To know Him
By Pastor Lance Heitman
Abundant Life Church, Grant
The other night my wife came home from church. She told me our neighbor had stopped by the church. He said that he had known me for a long, long time. Then she asked him, “So you’ve seen the change the power of God made in Lance’s life?” He told her, “Yes, I have.”
After she told me that, it put me to thinking about where I started, and how God had taken me to where I am today. I’ve heard it said that most folks’ picture of God is pretty much the picture they have of their earthly father. I think it is a very accurate view of the situation, at least in my case.
My dad was great. He was truthful to a fault. He was kind, merciful, generous, tenderhearted, patient, and most of all; he loved me no matter what. That is the way I view my Father in heaven.
In I John 4:8 and 16, it says God is love. God loves you no matter what. God is not mad at you, he wants to bless you. He wants to empower you to succeed in every arena of life. The first step I had to make in order to let the power of God change my life was I had to get to know Him well enough to trust Him with everything.
I used to always say that is the trouble with preachers– they tell you what to do, but they don’t tell you how to do it. Well, I’m going to tell you how to get to know God to the point that you can trust Him with everything.
I got saved watching Billy Graham on TV in 1973, but I never made a decision to live for Jesus. On Sunday mornings I used to smoke a joint and drink a beer watching Kenneth Copeland on TV. One Sunday, he taught on John 16:23, “Whatsoever ye ask the Father in my name he will give you.” That one simple instruction changed my life more than anything before or since.
On Aug. 24, 1988 I hit a parked car on Main Street in Wallace. That parked car hit two other parked cars, which was three parked cars over the limit. That was the fourth such discrepancy in my blood alcohol content as I attempted to drive home.
Anyway, after I got out of jail, I went to an AA meeting. They told me I was powerless over alcohol, there was a power greater than myself, and He would help me if ask. That night when I got home, I got down on my knees and said, “Father God, I know that I’m powerless over alcohol. I’m asking you to give me strength to stop this drinking forever. In Jesus name, Amen.” I have never been close to taking a drink of booze since.
If you have never fought an addiction, that might not seem like such a big deal to you, but I was a full blown alcoholic and drug addict. Only one in seven make it with treatment. That number goes way down without treatment.
After God delivered me from alcohol, I started to fill my spirit with the Word of God. Every day I read at least one chapter. I took it in like it was food, which I later figured out it was. I would go to AA meetings and say my name is Lance, I’m an alcoholic, and by the grace of God whom I call Jesus Christ, I’m here today clean and sober.
I kept reading the Bible, and telling all the wonderful things God had done for me. The more I read the Bible, the more I got to know Him. The more I got to know Him, the more I loved Him, and the more I saw that He loved me. The more I studied the Bible, the more my faith grew, and the stronger I became in the things of God. (Praise God I just preached myself happy.)
Filling your spirit with the Word of God is the first step to knowing God to the point you can trust Him with everything.
Jesus loves you, and so do we.