If you would have told me just over ten years ago that someday I would be clean and sober, free from drug and alcohol abuse, I would have laughed at you. If you would have told me as well that my entire life would be changed through the power of Jesus Christ, I would have probably told you to F*** off!
By looking at my outward life you might have thought that everything was OK with me, but others knew differently. The truth is, my life was a disaster, and I was going off the deep end. Depressed and bored with life I got into heavy drinking and drugs to escape problems and fears. In that state of mind, I still thought that I could find satisfaction, living a wild lifestyle. My run ins with the police were common however I never was sentenced to any serious jail time. I was an extremely selfish and self-centered individual. I lived to drink and drank to live. Living like that nearly cost me my life, in a serious drinking accident. The police that found me were writing up the D.O.A. report when I rolled over out of a pool of blood and passed out. The next day I lay in a hospital bed simply thankful to be alive. That’s what it took for me to realize that things needed to change.
My troubles with the law were costly then things went from bad to worse
Time and time again I tried unsuccessfully to stop my reckless lifestyle. For some reason I just could not let go of my destructive habits. One night out of curiosity, I started reading a New Testament Bible that a family member gave me. As I read, something unusual began to happen in me. I felt convicted of my past actions and rebellion toward the God that created me. Then I began to pray. I was really trying to get closer to God, but I found it was too hard to let go of my old lifestyle, so for a while I wavered back and forth.
In a lot of ways, I was afraid of what my friends would say about me if I became one of those weirdo Christians. I needed help, my alcoholism was worse than ever. My usual routine was to crush at least 12 pack a night or for me to drink a fifth of liquor or more on any given night. Nonetheless I still
was praying with all of my heart asking God, "Help me to change and show me why I can't change." This was my prayer for weeks. I know God heard me because shortly after a very strange and unexpected thing happened. Each night I started to see things in incredible visions. I say visions because I was awake though these episodes and know what was revealed to me was a real peer into the spiritual world. It would always start the same way with heavy darkness covering over me.
Darkness so heavy that it could be felt, like a pressing down on me that was so heavy I thought I would suffocate. At first I thought I was losing my mind, I mean, really who sees these kinds of things.
Through the darkness I began to make out these black forms with twisted hands and claws that could cut and tear at my soul. No matter how much I would struggle there was no escaping them. These demons would put me into a state of paralysing fear, far beyond all terror. The pain I felt when they would lash at me was immensely worse than any I have ever known in my natural life.
From my experience I know that our soul's senses are like our bodies only more potent. On different occasions these creatures were stretching my head and trying to pull me apart as I helplessly screamed in anguish.
The pain was horrendous, being that they were tormenting my soul and not my body alone. These afflictions left me with no relief in sight, not even death would stop the pain because I could intuitively sense that my soul would live forever in this darkness. These shocking occurrences happened many times throughout the period of about one week. It was as if with the more they tortured me the more powerful and pleasured they became. I’ll never forget the way they communicated with each other, it was like a sickening foul language that sounded like fingernails scratching a chalkboard, only amplified to ear shattering levels. It was the most hideous sound I’ve ever heard. No matter what I did, I couldn’t make them stop, I was a powerless victim. I could find no rest and was barely getting any sleep. I struggled with thoughts of suicide and at times feared I was going insane. Finally, at some point it was clear that God was trying to show me the truth, that demons owned my soul and that I was bound to this darkness. This was my final turning point, I decided to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour with my whole heart, no reservations, no fronts. I truly gave my life over to Christ at that point and didn't care about anything else except pleasing God.
Nothing was going to stop me from clinging to the Lord at that point. I was genuinely repentant and wept over my rebellion and sinful life. In my heart I knew that God heard my cry. That night the demons returned and began to press down on me until I remembered that in the Bible, Jesus can cast out demons. I called on Him like a scared child and at first nothing happened, and then in the core of my heart I believed with every fiber of my soul that Jesus could save me. I still remember speaking the words, "No, I believe Jesus can save me! In the name of Jesus leave me!" At that very moment it worked! A bright light with an unparalleled power in peacefulness broke through the darkness.
The once monstrous mountains of evil were whisked away like puffs of smoke.
This was a truly extraordinary life changing experience. Occasionally, the demons tried to return, but they had no more power over me and I could command them to go and they would dissipate. I really did have a new life.
Alcohol no longer seemed attractive to me, in fact it repulsed me. Instead of sleepless nights of horror, I found peace and rejuvenation. Where fear and doubt was, now faith and trust broke through! Some people ask me if I "see"
Things. I can honestly know, I'm not a nut! But it did dawn on me God had mercy on me and showed me my spiritual condition and humbled me to the point of desperation and the door for my life to be transformed forever.
I know the God who saved me
Today I know God is good! He cares about our lives and wants to save us from torment in spiritual darkness. Since I gave my life to God he has advanced and enhanced my life beyond my wildest dreams. Just his friendship alone was worth it all, I'm not alone. If you think you need to get your life together before you go to God, don’t. He does the cleaning up. You just have to trust Him and turn to Him. Don’t think you're too far gone or evil either.
Believe me, the Lord took me in even with all of my wicked ways. If you have doubts in your mind about the existence of God and the claims of Jesus Christ, being the Son of God, let me assure you that the faith that I now have is neither blind nor naïve. Through personal experience, scripture reading, and careful investigation, I now know God in a real way. It's not just church or some magical chant. Jesus is my closest companion, he healed my empty heart and he can do this for you. Knowing God gives me great satisfaction, purpose in life, and peace of mind. I pray that you may come to believe in and know God for who he really is, the true Savior.
Your friend, Dan.
Scripture verses supporting Dan's story:
Acts 2:17 "In the last days, God said, I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams."
1 Peter 5:8 "Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour."
Luke 4:18-19 (Jesus said)"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has appointed me to preach Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the downtrodden will be freed from their oppressors, and that the time of the Lord's favor has come."