COIN MOMMA LOST
Jesus Did It!
By: David Miller
The story I'm about to share is not one I'm proud to tell. Yet the reason I've decided to share it is my hope that someone might benefit from the painful mistakes I've made along life's way.
Two things happened to me at a young age that set into motion a reaction on my part that resulted in my being mad at God. Because my being mad at God was never recognized and dealt with, it caused me to be led down a path of self-destruction.
At about age 10, a man next door raped me. I never told my family for fear that I would get into trouble, or they would not believe me. That was mistake number one. Shortly after that my father died, and I became a bitter child, out to get back at the world. I wouldn't allow anyone to help me, because I felt I couldn't trust anyone after that. That was mistake number two. By age 13, I joined up with the wrong crowd, and started using drugs heavily. I didn't have a way to support my drug habit, so I started breaking into people's homes. By age 17, I not only was still breaking into homes, but was also involved in robbing businesses. Before going any further, please let me reveal some insight here. Up until my father died, my parents took me to church with them every Sunday. But what I didn't realize was that a person can be in church constantly and never have their emotional wounds healed to where they can receive what God has for them, if those wounds aren't somehow diagnosed and dealt with. Hurt cannot be buried. It must be brought out in the open and dealt with, and the sooner the better.
One day I was involved in a fight at the park and a lady by the name of Ruthie West broke it up. She invited me to her home to have iced tea and cookies, and that made a life-long impression on me, because she was trying to show me the unconditional love of Christ when I was one of the most unlovable people in town. I spent a lot of time at her house, listening to her speak about Jesus (like He was her best friend or something). I had peace when I was in her home, but as soon as I left, I was doing drugs and robbing. My friendship with her continued for many years, because she never stopped loving me, even when I would hurt her purposely. I believe I was trying to prove to her that God could not love me, and the best way to do that was to get her to stop loving me. I know now that the only reason I was able to eventually get right with God was through her example of being willing to be hurt and used to reveal the love of God to me.
Something else about her amazed me. This lady would know the things I was doing when the police didn't, and when I would ask her how she knew, she'd say, "Oh, the Lord woke me up last night and told me to pray for you."
Around 1977 I spent six months in a boy's school, but that only made me worse. I met a girl through one of my friends there, and ended up getting her pregnant. After that I started running drugs to a college, to help finance my drug habit.
In 1979 I got busted for nine counts of check forgery. I spent 13 months in jail for it. Then in December 1979, my lawyer told me that I was going to prison for at least five years. I was on a work-release program at the time, and because I had heard the stories about prison life, I became scared and ran away from jail. The police caught up with me a few weeks later and I was taken to the county jail and placed in the "hole." My new mansion consisted of a board for a bed and a hole in the floor for a toilet. It was dark, cold and damp, and it made me hate even more.
"Prison was hard for me to deal with"
Prison was hard for me to deal with. The people were hard and mean and didn't care much about the others around them. I started going to church in prison, not specifically because I was going to change my life or follow the Lord, but because it was something I could relate to a little bit. After about a year in prison, I made a commitment to follow the Lord and turn my life over to Him. I knew I had to change my life. And upon turning my life over to Him, the next morning when I woke up I could sense something had changed in my life. I was happy and free. For the second time in my life I really felt clean. I felt like I did the time at Ruthie's house when she had prayed with me.
I was faithful to the Lord the rest of my time in prison, and I was used to bring other prisoners to the Lord. We used laundry carts in the middle of the night to baptize people in the showers.
When it came time for my release, the Lord brought a family into my life that wanted me to come live with them. The husband was a minister in a Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis. Things went well for a few months, and then I met a girl at one of our home bible studies. It was not long before I thought I was in love and I wanted to get married to this girl. We asked the pastor to marry us. He felt we were moving too fast and should wait six months, and then see how we felt about each other. I got mad at him and chose to rebel against the God-given advice he was giving us. Had we not been having sex, I'm sure the rebellion would not have been so strong in me. But when a person has been hurt at a young age, and feels he can't trust authority (actually doesn't want to trust authority), and those wounds have never been healed, rebellion always seems to spring up when there is a rub with authority, which was the case in this situation.
I broke away from this pastor and found another pastor who would marry us. My pride, which triggered the rebellion, caused me to become cold with the Lord (pride always will). And as scripture warns, that once a person has been swept clean inside, if demonic powers are ever given entrance again to that person, that person becomes much worse off than before (Matthew 12:43-45).
I got back into taking drugs and dealing. We had a dope house in Indianapolis. I went so far down that I even sold drugs to the family's children who took me in after I got out of prison. I not only was trying to destroy myself - I was trying to destroy them as well. I just didn't care anymore what happened.
One night my wife and some of her church friends decided to go see Kenneth Copeland downtown, and they asked me to go. I went because I was sick of people trying to get me "right" with God, and I felt this would get them off my back.
What happened that night I'll never forget. Mr. Copeland was preaching, when suddenly he stopped preaching and walked down toward us and stopped right in front of us. He said, "There are three people here tonight who have been in prison, and if you don't get right with Lord, you're going back to prison for a long time. Get out of rebellion and start serving the Lord."
It shook me up some, because I knew that I was one of the three he was speaking to. This didn't stop me though. It only slowed me down for a short while.
About two years later, I got into trouble with the law again and went to prison for six months. As soon as I got out I went back to doing the same old things I had been doing before.
Then one day I got a sudden surprise. My wife and another woman came home from church. The woman suddenly dropped to her knees in front of my chair. She told me the Lord had spoken to her and told her to tell me that if I didn't stop what I was doing and get right with Him today, God was going to take His hand off my life. She said something bad was going to happen to me and she could not tell me what, but she begged me to get right with God.
Due to a supernatural eerie feeling earlier that day, I knew she was speaking the truth. I wanted to fall on my face and cry out in repentance before the Lord right then and there, yet the war that was going on in my mind held me back. Through my tears, I told her I just couldn't bring myself to bow before the Lord, and I knew as I refused to submit I was in trouble.
I stayed drunk the rest of that day and night because I didn't want to face whatever was about to happen. I thought I was going to die, and I wanted to be drunk when it happened. I don't remember most of that night. But as the story came out later, it was about 6:00 AM the next morning when my wife saw me walking down a back alley, and then the report came out later that I had robbed a woman, and got hit by a car trying to get away. Death didn't come, but a long 16-year prison sentence did.
In the lockup, I had plenty of time to be off dope and alcohol to relieve my past. My mind would flash back to the many people who told me I was going back to prison if I didn't get right with the Lord. Eventually I came to see that God had extended His love and mercy toward me all during that time, and although the effects of sin were so strong in my life to keep me from doing that, now I was in a place where He could talk to me and heal me of root problems from my childhood and on up. Out of God's love, not punishment, He put me in prison to save my life so I could learn to walk in proper relationship with Him and learn of His ways. In God's time, I'll be released from prison, and through the power of Christ in me, by His grace I'll serve Him the rest of my life, hopefully ministering to others who have experienced much of the same pain I've experienced.
There are millions of youth heading down the same road David took
The story you've just read ends joyous, yet overall, it is sad. Sad in that there are millions of youth right now heading down the same road David took. Rebellion and violence are overtaking our cities. Drug habits cause people to do anything and everything to feed their addictions, and the easy money in selling drugs is the lure for youth to sell. So what can we learn from David's story?
Let me quote some words from a highly respected member of the Body of Christ before going any further:
"Nothing is more counterproductive to the human spirit than bitterness and resentment. These two enemies of our well being have ruined more lives than all the despots of human history put together. I have seen people go through life still blaming their parents for their failures. I have seen ministers leave the pulpit because someone gouged them. How many families have been smashed to bits because of resentment out of control?
My friends in the medical profession tell me that bitterness often causes actual physical problems such as nervous disorders, heart disease, and ulcers. And mental problems such as paranoia have their seeds in bitterness. Sleepless nights, wasted days, hours of anxiety -- are all stripping years off your life. There is nothing positive to be said about bitterness. Everything about it is counterproductive. And yet multitudes of people allow themselves to become victimized. Their lives are ruined by their resentment and negative memories. And the poison spills out into innocent victims as well." - Dan Betzer, Evangelist.
Now then, the person who doesn't believe Satan and his demons are alive and well on planet earth will have a difficult time receiving what I'm about to say. And if they don't believe they exist as the Bible records they do (Ephesians 6: 12-14), and see how Jesus dealt with them in the New Testament Bible as He did, and how He now wants followers of Him to deal with them in like manner . . . then it's an uphill battle all the way.
The first thing every person needs to know is that demons get their power from sin. A Christian that comes to the knowledge that sin is forgiven when forgiveness is sought for has done well. But some Christians have never been privileged to learn that if they keep on engaging in sin (pride is probably the worst sin of all), they are attracting demonic powers to influence their life in a greater way. Scripture says that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). Demonic beings and death are one in unity and purpose.
Why does Satan tempt us to sin, anyway? So it'll make God mad at us? That's our first thought, right? That's not the greatest reason. Satan knows that when we sin, it gives his demons power. When we give demons power through our sin, what does that power do? It causes us to slowly (or sometimes quickly) draw away from God. Demons draw you into spiritual deception and spiritual darkness every time. Anytime you're moving away from Jesus Christ and His Word, you're moving into rebellion and spiritual darkness, whether you know it or not. So - if you remember nothing else from what you've read here, remember: DEMONS GET POWER FROM SIN. The more you sin, the greater influence you give demonic powers to influence your life. Here are some keys to keep you free from demonic forces. Recognize that the sin of pride is the first sin that usually needs to be recognized, and then dealt with. People who say they don't have this sin in their life are usually the FIRST to have it. Pride expresses a lot, but what it usually expresses is that I want things MY way - not God's way, not the Bible's way, but MY way!
A powerful defense weapon against pride is forgiveness. Forgiveness is an act your will - not your feelings. God will always supply the power to forgive if we'll just ask and trust Him for it. People don't forgive because they choose not to forgive-not because they can't.
Another powerful weapon against demonic forces is giving thanks in everything. Not for everything-thanks IN everything. There's a big difference. In everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thes. 5:18).
Finally, we must learn the absolute necessity of practicing repentance regularly, because it not only pleases God, but also breaks the hold of demonic powers over us. To receive wholeness of all kinds (emotionally, spiritually, physically), what has God instructed us to do in the Bible? We're to confess our sins to one another, then be prayed for. To be prayed for without confession when there needs to be confession can be prayers of futility. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed (James 5:16). Healing of all types (especially emotional healing) usually requires two things: Confession (which leads to Repentance) and believing prayer (someone believing on your behalf).
A word of caution here: God has a reason for us going to the older, more mature Christians (elders) to be anointed with oil and prayed for. Much harm can result from zealous believers who assume some things that are not necessarily so, which can be a great tool of the devil to cause people to shy away from seeking further help to be made whole.
In closing, let's listen to the words of our Lord and Savior, as recorded in Luke 15:4-l0 (NAS):
"What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep, which was lost!'
"I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. (THINK they need no repentance. Emphasis ours.)
"Or what woman, if she has ten silver coins and loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, 'Rejoice with me for I have found the coin, which I had lost.' In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."
Do you get the impression that God is BIG on repentance? And do you get the impression that repentance has far greater blessings for those who practice it than any of us know?
P.S. PLEASE REMEMBER: SIN GIVES THE DEVIL AND HIS DEMONS POWER (See Ephesians 4:26,27; Matt. 12:43-45)
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