Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Life in the Cave

The day that I asked God to show me who I am in His eyes, my life changed forever. Not only did He answer this prayer, He over-delivered by showing me my past and my future. I tried to deny this revelation and felt very strange for about three weeks. I certainly did not expect to discover that I was once possessed by demons. As I reflect on my past, I can see just how far away from God I was.

The first time I became a cave dweller was at the time of my parent's divorce. Never in my life did I pray harder then when I asked God to intervene and save my family. It was the silence that drove me crazy and filled my heart with anger. My heart became so hard that I promised I would never allow myself to become so vulnerable. I also promised myself that I would become so rich that I would never have to worry about anything in this world.

One day, a close friend asked me to be his best man at his wedding. I told him he was crazy to get married and that his life would end up shattered. He wanted to beat me up and he remained steadfast in his desire to get married. I admired his attitude and agreed to be his best man. When his marriage ended, it only strengthened my opposition to marriage and I refused to get close to anyone.

The demons inside of me convinced me that God was too busy to help me and that I was on my own. I stopped going to church. I hated everybody. When I found out that my doubles partner from high school was gay, I turned my back on him. It was so easy to find fault with everyone.

The first glimmer of hope in my life was the day I met my future wife. There was a sparkle in her stunning blue eyes that attracted me to her. I wanted to be with her every day. On Sunday, she went to church, so I went with her. My only prayer was to thank God for creating such an awesome person. She saw past the demons that were inside of me.

I was not even sure that my church would allow us to get married because my views were so messed up. Somehow, we were given the green light and our two hearts became one over twenty years ago.

We moved to California to start our new lives together. In a way, I was escaping some things from my past. The reality is that I just moved from one cave to another. This cave was just further away and there were still demons inside of me. Their names were Greed and Prejudice. I became a workaholic. My focus was on building a strong retirement portfolio. God was in my life but He was not the center of my life. There was something missing but my demons blocked my vision.

The day that I opened my Bible and asked God to show me who I am is the day I met Jesus as if He were in the flesh. He met me in my cave as I was reading Scripture and we talked. He called out my demons. He told me He died for me and for the world so that we could have hope.

As I read this story (Luke 8:26), I saw for the first time just how ugly my past was. This is what shook me up. Jesus was calling me out of the cave. He was knocking on the door and wanted to live inside my heart. In order to do this, I needed to let go of all the demons that were controlling me. It was time to become the person God created me to be.

In the story of the naked cave man, the people who witnessed the event asked Jesus to depart. The cave man wanted to go, just as I wanted to leave this world as a teenager. Jesus made it clear that there was work to do and the man was not allowed to leave with Jesus.

When I read the words from Luke, I knew that Jesus was talking with me directly. The man became a publisher just as I am now a publisher. When Jesus returned, there was a huge crowd waiting for Him. You, the reader of this blog are part of that crowd. We are connected and our job is to share our gifts with others so that we will all be together when Jesus returns.

My demons are all gone now. I am out of the cave and I live my life without fear because I know that God is truly number one in my life. I thank Him for sending Jesus to rescue me from the demons and I thank Him for allowing me to be connected to you in His great puzzle.

As each day passes, we get closer to the day when Jesus will return. It will be a glorious day when all of us are together to see Him in His resurrected body. Until that day comes, lets do our best every day to spread the Good News...

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