by Joel Johnson
Family Summit in Alta, Wy
At the age of 15 my life started on the beginning of what was to be a rocky road. Addictions, pride, lust, and violence had started controlling my life. My parents tried to intervene when I was caught smoking pot before school. I was sent to rehab at 15.
This kept me off drugs for the time that I was there. There was no fire ignited within me, and no new reason to stay clean. I made the decision at 16 to move to my uncle's farm and work for him.
Instead of getting me away from drugs, this move threw me in way deeper than I could ever imagine. From oral to intravenous, I wanted the hardest drugs in the hardest way. Speed was manufactured all over the upper midwest, so it was not hard to get high. Although I had a handful of near overdose experiences, I did not want anything else bad enough to stop.
My ex-girlfriend at the time had sent me some sermon tapes from preacher Rob Bell. Through listening to these tapes God's power came over me in a way I never thought was possible. He allowed me to share my psychological damage with Him, which was the memories of every time I went on an uncontrollable drug binge.
As I shared He slowly took the pain away. This helped me realize that I was not trapped by the past. There was finally something better. It took about three months of relapses and other trials, before I really gave it all up, and decided that trying to believe in Christ and actually BELIEVING were not the same thing.
People that have heard some of my past addictions, and do not know Christ, have said it is impossible to overcome just one of the drugs I was abusing.
They know people who have been in and out of rehab their whole life and cannot kick the habit. I agree I would still be abusing today if I did not have the love of a father who cares enough to share his strength with me.
My life is amazing. Seven months prior I was a lost sheep searching for a purpose in this world. My backbone was soft, and my knees were weak. I never needed these things because I had nothing to stand up for.
Today my backbone is laid with brick, and my knees carry only the weight of the Holy Spirit. Hold on! Don't get carried away. My days do not go by effortlessly. God has not given me a free ride. I must start every day remembering where I came from and knowing who delivered me to this place.
Every second of the day we are faced with distraction. Satan is everywhere. We are in a war. This one is not like other wars. We can feel free from Satan's distraction if we call upon the armor of the Lord to be with us when we go into our day. I am in constant awe of the power we can carry with us.
People hearts will change, lives will be saved as mine was. Christ brought me to him through a human. He does this every day. Let's remember this when we are living as Christians, because the world is watching us. Pray daily. Somebody's prayers changed my life.
Thanks for your powerful testimony. It is amazing what the power of God can do. His unconditional love for you set you free!
You are right in saying that it's not a cake walk. I (Scott) know personally the challenges of walking in His freedom on a daily basis. I don't have a 100% success rate, so I am reminded that only in Christ am I made perfect.
My flesh is still flesh and by faith I must die daily to it's desires. The one thing that never fails is God's grace. No matter what, I know there is nothing I can do to make God love me more, and there is nothing I can do to make God love me less!
Thanks for sharing your Jesus story with us!
Love Never Fails,
Scott & Laurie
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