Saturday, September 03, 2005

A Divine Wrong Turn

I was on my way to visit a "youth" section of the jail--that is, 16 to 19-year-olds. I somehow made a wrong turn and ended up in an adult section. Before I could turn around and leave, a number of guys asked for Bibles, devotionals, magazines and other materials.

When that sort of died down, I again turned to leave when I saw a young man walk toward me. I thought he looked familiar, so I decided to stay and talk to him. I hadn't met him before, but I soon discovered that this was another divine appointment.

"Bill" was a brand new believer. He had just gotten saved a week ago, and was starting to read the Bible for the first time in his life. Like the majority of men in the jail, he was in for a drug-related crime. "My dad died just two years ago. He was heavy into all kinds of drugs. I don't want to end up like him," he told me. "I need prayer to stay off drugs."

We talked for a while and I asked him about his experiences since being in jail. "I started hanging out with the wrong crowd. All they talked about was doing drugs when they got out of jail. Once, I was sitting in a circle of guys. As they were talking about using drugs and other bad stuff, their faces began to contort right in front of my eyes! It scared the **** out of me. I couldn't sleep that night. In my cell, I tried to read the Bible, but the words were blurry; I couldn't focus. But I could read other books without any problems. One other time, I was sitting in my cell with a pen in my hand. All of a sudden, my hand began to write, 'You're only fooling yourself.' It wasn't even my handwriting! Do you think I'm crazy? Am I losing it?"

"Can I pray for you?" I asked. "Yeah, go ahead." As I did, he said he felt as if there was something in him that didn't want to let go. "The enemy has a foothold in your life," I told him. "The only way that the devil can have an influence on us is if we allow him to through our sin. All we have to do to close the door on the devil is confess our sin to God. He forgives us and cleanses us from all unrighteousness. Is there sin you need to confess?" He shared a list of things that came to his mind. "Are you sorry for those things?"

"Yes, I am."

"Great, just confess each one to God and ask for His forgiveness."

Bill did so--sincerely, from his heart. I assured him that he was forgiven (1 John 1:9) and prayed for him again. Afterward, he said, "I felt like crying when you were praying and I don't know why. All I know is I felt peace." "I believe you were sensing God's presence upon you, Bill," I told him. "That happens to me sometimes when I'm at church. Have you ever been to church?" "No, I haven't," he said. "You're going to love it!" I invited him to the church I'm a part of.

Pray that Bill gets grounded in the Word, and that he finds a good church to get connected to when he gets out of jail soon. Pray that he stays off drugs and finds true freedom, hope, joy and life in Jesus.


Blogger Maiju said...

Bless you for doing your work in prisons! I love raeading the hope bringing news. You have such a wisdom that i envy it. May God continue blessing you!

3:30 PM  
Anonymous Nia said...

Hey Brian,
It is so great that these men are coming to find the Lord, and I pray that they will be strong in their newfound or rekindled faith. I, on the other had, am still struggling, even now while I am back at school, with my faith. I hope that all continues to go well. You are such a wonderful extension of God's grace. Be Blessed.

5:06 PM  

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