Free Indeed!

Ben CerulloBy Ben Cerullo6 Minutes

You’ve no doubt heard preachers quote the words of Jesus in John 8:36: “If the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” But, sadly, many professing Christians are still enslaved to habits and lifestyles that are keeping them from the abundant life Jesus promised. Let me tell you my own story, and I think you’ll see what I mean.

I grew up in a family with a rich Christian heritage. My grandfather is Morris Cerullo, an international evangelist who has preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ all across the world. Countless people have been saved, healed, delivered from demons, and trained for Christian service through my grandfather’s powerful ministry.

I was blessed to have Godly parents who taught me God’s Word and the importance of prayer. In 1990, they launched Inspiration Ministries, a media ministry that sends the Good News of Jesus to over 150 nations every day.

Some of my earliest memories are of church services and crusades where the Gospel was preached. Despite all of this exposure to God’s Word, I rebelled against the Lord in my teen years. Growing up in San Diego, I had a passion for action sports, but not for the things of God. And my rebellion only got worse when our family moved to North Carolina.

What started as “a little bit of sin” soon became a huge enemy stronghold in my life. First, I found myself smoking cigarettes, and then I moved on to using drugs and alcohol. Soon I was addicted to the drugs, and before long I was selling drugs to others.

Of course, this broke my parents’ hearts. They cried out for God to set me free, but I seemed to only get worse.

Finally, my downward spiral climaxed when I ended up in a hospital, on the edge of death from what the doctors believed was a cocaine overdose. Although I hadn’t done any cocaine that night—just my normal routine of smoking pot and drinking—the doctors didn’t believe me, since all my symptoms were that of a cocaine overdose. My heart was racing out of control, and I was terrified of dying. I knew I wasn’t ready to stand before God and give an account for my life.

But in my darkest hour, God spoke to me. “I’m giving you a choice today,” He said. “If you surrender your life to Me, you will live.”

In a moment of time, my whole life changed. I repented and cried out to God to forgive me. It was just me and the Lord in the hospital room. No preacher, no sermon to listen to, just the Holy Spirit knocking on my heart and me surrendering to Him.

Through that experience, God became real to me, and I was instantly set free from my destructive lifestyle. I know that many people have been helped by Christian counselors or 12-step programs. But in my case, an encounter with the living God was all it took to deliver me from the grip of drugs and alcohol.

However, not everyone understood the sudden transformation in my life. My wife wondered if I had gone crazy—particularly when I locked myself in a room with my Bible for a week!

But I was “free indeed,” and I’ve never looked back. God has already sent me to 29 nations to preach the life-changing Gospel. What a joy to see people saved, healed, and set free through the power of God! In nation after nation, blind eyes and deaf ears have been opened. Tumors have disappeared, crooked spines have been healed, and lame people now can walk!

If God can use a messed-up person like me for His glory, I know He can use anyone. The key is to be desperate for His presence and power. We need to know that without Him we can do nothing (John 15:5), but we can do ALL things when we rely on His mighty power (Philippians 4:13)!

Because of what God has done in my life, I have a passion to see Him set others free as well. I want to do my part in His great plan to raise up a spiritual army to rock the world with His saving and healing power.

What about you? Are you desperate for God to set you free and change your life? Are you ready for Him to use you to impact others?

Today can be your day. Just call on His name—the name of Jesus. Ask Him to forgive you and give you strength. Don’t look back, because there’s nothing there for you but chains. Keep your eyes on Jesus, and hold on with both hands to His Word, His promises, and His presence.

You don’t have to settle for a mediocre, powerless Christian life. Now is the time to awake, arise, advance, and BE the revival the world has been waiting for!

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