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Thread: Jesus found me

  1. #1

    Jesus found me

    I shared this with a friend and I thought others might like to hear how the Lord has touched me.

    I will do my best to put my testimony to paper. I pray that God be glorified for the work He has begun in me. He has lifted me out of darkness.

    I grew up in a home which did not attend church. I knew nothing about the Bible except for John 3:16 until I was in high school. Around my senior year of high school a mother of one of my friends on the golf team gave me a book called A Purpose Driven, Life. I read parts of it and started to become interested in God. About that same time I was working an internship and one of the employees there was a Jehovahís Witness. He and I had some discussions which got me thinking about the big questions in life. I wasnít satisfied with the responses he gave to my many questions and some of his theology seemed ridiculous.

    After that summer I began my first year in college far away from home. There I met one of my good friends who is a strong Christian. I believe God was beginning to move in my life by putting Tom in my life. I attended a non-denominational church with him and I saw people shouting for joy lifting their hands in thanksgiving worshipping the Lord. I wondered why I didnít feel the same way. I went there for a couple of months but I never felt compelled to join them in worship. I didnít want to fake it as I suspected some of them were doing. I wanted the real thing, and unfortunately I didnít think it was there. The church gave me a free bible though and I stashed in a desk drawer and never opened it. Even years later when I bought other spiritual books which spoke contrary to the Bible, I still hung on to the worn NIV.

    In my sophomore year of college I roomed with Tom but the rooms there were suites with a connecting bathroom. We needed 4 people to get the rooms and we only had 3, so I picked a name off a list of singles looking for roommates. His name was Joe. Tom knew Joe and thought that it was a bad idea since he was a big partier on the weekends. I didnít care so he became our fourth.

    By this time I was skeptical of church and Jesus being the way. Me and Joe became friends right from the start. I began drinking with him on the weekends and listening to some of the music he was into. He and I had some discussions about God, and we criticized the church together. He grew up in a Catholic school and was bitter about being forced to participate in the church for 18 years. One day a friend of his came over from another college and brought some marijuana with him. I had never done it before, but I was open to it partly because I had found some in my parentsí bathroom years ago. I tried it and coughed like crazy. I didnít feel anything, but they seemed to be enjoying themselves. So I tried it a handful more times until it began having effect on me. I began buying it myself and Joe and I would smoke some everyday after we finished our homework. I thought it was the greatest thing I had ever experienced so I smoked daily for some time. The thing I enjoyed most about it was the way music and food were 10 times more pleasing while high. Like I said I began listening to music which was a part of that scene. Like the Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, and what was my favorite band for a couple of years, The String Cheese Incident. It was like marijuana turned on a switch in my mind which said question authority. In the songs I zoned out to the lyrics reinforced this and I began to do just that. Question all authority.

    Looking back I can see the subtle lies Satan plants in our minds. I was smoking and getting the best grades of my life at the same time. I felt great doing it, and since it was illegal, I bought into the idea that government was there to control us. This plant was harmless I thought. Nobody has ever died from an overdose on it. So I rebelled. I began to surf the internet and found a message board which discussed marijuana and other psychedelics. I prefer to call them hallucinogens now. I read what other people had to say and began to research the drugs on drug friendly websites of course. I was buying weed from a guy on campus and I overheard that he was getting some mushrooms in. After reading reports of otherís experiences on mushrooms and after my pleasant experiences on marijuana, I thought mushrooms were exactly what I was looking for.

    People said mushrooms produced some of the most spiritual experiences they ever had in their lives. I took them and my eyes were opened to the world in a new way. One of my ideas is this could have been what it was like for Eve to eat from the forbidden fruit. For 5 hours alone in the woods behind my college campus I thought in a new way and began to feel like the answers to all my questions would be found by using psychedelics. This experience fueled my spiritual quest and my desire to try other varieties of these ďteacherĒ plants as some in that circle called them.

    I wonít go into detail all of my experiences on these drugs. I took them about once a month and always had one intention in mind. To know the truth. I tried LSD, mescaline, and a legal drug called Salvia in that pursuit.

    In the winter of my sophomore year I got in trouble with the law. I went to a party called Around the World where each room in the frat house represented a different country. The last country I remember being in was Russia with a large cup of vodka. I blacked out as I had a few times before but this time I woke up in jail. The officers there told me I had assaulted three police officers that night which were all felonies. For the first time since I could remember I prayed to God. There was a little New Testament in the cell and I read it. I had nowhere to turn so I looked to God but didnít really expect any answers from the God I had almost written off at this point. My dad drove up from Atlanta and bailed me out. I saw sadness in his eyes and we didnít speak much but this experience jolted me into the realization that I needed to change my ways.

    I ended up getting into a program called Drug Court which is an intense probation that lasts 18 months. If I completed it without infraction, the charges would be dropped. I was drug tested twice a week and had to go every morning for a while to blow into a breathalyzer. I had to attend an 8 week drug rehab course while attending 3 AA meetings a week. So I stopped drinking which wasnít a big deal since I knew it wasnít helping me anyway. What I didnít want to do was stop smoking marijuana, but being drug tested twice a week forced me to stay clean of it for the next 18 months. I remembered reading that the hallucinogens I was so interested in did not show up on drug tests, so I kept up my once a month journey into the unknown throughout the probation.

    It was around this time that I viewed the psychedelics as catalysts in my spiritual growth, but I needed more discipline I thought. I began to read books by mystics around the world. I took their advice and began to meditate as they do in the East. Clearing the mind of all thoughts Zen Buddhism style. I practiced diligently for about 2 years. It was something I practiced all day long even when I wasnít sitting in silence for hours at a time. I was on a quest for what Buddhism calls awakening or enlightenment.

    The hunger in me for truth in me grew and grew and the states of altered consciousness I achieved through meditation made me think I was heading in the right direction. A few months into new spiritual discipline I had a dream. It was a blinding white light and I instinctively knew that God was there. A gripping terror overtook me and I woke up in a sweat. I know it was from God. I did not give the dream the attention it deserved and basically ignored it.

    So the months went by. I kept a good front with my probation officer and jumped through all the hoops. By this time Tom had dropped out of school due to grades so I had the room to myself. I spent most of my time alone throughout my sophomore and junior years. Taking long walks and reading a growing library of spiritual writings which promised peace and joy and power. I did not go home for over a year as I was not allowed to leave the state so my parents did not see me during this period where I was changing from the innocent conservative young man from my high school days into a left wing liberal Buddhist.

    On my last experience with mushrooms I remember being thrown into lunacy. I thought that I was talking with God and I think I may have been. He told me to never take mushrooms again and I never did. I came out of that crazy experience shaken. This was in around May of 2007. In June I was released from probation and that night I went to my friend Joeís house to celebrate with a little marijuana. We smoked and I think I said some very strange things to him. I didnít sleep that night. I was off the deep end but it was not all unfamiliar territory due to my past experiences. I didnít come out of this one though.

    That night was the last time I ever touched drugs. I did not come out of the psychosis which the marijuana triggered for six weeks. There were voices I could communicate with which told me some very troubling things. I now believe I had allowed demons into my life which were threatening to destroy me. I will not go into all the delusions and madness that I went through but it was very painful. I went home that summer and met my parents in this psychotic state. That night I fled from home and listened to the voice in my head. I jumped on a plane to California where I continued my quest for truth while hitch hiking around. By the grace of God I made it back home. My parents took me to a mental hospital where I was admitted with delusions of being Jesus.

    For a month I was in there and this is where God reached out to me once again. Like when I was in jail I had nowhere to turn. I had no hope. I knew my way of doing things did not work. There was a King James Bible amidst all the magazines in the hospital and I picked it up. I opened it randomly to a page and the word of God sliced through me like a sword.

    ďFor the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.Ē Hebrews 4:12

    I closed it out of fear. Every time I picked it up it spoke to exactly what I was thinking of. I became afraid of it. I was being convicted deeply of sin and didnít realize it. The pressure just grew and grew until one night I had a vision of hell. I knew I was on my way there and I began to confess my sins. A peace overcame me as I cried out to God. A brother in Christ there prayed over me the next day and I saw the power Jesus had over the demonic spirits which were terrorizing me. I knew Jesus was the way but I did not know how to follow Him. I was not grounded in the Word and my psychosis was not yet under control by the medication, but I knew I had found what I was desperately looking for all my life. I was still caught in the raging battle between good and evil as the dark forces which I followed sought to destroy my new relationship with the Lord. My mind was filled with all sorts of God hating thoughts and I became discouraged but I continued to fight for my life. I knew Jesus was the only way as that hunger for truth in me had been filled.

    ďJesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.Ē - John 6:26

    I was filled.

  2. #2

    part 2

    When I left the mental hospital, I had about 2 months to recoup before heading back for my senior year of college. I was certainly in no shape to resume my studies and it was up in the air as to whether I’d be in the right mental state by the fall. What I did during these weeks was read the Bible a lot and pray whenever I could get alone. I did not attend church and really had no spiritual support except from the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit led me through scripture and gave me a firm foundation in the Word. I read all the New Testament and probably half of the old. The Lord started dealing with me about sin in my life and I was being attacked by the devil in the strongholds I had given him over the years. I burned all the occult books and CDs I had amassed in my spiritual quest. I burned all my worldly DVDs which was quite a large collection and a bunch of posters from an antichrist band. I made a covenant with God to never drink or smoke or do any drugs again.

    I was changing radically and my friends and family didn’t really know what to think. They certainly did not encourage me to continue seeking the Lord, but I knew He had saved my life and called me to love Him before any family or friends.

    The Holy Spirit continued to convict me of sin and the one sin in my life which was threatening to destroy me continued to rear its ugly head. It is the reason I began my spiritual quest I think. I wanted to find out why I couldn’t stop doing something I really wanted to stop. It is a major part of the battle towards holiness I have been fighting.

    When I was about 10, I began having fantasies about being a girl. The very first time I masturbated that’s what I thought about and I kept doing it through adolescence. This is something nobody could know about me unless I told them, so I kept it a secret for over a decade. This sin continued to grow in me and I think it probably made me isolate myself from others a lot of the time. I am reminded of a verse in James which talks about the nature of sin;

    But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

    Well my junior year of college is when this sin started to really get a hold of me and produce some bad fruit. I began to cross dress when I was alone. I got on a message board which had other people who felt like I was feeling on it. They talked about the relief they felt by indulging in this fantasy and I knew what they were talking about. Well I was still living in sin without the Lord so I was powerless to change even though I tried. I thought maybe I could meditate more and figure it out but I was powerless over sin. I did not want to continue down this dark road but I couldn’t stop. The devil was feeding me lies and I started to entertain some of them. Maybe God created me this way I thought and it was something I should just accept. It got to the point where I was considering buying female hormones and thinking of embracing the transgender lifestyle. I really didn’t want to, but I could not deny the pleasure those thoughts gave me. I was a prisoner to this sin.

    I remember when I was 10 and this whole thing started I was at my grandparents house and they were sharing the gospel with me. I can’t help but think the devil started to go to work on me fearing I would give my life to Lord. It was the exact day I began to get curious about the things of God that this sin entered my life.
    Anyway, I take responsibility for the decisions I made and I know I must put the flesh to death which still clings to this sin. I am still battling this. It’s different now that the Lord is with me because I am no longer powerless over it.

    When I returned to school in the fall I was still taking medication called Abilify which is an antipsychotic. It gave me extremely bad anxiety and made me feel slightly retarded. They also gave me a blood pressure medication to counter the side effect of not being able to sit still. I had trouble with my studies and finally I just stopped taking the meds. It was at this time I began going to a Pentecostal church with my friend Ben. He knew me when I was involved in the occult and could hardly believe what God had done in my life. It was one day at this church I was approached by a man and asked if I knew Jesus as my Lord and savior. I wanted to say yes but couldn’t speak so I managed to nod. A few moments later somebody else asked me this and with all my might I managed to utter a YES. As soon as I said that my field of sight went blank and my body jolted. I believe an evil spirit left. This happened a few more times. Late at night I would wake up consumed by fear and call out to Jesus. My body would jolt and peace would return to me. I didn’t know what was happening. I just knew Jesus was on my side and the things which were tormenting me fled at his name. I remember riding to school on my bike being bombarded with evil thoughts and at that time the only Christian song I knew was Jesus loves me. It was all I could do to stay focused on following the Lord and not get discouraged.

    I was doing well in school and feeling better mentally off the medication. I was enjoying church and fellowship and the joy of the Lord was my strength. I was praying hours a day and dedicated to studying the Word everyday.

    It was about February of last year that I had my second psychotic episode. This time I had not touched any drugs. I don’t know how much of what happened to me was my own imagination or what. I do know that I was bombarded with thoughts to worship Satan and many other blasphemous thoughts. I hallucinated pentagrams all over the walls. I thought I was talking with God and Satan was planting thoughts in my mind. I believed I was a modern day Paul sent to preach the gospel to the ends of the earth. I went around my apartment complex praying and singing worship songs loudly. I believed God told me to knock on a few doors and offer a friendly rebuke. I’m not sure God didn’t because the doors I knocked on were answered by people who worshipped foreign Gods. Anyhow the police were called on me and I was threatened to be evicted if I didn’t stop. Once I attempted to walk on water when I remembered Jesus saying:

    “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.”

    It got pretty bad and I wound up driving to my friend Tom’s house in Indianapolis where his parents convinced me to return to school and finish my degree. When I got back to school I missed a few days of class and I was in my room battling intrusive thoughts. I was afraid I committed the unpardonable sin. I was being severely attacked to act out on the sinful fantasy I am so ashamed of. I wrestled with it and prayed finding no relief. I finally called my mom and she came to help me. Long story short, I got back on medication where one psychiatrist said he thought I was paranoid schizophrenic. I have now been taking Zyprexa for almost a year and think that I might actually need it. The psychiatrist I went to a few weeks ago said it sounded like I was bipolar which is better as far as treatment goes than schizophrenia. I never had any of these issues before I touched psychedelic drugs so I think they likely caused the trouble.

    After the second psychotic episode I became a little discouraged and my prayer life suffered. The songs by Keith Green I had kept me focused on the Lord. While my mom was with me she didn’t want me going to church and didn’t like seeing me read the Bible so I had to read it when she wasn’t around. I still knew Jesus was the way and I continued to fight to keep the faith.

    Even through all these trials I graduated from a prestigious engineering school with a 3.5 GPA. I interviewed companies while still fighting to regain my mental health. I know the Lord carried me through these times.

    The joy which the Lord put in my heart has been with me since I was saved. He has gently guided me to living a holy life and he has changed my heart to love what He loves and hate what He hates. I know my salvation is real and the Lord is waiting to take me into His kingdom forever. Hallelujah

    The devil still comes knocking reminding me about my past. The sinful fantasy I once was imprisoned by is no longer appealing to me. I believe God has given me wisdom and has uncovered the foolishness of my rebellion. I still think I am in need of healing though. I didn’t get to where I was at overnight so I think it may take some time. I’m an overcomer though, and with the help of our Lord, I know I will have victory. I already have a taste of this victory because I feel the Lord changing me and that brings me such joy. I know what Paul was talking about when he wrote

    “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord”

    The Lord is healing me still, and in Paul’s words, I am putting off the old man.

    “If indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” - Ephesians 4:20-24.

    I believe God’s true power is shown through the way he changes people like Paul and myself. You must be born again. God bless.




    Steve

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Bible Belt, USA
    Posts
    964
    Amen, brother, that was some testimony.

    Isn't it exciting that each of us has a different story to share, of how we came to know the Lord?
    If the Book be not infallible, where shall we find infallibility? ... Are these correctors of Scriptures infallible? Is it certain that our Bibles are not right, but that the critics must be so? ... We shall gradually be so bedoubted and be criticized that only a few of the most profound will know what is Bible and what is not, and they will dictate to the rest of us. I have no more faith in their mercy than in their accuracy... and we are fully assured that our old English version of the Scriptures is sufficient for plain men for all purposes of life, salvation, and goodness. - C.H.Spurgeon

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Rejoicing for mama in Heaven although she's sorely missed but being changed by Daddy while talking to Him in dreams, while he showers me with blessings afterwards
    Posts
    6,171
    Blog Entries
    19
    Wow.... that was an impressing testimony! I am so glad you ended up being a believer in God.....

    Love you,
    Mieke
    So come on, let Me dream, let Me dream for you
    I am strong when you're weak and I'll carry you
    So let go of your plan, be caught by My hand
    I'll show you what I can do
    When I dream for you
    I have a dream for you

    Casting Crowns

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Washington
    Posts
    62
    I thank the Lord God for saving people like Palmersc. Its wonderful to have you as one of God's children!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    London - UK
    Posts
    685
    God has brought you through the trials of your life and continues to do so. Amen!

    Paul suffered with doing what he knew he shouldn't be doing too.

    He knew what he should do but couldn't do it, but that which he knew he shouldn't, he did.
    This is in a nutshell the battle that rages in a believers soul. Thank you for your testimony. It's so good to see how our Lord and Saviour works in our lives before we are saved!

    Every blessing to you brother.
    Jesus Christ....who do you say He is?


    Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 1 John 4:1

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