Just got this email from a friend:
Lord, I’ve heard it said, “Most people who don’t make it to heaven, will miss it by fifteen inches, that is, the distance between the head and the heart.” I watched you move Mike’s faith from his head to his heart this morning. It happened right before my eyes. His mind was full of faith, but his heart was so bruised, beaten, cut up, damaged, stomped on, that he couldn’t find You there. At all.
“I came looking to be with God today. I came early to River City so I could be with God. I got here at 6:30am to be with Him alone,” Mike said. The heaviness of his heart weighed deep in the tears from his eyes.
“I haven’t cried like this since I was a child. I‘m burdened, but it’s not the alcohol and drugs that I turned loose of a while back. It’s that I couldn’t get things right with God. I don’t have a friend in the world, and I feel like I just want to be alone. You know, I never sit down and talk with a minister and talk like this,” Mike smiled.
“I know God is ashamed of me, that He holds me guilty. I didn’t do what I knew I should, all of my life, and now, will God have me? I know God has His purpose for me, but I turned away a long time ago.”
“I just can’t feel God in my heart, deep in my soul, and I want Him back. In my mind I know Him, but I know that’s not enough. I want His power in my life.”
Mike’s identity was so tied to the past that he had come to accept Satan’s accusations as his identity. He couldn’t let You into his heart so You could show him Your true identity for him.
A mother who beat him. A pastor who tried to molest him sexually. A father who beat his mother. A thirteen year old Mike who choked his father until he agreed to stop beating his mother. A father who blamed a fourteen year old Mike for his mother’s death. Siblings who believed the father and shunned their brother Mike. They still do. And now, diabetes type two, prostate cancer, and homeless, to boot.
“Bro. Anthony, I don’t know who I’m supposed to be,” he cried. “Do you want to know, Mike?” I asked. “I can tell you, as a start, what He doesn’t want you to be–a man so accustomed to shame, guilt, and the past ruling his life that he cannot become all God intended him to be. God loves you, and wants to free you. Today.”
“That’s why I really came. I didn’t know that at 6:30am this morning, but you listened, and I know now that God loves me, and that He will save me. I’ve learned today that God ain’t through with any of us yet. That’s what my grandma used to tell me, and that God had a purpose for me. I want to know that for my life. I’m on his path now.”
Fifteen inches. Not very far on a tape measure, but a long way between head and heart. What brings head and heart together? Healing. It’s about confessing, about trusting You with what You already know about us—that we cannot save ourselves.
You healed Mike, Lord. He’s free. And, he’ll tell You that, Lord. He did when he gave his testimony today at Lunch Lesson. He had no shame in telling of Your love and goodness for him.
“ . . . I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgression to the Lord”—and you forgave the guilt of my sin (Psa. 32:5, NIV).”
Anthony Wood, Evangelist
River City Ministry
Mark is the 50th person to give his life to Christ through RCM this year. Shortly after his conversation with Anthony, Mark was baptized.
Anthony sends out encouraging email stories of lifechange like this on a regular basis. If you’d like to start receiving them in your inbox, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the MissionMessage mailing list.
Thanks, Wes! Anthony is one of the best preachers I have ever heard. I did not know he sent out e-mails about his work in Little Rock. I’m looking forward to recieving them!