Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
-Paul, Romans 12:2
As time goes on and this journey of renewal He has me on continues, I am drawn more and more into Him. Away from other things. Some have heard me talk about my past before; all the booze, the partying, the women. What a waste of time it all was, how empty it all turned out to be!
All those years of drowning out the voice of God, His whisper in my heart left me cold, broken and empty. How much time I wasted! Some have said to me, “Well, you learned a lot about yourself.”
Yes, I did. I learned that my heart is dark away from Him. I learned that sin is very alluring. I learned that Satan is much more real than many people want to think or believe. What is truly shocking to me is how many of those who claim to be “Christians” don’t seem to understand what’s really going on. They don’t seem to want to accept the fact that evil is very real and is coming for us all. Satan hates you and there is a real hell; both now and later.
Hell is real to the junkie on the corner tormented by the demon of heroin. Hell is real to the drunk taking one last drink for the night, hoping this is the one that will finally drown the pain. Hell is real to the porn addict whose lust is never satisfied. Hell is real for me and was real for me. I lived there for awhile. And I hated myself for every single second I spent there. And Satan was happy. He had taken me out.
Then, something happened. I met a man named Jesus, who is the Son of God. He showed up one day and spoke love into my heart. Whispered freedom into my shattered soul. The sun began to shine again. He helped me crawl out of that bottle and showed me that I didn’t need booze and sex to prop myself up. He showed me that He had forgiven me and I didn’t have to hate myself anymore. He pushed into my heart and said He didn’t hate me either and I was forgiven, free.
Then, He showed me a book He had written for me. His word, spoken through the ages to shout truth from the mountaintops, whisper love into the dark hearts of men, beat back the king of liars.
And my heart began to change.
Then, He brought others around me to lift me up, to challenge me, help me grow and walk with me. Oh, I still fall down sometimes. But when I’m lying face down in the dirt, He lifts me up with a smile on His face and together we embrace the road ahead.
I look back now and I don’t even know the man back there. That lost, lonely, bitter boy crying out for love is a shadow. He has changed me by showing me truth in His word, obedience in my life and a love I cannot possibly fathom or repay.
Know this, fellow travelers and broken people. He will transform you into a new person, give you a new heart. Then you will look back on that darkness and know: that is not you anymore!! He has made you new and is making you new by His power in your heart!!