Day Two: Freedom To Change

Romans 6:12-14 (MSG) – “That means you must not give sin a vote in the way you conduct your lives. Don’t give it the time of day. Don’t even run little errands that are connected with that old way of life. Throw yourselves wholeheartedly and full-time-remember, you’ve been raised from the dead!-into God’s way of doing things. Sin can’t tell you how to live. After all, you’re not living under that old tyranny any longer. You’re living in the freedom of God.”

“Can the Holy Spirit really change a life from the inside and break the power and defilement of sin? Allow me to share a true-life testimony of the ministry of the Holy Spirit. While Chuck is known internationally as a conference speaker, author and prayer leader, many don’t know his background. His father was an alcoholic and gambler who gambled away the family’s sizable inheritance. While his mother struggled to hold the family together, his dad drifted from one adulterous relationship to another. As Chuck moved into his teenage years, his father subjected him to increasingly severe levels of emotional and physical abuse.

As a pastor, I have found that people who have endured heavy abuse are often scarred for life. Abused children become angry adults filled with bitterness and resentment, and they often become trapped in the same lifestyle practice by the parents that abused them.  Chuck’s background was as bad as that of anyone I’ve known, yet somehow Chuck escaped this destructive cycle.  How did Chuck escape the defilement of this background and go onto become a godly Christian leader? Although Chuck came to know Jesus as a child, by the time he graduated from high school he had already begun to follow the destructive example of his father. Even though he hated the things his father had done, Chuck found himself doing much of the same. He pursued a path of destruction for 18 months until he finally suffered a physical collapse and ended in the hospital with double pneumonia.  By the grace of God Chuck was put in a room with a Pentecostal preacher for two weeks. In the hospital room, Chuck read The cross and the switchblade and then he began to read the Bible. As he read the Bible, God began to speak to him. There came a point when God came down into the hospital room and gave Chuck this promise: “I will restore to you that which you have lost.” As Chuck continued to read the word, God began to turn his life around.

When Chuck was 24 years old, God took him to Romans 6:14 where he read “sin shall not have dominion over you.” Chuck determined from that point not to rationalize his sin or excuse it any longer. He would submit to the Lord and allow God to bring his life into obedience to the word. Since that day for the last 25 years, Chuck has read through the entire Bible at least once, sometimes twice each year. He rises early in the morning, and daily saturates his mind with God’s word. As Chuck reads the word, he is committed to obeying what God tells him. God has told Chuck to do some difficult things, and to give up things that were very precious to him. But the result has been that the Holy Spirit has had great freedom to produce the character of Christ within his heart. The vicious cycle of sin and destruction was broken from Chuck’s life.

People who hear chuck minister frequently ask how the power and revelation of God flows freely through him. The answer is that Chuck has allowed the Holy Spirit to transform his life and produce in him a purified vessel. That’s what the Spirit desires to accomplish in every believer. The Holy Spirit is always ready to do his work in our lives. He is looking for men and women who yield their lives to him with repentant hearts and feed their spirits the food of his word, so that the transforming work of the Spirit can be accomplished. If you are spending time in the word of God, searching it with a humble heart and allowing the Spirit to supply it to your life, you will grow from being a weak Christian to becoming a Spirit-filled Christian.” (R. Heidler, Experiencing the Spirit, 76-78)

Today, spend time in prayer as you say the words “Holy Spirit, have your full way with me – in my past, in my present, and in my future.”