In the fourth chapter of Romans, St. Paul is talking about the God who took an old man named Abraham along with his barren wife Sarah and made him the father of many nations and describes Him in this way:
God…who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist (Rom. 4:17).
I praise God that this is the sort of God we have! God is willing and more than able to do far more than put band-aids on a broken life. He calls into existence things that do not exist!
I need to testify to something God showed me last week. I was driving home from my denomination’s conference office following a meeting for candidates for ordination (that I was invited to such a meeting is a miracle in and of itself!) when I needed gas. I pulled off the highway and into a gas station and as I was coming out I looked up at the flashing neon sign across the road. An adult bookstore was right in front of me. I was alone, with no one expecting me anywhere any time soon. It was a golden opportunity.
That is, an opportunity for the old me.
The realization that such an opportunity had presented itself to me didn’t dawn on me till I was several miles down the highway. It was then that it occurred to me that something which used to be so enticing to me and impossible to refuse didn’t even cause me to bat an eye. There was nothing inside of me that wanted to indulge that old way of life! I began to sing praises to God in my car as I basked in the knowledge that God had indeed created something in me that did not exist a few years ago. When I arrived home I couldn’t wait to tell my wife how God has so captivated me by this new life that the thought of going back to the old me seems inconceivable! God did this!
When I was in a meeting with pastors who would decide if I was fit for ordination I was asked of what my life in “recovery” consists. I took that opportunity to say I don’t think of myself in “recovery” any longer because God has made me a new creation in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). Instead, when it comes to sexual addiction I prefer to say I am “redeemed.” I have been delivered from sin, from death to life. I am no longer bound by the chains of addiction but free to look at it presented on a platter across the street and say, “Nope, that Chad no longer exists,” get in my car and drive on. Praise be to God!
If you feel as though you are shackled and chained to something you can’t imagine ever being free from, there is good news for you! There is a God who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not yet exist! He did it for me and I know He is willing and able to do it for you, too.
My new favorite song is Redeemed. Give it a listen. This can and will be your testimony one day.