Coffee With Mike

Help yourself to a cup of coffee and join me by the fireside. I’m visiting with Mike, a fellow brother in Christ, about his story of coming to know Jesus Christ. I love to hear people share their story because it inspires me.

Podcast 54 Transcript

(This is a computer generated transcript of this podcast. This is NOT a typed transcript and it has not been edited. Expect grammatical and syntactical errors.)

Maul: Hello, and good day. I am B. R. Maul, and you are listening to Living God’s Way in an Ungodly World. Thank you for joining me. Today we have a treat. I have with me a friend of mine who is also a pastor, does a lot of work for the Lord, and well, he gets the honor of being the first interview. His name is Mike and he is going to share with us his story.

Now the purpose of this is that others, as we continue to get this message around the world, that people will be able to listen to the stories of others. My story is the first podcast. To this day I often share my struggles because, Mike, that’s one of those things that we do you. In this program, as I often share then, things that are going on in our world today, and how we should handle that, going by God’s word. That’s the object of this. And so, we will also be able to learn, good, bad, or otherwise, your experiences as well, and that helps everybody grow. So, Mike, hello.

Mike: Hello,

Maul: I suppose, just to get your consent. This is being recorded and will be published for all the world to hear. You’re okay with that?

Mike: I am okay with it.

Maul: Oh fantastic. Thanks Mike! So why don’t you start from the beginning? Do you remember how old you were and the surroundings that you were in whether it was home or whatnot, when you were first led to the Lord?

Mike: well, I kind of grew up in a church family, as I got into my teen years, I kind of rebelled against that. It didn’t help I gave in to peer pressure a lot. And so if I was with good kids, I was a good kid. If I was with kids that weren’t doing good or using foul language, I joined right in because I didn’t want people to think I didn’t fit in. And I think part of that had to do with, I was adopted by my dad. And when I was young, one of the things, you know, as boys, sometimes we can be misbehaving. And I can remember my grandma telling me, and I know she did not mean this to affect me, but she said, “Now, you’re adopted, so you need to behave better so your dad loves you.” And it carried through as a thought that was buried in my mind that I had to earn my dad’s love. That was a subconscious thing, but I was always trying to please my dad. I can look back and see that. During this time of rebellion, I saw the in people the life of Jesus. In one sense, I wanted it, but another sense, I wanted to be with my friends and this battle was going on inside.

I can remember about two months before I was caught thinking the only way I can stop this is to get caught. I always kind of think God took that as a prayer, just kind of happened. And then, so it was the last Sunday night of June of 1977. I had been out with my friends and we played softball. I was 16 at the time, so it was not legal to be out drinking, but I had been out drinking. That night when I came home, my mom confronted me. She says, “I know you’ve been drinking.” That night, my life changed. My mom and I, we prayed together, and I can still remember telling my mom this, “Don’t tell dad. I don’t want to disappoint him.” That was one of those things that played through in my life because I carried that over in my walk with Jesus.

Maul: Well, that’s really interesting because you mentioned that there was part of you that wanted to be caught. Where do you think that came from? I think back when I was a kid and if anything, my goal was to not get caught when I was doing something wrong. That’s really interesting, that you say that.

Mike: I don’t know if I wanted to be caught, but it was the only way I think of stopping being controlled by my friends, as if I got caught.

Maul: That’s really interesting.

Mike: I happened to carry over that same train of thought, though, that I had to earn God’s love as a new believer. It was years later that would change. My dad came from a close knit family. They would share work back and forth. And I was just helping out because my dad couldn’t make it to help his brother’s buzz up wood. I went over and helped, and when I got home my mom called about an hour after I got home and said, your one uncle died, suddenly. So that evening, I went over to be with my dad, because at the time, we didn’t know where he had stood in his faith, and we found out later that he had, in his later years, invited Jesus into his life, he just wasn’t very vocal about it. That night, my dad pulled me aside and he said, “Let’s go out and talk.” Then he said, “You’re my oldest son. And if anything ever happens to me, suddenly, like my brother dying, you tell your brothers that I know Jesus in my heart.” But what really hit me was he didn’t say you’re my adopted son, he said you’re my oldest son.

And just those few words set me free. And I no longer had to carry that feeling like I had to earn my dad’s love. It also set me free, I felt like I no longer had to earn God’s love. It just opened my eyes to see of His great love for us. Shortly after, ministry opportunity opened to work in the jails and prisons and homeless shelters, treatment centers. And I don’t believe that was by accident. I think God was just helping me get through some of those things in my life so that I could be more free to share what God can do in our lives.

Maul: Often in my messages, I’m quick to remind others who are listening that God is sovereign. If God is sovereign, then as his children, as born again believers, it is hard to do, but we really need to remember that, because if He’s sovereign, nothing ever surprises Him, right?

He doesn’t have to think. He doesn’t have to rethink. He doesn’t get surprised. He is outside of time and He’s in time. Because of that there is no such thing as luck. And if there’s no such thing as luck, we must understand that He allows everything to happen. He doesn’t make everything happen. That’s where some people get lost. Because when something in our lives happen that hurt us, and we think, why did God do that? The thing is, in our trials, is when He strengthens us. And that’s why He allows that. So it’s interesting you say that because I agree that that was no coincidence. There are no coincidences. He allows things to happen at the right time. While I’m thinking about it, Mike, your uncle, how old were you when he died? Do you remember?

Mike: I was in my mid-twenties. My wife and I were married and we had a couple of kids. It was probably eight or nine years after I became a Christian.

Maul: So, when you prayed with your mom though, you said you were sixteen?

Mike: Yes. Right.

Maul: And was that welcoming the Lord into your heart?

Mike: It was. I mean, there was different times I had gone forward. Once was in fourth grade, Nicky Cruz was in Wadena sharing and it touched my heart. I just didn’t know how to go after that. Eighth grade, they had a Billy Graham movie. And I went forward there and it was, I had a very great counselor. She wrote me letters and I had kept them for many years trying to help me walk. But after that time I kind of rebelled against things. I still was going to church and still going to meetings and stuff, and it really was uncomfortable sometimes just because I saw the life and the joy of people and I wasn’t experiencing it. But I still wanted it. I just thought, how can I ever stop drinking?

Maul: Now that makes sense to me. And the reason it does is because I was also very young. I believe I was five or six years old when my mom prayed with me. It was a particular night. I can’t remember the date, but I do remember it that night, that evening, the feelings, the emotions. I firmly believe to this day that’s when I was born again. I was brought up Lutheran. So my mom wasn’t trying to lead me to Christ because at that time she believed that because I was baptized as an infant that I was already ushered into the kingdom of heaven.

And then later in life, she learned that that’s not the case. That’s not how born again is. I’m a huge believer that when people do that, like yourself when you were younger, many children come to Christ. The problem is, like yourself, I had no guidance after that. Yes, my family went to church and we celebrated Christmas and Easter. Like many families in America, you went to church, that was the thing to do, and you were baptized as a baby, so you were already good. The idea is just to be as good as you can, but I can also look back, and it sounds like you can too, and realize that at a young age there were things going on that I can look back and say, you know what, the Holy Spirit was guiding me.

I didn’t know it, but that’s why there were times in my youth I had depression because I was trying to fit in with the world, but I couldn’t, and I didn’t understand why. Many others I was around didn’t have that indwelling of the Holy Spirit. And it wasn’t until later in life where several times I too answered altar calls. It wasn’t until about 20 years ago I finally broke down, and the Lord used that. So it’s really interesting you say that because I think a lot of people can relate with you. They might not think about that because even Jesus made it clear that it is so much easier for a little child to come because they don’t have that baggage. Right? They openly and freely see the message of the gospel, they hear it I should say, and they just fall in love with the Lord and want that. The problem is, often, in our society anyways, we don’t live out Christianity, and so as a youth, we’re not guided, and we end up backsliding.

Does that make sense to you?

Mike: It does. I guess I felt like God definitely was moving in my life in those different times when I was younger. But it wasn’t until I was 16 that I had that hunger to change. And I did change. I actually dropped my friends that summer. Even though, well, we worked a job together, so I was with them. But I knew I couldn’t go out and do things with them. I knew I wasn’t strong enough. Later on it wasn’t an issue in my life. He helped give me strength to be able to say no to things. I guess one of the things too, is God can speak different things to us. And when I was 19, so I just became legal that I could drink. I felt God put it on my heart. “You don’t need that in your life anymore.” And so I haven’t. I think that’s the reason God did that. Drinking may have been a problem had I left it in my life. I think he knows those kind of things in our life. And if we can learn to hear that voice that says don’t go this way or go this way. Because I grew up Lutheran too and one of the things I appreciated, there were certain lines that I would not cross because of my background. They were just built in. They have been seeds planted. And so I really believe God was protecting me in those times where I was rebelling.

Maul: What lines? Could you define what those are like?

Mike: I guess sexual, being sexually active before marriage. That was one thing put in my heart. I wouldn’t cross that line.

Maul: Is that because in your family that was openly talked about and you were guided, or was it from what you learned from the Lord?

Mike: I would probably say confirmation class. It was just kind of one of those things that the pastor mentioned. It just felt like I’m not going to cross that line.

Maul: So, confirmation. So now you’re…that’s before you were 16.

Mike: Yeah.

Maul: So that is yet another stamp of approval that you were born again at a much younger age because you were in tune to the Holy Spirit because of things like that. Now you might look back and go, yeah, but I was still making all these horrible decisions. Yes, and that’s because the fault of parents and spiritual leaders that don’t take hold and teach that this is right and this is what’s wrong, and this is what God says in the Bible, and here’s why we don’t do this, and we do this instead. Myself, yes, I had my mother, but really, my father, I had no guidance with the Lord when I was younger.

And my extended family, in name only were many a Christian, but their lives did not reflect it. So as a little boy, I think children tend to look and say, well, okay, this is how I’m supposed to act as a man someday. But at the same time we have the Holy Spirit going, ah, but hold on.

Mike: I remember my dad never swore. I worked with him as a teenager and times can be frustrating working on old equipment, but I never remember him swearing.

I know my mom prayed for me and I saw God work in her life because I saw she smoked when I was younger. And God delivered her from it. She said, “I prayed, and God has delivered me from this,” and she never, even though my dad still smoked, but my mom was set free from it.

So I look and I see those things in my family My grandma definitely prayed for me, and I was really close with her over the years. I was the oldest child on that side, and I spent a lot of time with her, especially after my grandpa died. I have a lot of good memories of my grandma. She actually told my daughter later on, “I regret I ever said those words to him.” I don’t know if she heard I mentioned that, or if she put it on herself. I ended up taking care for her last two years of her life. She lived with us. I’m not upset with her or anything. God helped me to forgive. You know, that’s one of the things I think as believers, one of the we really need to do in life, is learn to forgive.

Over the years, I’ve had some opportunities where I struggled with forgiving and where God had to really help me through it. One was when I saw my mom and dad divorce. I was already an adult and was trying to help, trying to be the go-between. Through it, I got hurt. I can remember knowing I had to forgive them, but I it took me a while.

I prayed. I remember praying daily after it happened. I love my mom. I love my dad. And I forgive them. I did not feel like it, but God helped me. It was probably 10 or 12 years ago, I had to fly out to California and move my mom back. She was kind of struggling with her emotions and things going on with her at that time.

She was sleeping in the U Haul truck as I was driving. And I looked over her at her and I just felt such a love and compassion for her. And it was just like, I had completely forgiven and let it go. I didn’t have any animosity there.

Maul: Yeah, that’s freeing. I want to follow up with what you said because that’s valuable, that the Lord used what your grandmother said and how you took that and then interpreted about being very careful about pleasing your father, because that’s an ongoing issue with people who turn their back on their faith or want nothing to do with it because of hearing God the Father. And the images we have of our earthly father, we take that and press that upon our Heavenly Father. I find it really interesting that the Lord used that to show you because when your father had talked to you that day and called you his son, not his adopted son, and how that freed you.

And then it also seemed to have that same effect, if I understood you right, that that also had the same effect on your relationship with God the Father. You don’t have to please Him because He loves you the way you are. What can you say to someone who is listening and is struggling with the concept. I don’t need another dad. I don’t even like the one that I have.

Mike: Well, I think it’s partially needing to understand that God has such a great love for us and that it’s more than we can ever probably understand and comprehend that it was his plan from before creation that he was planning His love for us. Jesus was going to come and still He created everything. I look at that and I think of How great a love He has for us and it’s that love that He has for us that really has helped me to be able to reach out and do the things.

I don’t have to do those things because I feel like I have to please Him, but I do it out of a desire wanting to please Him, not having to please Him. And I think when we look at our earthly father, we look and say, how can I have a love for him. How can I have a love for God because if God is anything like my earthly father I wouldn’t want to have anything to do with Him. But we got to see Him for who He is and for His love and when we can grasp hold of that love He has for us, you know greater than any father can have for his children. He calls us His child. That’s mind boggling that the Creator of the universe wants to call us His child. Paul wrote, it’s God’s desire that all men be saved. He has made a way for us to be saved, but He still gives us that choice to choose. Because He loves us that much that He won’t take our choice away from us.

He gives us that choice.

Maul: Amen. Amen. You mentioned that at the age of 19, that you were able to hear the Holy Ghost speak to you. I say hear, and we know that that’s our spiritual hearing. And I agree with you that the longer one walks with the Lord, we start to hear Him. Not that He hasn’t been talking, trying to get our attention, but we’re just so distracted in our own personal lives. We get so selfish in our worldly ways that suddenly we’re just not paying attention. And in Living God’s Way In An Ungodly World, I’m constantly reminding brothers and sisters in the faith that to walk with Him means reading His word. I encourage everybody to read daily. Because the more we do it, like anything, it becomes natural. Like you were just pointing out that it’s a relationship He wants with us. It’s not a membership card where, oh, okay, I’m in, thank you, and then you send it in and you’re done and now we don’t do anything.

Praying to him on a regular basis and meeting with other brothers and sisters in the faith to continue to grow. So with that said, do you remember when you started to be intentional about your walk with the Lord and started reading His word?

Mike: At first I didn’t know how to really? I could read books. I could read articles, stuff I got that would help me grow in my faith, but I struggled reading the Bible.

A few years ago, a friend of mine had a men’s Bible study; it was a kind of a special thing for a month. It was to spend an hour with the Lord and they had a whole list. The things so he could read through the whole New Testament in 30 days. And so I was trying to follow that through. And I don’t know what day I was on, but I was in the middle of the book of Mark and I got done with my daily reading and I didn’t remember a single thing I read.

Then it hit me, God doesn’t want us to be speed readers through His word. And so I stopped trying to keep up with the amount of reading I was supposed to do. But I’ve really tried to follow through with still having that time reading. And it took me a year and a half to get through the whole New Testament. But I got so much more out of it. Some days I might read two, three chapters. Some days I might read five verses and not get past those five verses. God wants us to learn from Him. And when I’m in the jails, I realized a lot of them may be struggle with reading. And so I really encourage them to start trying to read the Bible.

I’ll go back to my grandma again because she had a big influence in my life. One of the things she would tell people that had struggles with reading, is to start reading the Bible and just say, Lord, open my eyes to see what You have for me today. And she saw different people were able to increase their reading because they asked God to show what He had for them today. I think that’s a good prayer to pray; it’s found in the book of psalms 119.

Maul: I just want to quickly point out, because I don’t know how extensive you went into it, but for the listeners…Mike does jail ministry. So when he talks about being in jail, it’s just for the listeners, because that way we understand your perspective on things. So how old were you when you started reading?

Mike: I would say it’s been in the last 10 to 15 years. I would try to read and I finally found that I need to make that time first in my day. I’m not a morning person. But I get up, I drive school bus, so I have to get up about a quarter to five and I set aside about an hour. Maybe I don’t read the whole time, but it’s my time with the Lord, and He’s really helped me to stay awake. There’s some mornings that I struggle with that and maybe I don’t read as much or maybe get as much out of it, but it’s something that God has really put in my heart to want to do. I just need to learn to go to bed a little earlier. That helps.

Maul: Sure. Right. Right. Well, I can relate with the not being a morning person. I can also relate…it wasn’t until about 20 years ago that part of my story ended there in one chapter and then a new chapter began. That was the first time that the Lord had made it very clear to me to stop seeking guidance from other people, spiritual leaders, pastors, or whatever denomination or whatever church. I was looking and looking and looking, and it wasn’t until I was done, I was lost, when he put that on my heart, I just started reading, and I just haven’t stopped.

And with that, I can look back, and before that time, there was very, very little growth. In fact, if anything, I was backsliding a lot earlier on in life. But then when I was intentional with my walk, and opening His word, it just grew. It was amazing! So that’s what I wanted to share with you is it was very difficult for me when I first started reading the Bible. I remember 10 -15 minutes really is all I could do.

Before that, I had 2 – 3 hours probably of programming I watched most nights, you know, shows, sitcoms, things like that. So that’s why for me it was hard because I was stuck on this stuff that I wanted to keep doing. But at the same time, the Holy Spirit was saying, “Now, hey, you said you were going to do this. Keep on reading. Don’t stop.” And He put people in my life to help encourage me. I was starting to join some small groups as well, going to church, being more intentional with seeking the Lord. I was born again at this point, but I was still not knowing what to do. And so the Lord was starting to put people in my life. I was listening, but that was a huge challenge for me because I was so stuck on my own ways. I thought I couldn’t live without watching my TV programs, but I can look back and over time, one after another, I just stopped watching them and wanted to spend more time in God’s Word. And now I can’t think of a day…I don’t want to have a day that goes by where I don’t open God’s Word at some point and drink in our Heavenly Father, because He restores our soul, like He says in Psalm 23, He restores my soul.

I got two questions. When you were 16, you said that felt different than when you were younger and answered the call. And just hearing that, it sounds like that’s when you were born again. But, often, people think that there must be some bells and whistles. Did you have anything when you were 16 that happened that seemed to confirm that you’re a child of God? Why do you distinguish when you were 16 versus when you were younger?

Mike: My life changed and I was able to say no to things I knew I shouldn’t be doing. And I was able to let them go. And like I said that summer, I separated myself from my friends because I just knew I wasn’t strong enough then. And then God started to bring new friends into my life too.

And eventually he changed a lot of my friends lives from that time, too. And a good friend of mine, he’s passed away now, but one of the things he said, “We saw a change. And we weren’t trying to make fun of you, we were just wondering what it was.” And I wasn’t able to articulate it then, but God did something in my heart. And it really solidified my walk in Him. And it was because of that change, I was able to let go of those things, the wanting to drink, wanting to please my friends. And I was set free from those things, and I didn’t have the bondage of it. There were other things that God had to work on in my life.

I dealt with anger for years. It wasn’t until I had prayed. I picked up a book about dealing with anger, and it asked, have you ever asked God, what sets your anger off? And I never even thought about it. And so I prayed. Three things came to my mind right away. One was I was tired. Another one was that I wasn’t spending time with the Lord as I should. And the third one was I was stressed. Now when I feel that anger wanting to rise up, I go through that list. It’s really helped change me so that I don’t have that explosive type anger like I had.

Maul: Man, that’s awesome. Well, one thing that comes to mind is they will know you by your fruit. We should know that a person is a Christian by the way they are acting, how we are acting, how we talk, or don’t talk. That’s part of my story too. Growing up in our household, swearing was manly. The more you swore, or the more cool you tried making it sound, you’re more of a man. And that was something that the Lord quickly took from me.

And you mentioned there seems to be things that took longer for the Lord to work on. Someone who’s been walking with the Lord for a while should be able to relate. For me, for example, cursing was one He took quite quickly from me. I was so appreciative of that because I was doing so much more damage to myself than I was aware of. Aside from looking like an idiot and sounding like an idiot, now I don’t have that animosity that comes with speaking that way.

The other question I have then is, what’s maybe one thing that you can think of that either was a challenge after fully understanding that, hey, I’m a child of God, and it was clear to you that you needed to live life differently and that you wanted to.

And the reason I ask that, just to set that up a little bit, is because of the notion that once a person’s born again, their lives are supposed to be perfect. So if there was a habit, thoughts, lifestyle, that for you was difficult or is difficult that you’re willing to share,

Mike: It’s probably that I take on too many things. I have struggled with that. When my wife and I were younger and had little kids at home I was playing church league softball. It was fun! Then we started getting involved in ministry and pretty soon I was busy two, three nights a week and my wife just said, you gotta make some choices here, I need you at home.

I need to step back, so I let the church league softball go. And I still remember my last play.

Maul: Oh, was it a good one?

Mike: No. We were playing to go into the playoffs. I was catcher and they threw it home. We got the guy out at home. And then I threw it in the right field over the first baseman’s head, and they scored the winning run. The funny thing is I can look back at it now and laugh. It’s not a traumatic memory.

When I first got in charge of scheduling for all our ministries stuff, I scheduled us pretty full. We were busy doing a lot and traveling. And, and I got to the point I was burning myself out. I felt God saying, He doesn’t want us to be busy, busy, busy for Him. And if we learn to do the things He wants us to do, it’ll help us so we aren’t burned out. He doesn’t desire for us to wear ourselves out for Him. He wants us to follow him and he’ll give us the strength to do the things he’s called us to do.

Maul: Oh, I agree wholeheartedly. That’s one of those things on my heart. I feel blessed because I’m in a place in my life where I have cut ties to a lot of things. One of my big struggles that took a long time was money. Being able to make a lot of money, have a lot of money. Ultimately that’s what I realized I was spending my time doing. My whole life was about making money. And now it’s on my heart because the Lord’s showing me just how much misery that brought me.

And, oh, I praise Him for it because I no longer have any weight at all keeping me. When He took that from me, that’s where all my tension went away. And when I finally said, “Okay, Lord,” and gave in, He was the one that came in and was wiping away debt that I had occurred in ways that I couldn’t even imagine.

In our society, such a common sin is wasting time away trying to be successful. And we have this thing in our culture where if you’re just too busy, that’s okay. Wow, this guy’s really busy. He’s successful. That’s amazing. But you hit it right on the head. When we are in God’s will, he gives us tasks that we’re able to complete every day.

We’re the ones who have this thing where we want to pile some more on. Do you still have that struggle?

Mike: Well, I have a good friend that goes and ministers with me different places and if I say, oh, I’ve been real busy, he goes, no, no, no, no. Don’t say busy. And I am still working on scheduling. I’m sure people would look at my normal day and think, wow, you are busy.

But I try to really guard so that I have time. I take those times and set the time aside because I have a very scheduled lifestyle. I have to learn to guard that.

Maul: And I bet that can be challenging at times. And that’s encouraging though, because just because a person’s born again, doesn’t mean we’re free. The Holy Spirit definitely gives us the capability of being free from our sin. It’s just, unfortunately, that flesh battling with the spirit, there’s times where it’s like, Oh, why is it so much harder today to do what I should be doing? You know, instead of just doing whatever our flesh says, Eh, let’s just do this instead, you know, kind of blow off what the Lord sets for us.

We’re getting close to the end of our time, but would you be able to give some advice as somebody who has been walking with the Lord now for decades, is that safe to say? Yeah.

Mike: Yeah. It’s getting close to 50 years.

Maul: First if you could, for anybody who may be listening who doesn’t know the Lord as their Savior.

What can you share with them?

Mike: Well, when Jesus came to earth, he didn’t come as a king. He came as a little baby. He grew up as a child. It wasn’t until He was 30 years old that God let Him go and say, okay now; and He obeyed the Father’s will and everything. And because of His great love for us, He went to that cross.

He gave his life. He paid the price for sin. It’s His desire that every one of us come to Him, but he does give us that choice. It’s surrendering what we want and say, God, I want what You want in my life. Jesus, come be my Lord, as we surrender our lives. But sometimes what happens is we don’t maybe realize there’s an area of our life we haven’t surrendered. He’ll show us, and He has a way of showing us in a kind way. And say, well, now you surrendered this, but now there’s this area in your life you need to surrender. For me, I struggled with anger, but he said, now surrender this to me, follow what I’m showing you and you can walk free from that anger you’ve had.

He wants to do those kinds of things in our lives, but it comes to that place of we need to surrender to him. You look at the thief on the cross. He didn’t pray all the right words that we say today. He just said, remember me when you come into your kingdom. God sees our hearts and He knows when we have a heart that says, I want to surrender to you, God.

It’s a daily surrendering. But following Him isn’t a drudgery. It is a joy because we don’t have to carry the burdens of the past. We don’t have to live under the bondage that we were under in our life. Now, God wants to set us free from those bondages and those burdens. And He wants us to walk in, it says, where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

And when we can walk in his spirit in our life, there is a freedom. That we experience that we don’t want to go back to the things before.

Maul: The nice thing with that too, is He doesn’t say straighten out your life and come to me. He just says, come to me. And then he starts working in our life, but it is that initial decision. I mentioned that often in my teachings. That’s the one thing He has given us that we can decide to give back, the love. Many unfortunately, are deciding, no, this is my life. I want to love myself. I want to love what I have here and now. But others decide, here Lord here’s my love; they feel it in their heart.

Just follow Him. Like you were just saying there’s no magic prayer. In Romans, it certainly says with the mouth, one confesses the Lord Jesus and with the heart believes that the Lord has raised Him from the dead.

What advice would you give to those who are born again, they are a child of God, but perhaps they just feel disconnected. They think, I don’t hear what God is saying to me. And I don’t know for sure if He loves me, but I gave my life to Him. What would you say to that individual?

Mike: One important thing is not being a lone ranger by yourself, because it’s easy for us to get discouraged without someone to help encourage us. So I encourage you to gather with believers. I understand that some people don’t feel like they fit in a church setting, but there are Bible studies. There are groups you can get together and have that time and encourage one another. That’s an important thing. But also, too, it’s making a concerted effort to follow Him. And by that, I mean, when we come to Him, get into the Bible and we talked about the struggles of reading. Don’t feel like you have to. Sometimes I share this with people in the jails and prisons. Don’t feel like you have to read the whole chapter if you’re struggling. Just read a couple of verses and just say, God really show me what you’re meaning in this. God will begin to show you the things He has for you in His word. The Bible says ask and it shall be given, seek and you’ll find, knock and it’ll be opened. And when we ask and seek and knock, those are things where we are doing something. If we’re just sitting and saying, okay, God, reveal yourself to me, but we’re not taking that step to follow him. We’re going to find ourselves not living a very Christian life.

But if we’re saying, okay, God, show me who you are today. Lord, reveal yourself to me. If we have a hunger, those who hunger and thirst after righteousness will be filled when we have that hunger and thirst for the things of God. He is going to reveal himself and show himself to us. An area that God has really been speaking to me.

I was talking to a guy and he said something about prayer. I’d let things slide with my prayer life. And prayer can be just like Bruce and I are talking here today, we can be talking to God. I drive school bus, there’s some mornings I see some of the beautiful sunrises and I say, thank You, Lord, for that today. And learning that we don’t have to get down on my knees. There’s a place for humbling ourselves and getting on our knees, but He can be a part of our everyday life where we’re at, if we can learn to just say, Lord, help me with this today or thank you for what you’ve done today. And just even short little things like that that he’s just a part of everything in our life; not just Sunday, but that He is a part of every day of our life

Maul: Well said brother. And that can be a challenge to those who are in denominations that really lay out, here’s how you are supposed to pray, here’s how you’re supposed to worship, here’s what you’re supposed to do. I really appreciate and I like what you said, because that’s biblical, the relationship of just talking to Him. Jesus didn’t lay out a big list of things as this is what you need to do before He’ll hear you.

Yes, if we can drop to our knees emotionally, if that’s what we feel we want to do, then do it. Because our spirit does indeed want to get lower to the ground. That’s fantastic. I love what you said, too, about even just being in the bus, you just talk to Him. Thank you for that. I appreciate it. Well, thank you, Mike.

I appreciate you coming over today. So as I close, I just remind everyone to open God’s Word. I say do it daily so you hear less of the noise of the world and you start hearing the voice of your Lord and Savior. Pray to him daily. Because like Mike was saying, that’s how we communicate. He’s listening. He’s here with us. And get together with brothers and sisters, as Mike was saying. I encourage people to do it weekly. The reason I say weekly is because almost everything we do that’s weekly is a part of our regular routine in life. And if you’re fortunate enough to have a Bible teaching and preaching church, then great, stick with it. But if it is not, don’t think that is how you are to be heard by God Almighty, is to just go to church. So with that said, I thank you so much, Mike, for coming today. Next episode, we’ll continue in the book of James.

Until next time,

God bless.


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