From Vice to Victory!

by George Kovach

Hello. My name is George Kovach, and I am a born-again Christian. Let me tell you my story.

My Dad was a non-practicing Catholic, and my mother a non-practicing Methodist, so my brother and sister, and I were not raised in church, even after my parents divorced and we moved in with my Mom’s parents. I remember one time, before we moved to West Texas to live with grandma and grandpa that some friends of Mom’s asked to take us kids to church with them. In Sunday school, they gave us each a small New Testament, and taught us John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

The reality of the God of all creation loving me stayed with me from then on. But, I only called on Him, as one would a rabbit’s foot, to help me in times of trouble. This attitude continued through secondary school. Up to this time, I was sheltered from many of the trappings of the 60’s generation. My first semester in college, after enlisting in the Air Force, the walls of innocence began to break down. And, whereas before high school I would listen to and believe what the establishment said about premarital sex, drugs, the Vietnam war, smoking, and respecting authority (especially parents), by the end of my Air Force enlistment, my thinking had taken a 180 degree turn. Instead of listening to “authorities,” my motto was “Do not take anybody’s word for it. Try it yourself!”

Starting in May of 1973, I immersed myself in almost every vice that presented itself to me, especially marijuana. With every exercise of the “freedom” or free-will that I had been given from God, I would sink to lower depths, even questioning God’s existence. As it says in Romans 1:19–22, “Because that which may be known of God is manifest [that is, made known] in them; for God hath showed it unto them…they became fools.” So there I was, in bondage to the very things that were supposed to make me free, still searching for inner peace and real truth. It was only with this self-admission that I was not at peace and crying out to somebody or something for the truth that God began bringing situations and people into my life that caused me to consider Him.

This began when I met the wonderful girl that would become my wife, and it culminated on December 1, 1979, around 10 a.m. after listening to my cousin, John McLarty, share Biblical concepts like: all have sinned and come short of the glory of God and that even the things I had done that I considered “good” and would therefore out-weigh my bad things were filthy rags in God’s eyes. “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” (Isaiah 64:6) To cause me to realize and admit that I wasn’t such a “good ol’ boy,” the Lord began bringing different events before my mind, things that I had done that were vile and wretched. Suddenly the realization of how wretched I really was before God hit me like a “ton of bricks.”

As I began to see and understand my lost, empty life, and how my sins had put the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross; that He is God come in human form for the sole purpose of paying my debt and your debt and all who would believe and confess that what Christ did on the cross (alone) covers the sins of the world, I knew that this was the truth for which I had been searching. I called upon the Lord Jesus Christ, right there in my living room, acknowledging Him as God the Son who paid the sin debt of the world, and to ask for His sacrifice to apply to me, as well as to become the Lord (master) of my life. Just as the sun began to fill the living room in which I was sitting, the light and joy of the Holy Ghost instantly filled my soul. I was born-again, not of water as in my physical birth, but of the Spirit that completely transformed my soul and gave my “eternal part” the righteousness of God Himself. And since God did it all, it is forever and cannot be undone. As the Word of God says in John 10:28, “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” And, in I John 5:13, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”

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