I have been going through some old papers, of messages and testimonies I have delivered since coming to recovery.
One was a time during a ‘Spiritual Campaign’ at Eden Park in Wistow, South Australia (the Bridge Program rehab where I obtained sobriety and became a Christian)
The topic for the campaign was ‘The Power of His Love’ (the theme song)
What I said was this:
To tell you the story of the power of God’s love in my life I first need to tell you of the power that was working in my life before I came to the Bridge Program. The power of evil, and that is what it was.
A detox worker rang me, from detox to tell me she had someone in detox who reminded her of me. A person everyone was afraid of because it was obvious he wasn’t a nice person. That made me think what was I like when I arrived at the Salvation Army.
My life like so many of our lives was a mess. I was aware people were wary of me. Not because I was anyone special but because of the obvious evil and hatred I had inside me. Hatred of everyone and everything. Hatred I realised on the program that existed from the realisation I had allowed myself to get to where I was. It was my own doing. I had good jobs, nice homes, relationships with women who I believe really loved me but I was incapable of loving because of the evil in my heart. When I drank I believed the worst thing that could happen to me was get killed. I figured if someone did that they would be doing me a favour, so I had nothing to lose.
The power of evil that existed in me was a power I felt comfortable with. A power that existed for a long time. I had heard of God, attended the ‘Boys Brigade’ and ‘Sunday School’ at the Salvation Army in Paisley as a child. But, I never witnessed any evidence of a loving God.
My parents split when I was young. After arriving in Australia alcohol took over my stepfathers life, and he was a violent drunk. It was very difficult for me to understand how a loving God could have allowed the violence and abuse I experienced growing up to happen. In order to overcome the hurt I experienced I had to accept both my father and step-father were not perfect. They did the best they could with what they had.
I am convinced I am one of the lucky ones. The world is full of individuals, caught up in addiction, who will never make it to recovery. Never be given the opportunity to experience God’s love for themselves. Never understand their is another way to live, other than the one they currently live.
My topic for this campaign was verse two of the song ‘The Power of His love’
Line 1&2 Lord let me experience Jesus for myself, let me begin a growing, loving relationship with Him. Unveil my eyes by allowing me to see my need for His forgiveness in my life.
Line 3 Teach me to be open minded and receptive to your loving and leading in my life.
Line 4 This song assumes we have already decided to follow Jesus. That He already is Lord of our hearts and minds. Some of us may not yet have made that decision. If we haven’t we can do it, now, today, here.
Line 5&6 The Lord can not only renew our minds but can renew every part of our being. He did for me! 2 Corinthians 5:17
The final two lines in this song affirm to us our walk is daily and we need to experience the Power of His Love fresh everyday. Experience His strength for every circumstance we find ourselves in.
My life before I met Jesus was nothing… Today I have everything I need in life. I received and continue to receive it through the POWER OF GOD’S LOVE WORKING IN MY LIFE. All I ever wanted was to be happy. I found my happiness in Jesus and so can you.
This message is as true in my life in 2011 as it was when I shared it so many years ago. That’s why I wanted to share it today.