Jesus Did It!
My story starts with a very disturbing dream I had when I was 30 years old ' a dream about being shot. Before telling you about it fully, I'll give you a little background about myself to hopefully help you appreciate how God has worked so mightily in my life and delivered me from such spiritual blindness, not to mention addictions that were killing me and I didn't really care all that much. Maybe you're at that place in life as well. Please read on. God wants to set you free!
I lived with my parents on a farm in Western Victoria, Australia and was raised a Roman Catholic. Dad was pretty hard at times and would often drag me out of bed on Sundays to get me to church.
I remember one day, however, when I had decided to 'give church the flick.' I took off across the paddocks with my dad in hot pursuit, waving a cricket bat and shouting for me to stop! But with a mind of my own and plenty of determination, I kept running. That is, until I heard him yell: 'I'm going back 'fer the gun if you don't stop!'
Dad always meant business and I remembered the gun hanging just above the back door in the house. It didn't take me long to come to the conclusion that it might be healthier if I just went to church, no matter how much I disliked going.
I started smoking cigarettes at around eight or nine and had my first joint of marijuana at fifteen. I played around with motorbikes and guns, preferring the outdoor life.
After attending a country high school until year eleven I finally left when I was seventeen. To me, school was an easier option to carting hay or working in the woolshed. Despite failing most subjects, I managed to pass year eleven grade math.
Most of my boyish pranks were restricted to occasionally doing donuts on the local golf course or riding a motorbike through town in a slightly less than in a sober state. I didn't think this was too serious at the time.
By the age of 30, I was an alcoholic and drug addict. I didn't consider this too unusual though, because all of my mates were the same. I seemed to possess a natural disliking for work and spent a lot of my time drinking beer and smoking dope. I was either drunk or stoned most of the time.
One night I was sleeping beside my girlfriend when I suddenly woke up, panting and in a sweat. Waking her up, I said, 'I've just dreamt that I'd been shot in the stomach!' She didn't seem too concerned and rather casually replied, 'O yeah, good on 'ya,' and went back to sleep.
Two nights later I had exactly the same dream! Again - I woke up panting and in a sweat. 'I just dreamt I've been shot in the guts again!' I exclaimed. This time my girlfriend took me more seriously.
It was Christmas Eve and a Friday night. I had decided to go around to a mate's place for a few beers. On the way, I remembered the dreams I had and recall thinking . . . I hope I don't get shot in the guts tonight.
As we drank and talked into the night, my mate was playing around with a loaded shotgun. You guessed it. Suddenly it discharged!
Realizing I had been hit in the stomach, I ran outside shouting, 'Phil, you (lot of swear words); you've shot me!'
Although at first it didn't seem too bad, I soon felt a stream of blood running down my leg. Fortunately, the local hospital was just down the road, so I started towards it. By the time I got out into the street however, I started going down. I thought: I'm going to die, but at least I'll soon find out where you go when you do! For some reason, I didn't seem too worried.
Others came to help and after loading me into the back of their van, they drove me off to the hospital. I heard the doctors whispering and knew the situation wasn't real good. I had pellets in my mouth, in my stomach, legs, hand, face and right ear.
After they removed the gunshot, I laid awake for three whole days. The morphine drip was not in properly and I was in agony. I had staples in my stomach from the top of my groin to my chest where they had done an operation. I really thought I was going to die of pain then. Thoughts ran constantly through my head: How come I had dreamt I was going to get shot? Was it some kind of premonition?
I didn't give God a thought, because to me Christians were little more than a bunch of two-faced hypocrites who just loved to get dressed up on Sundays! Finally, a nurse gave me an injection and I slept for the next two days.
When I had recovered sufficiently to be discharged from the hospital, I focused on finding answers for why I had dreamed about being shot. I read about the predictions of Nostradamus; studied the teachings of Psychics and Channellers; anything I could get my hands on. However, despite all that had happened, I didn't stop drinking beer or smoking dope.
Before long I started believing what I was reading. I took a particular interest in anything to do with the end of the world. I read about Armageddon and studied Eastern Religions, but still had no interest personally in Jesus Christ, nor most of the Bible.
One day I saw an advertisement in a magazine. The caption read: Do you want to know the secrets of the Universe? I thought: That sounds alright, so I wrote them and they sent back books and information on certain rituals I could perform.
I would set up a mirror with candles and an altar and recite a prayer. It wasn't a prayer to the true Creator of the Universe, but 'to the god of the Cosmos.'
At the time, it all sounded harmless enough. Later however, I discovered that the Greek word for Cosmos was World. So, in effect, I was praying to the god of this World (See: 2 Corinthians 4:4 in the King James translation: the 'god' of this world is Satan)
After praying the prayer I started shaking and remember thinking: This is strange! What's going on here?
I soon became filled with pride. Everyone else was wrong and I was right. I continued drinking beer and whiskey which led me down an even darker path as I drew closer into demonic, occult practices.
By now I was growing more desperate in my search to find truth. I had become paranoid about the end of the world. I buried food in case there was a catastrophe. I was tiring from all the false predictions I was being fed. Date settings and predictions, but from which nothing ever eventuated.
These 'so called spiritually enlightened teachers' also taught you how to leave your body (Astral Project). I tried it a couple of times but that was enough. It was a strange experience to be actually out of your body while it was still lying on a bed!
I also looked at Buddhism and Hinduism, but to me their teachings were complicated and unreliable. Neither made any sense as far as I was concerned.
It was at this point I finally started thinking about God, and to try and learn more about Jesus. After all, I had looked at all the other religions with their alternative thinking and none had offered me any helpful answers.
I became especially interested in biblical prophecy, finding particular interest in a book that had been written by a man called Barry Smith. I found his writings more reliable and informative than others. I was still not into reading the Bible however, except the book of Revelation and the book of Daniel.
When I finally decided to stop reading all the other New Age material, something inside me started to stir. I became depressed, anxious and fearful. I heard noises in my head. I couldn't think, read a book, watch television or do anything. I became a total wreck! I even wondered if I was going mad and whether others suffer like this. I just didn't know what was happening. Even so, I continued my drinking and smoking of marijuana.
One day I picked up another Christian book with what is commonly known as 'the sinners prayer' in it. Through this prayer, you invite Jesus into your life. I did this, but felt no different. It said that Jesus would set you free and I sure wanted to be free! So I kept on asking Jesus to set me free. I would recite the Lord's Prayer over and over. By now I was close to having a nervous breakdown. There was a struggle going on inside me; a spiritual battle was raging between the forces of good and the forces of evil, and I needed to be released from whatever it was that was trying to control me. (Satan's desire for my soul, in all actuality).
One night - at around 2 a.m. - I went outside to see why the dog was barking. We lived in the Australian bush and it was not uncommon for the dog to bark at wallabies or other animals in the night.
Going back to bed, I tried to get to sleep, but the dog's continual barking kept me awake. As I lay there in my wakeful state, I decided to amuse myself with a mind game I often played. The idea was to empty your mind, and then ask a question. The answer would be the first thought that came back into your head. So I asked what was the exact time and the answer came as 4:17. I thought . . . that's strange; why would I think that when it's only 3:30 a.m.?
So I tried again and this time the word Matthew came to mind. I realized that Matthew 4:17 was in the Bible.
As it was a Sunday morning, I got out of bed and looked it up. It said, Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near. (Some bible translations say: the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand).
I found this rather interesting and mentioned it to my girlfriend. 'Perhaps God is telling me something and maybe we should go to Church?,' was my response.
Although something we would never have imagined doing . . . we went off to church. After we got there we both became quite 'emotional.' Half off our trolleys' from smoking dope ' we saw what we thought was nothing more than a bunch of weirdo's waving their hands about in the air! Yet they seemed happy enough.
We stayed as long as we could, but eventually left. Although glad to get out, I still intended on coming back the following week. A pattern we actually repeated for the next three months!
One Sunday morning the Pastor invited me to the front and asked if I wanted to become a Christian. I thought, 'What are you talking about, mate? I've been coming for three months. I'm dressing up and everything. I thought I already was one!'
Yet something inside me relinquished and I flippantly thought, 'Yeah - whatever.'
I started repeating the sinner's prayer after him when I suddenly began shaking. I felt something in me trying to resist. Finally I made a confession and invited Jesus to be Lord of my life. The resistance I had been experiencing suddenly stopped and I felt free for the first time in my life! I was what the Bible calls becoming born again. (Please See: John, Chapter 3 in the Bible).
Then, the noises started coming back. It was like someone had left a wireless on in the next room and I knew the enemy was trying to tempt me back to my old habits.
A visiting evangelist came to our church and invited anyone who wanted a special touch from God to come out to the front. I went out and he asked me what my problem was.
I answered, 'My mind keeps wandering.'
Immediately he rebuked the demonic spirit that was tormenting me. 'You lying, tormenting spirit, be gone in the name of Jesus!' he commanded, and it did!
I dropped to the floor and everything went real quiet. From that moment, I knew I could fully trust God to remove all my anxieties and fears as well as the guilt and the shame of my former life. My only desire now was to share the gospel (Jesus Christ died for our sins) with others. After what God did for me, I just wanted others in my position to also be free. I knew they could if they too were prepared to trust God and invite Jesus into their lives and begin trusting Him to set them free from the demonic strongholds that keep them bound ' that keep them from walking in fuller dimensions of joy and peace and faith in God.
I love God and I'm not afraid to share my faith with anyone anywhere. God has given me a strong gift of boldness. Jesus died on a cross for my sins and I want others to know about His love. God wants me telling others about his love.
I know I am saved and going to heaven, not because of anything great I have done but because of what Jesus has done for me. The only part I played was to simply believe what the Bible says about Jesus and allow Him to be first place in my life ' every day, and that can be very difficult at times for every Christian believer, if they'll be honest.
Many people hear the truth that Jesus Christ died for their sins so they trust in Him to save them of their sins. That's just the beginning of a normal, healthy relationship with the living God ' the Creator of the universe. Yet the devil will do everything in his power to try keeping those infant believers in that spiritual state. He'll do everything he can to try to keep them in their 'baby crib' all the years of their life, and never grow up and become productive Kingdom adults ' useful for the Master to work through to help rescue lost souls bound for hell just like my soul was headed for hell and for the most part, I was so much under Satan's control I didn't even care that my soul was bound for hell!
I pray that you will not just make Jesus your personal Savior ' but invite Him to be Lord of every area of your life. To pick and choose areas you'll allow Him to be Lord of is a very dangerous place to remain in for very long. Either He can be trusted to be Lord of all in our life ' or Lord of nothing. What's it going to be for you, mate? Giving Him your all ' or just a token crumb or two now and then to appease a guilty conscience? Please be wise, and give Him your all. You'll never regret it once you pass over into eternity, I can promise!
A few closing comments:
My wife, Poss, and I have been Christians now for six and a half years as of 2005. For fifteen years I lived out of a bag of clothes. Within three months of being saved, Poss and I got married because we knew that's what God wanted. We almost own our home now and there are no longer drugs or alcohol. God is doing great things in our lives and we just want to learn more of how we can serve and love Him. The former things have passed away. God has made all things new, and we keep pressing on with the help of God through the demonic attacks all Christians come up against, and the old sinful flesh that never seems to want to die to it's own selfish demands. Poss and I haven't 'arrived,' by any means, but from where we started out at, God has brought us a long, long way! Thank you so much, Lord!
If you wish to contact Pete McMaster you can click on these links to email him or visit his website.
Regular Mail: Pete McMaster
28018 Tasman Highway, Pyengana 7216
PLEASE HELP SHARE THE BEST NEWS GOD HAS FOR EVERY PERSON!
"And this gospel of the
died for sinners] shall be preached in all the world for a witness
unto all nations; and then shall the end come."
(Quote from Jesus Himself: Matthew 24:14).
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JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT!
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