John 3:3 - Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
I can look back before this and see the days, weeks and months, even years, where God was preparing me for this particular day. He is so good. To be honest, I had no idea what was happening and what did happen. I didn't realize I'd been born again. I just knew I had undergone an inner transformation. I just knew I HAD to go to church. I had to know more about Jesus and His Word. I HAD to. That is the evidence. That HAD TO moment.
I am doing a study of the Book of John. We are in chapter 3. There is a question: From what Jesus told Nicodemus, can anyone know whether they are "born again" or not? Do you know if you are born again? (Bible Study Fellowship, Lesson 4) My answers are Yes and Yes. My testimony is how I know. It's the one thing I know but is difficult to explain to others.
Being born again is not something one decides to do on their own. It is something God works in you. It's all in His perfect timing. He reaches people in ways they will understand. It's never the same for each person. It's not a cookie cutter type conversion. God, who knows everything about us, will reach us where we will feel it most, when we need it most. He knows....
The rest of my answer was this happened to me because I know I was filled with the Holy Spirit the moment I realized my need. You just know a change has taken place. Lots of things begin to change. But when I walked out of church what I didn't know was what actually transpired. I'll tell you, I was quite naive! I knew I had changed, knew what I had to do, but didn't know immediately what happened. I had never heard the term born again. Didn't know about receiving Christ. Today I just know.
Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures. (James 1:18) This is what happened. It was a word of truth out of the mouth of a pastor. It seemed at that time he was speaking just to me when he said only one Person can change a situation, Jesus Christ.
The Spirit of God did the work. I was born of the Spirit that day. I live in this fleshly body, but God's Spirit dwells within me. That is the difference. You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. (1John 4:4,6)
It's a wonderful thing. Have you had that HAD TO moment?
Titus 3:4-7 - But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.