This morning Renee and I were praying for a friend of a friend. We had recently spend some time with friends who were telling us how they had the opportunity to lead someone they knew to the Lord. As we listened to the story, it seemed like this person’s life was so messed up and layered with problems in every area, you couldn’t imagine how she could possibly turn it around.
If you’ve ever prayed for someone like that, you might find yourself praying but at the same time fighting doubts that anything could change. That is unless you’ve had the Lord turn your entire life around. Then you know better.
As we were praying for her and I was thinking of the mountain of problems this person faced, the Lord instantly reminded me of my own life and how He completely turned me around. And He did! My life was a mess when I came to the Lord 35 years ago. I was an alcoholic. I was a drug addict. My entire personality and character and been dragged through the pit of dysfunction. But then one day someone told me I needed Jesus and I agreed. She led me in a prayer inviting Jesus into my life and little did I know how much it would alter the course of my life.
The Holy Spirit took residence in my heart and began to help me see life through God’s eyes. I started reading the Bible, attending a Bible teaching church, attending a Bible study, and my life took a 180 degree turn. I stopped drinking. I stopped using drugs. I developed new friends that encouraged me in a good direction and taught me how to pray. I went back to school. I started a business and invented the fold-down infant changing tables you see in public restrooms world-wide today. I studied for ministry and became a Pastor. And by the grace of God, my life has been able to influence thousands upon thousands. Who would have ever guessed that a simple heart-felt prayer would lead to such a miraculously changed life?
This reminds me of another really messed up person in Luke 8:27-39. As Jesus was climbing out of the boat, a man who was possessed by demons came out to meet him. For a long time he had been homeless and naked, living in a cemetery outside the town. As soon as he saw Jesus, he shrieked and fell down in front of him. Then he screamed, “Why are you interfering with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Please, I beg you, don’t torture me!” For Jesus had commanded the evil spirit to come out of him. This spirit had often taken control of the man. Even when he was placed under guard and put in chains and shackles, he simply broke them and rushed out into the wilderness, completely under the demon’s power. Jesus demanded, “What is your name?” “Legion,” he replied, for he was filled with many demons. The demons kept begging Jesus not to send them into the bottomless pit. There happened to be a large herd of pigs feeding on the hillside nearby, and the demons begged him to let them enter into the pigs. So Jesus gave them permission. Then the demons came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the entire herd plunged down the steep hillside into the lake and drowned. When the herdsmen saw it, they fled to the nearby town and the surrounding countryside, spreading the news as they ran. People rushed out to see what had happened. A crowd soon gathered around Jesus, and they saw the man who had been freed from the demons. He was sitting at Jesus’ feet, fully clothed and perfectly sane, and they were all afraid. Then those who had seen what happened told the others how the demon-possessed man had been healed…The man who had been freed from the demons begged to go with him. But Jesus sent him home, saying,“No, go back to your family, and tell them everything God has done for you.” So he went all through the town proclaiming the great things Jesus had done for him.”
This man and I had something in common that all people do who receive and experience Jesus’ love. We experienced a life transformation! This is what the Lord reminded me of this morning when I was praying for friend of a friend whose life was so utterly messed up. It was like the Lord nudged me and said, “It’s okay, this is my specialty and my love never fails!”
I don’t know what problems you may have this morning but I know this. I know that I am praying for you and I know that “… You have already won a victory… because the Spirit of God who lives in you is greater than any adversarial and demonic spirit who lives in the world.” (1 John 4:4)
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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