|Medieval book illustration of Christ Exorcising the Gerasenes demonic (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Where does a Ministry Come From?In the Bible (Luke 8) there is story of a man possessed by demons. So many demons haunted him, in fact, that they called themselves 'legion'. A legion of hate-filled, destructive, and deadly monsters. If you look at what demons are capable of (according to Hollywood) then this legion had probably haunted the entire region through this man.
His possession was so evil that people were afraid of him. He lived in the graveyard, he ran all over the area naked, and he had even broken out of locks and chains.
When Jesus came to shore that day, these demons wanted nothing to do with him. Jesus cast the legion of demons out of the man. Every one who had seen it, and heard about it, were afraid because of what Jesus did, and the awesome power he exhibited. I mean, they had a lot to be afraid of, I am sure...
"when the people saw this man "sitting at Jesus’ feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid."
Here is where the story gets interesting though. The newly cleansed man "begged" Jesus if he could go with him. This makes a lot of sense. Now that he is whole, well, and in his right mind, he desperately wanted to be around the man who helped heal him.
Wouldn't you and I be the same way? If we were saved from a horrific existence? If we were out of our minds, running around local graveyards, naked, screaming, yelling, and cutting our bodies, wouldn't we want to follow and express gratitude to the person who set us free? To be perfectly honest, if we did something like this today in America, odds are pretty high they would just shoot us. So, the answer is YES! Absolutely! We would be elated to show gratitude to someone who set us free.
However, instead of gaining another disciple who followed him around, Jesus has a different plan...
"38 ... but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him."
Instead of allowing the man to follow him, Jesus told the man to go out and tell other people about what God had done. Jesus called the man to minister to others himself. He told him to spread the good word about God. And you can see that the man did just that. He spread the word all over town about what Jesus had done for him.
A ministry was born in that instant.
So, where am I going with this ministry discussion?I, too, experienced a similar birth of ministry almost two years ago. And, just like all the terrible, horrific things the demon possessed man had experienced before he met Jesus, I too had similar struggles. Mine, however, were born from a secret. A hidden deception, known only to me, in my own private thoughts.
My life of sin, and the ministry born from it, came from sexual immorality.
Viewing porn was my sin, to be totally clear about it. I have been viewing porn most of my life. I had given my heart to God long ago, but I wasn't living for him at all. I was lying to him, and pretending like I was okay to everyone else. Instead of being faithful to my wife, and my family, I was trading them in for a fake life. I was treating everyone I swore I would love and cherish like my second choice family. And I did this for 15 years. And, it wasn't until the Summer of 2011, that Jesus finally walked onto the shore of my graveyard... and started to set me free.
Just like this possessed man, I was living alone in a dark and solitary world. It was a world I had chosen to live in. It was a world that I wanted to live in. A world of deception, deceit, lies, and sin. And I wanted to keep it all to myself, and keep everyone else out.
And I thought I had kept everyone out. I thought I was alone in my own world, even though I was married, had children, and had friends all around me. I thought I was alone in my sins. And I believed that my secrets weren't having an impact on the people around me.
My life was like these verses in John 3: 19-21
19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
I loved to live in darkness, because the things I was doing were evil. I was choosing to live in that darkness. I kept it out of the light, because I didn't want others to see the dark that was surrounding me. I didn't want to be exposed in all of my sins.
But Jesus already knew where I was at. He knew what I was doing. And he knew how to expose my sins to the light and bring me out of my deception. And he, or rather one of the people who I thought wasn't being hurt by my lies, exposed my darkness and lies to the light. Christy, my wife, was the instrument Jesus used to pull me out of my selfishness and sinfulness. She bore the full force and impact of all the deception and lies I had been living in.
And now, not only am I exposing my dark lies to the world, I also desire to expose the darkness of this sin into the light for more men.
My ministry has been birthed.
Not because I want it. Not because I am happy showing everyone how wicked and deceitful I was. Not because I feel good about sharing my evil heart. But, simply because Jesus set me free. He set me free from something that I wasn't able to escape from myself. And He has asked me to share my freedom with you.
Every man who has ever surrendered to the darkness and heaviness of sexual sins - I know how you feel. And I am here to make sure your dark lies and deceits are exposed to the light, so that you can be set free - just like the demon possessed man who Christ healed. I don't do the healing. But, I point men in the direction of Jesus, who does heal. Not because it feels great to show the world our wickedness, but because if we don't, we will NEVER be free from it's hold over our lives.
Any comments? Please write me at: ymail.com @ al.speer