I heard a story tonight of a man looking at 30yrs behind bars. He said, “My life is over.” The Chaplain who told me this story said to him “Only if you believe it is; if you believe it is over then it’s over.” The young man, looking at all the time, thought for a minute and with a slight look of hope said “Thanks for telling me that.” The point is life isn’t over until it is over no matter what your circumstances may look or feel like especially with Christ. Even in jail and prison you can make a difference in the lives of others.
One of the things recovering drug addicts do is turn around and help others in the same situation. I guess it’s the same with any type of addiction or stronghold. Once you get free you want nothing more than to see others set free also. I suppose it is sort of a calling or mission that drives your life. This is exactly the kind of thing I talked to some men in jail about tonight.
Tonight’s topic was temptation. If we are honest with ourselves we would say we all live with temptation whether we are in jail or not. The Bible tells us it is common to man; so we are all in the same boat on this one. Jesus himself was tempted at all points just as we are and yet without sin. Seeing that Jesus understands the life we are living, temptations and all; he is the perfect one to go to when we are in need. I told the guys tonight we, that have found victory through Christ over addiction, are to turn around and help others that are still struggling because we understand what they are going through. We can relate to them in a way others may not be able to.
The Bible tells us “delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Once I came through addiction I wanted to reach out to others. The main reason is because the Spirit of God had taken up residence within me, and the nature of God is to give of himself for others. He in me wanted to reach out to comfort, encourage, teach and lead others to the freedom that is only found in Christ.
One of the men spoke up and said, “It takes courage to speak to others about Christ, Louie.” I told him I understood that, but what choice do you have? Everyone always likes to say, “We have free will and a choice to make.” While I won’t argue with that I will say the only other option for me was death. I truly don’t think I would be alive today if I hadn’t simply told God “You have to do this; I don’t know how to run my life.” For me the choice was and is a no brainer without Christ I am done for. The Bible tells us we are not our own, we have been bought with a price. We do not have authority over ourselves any longer we are slaves to righteousness. We must do what our master tells us to.
As I was getting ready to leave tonight I quoted Jesus saying, “If you seek to save your life you will lose it but if you lose it for my names sake and the gospel you will find it.” I truly believe it is only when the Spirit of God takes up residence within that you become the person you were meant to be all along. Before coming to Christ we are all pretenders at best. We live our lives trying to be someone we think, or someone else thinks, we are supposed to be. Once you do finally give in and receive Christ it is only then that you become the real you and it is as natural as breathing. This is because God designed the real you, and the real you was always meant to be Christ in you.
Written by Louie