from anxiety and fear. Those emotions and feelings slowly abated after I had received Jesus.
I gave everything from the outset determined to become a very good Christian who pleased God in every possible way. As you all well know I failed miserably. Condemnation and misery were faithful fellows the first 12 years of my Christian walk. With a steady hand the Spirit led me towards a major breakdown.
I read the Bible almost every day, I prayed even though that was a tedious discipline. There was even a time when I thought I was called to be a great prayer warrior. Yeah right! I am not wired that way at all, but of course I pursued everything that I believed would please God and bring about a change in this world.
Soon after I had been saved I began speaking in tongues. After a few years I began speaking in tongues during meetings, messages which others interpreted. Often beautiful and life-giving messages. Then the Spirit challenged me to give the congregation prophetic words and messages. I was often stunned by the beauty I was given to convey. Many of the prophetic words were to unknown persons in the congregation and years later they would come to me and tell me how what I had uttered had come to pass. Of course this both humbled me and at the same time inflated my ego.
All those years I continued to be an avid reader. However, all those books just lay heavy burdens on my already tired shoulders. In retrospect I acknowledge they were important in order to break this proud and religious man.
In 2003 I came to an abrupt end of myself. I entered a profound depression. I was home a year before I was offered further education by the authorities. During that time God healed some deep wounds, but most importantly He introduced me to the pure grace message.
In July in 2004 Joseph Prince from New Creation Church in Singapore visited Oslo Christian Center. I was there. I had never before heard anyone expound on the gospel like he did. He proved without a shadow of doubt that we are set free from the law and that God is satisfied with us, more than that: that he loves us more than words can express. I remember how an almost audible sigh of relief went through the congregation while he spoke. I left the premises with tears in my eyes. This was what my soul had yearned for, freedom.
The next year Steve McVey came to Oslo. I didn’t know much about him except that he also preached pure grace, and I was so thirsty for more. I went to hear him. Every word he uttered was balm for my soul. I bought both his and Prince’s books and immersed myself in their teachings.
Of course I wasn’t immediately set free from condemnation and this often occurring sensation of failing. However, slowly but surely God convinced me about my right standing with him. The intriguing thing is that the more I understood of grace the more graceful I became. My new heart blossomed under this new influence and I became softer and more loving in many ways.
There were periods were it seemed like I had gone from being a religious legalist to a religious grace champion. Of course I experienced the frustrations of meeting a pastor and a leadership who didn’t understand my new revelations and my attempts to turn them onto the new and liberating path. I fought with anger, rejection and a host of other feelings during this time.
I thought God had given me the gift to teach the word, and I often during the evenings in bed preached the most wonderful sermons in my head, but every door was closed. I had to find an outlet for everything that was dammed up inside of me. Thus, in November 2008 I started my first blog. I wrote exclusively in Norwegian. I didn’t get much response, but I continued to write. I really enjoyed penning down the new things I was given to see.
Then I discovered that also Steve McVey had a blog and I began commenting on his articles and after a while I gathered enough fortitude to ask for his permission to translate some of his articles. Without knowing me particularly well he gave his consent.
I had felt so lonely during those years after I first had heard Joseph Prince so it was such a blessing and a relief to join forces with Steve.
For quite a time my wife had encouraged me to join Facebook, something which I had adamantly refused to do for several years. I thought such a social medium was for girls. However, in April 2009 I gave in for the pressure and set up my Facebook account, and l must admit I loved it from the outset.
In May I discovered that even Steve had a Facebook account. It took me couple of weeks before I ventured to send him a friendship request. Graciously he accepted it. Then I got friendship requests from Joel Brueseke, Jessica Robertson, Dave Lesniak and others and suddenly I was moving in a completely different sphere where there were a lot of people who spoke my language. More than that; I was in an environment which language was love. I have learned more about who I am in Christ on Facebook than 17 years in church.
Through Facebook I had entered a new world and in the course of a rather short time I had more English speaking friends than Norwegians. Amongst them was Fred Pruitt. Somehow he had learned about me and he embraced me with his love and profound understanding of who we are in Christ.
In a mighty and beautiful way God used him to take me to the next level, union life, that is, we are joined one spirit with the lord. Some of Paul Anderson Walsh’ articles had already given me a foretaste of this new dimension which the Spirit with great joy pulled me into. Fred became my mentor and teacher, which he still is. With great wisdom and patience he mitigated what I would call my grace legalistic streaks. DeeDee Winter and Nancy Gilmore have also been important contributors in helping me getting a better grasp of who I am in Christ. There are a host of others who through their love and encouragements have given me the necessary confidence to continue to write. Thanks to you all!
Out of the blue in July the same year as I joined Facebook I received a mail from Linda Bunting who invited me to the reunion in Louisville. I had two issues at hand. Who is Linda Bunting, and where is Louisville? I sent Steve a mail asking if he knew who these people were. He assured me that they were a fine bunch of people. To make a long story short I went Louisville last fall and experienced a genuine love feast.
In July last year my first notes in English appeared on Facebook. Encouraged by the response and pushed by an inner drive I couldn’t stop writing. Then in January a new idea came to me. Why not start a new blog using wordpress and write exclusively in English? I began posting in earnest in March and I am glad and thrilled that the blog has been well visited.
Last fall Dave Lesniak and some friends made sure that I got a Magic Jack which empowered me to regularly stay in touch with my American friends on the phone. That has been a huge blessing.
Those of you who have read my blog have witnessed how the Spirit has pushed me further and further into the mystery; Christ in us. To have a profound understanding of how we are a part of God, sons of God, has given me the peace which I once upon a time thought was an unattainable blessing.
So here I am having peace with myself and God.
Thanks for your time!