My Testimony : The Rebel Whom Jesus Loved


I am Jay Dharan, a child of God dearly loved by the Father in Jesus Christ. I hail from a Hindu Nair family in the state of Kerala in South India. Jesus walked into my life in the Fall of 2002 when I was 17 years old. I came to know Him by reading the Bible. Here is a brief testimony of my salvation, which I wrote on my 24th birthday in 2009.



The apostle John used to call himself the disciple whom Jesus loved, a title every child of God can use to describe himself. I know I can say that I am a disciple whom Jesus loves. However in this article, I prefer to call myself the rebel whom Jesus loved. For I am hoping to document the manifold mercies poured upon me by the Father on virtue of His Son Jesus Christ, namely my conversion and introduction to His grace through faith. In the past seven years of my Christian pilgrimage, I have been asked by many of my conversion. As I come from a Hindu family, many are curious to hear a dramatic story of God doing some physical healing or some external miracle that led to my repentance. But to their dismay I have no such stories. I got saved in rather a strange manner. No man ever preached to me any gospel, I never went to any meetings, no one approached me with any tracts, but still I got converted. I used to consider it as a matter of great pride that the Lord saved me in this unique and special manner, until the Lord made me hear a parable from a preacher. I heard about a hospital, where the best surgeon is called in when the patient is extremely critical. The Lord caused me to think that He did not use any of the above mentioned means to bring forth my conversion, but took my case into His hands and single-handedly dealt with me because I am that utterly hopeless and critically sinful. This by the way is no way unique to me. It is the way anyone who is saved gets saved.

Oh praise, praise is all I have to offer Thee my Lord
Who saved this rebel whom Jesus, Thou hast loved
This then is my boast that Thine eye has been upon me
And poured thy grace on me afore time to make me like Thee!!

My conversion from being a vile sinner, worthy of all the holy wrath of God to being a child of God chosen, accepted and loved in the beloved Son of God, happened while I was seventeen years old. By that time, I had become a functional atheist as I could not comprehend the need of any religion. I had joined my Engineering college then and found life there really lonely, boring and discouraging. I used to bunk my college and began roaming through the city. I went to the beach and bathed in the sea from morning till evening. I watched all kinds of movies and many of them four or five times. Little did I know that the Sovereign Lord was at work in showing me the meaninglessness of life apart from Him, for whom I was created.

One of those days after a tiresome straying in the world, I was in my bedroom and was moved to believe that there is absolutely no meaning in living like this. Thus the desire to reckon suicide was growing in me. But since I loved my self so much, I did not venture out on that suggestion of my mind. Then I would say was the most crucial divine initiative at action. I was led to consider reading a Bible in my room. It was a Bible a stranger gifted my dad nearly two years earlier. I took the Bible and started reading the first page on what the translators wrote to King James. I felt it weird and threw it to some corner of my room. But as days went by I started reading that Bible slowly. My days were one of straying through the city and nights were one of reading the Bible. Over a period of two weeks I got convicted of the worthiness of God in worship. I became conscious of the purpose with which God made me which was to worship Him and how miserably I have fallen from His purpose. In light of this truth I saw how utterly sinful I am and the heights of my crime against the Majesty on High gripped my heart. I saw that everything I have done in life has been nothing but sin, for I have never been a worshipper of God. I had always lived with an adamant rebellion to get God out of the picture. I became absolutely convinced that I am a radically depraved, morally fallen, God hater. Thus God in His great mercy birthed repentance in my heart, with the purpose of saving me from His wrath. [1]

I cannot trace back my conversion to any moment where I parroted some prayer. But it was somewhere during those two weeks in 2002 that the Lord saved me. The first evidence of my conversion was a great hunger for His word. Like new born babies cry out for milk, a new born again child of God craves for the spiritual milk of God's word. The second evidence was the gift of a disciplined prayer life filled with intimacy and devotion for the Lord. I have never been to any Christian prayer meeting before my conversion. So I did not know how to pray. But the Lord taught me step by step on how to pray. I remember getting up one morning, kneeling down and then waiting on the Lord for instructions on how I can pray. As the Spirit helped me, I prayed my first prayer to my Father saying “Father Thank you for this new day you have blessed me with joy and victory”[2]. I prayed that and was shocked that I prayed that prayer. All through my seventeen years I had never thanked the Lord for a day. After prayer I was led by the Lord to read and meditate on His word. No one exhorted me to do any of these. But the Lord was at work in raising me properly.

For three long years no believer came to know about my conversion. I searched but I could not find any believer. Thus for three years, no Christian, no Church, no ministry or any preacher came to know that a heathen named Jayamohan [3] has been given grace by God. I call those years my honeymoon years. All through those years I just prayed and studied the Bible from cover to cover. Those were years of persecution at home over my conversion. But the Lord strengthened me and I found my joy in Him alone. He miraculously made me persevere.

The third and most crucial evidence of my conversion was His work of sanctification. Though I am still millions of miles away from being Christlike, I see the Lord at work in me to make me "walk like Jesus did"[4]. My hope is in this truth that since God has chosen me to glorify His Name through me, He will sanctify me and complete His work, for His reputation is at stake. Recently I was going through a wilderness in my life. I saw my sins and cried out to God to kill me and sent me to hell. I prayed thus and went to bed expecting to open my eyes in hell. But I opened my eyes and saw I am still alive on earth. God's people is the reward of His sufferings. How can He forsake them? How can He forsake me? He has elected me to glorify His Name through me and it is His will and purpose to sanctify me. Therein I find my hope. That though I am the vilest of all men, since God has elected me to share in the glory of His Son Jesus Christ, He pours grace upon grace to cleanse me of all my unrighteousness and disciplines me to walk in His ways by the power of the Spirit He has lavished on me. I have seen my stiff necked and rebellious spirit revolting against His dealings. But true to His Name, He has always been faithful to discipline me and bring me back to the right path.

I turned twenty four years old today and all I can testify is the greatness of my God – His Holiness, His Justice, His Wrath, His Grace, His Mercy, His Sovereignty, His Immutability, His Wisdom, His Omnipotence, His Omnipresence, His Patience, His worthiness in worship, and all the glory, honour, praise, adoration, reverence and worship due unto Him. I am a heathen of all heathens, not worthy to be given any grace and made a son of this great God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. But the good news is He has chosen this same weak, foolish, poor, vile, wretched and rebellious sinner, a rascal worthy of nothing but His just wrath, to be saved by His grace and made His Son in our Lord Jesus Christ. All because it has been His eternal purpose to save me in His Son to declare His glory.

Oh what song shall I sing to Thee
What praise shall express Thy beauty
In all fullness who has seen Thy glory
Thy glory's radiance in Thy Son I see
And I fall prostrate to worship Thee

The Rebel Whom Jesus Loved,

Jay
29-01-2009

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Footnotes

[1] In order to be saved it is not enough to sense the necessity for repentance but one has to also see Jesus Christ to be that perfect Savior, whose work on the cross to bear the wrath of God towards one's sins, and whose righteous life of pleasing God perfectly, as sufficient enough to save one. It is only when this gospel truth has been  embraced, that one can truly be considered as saved. When the person and work of Jesus Christ has been joyfully embraced in true saving faith as the only way for pardon from God (His cross work) and perfection before God (His perfect righteousness), then one has been truly forgiven and justified by the gospel of grace.

[2] The word "victory" in our day and especially in some Christian circles have got a meaning of earthly success and prosperity. In some other circles, the more peitist ones it means sinlessness to the extent of perfection. Please note I do not mean or favour such views when I use this word. I am using it in the sense the Apostle meant by the phrase  "triumphal procession" in 2 Corinthians 2:14. In other words, it is a celebration of God's victory in Jesus Christ and is thus first and foremost an objective reality which is true whether or not I exist or much less I succeed or become perfect. I praise God for making me a partaker of this victory in Jesus Christ and that's all I mean by the thanksgiving  quoted above from one of my earliest prayers as a Christian.

[3] This is my actual name and it means one who loves victory. Jay is a common first name derived from the Sanskrit for "win" or "victory" and  mohan means "lover". Jayamohan thus means "one who loves victory". You will never find this name used anywhere in my writings as I am  known in Christian circles as Jay. Hence the need for even having a footnote to explain it. I purposefully used my heathen name above to express my gratitude at God's offer of salvation to heathens like me.

[4] To walk like Jesus did, needs to be clarified as  in the first epistle of John, it does not seem to  have any sense of perfection. According to the Apostle, every believer is in the direction of walking like Jesus (1John2:6) however we shall be like Him, only when He comes. (1John3:2).  Thus we now press on to perfection but shall become perfect only when He appears.