I would like to begin by quoting from the book of Romans , Chapter 7 and verse twenty one.
“So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God–through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Rom 7:21-25)
When I turned fourteen, there arose in my heart a longing for power. Power to to control others, and to fulfill my every desire. My quest for power led me into a study of the occult. I delved deeply into magick, making charms, conjuring demons, casting spells, taking drugs, exploring every facet of my personality and experiencing every type of physical stimuli.
And so, at the age of twentytwo, I had come to the point where I was beaten and broken and hopeless. Through my many misdeeds I had caused others to suffer, destroyed relationships, and betrayed friends. I did not expect the forgiveness of others nor could I begin to forgive myself. What little power I had obtained, had nearly destroyed me.
Attempting to foretell the future I decided that I would use a Bible as the vehicle by which I might make contact with the spirit world. As I muttered my incantations the book fell open to the thirty-eighth chapter of Job and I began to read at verse one.
Then the Lord answered Job out of the storm. He said:
Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?
Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you will answer me.
Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
Tell me if you understand.
Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
On what were it’s footings set, or who laid its cornerstone–
while the morning stars sang together
and all the angels shouted for joy?
I was shocked, to say the least. As I read the last few chapters of Job, I learned what the meaning of true power was. As I read on through the Psalms and the Proverbs, I recognized my miserable state as a sinner. I ended that night huddled in the corner of an empty trailer crying out to God for deliverance.
Soon after I was invited by an acquaintance to come to church. There I heard the message that Jesus Christ had died on the cross to provide forgiveness for the sins of men. I remember thinking what a remarkable coincidence it was that the preacher should be speaking on the very subject that had been on my mind that week, forgiveness. Profoundly convicted by the Holy Spirit, I was given the grace to accept Jesus as my Savior and Lord.
Many things in my life changed immediately, I stopped practicing magick, and even before reading Acts 19:19, burned all my books on the occult. I made efforts to undo some of the wrong that I had done. I stopped cursing so much. Other things took more time. Six years after being saved I was still doing drugs and thought I would never stop. Then one night, while others prayed with me, I was instantly delivered from my addiction, never to have even the slightest desire for drugs again. This was over forty years ago.
Other things about me have changed very little and I often despair. I am frequently ashamed of the way I behave as a Christian and grow depressed when I think about how long it may take me to fully mature. The greatest complaint you hear about the Church is about the hypocrites that reside there. Very often I find that I am one of those hypocrites. “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God–through Jesus Christ our Lord !”(Rom 7:25)
Jesus Christ put to death for your sins and mine, is alive. Risen from the dead, he has claimed the victory over sin and death, and has sent his Holy Spirit to reassure us that we too will have total victory if we will repent of our sins and believe and trust in Him. This is the ultimate power I have found, power to move mountains, power to change lives. I know that on that final day, I will stand before God perfect, without spot or blemish, as the Bible says, “being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Php 1:6) This is my testimony.