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Jesus Breaks The Chains

Jesus Breaks the Chains / Michael Bowen
The Truth Network Radio
October 16, 2021 5:00 am

Jesus Breaks The Chains

Jesus Breaks the Chains / Michael Bowen

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October 16, 2021 5:00 am

Jesus breaks ALL chains - the chains of sin, rebellion, addiction, and even habitual incarcerations. Michael Bowen, former prisoner turned prison minister, now leads others out of the captivity of sin and addiction to Christ through his ministry, Sons & Daughters of Thunder. Come along with Michael as he shares testimonies and stories of healing and redemption through Jesus Christ - and how He sets the captives free.

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Nothing says Christmas like a one for poor family in Asia, getting a water buffalo is like getting a farm tractor pulled while working a milk truck getting the stand of the market. A water buffalo opened.

More importantly, it opens the door to talk about Jesus and nothing says Christmas better than that.

Join Truth Network in supporting gospel for Asia gift and click on the Christmas critter campaign. This is Chris shoes with the Christian perspective podcast with Chris use. We encourage our listeners to engage the culture with Jesus Christ your chosen Truth Network podcast is starting a just a few seconds. So enjoy it share but most of all, thank you for listening to The Truth Podcast Network. This is good Truth Network the resurrection power of Jesus Christ absolutely transforming and restoring lives, making all things this power; the captivity hell and delivered to God, Jesus Christ. Hello my name is Michael and I want to share with you today a story about my life and the things that happened to me. That brought me to my knees and within that I was able to find my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as a young man I love football I love family and I was just a happy kid growing up in Dallas, Texas and and I really just enjoyed life and everything that life had to offer and had all these dreams and aspirations and and really what I thought one day that that I would be a professional football player and I would go on. I love the Dallas Cowboys and I love watching football and just like any child you know if any child. We all have our dreams and that that was my dream and and I and I attacked that dream and and and I really believe in myself that one day I'd be professional football player and it worked well for me and I excelled in sports in high school and college and college job. I became a star football player Southern Methodist University Mustangs and in one year at the University of Georgia for the Bulldogs, and in 1990 I was the office of MVP for so the Mets University of Los Altos conference wide receiver and I got drafted into the Canadian football league for the Edmonton Eskimos and I really was was excited I was living my dream, my family was was was proud of me.

Everybody was happy. All my friends were just excited for for the success that I was having in my life and and I really thought that this was it, and that this was going to bring me happiness and that I finally made it in this world and I finally made it of my life and now I'm living my dream and and so I went up to Canada in I guess it was. I graduated from SMU in 1990 my my last football season, I was drafted in 1991 I actually 1991 in the Canadian football league. I went up to Edmonton Eskimos and I was up there for one week and I got cut from the Edmonton Eskimos and they told me I was not good enough and it are pretty much destroyed me.

At that point in time because I didn't have a plan B was planning I was going to be a professional football player. I was really what hoping to go play in the NFL.

But when I didn't catch on with NFL and I ended up going to Canadian football league. I believe that I would use.

I'd spent a couple years in the CFL and then I would go on and play in the NFL. Like so many so many others had done before me and I had that roadmap and I had that vision. And that's what I was going to do and and and so when I was told they came in and they told me pack your bags or leave and you're not good enough to pretty much destroyed. I was devastated because most of my life sports came easy to me. I worked real hard, but sports came easy to me because I was a good athlete. I had a passion for the game. I love football so much more than anything in my world, and in so and so that's what I had all attached. All my hope and and in my future to his football this game that I love so much and I was good at it gave me so much, you know, people were just proud of me. My parents were proud of me, my family was proud of me. I was in the newspapers. I was on the radio and in it just gave me a sense of of of of accomplishments.

It made me feel good about myself being a football player be able to do those things and and I have a lot of camaraderie in the sport with a lot of friends and it just opened up so many doors for me and all the sudden that door was shut.

When they told me I was not good enough and so when they walked into the room and gave me the papers and said you are fired. They see what they told me I went back to the Dallas I took a flight plane flight back to Dallas on the plane and I was devastated. I didn't know what I was going to do, like a said before there was just no plan B. Plan a and so I got back to Dallas in and I knew I was going to have to start working so I started to get jobs in sales and and think that that was going on. I was can have some success, but it but it just didn't it never brought me the satisfaction and the joy that I was looking for and so I fell into drinking and drugs and very soon after I came back from Canada, I became addicted to crack cocaine and it was devastating. There was an epidemic of crack cocaine in the United States at the time and I got swept up in it and by the age of 23 I was fully addicted to crack cocaine.

I would go and disappear into the ghettos in the inner cities and and and smoke crack and I would be missing for days and we send later became months and I did this for a long time. Over the years for 25 years I was in and out of jails, hospitals, prisons, rehabilitation centers, I cannot count on both my hands the number of rehab programs. I went to 12 step meetings that I went to's 12th step program psychologists item with too few mental hospitals and jails just so many different things that I tried to solve this problem that I had that I was addicted to crack cocaine and I became a thief and that and the way drug addicts pay for their drugs is they steal things and I became the biggest thief I would I would go into stores and steal from stores, a walk in a run out with TVs and different things like that. I even stole purses from ladies and I became homeless and and just vagabond in the streets hopping from Kraków to Kraków's trying to stay high, trying to stay high because when I was high would have to think about my broken empty life and every time that I would go to jail I would get out of jail or anytime I would go to rehab.

I would go to the rehab and I would come out of the rehab and and I would believe that this would be yet this is what was going to fix me that now I would be able to stop using drugs and and I couldn't. I was never able to stop using drugs. It was too much. It was too strong for me I had I had met my match and I was it was just taken over my life and and so it just it was like a broken record plane the same lopsided song over and over again I would get clean off drugs and I would have some put some hope in my life. Some hope that man. I knew how to work hard because my foot but I said if I work hard enough at this somehow someway him and to be able to stop using drugs, and I really believe in my heart and in my mind that I would never use again that I could do it under my own street because II had proven that that that I had a good will and determination.

If I worked hard enough. Somehow I'd be able to pull through. Like always did in my sports training and in with football, and but that never came. It was just too much for me. So over the years.

It was just a failure after failure after failure trying to put back my life after a relapse into drugs and finally in 2013 I was living in Austin Texas and here once again I just I just gotten out of prison in 2010 in Arizona. I've stolen the car and took the police on a on a high-speed chase and wrecked the car and the van ran to the neighborhood and that the helicopter lit me up in and out, was arrested for.

I had drugs in and and for first still in the car and I did two years of prison in Arizona and I got out of the prison in Arizona and in and before that time in imprisoned Arizona out.

I was able to set to get married in and have have three children sought so I had to I had children and and I had a wife at the time and I was able to weave. We moved to Texas and I thought again I was in the start this life in Texas and that I would be able to do and to stop doing drugs.

But I relapse once again and and this time I was missing for three months running through the Austin city streets high on drugs I'd abandoned my children. My job in my my wife at that time ended up divorcing me and and I don't blame her for the from the way I was acting so I lost everything, this time in 2013 I ended up in prison for a second time, I was pulled over one night after being on drugs for about three months and I was arrested for six felony counts of theft and I've been going around stealing things from stores and just to keep the drugs flowing because I just could not face that that life that that I was living and I was devastated and ended up in prison and I really I just I just really had lost all hope this time I tried everything and I just knew it was out of this going to be a drug addict for the rest of my life and the only way that that I would that I would stop using drugs, I believe, was if I died and that's what I was trying to do this. This is the last time that that I use drugs are just kind to do as much as I could because I knew that that that would be my certain ended that I would probably drive died drug I can. I'd probably dive an overdose or something and so I was going to do as many drugs I could so I could reach my my certain, but rather different plans for me and when I was arrested August I was taken to jail and then I ended up having a one year sentence in the Texas prison system and I went to prison in an and the Lord started calling on me. At that time I started hearing from the Lord and early on in in in prison, I would.

I would start walking and and I knew the Lord was was talking to me but I but I but I just couldn't face him. I couldn't face the Lord. I couldn't do it.

I wasn't ready and I just started walking and we have dorms in prison and slide start walking real fast lapse and start walking as fast as I could in the Lord was talking to me, but I would listen I would listen, I will show ashamed and so defeated and just so devastated and and I just started walking and I would walk for days and days and days.

Every day I get up and just start walking and one day I finally had enough. I just II just I could walk anymore.

I'd walk myself out and and I listen the Lord and and and and and and the Lord spoke to me and I went and I knelt Neil down, but by my bunk and and I said Lord I said Lord I said, Lord, I'm sorry. Please forgive me and in in that moment he just just began to speak to me and I picked that the Bible, after the first time in a long time to started reading the word and any started speaking to me and then I started going to the chapel and and I did this for several months and and and things are happening in and I just read.

I poured myself into the word and I was I was in imprisoned that year and I read probably read the Bible probably three times through from front to back, and I just kept pouring the word it to me and I began to change as I started reading that word and I started believe in God's word over what the world had had labeled me over what my identity became as a drug addict as a thief as as as just a no good loser, because that's what I felt like when I went in there and and and in the Lord spoke to me in his word and started telling me who I was, that I am a new creation in the old things are passed away, and in all things become new and and and I began to believe what he was telling me and one night I was in a chapel in the prison chapel and I was sitting there and I was just I was crying and I said I said Lord. Where are you where are you and he said to me; your tears and and in that moment, I just I just felt such connection that he been with me the whole time it all through everything and and and and in that moment he was speaking to me and there was a song that would that came on the came on as I was asked and then as we are doing worship and praise and it said a better way is by Jason Upton this is I will show you a better way and thank God it was a 22 minute song because within that song I found my freedom within that moment of worship. I found my freedom as as as the song was saying, I will show you better way. I was surely a better way. I began to come into godly sorrow and in that godly sorrow produces the repentance in me and I found myself falling to the floor and I started laying on the floor crying out to Jesus and I see Jesus I hate myself and I hate this world and I don't want it anymore. All I want is you, Lord, I said, Lord, if I'm going to leave here again and go out and smoke drugs again and smoke crack. Again, I don't. I don't want to leave your you kill me now. I can't do it anymore. I don't want to do anymore. Please take my life right now I want to die and and I said, but Lord, if you save me, I will serve you the rest.

The days of my life and in that I just felt his hand come upon me, and I felt my my soul crack and I began to weep and I cried and and and I poured myself to like I was being poured out before God, and I felt my spirit just pour out onto the floor and I laid there and I wept and I cried and upset I tell you that song was was 22 minutes long. I really if if you if you want to listen to a really good song. Jason Upton is called a better way and and in that I just wept and I cried and I wept and I cried and when I was able I thought I just felt everything just leaving me. I felt empty. I felt myself being emptied on that floor and that prison and just all the years of pain and hurt and suffering all the disappointment and interest. Realizing that this world is just such a big disappointment without Jesus in it without a relationship with God that that it is such a disappointment that I would never find happiness in the things that I was pursuing the football the fame I made football my God and my God the my God football failed me. But I know this God that introduced himself to me.

Jesus Christ will never fail, meaning shown himself to me in that room right there in that floor on that floor and and and is my is my spirit poured out and I finally empty myself of myself.

I was finally able to to to to. I was on my arm on my face on that floor.

I was finally able to get enough strength to bring myself up and as I stood up I felt his presence is billing their percents and ever since that day I have not had one desire or one thought of ever using drugs or alcohol ever again. I was eight years ago and and I just think Jesus and and and from that point I just got into the word of God and I started studying the word of God, and I gave myself all to the Lord and I didn't think about anything else and I said I am with you, Lord Jesus, and you make my life the way you wanted do you shape me and mold me. I want to be this new creation and I want to do what you want me to do and I know that you will make me a new life is that old life is gone and I just believe the word of God. What it said. And so I was able to to do my year in prison.

My got out in 2014 and when I got out I went to a halfway house in Austin, Texas, and I was able to reconnect with my children and that was wonderful and and through the years I was able. My children came back to me. I ended up dated come back with me a little with me on. I thought I got a job. I ended up going to Bible college, I got a bachelors in theology and I was license order ordained as an evangelist and and I go back into the prisons and I and I and I tell the men in the prisons, the story of how I laid on that floor and that chapel I actually preach every Thursday night in that same room where later my face and gave my life to Jesus Christ and I tell them in-go over that spot on the floor that same spot on the floor where I wept and cried to Jesus, and I tell the men in that room. I said, and I jump up and down on that spot. I said this is where my old man is buried. He will never come out. I jump up and down on that. I said this is that old man's grape. I said everyone you need to die tonight in this room if you die then you can be reborn in Jesus Christ except him asking in your heart and follow him, become his disciple, and you will not be disappointed. And so that's that's my message to tell them I tried my own way. I tried all the worldly ways to to get clean off drugs. I tried 12 step programs. I tried of therapies psychologist I went to jail in prisons and everything else that I tried and nothing worked. Only thing that worked is when I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ and that and I'm just telling you right now whatever you're struggling with it then have to be it. It may be drugs.

It could be pornography could be anything.

Anything that is keeping you separated from your purpose in God. Any struggle you have in your life is keeping you separated from living out your purpose in God. You can surrender your life to Jesus Christ right now and and and let those old things passed away all that shame and guilt from your past from your childhood it unmet.

If you been abused or or whatever is happened to you in your life. You do not have to carry that shame with you. You do not have to carry that guilt with you because it is when it goes under the blood. It is gone and he takes it from you and he took that shame for me that day in that prison and I and I don't have it anymore because those things were used to shaming now I hold them hi and I tell people about those things because God gets the glory in a radically transform life in Jesus Christ and in you too can have this if you just give your life to Jesus Christ and in that I just sobbed. I'm just so grateful that the Lord has just blessed me opened up. He he help me start a ministry called sons and daughters of thunder ministry and I was driving down the street one day I was doing I was good prison ministry I got on arms and I go to churches and give my testimony and in our preach and and do different things in churches and one day I was driving on the road and I received a phone call on Facebook messenger and I don't usually answer phone calls when they when I get them from numbers or people that I've never even met. I don't don't even know but but the Holy Spirit lived on the inside answer this phone call and answer this phone call is probably about 2016 and and it was a man from Liberia, West Africa on the line was a pastor from over there.

He said he read my testimony unit and it touched him and he wanted to meet me and we started talking and and and immediately we became friends, and in the Lord kinda connected us and so over the over the next couple years. We would talk in a once a week and and we would share on Facebook and different things and I and I got to know about the country of Liberia in the history of Liberia and and it just to become and dear to my heart and in this pastor in 2018 came to visit the United States and I he was in Dallas preaching at a church and I came over to visit him and I ended up getting to preach with him. We preached at the church and and we were talking afterwards we went to to dinner with it with the different pastors of church after church and and we we do started talking to him.

Body me to come to the library West Africa one day and so I said yeah I would love to do that. Really not knowing that I'd never do that because who really thinks that you're gonna go over and go to different parts of the world.

Whatever I said yet, I think that to be pretty cool but I didn't actually believe I'd ever go but I was hoping I would go because because I just sound like such a wonderful wonderful opportunity but anyways, by 2019. The next year on opportunity arose for me to go over to to library what West Africa and I went over and did a crusade, but before I went, I heard the story about those logos are called logos. Kind of a derogatory term but is logos is a drug addict over in Liberia and I really identified with these people, a lot of more that of the child soldiers that were left over from the war that were deeply traumatized and hurt and and now were living in the cemeteries in the tombs and cemeteries in the ghettos around the cemeteries doing drugs and I really identify with them. When I heard the story this logos it just touch my heart and I told the pastor I said when I come over there.

I want to go there. He said you want to go there. I said yes I want to go there. He said but nobody goes there but I said I would go there and I and I ended up going over to it to Liberia.

We did a crusade and and we had and we took a church service to the people in the cemeteries and and we held service and and they were so welcoming of the gospel and they were they were crying there asking for help and now that is my mission in Siberia is to help the suffering and in the drug addicts of the people that are addicted to drugs and in my ministry is is active right now we are building a children safe from our first project is a children say phone which is those babies being born into drug addiction and into the ghettos and we are building a children say phone will be able to take in about 15 babies and and bring them into a healthy, loving, nurturing environment to get him out of that environment so they can have a chance at it at a good life and and were also have plans to do men's rehabilitation discipleship programs and women's habilitation and discipleship program and just sharing with them the hope in the in the victory of Jesus Christ that they tooth they give their lives no matter where you are. The gospel is the gospel don't matter where in the world you are that matter where you live, who you are, what your circumstances are. The gospel is the gospel. If you give your life surrender life to Jesus Christ.

You could change your life where you will find success.

I found the greatest success in my life when I gave my life to Jesus Christ. Everything changed for me. I have joy I have peace.

He is the Prince of peace. He filled my heart, my soul with peace and now I serve him what I did was I traded my old life addicted to drugs in for a new life of hope and victory and life in the light and and and a passion to serve my God I serve Jesus Christ if it's if it's with my last breath. That is what all do I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I follow him.

I don't follow the world anymore because after four when I followed the world. All it gave me was disappointment. So my message to you is whatever you're struggling with whatever difficulty you're having give it to the Lord. I promise you, you will not be disappointed.

I would like to end with this. I just want to express to you the. The excitement that I have in my new life of Jesus Christ, and in all that the Lord is doing in my life three years ago I was married to a beautiful woman of God, wonderful woman of God, and she had two children so and I've five children and we just have an amazing life, ministry, and doing so many wonderful things in the Lord together and I just want to express that he so much for joining me for listening to me to my story and I'm just so grateful and humbled to be able to share it with you and I hope the will receive this you give Jesus a chance in your life. I just I look forward to being able to speak with you more. In Jesus name. For more information on Michael Billington ministry sons and daughters of thunder sons and daughters. Offender OIG and remember there is no addiction Jesus Christ Jesus breaks the this is the Truth Network

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