Thursday, October 31, 2013

Dry Bones, Broken Cisterns

In this college town called Denton, drugs are where the students are, following them like a preying lion. "Honey oil," unknown to my once marijuana-filled mind, is pure THC resin (like hash). Apparently, it's a recent development.

I didn't try it. But I'm not going to lie, it was tempting. I could excuse my way into partaking, probably with little harm and much benefit to my flesh. It's when sin is viewed as something "good," even "right," that Satan has his greatest victory.

I made sure to share what God had spoken to me about drugs, two years ago this time. I was returning home from a 5-month stay in Austin, with a pipe full of weed in San Antonio to greet me. The reality of temptation was there, and I wanted to get rid of it. But instead of just throwing it away, I asked God to smite me, to show me his thoughts. In the act of disobedience, not the best question.

Right before and exactly the time I placed the flame to my pipe, my ears were filled with the sound of chains dragging and a door closing, like a jail-cell door. This happened about three times, as if it were moving from house-to-house on my cold-de-sac. Freaked, I went inside. As I walked in, my ears then filled with the sound of crows cawing. I asked my dad if he heard anything. Nope. I sat down in the living room with the lights off, my heart beating rapidly, and prayed for the sounds to leave. They did. Then I felt a burning sensation come up my leg, as if they were being held to fire. I was not even high at this point. I placed my hand on my leg and prayed desperately for the fire to leave. It did. I crawled into bed and fell asleep as quickly as possible.

Turns out I had some strongholds, and I needed deliverance only God could bring. That came a few months later at the annual onething conference at IHOP Kansas City, over the new year. "Lord, I pray for neural pathways," said my brother, laying his hands on my head. Immediately, a physical mass of junk shot down from the top of my head, down the back of my throat, all the way down my legs and into the ground. The feeling was so weird and brief, and I'll never forget it. I began to declare and repent of past sins. I had a vision of Jesus standing outside my bedroom window, always there as I smoked, desperately wanting my freedom. It was as if a veil had been removed. I could write, I could hear His voice. I was rewired.

Over the course of that conference, I experienced the manifest power of God. Some call this the camp experience. It is now my understanding that God wants his children to have camp every day of their life. I came expectantly, boldly before the throne of grace, and asked for dreams. His grace ushers us into even more grace.

Vignettes of God's thoughts in the night were new and wonderfully strange to me. One only a few minutes long depicted me driving in a parking lot to report a drug dealer. I had weed in my pocket, but did not desire it at all. It was as if I were undercover. "You will not desire it, and you will establish my justice through intercession," was the message impressed upon me as I prepared to attend UNT that spring.

God has made it evident that he did not walk me through all those years of drug-abuse for nothing.

A few hours before leaving Kansas City, we were at the prayer room and I was talking on the phone with my sister, Laurie. "Be expectant," she said, noting that God would use me or others to pray and prophesy. This, too, was new to me, for about two minutes. "Uh, Laurie, I need to call you back." A guy had just walked up to me saying, "God told me to ask you for prayer, because you received deliverance from drug abuse and you are supposed to pray over me." Click.

I drop off my friend and after sharing a bit of my story, head back to the barn. I'm in the upstairs on the land, eager to hear what God had to say. I asked, "what are your thoughts about this night," and heard, "John 4:13." Keep in mind I don't know what this says - I typically don't - but it seems to be how God wants to write the scroll on my heart. It's hard to forget as a personal message:

"Anyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again."

Drug water, entertainment water, food water, money water, girlfriend water - it doesn't matter what it is, all are broken cisterns, stagnant waters. In this life, true satisfaction cannot be found from any source other than God. There is a longing deep inside of each one of us that can only be satisfied by streams that are living, always moving and causing us to change. "He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart..." (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

How often we fall prey to the schemes of our adversary, the spirit of this age, and neglect the first commandment given to Moses! "You shall have no other gods before me."