This is my painful, embarrassing, and dramatic testimony of how the immeasurable mercy and love of God has saved me from the terrifying chains of darkness, which had me in bondage for years. It has taken me a long time to learn the spiritual lessons of my life, but it is now time to share what little understanding God has given me with whoever might listen. Maybe someone reading can relate and learn from the painful experiences of my life. Whatever you do, please, don’t just throw this testimony away; either read it yourself or give is to someone else. I pray that it will help someone.
Sometimes, I feel like no one understand me or my life. People often attempt to offer encouraging words of advice, but it’s like pushing a car with four flat tires. Unless they have walked in my shoes and experienced my horrors, they really don’t offer me anything beneficial. Even my well intended brothers eventually let me down, so I’ve had to turn to the one source that has consistently proven to be reliable: God has never let me down.
I respect the rights of others to seek the truth and put their faith in whatever they choose. I am not here to debate religion, philosophy, science or metaphysics with anyone. I can only testify to the reality of my personal experiences. I am not sure how useful this book will be for the atheists who read it, but you never know. However, if you do believe deep inside your heart that there’s a creator and a purpose for life, than this book could bring you amazing hope and a deeper understanding about having a relationship with God. Keep an open mind while you take a look from my perspective for just one moment. No matter what kind of faith, god or higher power you currently believe in, I know my testimony can help some of you grow spiritually and overcome life’s tragedies, disappointments and perplexing mysteries.
I know this may sound like a silly cliché, but believe me when I tell you, God loves you and desires a relationship with you. If he can love and save me, after everything I’ve done, then he can love and save anyone. Take the time to read how terribly lost and trapped I was, in a wilderness of self-inflicted pain, rebellion, confusion, addiction and many other obsessive compulsive disorders. I want you to understand that the love of God will never fail those who trust in him and see how his power can transform the lives of anyone who has even a tiny mustard seed of faith.
God is reaching out to you right now, through this book, regardless of your past or current condition. I have witnessed for myself the unimaginable mercy and grace of God, which I can barely put into words. No matter how many times you have failed, no matter what you have done, where you’re at, or how old you are, there is still hope for you. God still desperately loves you and doesn’t want anyone to perish. Even if we have spent most of our lives rejecting him, he still desires to have a personal relationship with us if we will trust and believe in him.
This book will help anyone who is seriously interested in discovering more about God, especially how much he loves us. I hope to challenge all of you to seek a close personal relationship with God or strengthen the relationship that you might already have. I challenge anyone to test my God and discover for yourself just how powerfully he can transform your life. No matter what condition your life is in, God can take you higher. Maybe you have experienced lost goals, forgotten dreams, failed marriages, broken families, loneliness, abusive relationships, addictions, obsessions, betrayal, spiritual strongholds, dangerous habits and destructive mental traps of all kinds. Or maybe you can’t answer the basic questions of life: Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where are we going after I die? How did we get here? God wants to reveal his power and love to you now and transform your life. He not only want to help us, but he intensely desires to interact with us, even in the details of our lives. He has a plan and a purpose for each one of us, if we would just give him a chance.
Life can be very difficult, especially for those of us who have fallen away from a personal relationship with God. There is an overwhelming amount of chaos and madness in the world that we have to face everyday, which makes it very challenging to maintain our sanity sometimes. Confusion and hopelessness abound in epidemic proportions, even in the Christian community. Who can handle the heavy burdens of life on their own?
Life can also be mysterious and bazaar. Many of us repeat the same self-destructive habits and patterns for years, without ever understanding why. We go up and down, in and out and around the same old mountains in our lives for years; spinning our wheels in the mud and getting nowhere. The struggles can seem endless and the battles futile. This has been the story of my life. After a while, it is easier to just give up and adapt to the condition of perpetual failure, rather than put forth the enormous effort required to change.
Sometimes we get so beaten down by life that the only place to go is up. There are many of us who have wandered off the path of happiness and lost our goals, hopes and dreams. All it takes is one unexpected catastrophe to turn our world upside down.
Some of us have deliberately neglected the wonderful blessings in our lives and now only wish that we could get them back. I know I would love a chance to go back and relive parts of my life. I have so many regrets that I have to live with now. I have wasted and thrown away so many valuable treasures in my life because of my selfish, self-centered foolishness. I eventually lost everything that was precious in my life.
Some of us are franticly searching for anything to fill the empty void inside our hearts and to help us feel better. Then after all of our searching and effort, we still remain unsatisfied with life. There are so many problems to face, with countless conflicting solutions to choose from, how can anyone decide what is trustworthy and reliable? It is so easy to get distracted and overwhelmed by the worries and anxieties of life, that we never experience any real breakthroughs or long lasting victories.
No matter what your current conditions may be, I believe the answer is the same for all of us: We need God. Some of us have simply forgotten about our faith and the promises of God, while others couldn’t care less about life, death, Heaven or Hell. Some of us need a simple reminder, while others would rather crash and burn than to seek any wisdom or knowledge. Some of us are on the edge of crying out for help, while others are too prideful to surrender their lives to a higher power. I can’t think of anyone more prideful and reluctant than myself, before I finally broke down and surrendered my life to God out of desperation.
Although my testimony is presented to all, my main focus is towards those who have, at least once in their past, trusted in the Messiah or Christ, the Christian God and man called Jesus. I hope to also lead many to my God who have never considered trusting in him before. If you feel that this type of message is not for you, please consider giving it to someone else whom you feel might better benefit.
I wish I could help everyone, but many will not understand my point of view. It will not help those who are prideful or self reliant, those who are blinded by their own self-righteousness. People who possess many fabulous abilities and personal strengths usually do not understand the need for God, a higher power or a savior. They can’t possibly grasp the painful lessons written about within this book. Others may never experienced the kind of struggles and failures mentioned in my testimony and won’t be able to relate to my desperate plea for God’s help. Also, those who have a well managed, wonderful perfect life are usually out of touch with the real world of desperation and suffering, although they still have yet to answer the final mystery of death itself, which inevitably draws loser everyday.
This book is not for the self-reliant, self-centered and self accomplished people who never fail, never struggle, or never need help. If you have overcome and solved the mystery of death, as well as solved all your problems in life, then this book will not be able to help you.
This book will, however, help those whose pain has finally brought them to their knees. It will help those who are humble and hungry to discover more about God and those who have an insatiable curiosity to understand the great mysteries of life and death better. This book is especially for the broken hearted, the desperate and the weak. This book is for me, a self admitted prodigal son, a seriously lost, spiritually desperate soul, who has learned the hard way that I can not survive without my higher power.
Let it be known to the whole world, that for most of my life, I have been unproductive, wasteful and immature. I have been habitually entangled by addictions and foolishness. My soul is wounded by a myriad of self induced regrets and shattered memories. I have nothing of my own to boast about. I am the lowest of lows, a pathetic excuse for a father, brother, son and even a friend. I am grateful, however, by the Grace of God, that I can confess these things publicly, instead of trying to hide them in my heart and deceive myself.
I have been a leading participant in the enormous epidemic of Christian failures. By carelessly making foolish decisions and constantly slipping backwards into my old evil patterns of behavior, I have become a perfect example of a dog that returns to its own vomit. Like me, there are millions of backslidden Christians who have fallen away from their intimacy and blessing of God, who have become entangled all over again by the corruption of this world. (2 Peter 2:20-22) Some NEVER recover and they die without hope, which I have seen with my own eyes.
I publicly confess all these things as an effort to prove to myself that I am truly ready to follow God and change my life. I also hope that there is someone reading who can relate to my struggles and desires to discover for the first time or reconnect to the power of God.
No matter what your life is like, it is no accident that you are reading this book. I hope the words of my testimony penetrate your heart and ignite a fire in your soul. I hope you will truly absorb every word and grow spiritually as a result. God is, right now, reaching out to you with his love and salvation. All you need to do is trust and believe just a little. The opportunity to develop an eternal relationship with God is right now. For some of you this may be your last opportunity to discover and build a real relationship with God. For others this may be the first time that you have really considered it. I know some are reading for curiosity, while others are hungry for spiritual enlightenment. Some of you will be permanently affected, yet others only temporarily satisfied by a quickly evaporating dose of joy and hope, whereby you will continue to live the same way you always have.
My hope is that there is at least one person reading my testimony who will actually hear and receive the message of hope and make a life changing, devoted commitment to follow the narrow path of life. I hope to reach someone who desires to learn how to experience a true meaningful relationship with God and overcome all the deadly traps and mysteries of this world, including self-sufficiency and pride. If there is one person who can learn from my painful experiences and grow through what God has taught me, which is how to live in spiritual victory and to never fall away again, then I am fulfilling my purpose. (2 Peter 1:3-10; Col. 1:6-10.)
The purposes of this book are to testify to you how God has taken a hopeless, addicted failure, such as myself, and set me free from the bondage of addictive and obsessive behaviors, and given me a new life of peace, joy and happiness that is beyond human understanding; to be a witness of God’s unconditional love and mercy, which is always available to anyone who humbly comes to him and cries out for help; to serve as a serious “Wake-Up Call” for the “Lukewarm” Christians who are wasting their lives being unproductive and unwilling to obey God; and finally, to implant an intense urgency in the heart of every reader, regarding how quickly our time is running out.
There are many things about life and God that I don’t understand, but I do know that God loves us and has a special purpose for each of us. He has proven his love to me many times and has revealed to me his purpose and destiny for my life. It has taken me a long time to trust and understand that God only wants a pure and loving relationship with me, but now that I have finally grasped this reality and my whole life is filled with power and meaning. This is what I want to share with you. It is my hope that you too will find what I have found in God.
Take the time to read my story and share it with others. God has truly saved me from the bondage of sin and death, hopelessness, negative obsessions, addictions and many psychological and emotional disorders. He gave me freedom, forgiveness, hope, everlasting love and eternal life. My purpose in life is to share that hope and freedom with others. Keep reading and watch the miracle of God’s grace in my life. I know he has a miracle for you also.
Outline for Book:Part I The Struggles and Cycles of Spiritual FailurePart one of my testimony will elaborate on the spiritual patterns of failure, which I constantly found myself in bondage to for years. I will start from the first moment that I had a revelation of the reality of God’s presence in my life, which immediately led to the agonizing process of being purified through many tests and temptations. I will discuss my inability to handle the enormous pressures of life, which caused me to repeatedly fall back into my old self-destructive ways. I will explain the spiritual cycles of victory and defeat; from living in blissful joy, to slipping backwards into deeper troubles and hitting rock bottom, crying out in painful sorrow, then finally being restored back once again to spiritual freedom, only to repeat the cycle of failure all over again. I will point out how my life continued to deteriorate as the pain and anguish increased each time I fell away from God, until I was utterly engulfed with despair.
Part II Finally, Walking in FreedomIn part two of my testimony, I will discuss the many practical elements that are involved with living in total freedom and victory from all the spiritual bondage of sin, failure and defeat. I will show you how you can become confident in knowing where you will go when you die. I will clarify how absolutely essential grace and faith are to permanent spiritual victory, reveal the missing elements of strong faith and discuss how to obey God's seemingly impossible commands by simply using faith. I will also point out how crucial it is to live in the moment of each day without the overwhelming pressures of tomorrow, the differences between “knowing” and “doing” the will of God, as well as briefly discuss the importance of connecting to a network of believers or support groups. Finally, I will elaborate on the “Promises and warnings” of God, discus how to grow in a deeper relationship with God and share with you a priceless treasure of scriptures that serve as spiritual food and nourishment.