How Can I Meet God?
Last week we ended with the way Christians in America tend to act. This week I want to start off by sharing another story with you. I want to share my own testimony, how I came to meet God.
The setting is November, 1984. I just checked into my 2nd and final rehabilitation center for drugs and alcohol. I have already been to 3 detoxes, 1 rehab and have spent four years in and out of a 12 step program. I have also managed to kill myself. I was clinically dead for six minutes after a suicide attempt in which God brought me back. Furthermore, I was also kicked out of the army and deported from Germany for my alcoholic behavior. And then, to top it all off I got married, had one child and then shortly thereafter divorced. This all happened between the ages of 16 and 20. Those are the highlights of a 11 year alcoholic binge that started when I was 9 years old.
As I entered that rehabilitation center, with no hope, I meet my newly appointed head therapist. Bob had over 20 years sobriety at that time. He “sadly reported” to me that the only hope I will ever have in making it sober, is to find God. He went on to state that; “I previously tried all there was and I had failed to respond to any type of treatment for alcoholism”. The only chance I had was to find God. God was my only hope! At that moment, when I heard that, you might as well have shot me in the head.
I used the words above that he “sadly reported” this. I say that because at that time I was a complete atheist and if by chance there was a God, I hated Him with all my being! Bob pointed out that I needed to find God or just go get drunk and die. These were the only two alternatives I had. He then reassured me that there was a God, and that God loved me very much and He wanted to help me. I only had to find the willingness to reach out to Him. Bob knew that because 20 years ago in his own life, he faced the same dilemma. He directed me from that day forward that I was to pray in the morning and to thank God at night for another day God blessed me with. I also was directed not to ask for anything but my daily needs and sobriety for that day. From that meeting on I began a new journey towards God…
My Road to Damascus Experience
On June 10, 1985, after six months of praying and seeking the presence of God for His help I had been sober for 7 months. However, the day before I had a fight with my sister whom I was living with. She asked me to leave and no matter where I went for help, not even my own mother would help me.
Around 1 am that morning, I was sitting on a corner where I had previously dealt drugs and drank during my addiction. Then Satan showed up and began tempting me. In my newly founded and fragile recovery, I was very shaky to say the least. He reminded me that a few blocks away was my favorite bar. If I went there I could pick up a woman and let her take me home like I had done so many times before.
The temptation was overwhelming and at that moment I cried out to God, “If you’re really there, I need you to stop being invisible and save me before I drink again!” In a flash peace surrounded me. It was around me like a wall of protection and also it was inside of me flowing out freely through me. There was this calm, joy, a freedom I had never experienced. Then there was His voice. I could hear Him audibly. Just like His peace, His voice was also flowing inside and out of me. I can’t really explain it, but His voice penetrated every cell in my being. I not only could hear Him with my ears but I also felt it and rested in it.
I felt completely protected by His presence. The joy I felt at that time was obviously supernatural. I have never felt joy like that since. Jesus spoke to me and said; “Dennis, I have always been with you and I will never forsake you.” I can still remember looking back at my response. Like an idiot all I could say was; “You really exist!” I said it over and over again. That night the Lord removed those demons of addiction and gave me instructions about how to start living my life. What I received was absolute assurance that God existed. And just like Jesus said, “I will never leave nor forsake you.”
If I were to tell you that story and it ended there, you could write it off as a bad experience, a dream, a great hallucination or whatever. But I have to say that I have never again had another drink of alcohol nor have I tried drugs in these last 32 years. Neither have I been the same. To top it off, after over 31 years God and I still speak to each other almost every day. I still hear His voice flowing in my spirit directing and guiding me. So today when people ask me why I believe in the Bible or why I believe Jesus is the only way, I tell them it is not just blind faith. I happen to know Him personally. Jesus is not just some hope I have but a real relationship in my life! So let me help you draw near…….
Am I Really Saved or Just Going to Church?
Here is a litmus test: Ask yourself this question and be very honest! If I ask you if you are going to Heaven when you die, what is your answer? Was your answer?
- I hope so! I am a very good person but I am not perfect!
- YES I AM! I go to church and love Jesus!
If you think number two is the best answer, both answers will land you in Hell! Both question have to do with you and things you do! Salvation has nothing to do with you. It has to do with all that Jesus did on the cross and the forgiveness He offers! All we can do is respond and receive His free gift.
Again if you answered yes to both questions and are going to church and practicing the Christian religion or any other religion for that matter, then for you God may be some belief you have and or hope you have – that He is real. For you He is somewhere in the cosmos, but you are unable to be prove this, you simply live in “blind faith.”
There are many people sitting in churches every Sunday who have never repented and have never come to salvation, they are just going through the motions. They believe Christianity is a religion. They are hoping to live their life good enough so that one day they will go to heaven because of their good works and deeds, and or by the sacraments they received. I cannot think of anything sadder than for a person to attend church their whole life, living a so called “christian life” and then ending up going to hell. You might think I am crazy to believe this but I will let the Lord tell you!
- Matt. 7:21-23 – And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
- John 10:27 – My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: