I was brought up Anglican, but I only went because my dad wanted me to go, there was nothing inspiring there for me so when I left for University I stopped going. While there I started to consider the purpose of my life, and realised I didn't have one that satisfied me, "the world was my oyster", but there was no pearl !
So when some people who obviously believed in the bible spoke to me I decided to investigate properly. I started going to various church meetings and was told to pray a “sinners prayer”, believing, and as such I was "a Christian". For the next 18 months I continued going to meetings and reading books by people considered to be "Christian leaders" to try and work out God's will for me, without success! All I got was opinions.
Then I met people who were not going to different churches and reading lots of books about God, they had a confidence and contentment I had not attained to, despite my efforts. I realised my relationship with God was mostly one-way, from me, not the daily, growing 2-way relationship they seemed to have.
They had received the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues (an unlearned prayer language that God leads his people in, cos only he knows his perfect will for us, it allows him to minister his grace & love to our hearts - 1 Cor. 14v2, 4; Jude 20-21). They also had other direct input and leading from God. After a while I realised I was getting nowhere spiritually so for the first time I actually prayed expecting God to *do* something... namely give me the same as them or whatever else I needed.
One evening I was alone in my room, not doubting or fearing, just believing God had said yes to me (because he could have no favourites), and wanting nothing more, I prayed and spoke in tongues and in the days that followed I realised I had the Life spoken of in the bible, whereas before I was trying to be something I was not ! I used to worry and get bored, now I see God opening my understanding about why things are the way they are, and more importantly, what life can be like.
I left the old churches because I could see they was as I was before, not as I wanted to be. The church I'm now in is like the one in the new testament, all members have the new Life, we have a unity I never found before. I now have contentment and fulfilling purpose that only the living God can give. Everything else is shallow by comparison, I can no longer believe in the alternative "lifestyles". I am now able to know God's thoughts and live according to His nature - because I have His heart and mind through the Holy Spirit in me.