4 April 2013 by Adeline Lum CM –
Julian Law, at 50 years old, has backslid six times. Like the parable of the seed that fell onto the rocky ground and sprang up (Matthew 13), Julian accepted God with joy when he received the word but when trouble came, he quickly withered away. He fell. He rose. And he fell again.
This is a story of how a man who hit roadblock in his forties, surrendered everything to God. Nothing was too late because God was faithful.
As a ninth child among ten siblings, Julian’s father was a hardworking contractor from China who took opium to suppress the pain inflicted by his illness to support the family. His mother was also the school canteen operator.
A turbulent childhood, Julian’s mother who gambled apart from her working time, used to tell him to jump into the Klang river as a quick and easy route to terminate life.
Due to lack of parental attention, Julian would also spend a lot of time with a friend he met during his ping-pong training in secondary school to represent the Hokkien Klang Association and Selangor Junior Team. This friend was a gangster and never worked before until his late forties. Julian never complete this SPM exam because he didn’t see the reason to do so.
He started off as a car salesman in 1983 where he would pick up bad habits of sauntering in bars, playing darts, drinking and socializing with women. But in 1986, the Japanese Yen value shot up, increasing the Toyota car selling price as well. Toyota sales dropped 70 percent, so was his income. But because he was so used to a high maintenance living, he quit his job to work as a sales executive for the Times Publishing Group.
Owing to his ‘kiasu’ character, Julian became the top sales executive and continued his nightlife to please his manager. He was soon promoted to become a district sales manager who was responsible for training 30 to 40 sales people. By this time, he managed to buy a condominium and a Toyota for himself- a sign of personal success!
But in 1998, economy crisis hit and the company came to a standstill with unsettled payment of millions of ringgit from advertisers. At that time, his former boss invited Julian to his cell group, where a pastor invited Julian to attend FGA church in USJ.
“The moment I stepped into the place, I immediately like it. The ushers were friendly and it was a new place! I found it interesting to see a live music band in the morning when usually this can only be seen at night,” said Julian.
In that first sermon, an Australian preacher spoke eloquently about faith and spirit. Curious with how the speaker survived, Julian was even more surprised with the answer given by his cell group member, which was ‘by faith.’ In Julian's mind, the speaker could have easily become a millionaire if he was a motivational speaker in the corporate.
Julian finally decided to quit his job in Times Publishing Group and went to the church for the third time.
“I believe the Holy Spirit convicted me because I cried and cried, when I heard about Don Moen song of ‘God will make a way’,” said Julian.
Since then, his cell group leader would encourage him to the altar call and he would break down and cry, soaked in the Holy Spirit. His strongholds of bitterness, malice and anger were broken then.
Julian accepted Christ at 37 years old. And at that moment, he had the joy of the Lord; he even stopped smoking, gambling and clubbing.
“I was told that my body was the temple of the Holy Spirit,” said Julian. (1 Cor 6:19-20)
He was baptized in 1998 but only nine months after that, he backslid.
“It was very difficult to follow the Bible because I didn’t understand how I am not allowed to fellowship with non-believers when most of my customers were not believers. And also how money can be the root of evil when I think it is very important,” said Julian.
He was back to living his normal nightlife, racking up a debt of RM100,000 of 14 busted credit cards of him and his wife, losing a job, receiving letters from lawyers and having his water and electric bill cut. Plus, with no education, it was truly difficult for a 40-year-old man to find a job. So, he worked odd jobs and then he worked for his second brother at 43-years-old.
“When I worked with my brother, I suddenly saw myself in him. My nickname in Time Publishing Group was ‘I did it my way’ because I thought I was the best. Hence, everyone should listen to me. I also realized how much I liked to blame other’s,” said Julian.
“One night, I woke up… I had a son at that time already. Life was very difficult and not wanting to work for my second brother, I came to the end of myself. I still have RM100,000 debt and I am broke at 43 years old. So, I woke my wife up and both of us knelt while looking at the window. We prayed, Lord, if you are real, please help,” he added.
Since then for three years, he would wake up at 5 in the morning and pray for two hours around the swimming pool. He would also sing the only song he knew then entitled ‘Change my Heart, Oh God’ for three years.
“Although I go to the cell group every week, I never read the Bible and I never understood how I can apply the Bible’s teaching in real life,” said Julian. At that time, one of his colleagues who was a mature Christian took him to a Full Gospel Businessmen (FGB) Chapter in Shah Alam for the promise of ‘free lunch.’ After that, he would visit a FGB at different places everyday due to his free time of not working.
He was also selling the Hot/Cold Pack at that time as an odd job. At this time, he also prayed to God to provide a businessman who would be interested to invest in his business, so that he could import more pads from China. A brother-in-Christ agreed to venture in this business proposal with the capital investment up to 100 thousand ringgit and even made him into the Managing Director of the company for seven years. But he eventually resigned due to the slowing down of the business.
“God works in a very mysterious way. I thought this business plan would succeed because my brother-in-Christ had the capital but it didn’t,” said Julian. “God said that He would only chastise and disciple those He loves. If you’re sparing the rod, you’re destroying the child. God is molding me so that I know that everything I have comes from Him. If you have money without acknowledging God, the money would spoil you. But if I go through suffering in Christ, character would develop followed by hope,” said Julian.
So, he worked in the construction site as a contractor with his brother for a few months and he was laughed at due to his lack of experience. But after that, God opened another door of opportunity!
His head coach contacted him during his secondary school to train students in ping-pong. What started as part-time training grew into becoming a full-time job, from having only five students to 300 students. He is currently the State Coach and Vice President of Putrajaya Table Tennis Association.
“Why am I telling you this? You cannot have a kiasu attitude. Once you say that you’d do something, do it and do not shrink back. This is called as integrity. Then, people would see God in you. You would live exceedingly abundantly. God’s Words never lie and He would bless you more than you can imagine. How? You must believe in following and believing in the principle of God. You cannot compromise,” said Julian.
Now, he is the President of the Sunway FGB chapter. He is also spending ample time with his son, Daniel Law, 11 years old who made it into the 10 Junior State Player of Putrajaya and won 1st Runner in Team event and 3rd in Double during the Malaysia Hope Tournament held in Perlis last year. His son is currently studying in Sekinah Glory Home-schooling. Julian also spend 50 percent of his time in God’s Word and presence everyday.
“Your favor comes from the Lord, not your p.H.D. You may be somebody but if you’re not humble, what for?” said Julian. “It is said that man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceed from the mouth of God. And godliness with contentment is great gain. You must be spirit-driven, not purpose-driven,” said Julian
“If people around you want to succeed, let them be. Why worry so much? When you start looking at the problems, you become a problem solver, not an opportunity seeker. If you're so afraid, how can you work? Just commit and surrender everything to the Lord. Don’t have one foot in the world, and one foot in God,” said Julian.
Surrender everything to God. It will be the best decision you make in life.
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