When I was 12 years old, I gave my life to God.
In fact, I gave up all my teenage years to God. One day, after a Feast (that’s what we call our prayer meetings today), a woman asked me, “Bo, you gave your life to God too early. Don’t you regret NOT experiencing the world first? I mean, you didn’t have much fun. Did you ever smoke a cigarette?”
“Nope,” I smiled.
“Ever got drunk?”
“Never,” I said, “I’m allergic to alcohol. My breathing pipe constricts.”
“Ever attended any parties?”
“I never did,” I said.
She reminded me of my former classmate Felipe…
In High School, Felipe liked bragging about all the worldly fun he was having.
One day, he told me, “Last night, I attended a wild party that lasted till midnight.” (To kids today who start their parties at midnight, his boast may sound silly. But during my time, a party that ends at midnight was already a crime. We were coming from Martial Law days were there was a curfew!)
But I would counter-brag and say, “I attend not one, not two, but three parties each week. And all of them last till midnight.” His eyes bulged. Of course, I didn’t tell him that those parties were really prayer meetings. But they were so much fun, they looked like wild parties—with people raising their hands, jumping up and down, and being “slain” in the Spirit.
Felipe would then brag to me, “Every Saturday, I go dancing in the Disco.” I ask him, “Saturdays only? I go dancing Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday!” Of course, I didn’t tell him that I danced to the tune of,“Ang buhay ng Kristiyano ay masayang tunay…”
Felipe boasted, “Last weekend, my friends and I went to Tagaytay, drank, smoked weed, and got really high!” I told him, “Hey, what a coincidence! My friends and I went to Tagaytay and got really high too!”
“What did you smoke?”
I finally told him, “The Holy Spirit.” It was true. We were giving a Life in the Spirit seminar, got people baptized, and everyone spoke in tongues. “Shalalalalala….” Yep, we got high alright.
I gave up my youth to God. And God multiplied my youth and gave it back to me a HUNDREDFOLD.
Today, twenty-five years later, Felipe doesn’t go to parties anymore, doesn’t smoke weed anymore, doesn’t go dancing anymore. Why? Because he’s got diabetes, heart disease, cholesterol problems… Me? I still go to wild parties, still go dancing, and still get high everyday! (In fact, I just don’t only go to wild parties, I BUILD wild parties around the world. They’re calledFeasts. We’ve built 123 of them so far!)
And here’s what Felipe never experienced: I started preaching at 13, started a spiritual community at 14 (that has spread all over the world), lived in a slum area at 14 to do mission work, travelled to the Holy Land at 16, preached to 20,000 people in Araneta Coliseum at 16, wrote a book at 20, published a magazine at 24, lived with orphans and abandoned elderly for three whole years in the boondocks at 27… I could go on and on and on. Sometimes, I pinch myself. Why do I live such a charmed, exciting, and out-of-this-world life?
When I followed God as a teenager, I left my home, my parents, and my family to do mission work. Today, I now have a HUNDRED fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, and houses all over the world! I can go to any country in the world and I’ve got friends there who would open their homes to me. I’m surrounded by an ocean of love—the most wonderful friends on the planet.
I can only think of one reason: As a young boy, I gave my life to God, planted my seed in the good soil of His Heart—and He gave my life back to me, multiplied a Hundredfold.
May your dreams come true,