Meet Mike Davis: A Testimony

wpid-1429547217_tmp_fb_img_1429546836643.jpgThe story of how I came to Christ is a little different than most, but it is one that shows how far God is willing to go to get us home. To simply say that my childhood lacked God would fail to completely grasp what that meant for me. Though I was born in Israel and both of my parents were Jewish, there was a constant disdain for anything religious in my household. We were proud of our Jewish heritage, but God was something that was seen as unnecessary and something for the weak willed. I enjoyed ridiculing and mocking Christians and whenever I encountered one who would condemn and judge me I became more and more confident that I was right and that they were hypocrites. Over the course of more than 30 years, God would play an integral part in my life even though I didn’t realize it, all culminating in me finally coming to the truth of what brought me here to this moment in time and with Christ as my savior.

Just like so many young men without the moral compass of God in their lives, my early adulthood was full of terrible decisions. Though I had never been arrested or gotten into any serious trouble, my life was devoid of purpose and full of meaningless relationships. I had made a decision to live my life to the edge until one day I found myself alone and without any direction. After years of floating through life I finally decided to enlist in the US Army as a Cavalry scout and found myself in Iraq a short time later. I’d finally found a job where people respected me and thanked me for what I did, unfortunately the price that I would pay would almost kill me on several occasions and leave me wounded in spirit even if not in body. I don’t like to talk about the war and I don’t believe that it would lend anything to this testimony, but understand that when I returned home to congratulations and thanks I found even less purpose in my life but now I had the memories of lost friends and nightmares to add to it.

The reality is that as an atheist I had no idea why I felt so unbelievably lonely even when everything was going so right. A person without Christ in their life doesn’t understand that the hollow feeling in them is not because they don’t have the right job or that they don’t have enough money but the fact that God has built us to need Him. It would take me many years to understand this. In every sense of the term I was the luckiest man alive. I had married the woman of my dreams and I’d return home without a scratch. I had also gotten out of the army and landed a great job. Unfortunately, I still didn’t know why I could not manage to feel complete contentment. The grass is always greener and I didn’t understand why.

10419497_919294064751279_6320939400034862710_nBefore I get too far along in my story I must talk about a man and a seemingly insignificant conversation several months before we deployed to Iraq. Chaplain Mason, our squadron chaplain, and I were having a discussion on Grace and salvation. I’d ask him the quintessential atheist question, that if I was a good person and I treated people well, why would God condemn me to hell for all of eternity? Chaplain Mason looked at me with a quizzical look in his eyes and simply said “I think you’ll get a by. I think you’ll be OK.” At that moment when I was so desiring to attack this man of God he would take the wind out of my sails not with judgment or condemnation but with a simple affirmation. Whether or not God gave him some type of foresight into where I would be years later or whether he just didn’t want to take the bait, I don’t know, but it would mark a transition in my life. From that moment I didn’t actively look to persecute Christians but to try to understand them.

After I returned home and settled into civilian life, I started feeling a compulsion to learn about Christianity and to have close relationships with Christians. I would be receptive to having religious conversations and even studied parts of the Bible even though I knew next to nothing about it. Several years after moving into my house, my next door neighbor asked me to join his couples small group and surprisingly I said yes. The only person who was more surprised than my next door neighbor was my wife who had been raised Christian. For almost two years my small group who knew I was a non-believer was patient with my clumsy questions and grasping for understanding. I truly believe that God placed every single one of those people in my life because every one of them taught me something about God and about what it meant to need Jesus as my personal Savior. Then, with less than a few months before our small group would break apart I was invited to a men’s retreat that would change everything.

To say that I was not prepared for this retreat would be an understatement. 7AM to 11PM and nothing but men seeking God to fix their broken hearts and their broken lives. After more than a day and a half I started feeling more and more like a fraud and made the decision to leave. Why was there something that kept compelling me to keep doing these Christian things? I felt like a voyeur watching all those men who desperately needed Christ in their lives and me just watching and pretending. Then, when I was out on the lake with my feet in the water pondering how I had ended up surrounded by Christians the story of Peter walking on water entered my mind. The realization that one of Christ’s own Apostles, a man who had witnessed Jesus performing miracles with his own eyes would lose faith because it didn’t make any sense hit me like a ton of bricks. A man who was literally watching the Son of God walking on water would sink because at that moment even his faith wavered. At that moment with a slight drop of my armor the Holy Spirit entered my body and complete truth filled my soul.

My life since coming to accept Christ has not been easy. Having to tell my Jewish family that I found Christ is about the worst thing I could have said. I have now become a faithful spiritual leader to my wife and children and God has been placing me in unbelievably wonderful positions where I can help grow the Kingdom and my own relationship with Christ. Veterans to Christ is but one thing that has shown me that God has been playing an active role in my life. One thing that He has not been since I have learned to accept Him is subtle. God understands how thick headed I am and makes sure that I have no doubt as to what His will is.

11021239_10206498239318518_6501381474567873975_nAn interesting aside for those of you who do not know my wife. Even though I was adamant that we would not expose my children to Christianity before they were old enough to understand what it meant, my wife read Bible stories to my children behind my back. Even though I was failing her and our children, she took the initiative to make sure that my children would know God and Christ as their Savior. A woman who stood by me for 15 months of worry while I was deployed to Iraq during some of the worst fighting of the war would show me again why she is the most unbelievably wonderful woman that I have ever known. If there is anything that can show that God truly loves me it is the fact that he would bless me with her as my wife.

I am a prime example of a man that deserves neither worldly happiness nor an eternity with God. This wretch who was blind and who condemned Christians would be gifted more than you could possibly imagine. Thank you Lord. Thank you for everything You have given me. I can’t promise you I won’t let you down, but I will try my best.

Michael Davis
Senior Editor of Veterans to Christ. Served as a Cavalry Scout from 2005-2009. Iraq Veteran.