Monday, March 16, 2020 -
Well, the Lord answered my prayers for “W” even before I wrote yesterday’s journal, but I did not know it. As soon as I set down my pen, “W” comes walking into my cell indescribably excited. He exclaimed, “I am born again! I have surrendered my life to God, completely. I am higher now than I’ve ever been! It all makes sense now, Jesus died for me, for my sin. I went to the service at 2 pm, and I couldn’t stop crying till I gave my life to Him. I know now that it is the Holy Spirit that has been working on my heart for years, but I just wouldn’t listen.” All of this he was saying was at a significant decibel level, as he was crying for joy. He kept saying, “I have been set free! I have been set free!” How amazing this was, to see the transforming power of God. I took “W” through a lot of Scriptures just to make sure, which he couldn’t get enough of. He kept saying, “I’ve heard these all my life, but I didn’t understand. Now, this is all so clear.”He said before he just didn’t have the faith to believe and he doubted the reality of it. But when he decided to believe without a shadow of a doubt, it all became real.
I asked him at one point about the revelation he had when he was in the SHU. He said he got hold of some K2 when in the SHU but was caught. He’d beaten similar charges while locked up four times before and knew this time he was probably not going to get out of it. So he prayed to God that if He got him out of this, he wouldn’t get high anymore while in prison. They withdrew the charges, even though they had evidence and he was obviously guilty. He said it was then as if God spoke to him and told him this was the last time He was going to come through for him, and if he messed up again, that was it!
So “W” said to himself he would never break another law, he would always go by the rules. So when he was released from the SHU, he went from inmate to inmate, asking nearly everyone in our unit what would keep them from coming back to prison. I don’t know the answers they gave, but apparently, I was the only one to tell him it’s impossible to be perfect or sinless without Jesus Christ. But my telling him that it was the Holy Spirit that was working on him was the clincher, he said.
From my cell on Saturday night, immediately after count, he went and talked to “V,” a brother from Chicago who met the Lord in prison 3 years ago. He said, “Do you know Philip Zodhiates? He had told me it was the Holy Spirit that was dealing with me.” “V” asked, “How old are you?” “W” answered, “Thirty-seven.” “V” told him, “Well, that’s how old I was when the Holy Spirit started dealing with me! You’ve got to come to our Spanish/English church service tomorrow at 2.”
“W” said he went back and prayed nearly all night, realizing now that the Holy Spirit was convincing him he could no longer refuse and had to submit. He argued with God about what to do with the last of the dope he had in his locker, and finally flushed it down the toilet. The Lord continued to deal with him continuously today. At one point I saw him sitting at a table with his hands folded in the air praying.
He told me just now that at one point he turned on the radio and found the song played was like the Holy Spirit speaking straight to him. When he went to the church service, the Holy Spirit was directing every word straight at him. He cried throughout the whole service until he finally surrendered everything to God. Since then he’s been telling just about every guard and inmate he’s come across what has happened. It will take time for people to see it is truly genuine, he admits. And he knows Satan will be targeting him big time.
One guy he talked to was “G,” who I’ve written about. “W” says he’s very close to giving his life to Christ. I have witnessed to “G” several times, and he’s sat in on our Bible study on Saturdays. “W” asked me if I knew about his wife, and I said no. He said “G” is in his 70s, and after six children and many years of marriage, he couldn’t take it anymore because she became more and more holy. He loved her very much, but he ended up moving out. I have been praying for “G” for well over a year, and this new brother in the Lord says “G” is very close to making that decision to follow Christ. Not one time when I’ve spoken to “G” about the Lord has he told me anything about his wife or that he’s heard before what I’ve been telling him. Pray please, for “G!”
“W” may have been the last person I would have thought would give his life to Christ in this unit. But just as God set apart Paul (Saul) for His own purposes in spite of his notorious reputation persecuting Christians, so God has singled out “W” for His purposes. I pray it may be the beginning of a real and genuine revival in this institution.