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God’s Intervention In My Life

John tried alcohol, marijuana, life as an outlaw bikie, astral travelling, séances and being a hippie ... all without success. After years of blundering along, John finally found something truly life changing.

God’s Intervention In My Life

Growing up in the church

As an only child, I attended a Sunday School and remained involved until my mid teens.  Finally I left the church and I was convinced that ‘me and God could get on alright’ without the church and off I went to discover the world at 16.  By 17, I was drinking and chasing the girls, and by 18 I was well on the way to becoming an alcoholic, drinking heavily every weekend (what is now called binge drinking).

Death in the family ... drugs ... outlaw bikie ... hippie

Around 21, I was introduced to marijuana and that was the beginning of the downhill slide.  Around the same time I was beginning to hang around with a bike club that had just formed.  I was still drinking heavily.  Over the next few years, I lost my grandfather and father to cancer, my mother to a stroke and my grandmother to a broken heart and rejection in a nursing home.  I was addicted to alcohol and dope and anything I could get hold of to avoid the pain of reality.  After a few years of wearing a patch with two different outlaw clubs, I left and went off to find myself as a hippy.

Exploring the ‘options’

My experience has been a long life of exploring different options ... alcohol, drugs, the outlaw lifestyle ... being a hippie. The only success in all of this was my complete failure to live these lifestyles. I had been in many strange spiritual experiences through experimentation with drugs, astral travelling and séances.

Using the Bible for guidance to make drugs deals!

Then along came Christianity and I tried to fit it into my seriously messed up lifestyle.  I even started justifying the use of weed from the Bible …. God gave man every herb bearing seed for food, and similar stuff. (By the way, God does not want us to destroy our bodies by using weed.) Surprisingly, I was even to the point of consulting the Bible for guidance on making drug deals! At the time we were also living across the road from a witch’s coven with whom we were all fairly friendly.

Life spiralling out of control

In reality, my life was spiralling out of control. I had a group of around five friends who all gathered together on Sunday mornings to watch the TV evangelists and smoke a few bongs. I tried a couple of churches and prayed the 'Sinners Prayer' every time I had the chance, but nothing seemed to feel right.  Like most burnt out party people, I was a mess but didn't realize it.

Blundering through the spiritual world

One day a lady moved in and she seemed to have some spiritual understanding.  This female friend got very intense whenever we talked about God and used to shake violently.  She occasionally seemed to go into a sort of trance and speak in a different voice. One night when I had had a few drinks and a smoke or two I tried to pray for her deliverance.  I had no idea what I was doing and suddenly reached out and put my hand on her head saying 'get out in Jesus' name'.  I felt what seemed like an electric shock and I was pushed back.

The drugs and alcohol continued

I was living in a converted furniture van up in the state forest and I rapidly used up my inheritance on so called ‘good’ times. I was not in the gutter physically but I was emotionally and soon would be physically if I didn't do something about it. There was a floating population of friends living in my van over several months and the alcohol and drugs were a daily occurrence.  My communication skills were almost down to monosyllabic muttering. My memory to the point where I would go into town for supplies and by the time I got there I would have forgotten why I was there and just go to the ‘pub’ for the day.

The presence of God

So I decided to go to a church I had heard about. When I arrived and as I went to step up into the building I overbalanced backward and fell back outside.  I regained my footing and tried again, only to again fall back as if someone was pulling the back of my jacket.  On the third attempt, I made a lunge at the door and whatever it was let go and I shot forward almost knocking over a couple of chairs. In this meeting though I experienced the presence of God and was totally overwhelmed and knew without a doubt that I was home at last.  My search was over. I knew God was real and he changed my life but there were many things in my life that God still had to deal with, including the excesses of drugs and alcohol.

Hungry to know more

I started attending church most Sundays and was quickly caught up in the excitement of this new life experience.  I began to love reading my Bible and praying to Jesus, who had become more important than most other things in my life.  I was hungry to learn more and I was encouraged to attend a mid week new Christians study on a Wednesday morning.

All I could see was cow!

Because of my usual stoned state, I agreed to take a woman dressed in a light summer dress and her child into town along a windy narrow road.  I was discussing things with the woman and I had turned my head and when I looked back to the road all I could see was cow! A local farmer had chased his herd out onto the road in front of us at full gallop and although I braked hard and looked for a way round, we hit one square on in the ribs.  The woman slid along the road on her back, loosing much skin (that light summer dress) but thankfully the child was unharmed.

Crying out to God

I went to a doctor who had put some tape on my shoulder to hide the broken collar bone which was protruding from the skin due to a double break!  Later, still in pain and feeling very sorry for myself, I took all the prescription pain killers at once and started on a large bottle of scotch and some wine.  The pain was very strong and I needed help. As I looked around, for the very first time I was able to see with total clarity the real mess my life was in.  Up until then I had lived under the delusion that I was getting it together!  No, its not happening.  My response was to call out to God.  I just cried from my heart; “Jesus, get me out of here.  I can't do it, but you can.”

I couldn’t smoke cigarettes, weed nor drink alcohol

That was all and then I was back in the usual haze and reached for my tobacco pouch to roll a smoke.  It tasted terrible and made me choke.  I thought someone had spilled something in my tobacco so I reached for the glass of wine to wash the taste out of my mouth.  I couldn't swallow the wine and had to spit it back into the glass.  This had me very confused, especially when the bong came around and I couldn't get it within arm’s reach because of the hideous smell coming from it.

Jesus had answered my prayer

Then it dawned on me ... Jesus had answered my prayer.  I immediately went off to bed with my Bible to read and pray.

Demon possession of a friend

As soon as I opened the bible I read something that I was sure related to one of my friends, so I called out to him. I was about to read him the passage when he reached out and grabbed me by the throat and began to strangle me.  The van went freezing cold, the women ran outside screaming and all the local dogs were going berserk.  When I looked at my friend, I could not see his usual face, but the ugly distorted one ... a face of a demon with glowing red eyes.  I tried to call my friend’s name and suddenly his face returned.  He looked at his hands around my throat and in fear and panic, he too ran outside yelling and screaming. I had been around a lot of spiritual stuff over the years; some of it pretty freaky, but nothing like this.  I sat wide awake in the corner of my bed clutching my Bible until daylight, and then walked out of the van and into town, still clutching my Bible. Everything I owned was in that van, but there was no way I was going back to get any of it.  For the first time I had experienced the demonic up close and personal and I knew it.  So I moved into a house shared with other Christians and overseen by the church. My long dependence on alcohol, drugs and cigarettes was gone, without any withdrawals!

My journey continued...

On my turn to cook, there were four people for dinner.  Somehow that night, after an influx of visitors and the return of several other residents unexpectedly, we fed twenty five people, yet only used the original quantities for four ... yet another miracle.  God is a supernatural God. Yes, I did put more lentils in, but nowhere near enough and the resulting meal had a different texture than usual with a greater awareness of the vegetables and less of the lentils. There was still enough left over that it could have still fed the original four.
God changed me so instead of the one needing help I could now help others. I pastored an area, overseeing three home groups and eight discipleship houses, a total congregation of around fifty.  I had also got married and was the proud father of our first son.

God’s healing Hand

Years later, after injuring my back, I went I to hear a guy preaching at a friend’s church.  At the usual alter call at the end I went forward to receive God’s anointing. As the guy moved along the line, I was aware of a powerful presence of the Holy Spirit in the room.  He finally prayed for me. I knew something had happened but didn’t feel anything physical. The following Thursday I went to yet another specialist, who asked me to stand and bend in every direction to check on my level of mobility.  I found I could move a lot more than previously and although still in pain, I realised God had healed my back.  Within a couple of weeks, the muscle spasms which were the source of the ongoing pain gradually subsided.

Ongoing Ministry

Jesus is real and my relationship with Him is personal and two-way.  I have seen many miracles and God has abundantly supplied all my needs.  He has led me to Bible College and an involvement as a Prison Chaplain along with other ministry.  He has been my provider and support through many more adventures than those listed here.  I have seen many people come to know Jesus and be able to walk away from heroine addictions, some even without withdrawals.  God is the only one who can really change us and He wants you to become the person He created you to be.  Jesus has already done it all and offers you a new life as a free gift.  Take Him up on the offer; it is an adventure.

My prayer for you the reader is that you may experience the full blessing of all that God has made available to you through the all inclusive work of our Lord Jesus Christ through His death and resurrection.

May God richly bless you with every spiritual blessing through Jesus Christ our Lord.
John

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The Reason (music video)