Over fifty years ago Yahshua came into my life, saving me from a dreadful life of sin. The miracle of the New Birth became my own personal experience. What a joy it was to know that my sins were forgiven and that I had been truly delivered from it.
Looking back over the years I can truthfully say that I have been “…kept by the power of [Yahweh]…” (1 Peter 1:5 KJV) as He has led me and used me in His service. However, as I journeyed along in my new-found faith, it soon became apparent that this was to be no easy path. Inner conflicts and crises over which I seemed to have little or no control often arose. During these times I was able to prove the love and faithfulness of my wonderful Saviour as He patiently brought me through each situation. One such crisis I faced was in 1976. In July of that year a dramatic event occurred which would change my life forever.
On a particular day in that month some fellow ministers and myself were gathered together to discuss the work of the congregation. As we knelt together to pray at the close of the meeting suddenly, and quite unexpectedly, the awesome presence of Yahweh filled the room; I found myself prostrated before Him. No prayer passed my lips but as I lay there a deep struggle was taking place in my inner man. Seeing my distress, some of the brothers began to pray for me; it was then that the Almighty spoke very powerfully to me through a word of prophecy. This is what He said, “I have chosen you, my son, that you might walk with me in purity, holiness and truth and you shall be free. You shall know the joy of an unfettered soul, of a soul unencumbered with sin, for I have chosen you. You shall walk before me in peace, and I shall be with you, the power of the enemy shall no longer bind you for I have chosen you; for whom I set free is free indeed; for whom I set free is free indeed.”
So what had happened to bring me to this place? Over twenty years had passed since the King of love had taken over my life. In that time I had experienced His mighty power to save, been filled with the Holy Spirit and rejoiced in the privilege of serving Him. The truth of the matter, however, was that things were not as they might have appeared to be. Although I still desired and endeavoured to be faithful to the call on my life, I could no longer say with honesty that my life was one of victory. In fact it was quite the opposite. Inner conflicts raged which often left me ineffective and helpless.
It was soon after my first wife had left me for another man that the poison of rejection took hold of me and I found myself eaten up with a desire for acceptance, love and affection. The enemy, it would seem, came in like a flood, wreaking havoc with my emotions and thought life. Almost unbearable tension built up within as I struggled with a continuous yearning for affection. I remember times when I felt as though I could end it all because I couldn’t handle the pressure of living with the inner conflict. It seemed as if the enemy had set up camp within and was systematically destroying my spiritual life – I had almost lost hope.
Now, as Yahweh spoke to me through prophecy, new hope sprang up and I resolved to pray and seek His face until I found the answer to my problems. As I waited upon Him, He gently led me to understand that the battleground where the conflict most often raged was in my mind. More heart searching and waiting on Yahweh brought further understanding that, during the years I had walked in sin, many harmful patterns of behaviour had emerged which gave the enemy opportunities to create strongholds in my mind; strongholds which seemed indestructible.
About this time I was led to the Scriptures in Paul’s epistle to the Romans where we find him exhorting the saints to, “…be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind…” (Romans 12:2 KJV). Now I understand that although I had been born again, and that I had, indeed, been transformed into the Kingdom of Yahweh’s dear Son, there was yet a further work of transformation to be done in the renewing of my mind.
By prayer, and through feeding on His word, thought patterns changed as each thought was taken captive and brought to the obedience of the Messiah (see 2 Corinthians 10:5). The ultimate victory came some time later when after a period of prayer and fasting I entered into the glorious experience of sanctification. Halleluyah!
As the prophesy had foretold I was now free indeed. That liberty has remained with me to this day. There have been many times when the enemy has counter-attacked and tried to regain territory he has lost to King Emmanuel, but I thank Yahweh that He whom the Son has set free is free indeed! Praise His wonderful Name!
For just as each of us has one body with many members...