Choose – Life or Death
Well, here is one for the journal.. This just happened so I wanted to journal it while it’s fresh. I’m going to cut to the chase here while everything is in the noggin’.
Well… this is hard to admit but that’s just the pride of life stopping me. Concerned about how I’m viewed by the world, how people gossip, take things out of context, etc.. Who cares, I have an audience of One, I’m interested in what He says. He says to share these things so here you go, for someone’s benefit..
Anyways… the sin was trying a drug. Many months ago, I was talking to a man and asked if he had any vices. He said drinking and then mentioned a drug that I had tried almost 30 years ago as a young dumb kid. The sinful flesh blurted out, “O wow, if you ever get any I wouldn’t mind trying it!” Immediately I knew it was a dumb thing to say. Sigh…. this makes me weep and tremble typing it. Please don’t judge, I have a greater One that I must answer to on these things. Nonetheless, a testimony was birthed, praise God that he uses evil for good.
This was many months ago and was forgotten, but a few days ago, it showed up at my door. Man, I want to throw up right now. This is very hard to do. The ego, the pride of man, it hates truth and confessions. Anyways… I tried a small sample. I was struggling and convicted, but I pressed through the unction from the spirit and bypassed him to accept my sinful desires.
When I tried this, it was indeed a small sample because I wanted to be safe, but of course that’s exactly what the devil did to get me to do it. Convince me I could do it safely. It’s his way of subtly convincing us to dabble. Almost immediately it made me feel like I was going to have a heart attack. It surely was not safe. I sat it on a small counter between my dining room and living room. For the last 3 days, I walked by it many times a day being tempted. Every time I was tempted, I heard clearly: “It has Fentanyl, you’re going to die.” The sinful nature always responded, “Surely you won’t die…. just a little bit.” For 3 days, I heard this many times a day, every time I walked by it and considered it.
Recently, I’ve been focused on sin in my life and repenting. Confessing, started praying again, reading the Word again, etc. Doing the things that I need to do. The timing of this showing up was bad (or good?). After looking back over my spiritual walk, I have noticed a repeated theme: Every single time I get serious about my walk with God, Satan shows up. It was a huge struggle because repentance is where my mind is at and here is the temptation on my counter, walking by it every day.
My flesh wanted to try more, but I kept thinking death and fentanyl. Earlier today, I had a passing thought of getting up, grabbing it, and immediately dumping it. The source was repentance and the constant nagging inside that this is going to kill me. Of course, the flesh spoke too.. “Surely you won’t die”, and it didn’t happen.
Well, about an hour ago now, I got hit up on Facebook by an old friend. A friend I haven’t seen in about, 25 years or so. She’s not a drug user that I’m aware of, and she’s from the town I grew up in. She proceeded to catch me up on her life and some of her first words were, “My son died 4 years ago..” :( Within me, I knew what this was. The spidey senses went off. Something inside lights up when this happens.. I knew within me that a testimony was happening… Don’t know how/why.. but as she continued to catch me up on her life, I was zeroed in on what she said about her son because I knew that’s where I needed to go. I knew in me it was drugs. I knew in me it was fentanyl. I knew my Savior’s voice, I just knew. I almost blurted out, “Don’t tell me, drugs? Fentanyl?” I interrupted and asked, “If you don’t mind, what happened to your son?” She proceeded to tell me that her son died from Fentanyl….. man. man..man.
As we continued to talk, she shared that I was on her mind the previous day. She shared that she’s been struggling with the death of her son and turned to alcohol, but had recently repented and started going back to Church. She didn’t understand why God let him die. I had to interrupt her and share this testimony that was unfolding right before us. I explained all that I typed above, and said, “Please understand, the story of your son just saved my life”, as I washed it down the drain.
Needless to say, we both praised God. She had something to thank God for, and she said, “My son, do you remember his name?” (Unfortunately, I didn’t). We were of the same name.. She was so thankful to God for giving her this because she was struggling with his death. We ended the conversation with praise, praise, praise to the One who giveth and taketh away..
For me, it is without a doubt I was a dead man. I had a pressing on my heart non-stop about death and fentanyl for days. I knew that if I did the drug, I was going to die. That is why it sat there for days. My flesh wouldn’t allow me to throw it out, “You surely won’t die.. go ahead, eat.. you’ll be better than you were. Your eyes will be opened!” pfft.
It took the hand of God to move me. It was in my face, bam! Without this contact from my friend, I’m fairly certain I would have died tonight. She also received a new perspective and peace after witnessing what just happened. God was present, a help in time of need, but I shouldn’t need that in order to obey that which I knew to not participate in. Lord, I don’t care what it takes.. break me in pieces if necessary to restore my heart. Sin needs to go, help me. In Jesus Christ name, amen. (Awesome – God continued to help me to repent and restore me right after I posted this. I started to read an old article that talks about sin – http://serious-things.com/eating-liver-sin). Thank you Lord.
He showed me much on my heart towards sin the other day when I lost this little package. I misplaced it when I was high. smh. I thank God it was lost because I was looking for it with every intention of doing it, and I couldn’t find it. Guess what happened while I was turning around every nook and cranny trying to find it? Literally turning over every stone, on my hands and knees, and I hear something like, “You seek around everywhere, with a sense of urgency, trying to find your sin, but you seek Me half-heartedly? Where’s the urgency? The time is late.”
Anyways… God is good. Indeed the drug is no longer and I’ve repented. My friend is praising God and going to Church on Sunday, she has something to give thanks for. She believes that the sharing of her son’s passing just saved my life.. I do too. Manifold grace of God.. praise the Lord.
Update 6:30p on 12/1/19: Well, on the phone with a friend right now, who has had triple heart bypass. I shared the above story, and I’m typing his response in almost real time – “Man…. Brother, I got mushrooms in my fridge that I was about to take in the next hour. I’ve had them for 3 weeks, and I haven’t taken them because I knew I was going to die if I took ’em.” God is good!
Powerful! I struggle with the same vice! It’s been a while since we’ve spoke . A long while!! I pray for your strength in Christ and that you choose life instead of death. God bless!
Hey Brad, great to hear from you again! It’s been a rough road since God got my atttention back in the ’90s. The same lessons have repeated themselves as soon as God wasn’t in my life. There seems to be a theme in the Bible with three, I’m determined in my heart that this third time of chasing my desires was too serious, it’s time to take Him serious. God’s making it pretty clear to me, this world indeed ends in a spiritual death for all who eat of it. Repent with me brother, the time is late. Today is the day of salvation
Brad, see the updated comment above. Hoping my friend Chris will come on here and comment.
J, God dwells within us proportionate to our faith. Who our what can triumph against us if God is within us. It’s things like the happenings and connections and in your story that affirm my faith and strengthen it. In it, I am protected.
Amen bro. God indeed loves us and protects us. It would be very edifying for anyone else coming across this to hear what I heard from you last night. If it’s not a bother, would you mind elaborating further on the testimony last night, e.g. what was transpiring for you over the last 3 weeks, the timing of our contact, etc?