Their Heart Is Far From Me

I was raised on a dairy farm in Iowa to loving Christian parents. Throughout my youth I lived a life that could best be characterized by Matthew 15:8, “These people honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.” (HCSB) My faith was a mirage to please those who held me accountable and what snippets of genuine faith existed within me crumbled upon my enrollment at Iowa State. I was surrounded by those who verbally mocked and assaulted those who professed Christ, depicting it as fitting for only those who were weak of mind. As a result of my shaky faith and much to the dismay of my family, I became one of them. I declared rebellion against God as an atheist the winter of 2011. I made the choice to defy God, and traveled down a very dark road. My life was rampant with sin: unhealthy relationships, profane speech, selfish pride, and a hatred for the God I claimed did not exist.

“These people honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.”

Upon entering a relationship with a Christian young woman during the spring of 2013, I tapered back my self-glorifying and hate-driven behavior as a means of flattering her. I restrained my distaste against those who believed in God. Upon my arrival to her hometown of Cedar Rapids, IA for an internship in August 2013, I attended Veritas Church to try and please her parents. Once she had left town to carry on her education, I continued to attend Veritas as a means of meeting others.

Over the course of the five months I attended Veritas, through small groups and the study of the Gospel of John, I recognized how foolish I had been. I realized the immense cost that Christ had paid on the cross, and the forgiving and redeeming grace that Christ openhandedly offers. On December 8th, I acknowledged the faulty worldview I had chosen during my sophomore year of college, begged God to forgive me for my rebellion, repented my lust-driven lifestyle, profanity, self-glorifying actions, and my anger, and vowed to place all of my trust in Him from that day forward.

Since that day, my life has seen an incredible renovation. To answer one of the statements that Pastor Cor posed on August 10th, it is so worth it! Allow the Lord to do renovations in your life as He has given this once-condemned soul abundant life in Him!

Sam Epley

Find Sam in The City

Categories: Stories