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Come Out of Your Grave

Jesus Breaks the Chains / Michael Bowen
The Truth Network Radio
January 22, 2022 8:30 am

Come Out of Your Grave

Jesus Breaks the Chains / Michael Bowen

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January 22, 2022 8:30 am

When was the turning point in your life when you realized that you were dead without God? This week listen to the very moment Evangelist Michael Bowen came out of his grave and into the arms of the Lord.

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Enjoy it, share it, but most of all, thank you for listening and for choosing the Truth Podcast Network. This is Jesus Breaks the Chains. The first three verses of that psalm, I will extol you, O Lord, for you have lifted me up and have not let my foes rejoice over me. O Lord my God, I cried out to you and you healed me. O Lord, you brought my soul up from the grave. You have kept me alive that I should not go down to the pit.

Eight and a half years ago, in 2013, I had dug for myself a giant pit and I'd fallen into it once again. I made myself a grave and I decided to go back to a crack house like I had done for so many years and get high on crack cocaine once again. I've been battling alcoholism and drug addiction for over 20 years already. During those 20 years, I was in and out of countless drug rehabilitation programs. I've been arrested on many occasions and sent to jail probably over 30, maybe even 50 times. And I'd already been to prison once and even to a couple of mental hospitals because nothing ever tried to stop drinking and doing drugs ever worked. People literally thought I was crazy and had mental health issues. That night, in 2013, I decided to go get high in a crack house.

I had every intention of going home to my children in the morning before they got up and I had to take them to school. Well, morning came and morning went and I could not pull myself out of that dark and nasty grave where I was hiding out, getting high. At the time, I thought I was getting high, but in reality, it was taking me way down low. I did not realize at the time just how low I would go until one day I found myself in the deepest, darkest place in my life. Three months after I disappeared, I was living in my car, smoking crack, selling crack, shooting methamphetamine in my veins, stealing items from stores, people, and businesses so I could keep getting high. I was a disgusting, low-life, good-for-nothing, drug-addicted thief, and I hated myself so much I couldn't even look at myself in the mirror anymore. How low can you go, Michael Bowen? How deep of a grave will you continue to dig for yourself? When will you ever stop falling down the pit you have made?

Fortune for me, the Lord help me answer those questions. On May 19, 2013, I was arrested for six felony counts of theft and placed into the back of a police car. I remember saying to myself when I was getting arrested, thank you, God.

I was thankful because I knew that if I was arrested, I'd be locked up in jail and not be able to do drugs anymore, steal any more things, or commit any more crimes. I was so sick and tired of running. I did not want to get high anymore, but I could not stop getting high.

I knew I needed help, and for sure, I needed rest. I was under a tremendous amount of emotional stress, and I was having thoughts that I'd be better off dead. By being in jail, I thought I might be able to stop digging that deep grave for the dead men walking I had become.

I now refer to that day as a day I was captured by God. When I arrived in jail, I knew something had to change. I knew if I didn't do something different this time, that I'd go right back to using drugs and getting arrested again. I was at a point where I hated myself, and I hated the world in which I found myself living here.

I'd reached the end of myself and had nowhere to turn except for one. When I went before the judge for my crimes, she sentenced me to one year in prison, and for some strange reason, I was happy to go. I'm no stranger to prison. I'd already done a two-year sentence in the state of Arizona for stealing a car and taking the police on a high-speed car chase through the city of Phoenix. One night, I was in a car that I had stolen, and I was high on crack cocaine and methamphetamine, and the police pulled up behind me and turned on their lights. When I saw their lights, I decided to run. I did not want to stop getting high. I knew if they caught me, I wouldn't be able to get high anymore. And at that time, I was going to run. I was going to run as hard and as fast as I could. I did not want them to catch me. You know, I knew if they pulled me over, I was for sure going to go to jail. I tried to get away. I ended up wrecking the car into a van, and then took off on foot to the neighborhood, and the police helicopter put its light on me, and the police arrested me and locked me up. Now, in 2013, I find myself back in prison for a second time.

But this time, something is different. I was desperate for change. I was at a point where I'd rather be dead than to live another day as a drug addict. That is when I decided to hit my knees in prayer and open up my Bible and read. And when I read this Bible, the words started jumping off the page and speaking directly to me, and this is one of the scriptures that I read that had a profound effect on me. From the book of John 11, verse 25, and Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, though he may die, he shall live. Jesus says, he who believes in me, though he may die, he shall live.

There I was. I was rated, I would rather die than to live another day as a drug addict. This spoke to me. Though he may die, he shall live. You mean I can live?

I can have a life? And the scripture just spoke to me. Reading this scripture, I realized the old drug addicted man in me needed to die so a new man could be resurrected in his place. And I could live a good life in Jesus.

That old man needed to pass away and die in that prison so the new man could come out of the grave and rise in Christ. Hallelujah. Thank you, Jesus, for this powerful promise in your word. This touched me greatly. Now I wanted to live. But before I could live, God's word says I must die.

What does that even mean? How am I supposed to die? So I just prayed and prayed and prayed and the Lord led me to a moment. One night in the prison chapel, I would go to the prison chapel anytime that they had church services in prison, I would be there. And one of those nights I went to the prison chapel and we had some praise and worship and I began to praise and worship.

And during that song, it was a song called A Better Way and it's by Jason Upton. It's Jesus saying, I will show you a better way. I found myself during that song on my face, on the floor weeping and crying out to Jesus, crying out to him. I told him that I hated myself and I hated this world and didn't want anymore, that all I wanted was him. I told Jesus that I was going to walk out of this prison and go smoke crack cocaine once again, that he had better just kill me now, take my life from me right here, right now on this prison chapel floor.

I am ready to die. Then I said to him, but if you will save me, I will serve you the rest of the days of my life. In that moment, I felt the hand of God like a hammer hit me and it felt like my soul cracked and my spirit pouring out of me like dirty water pouring out from a broken base.

This took a while. I laid there and wept and cried and I had such godly sorrow and I was just begging Jesus to save me and telling how sorry I was for all the sins I had done and the crimes I had committed and the people I had hurt and lied to and all the disappointments and the failures that I had caused in my life and those around me. And once I was empty and I felt myself completely empty with no strength and myself, I was just poured out almost like a drink offering unto the Lord, but I was emptied. I was poured out. And once I got to that place where I just didn't have any more, I felt like I was totally empty. I was able to pull myself up from the floor and stand on my own two feet and that is when I felt his presence. Hallelujah. The old man had just died.

That's what it was. That's that death that I couldn't understand. How do you die? That was when I died, when I completely surrendered my life to Jesus Christ on that prison chapel floor and I was ready to let that old man go, that old man die. And when that old man died, the new man stood, now stood in its place. A new man now connected to Jesus Christ, light and life. Romans 6, 4 through 11 says, Therefore we are buried with him through baptism and to death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in a newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of his death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of his resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin, for he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more.

Death no longer has dominion over him, for the death that he died, he died to sin once and for all, but the life that he lives, he lives to God. Likewise, you also reckon yourself to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Jesus Christ. You see, when I died, for the death that I died on that prison floor, I died to sin once and for all. And now the new man, that new life that I live, I live to God in Jesus Christ. This scripture speaks to the process that I went through on that prison floor. We all must go through this process to come to a place of life, to be made alive in Jesus Christ. We rise because he died and rose again for us.

We rise and walk in the newness of life in Jesus Christ because he gave us this promise in his word. It's these promises that I read that brought me to my knees in surrender to Jesus. I started reading the word and believing what I was reading.

God gave me the faith to believe. He imparted the faith to believe what I was reading was true, that led me to my godly sorrow and repentance and produced my salvation on that prison chapel floor. We die in Jesus Christ and we live anew in him because of what he did for us at Calvary and through his resurrection. First Corinthians 15, 20 to 22, but now Christ is risen from the dead and has become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ, all shall be made alive. On that prison chapel floor, as I cried out to him, the old man died and a new man was made alive in Jesus Christ.

What a promise. It's amazing to me when I can reflect back on that day and remember the goodness and the love that Jesus poured out on me. It was his love that brought me to my knees. It was his love that drew me in. It was his love that broke me and allowed the old man and me to die and so I could rise again a new man.

Hallelujah. First Corinthians 6, 14 and God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. God is not dead. He is alive for he has risen. He has come out of the grave.

He is there no more. Matthew 28, 1 through 8 says, Now after the Sabbath, as the first day that we began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone from the door and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning and his clothing is white as snow.

And the guard shook for fear of him and became like dead men. But the angel answered and said to the women, Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus, who is crucified. He is not here, for he is risen. As he said, Come see the place where the Lord lay and go quickly and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead. And indeed, he is going before you into Galilee. There you will see him.

Behold, I have told you. So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy and ran to bring his disciples were. Jesus came alive.

Jesus came up and came out of that grave. There are people listening to this podcast who have not accepted Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior and have not been made alive. Give your life to Jesus now.

I encourage you. Pick up your Bible and read your word. If you don't have a Bible, go find a church and ask for a Bible and they will help you. Surrender your life to Jesus. Join that spirit filled church and get baptized and become a disciple of Jesus Christ.

The best decision I ever made in my life. I promise you. There are also people listening to this podcast right now who have made Jesus Christ their Lord and Savior, but you're still sitting in your graves and you need to get up. You need to get out. Get up now. Come out of the darkness. Shake off the dust. You must come out of your grave.

It's not made for you. You belong to Jesus Christ. You are made alive in Him.

Stop living the life of death. Hallelujah, that He delivered you from. 2 Timothy 3, 1 through 9 says, But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come for men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of Godliness but nigh in His power. And from such people turn away, for of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sin, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as John and Jamboreth resisted Moses, so did these also resist the truth. Men of corrupt minds disapproved concerning the faith, but they won't progress no further, for their father will be manifest to all as theirs also was.

That was me. I was this scripture when I was in my drug addiction, when I had put myself in my own grave and living that life with no self-control, that I was unholy and I was a lover of pleasure rather than a lover of God. And I grew up going to church and I knew right from wrong. And so in one sense I might have a form of Godliness, but I denied its power to deliver me from addiction once and for all until I finally came, I stopped resisting the truth like the scripture says. My mind was corrupt and God uncorrupted my mind.

I was able, when I started reading his word, the washing and cleansing of his word, uncorrupted my mind and I was able to stop resisting the truth and I was able to receive the truth, hallelujah, and able to surrender my life to Jesus Christ. These are those who are still in your graves, the ones that are described in this scripture, the ones like me. It may be addiction to drugs.

It could be addiction to any other thing. It could be many different things that you're putting in your life before your relationship with Jesus. Get rid of them. Jesus is the only way.

He's the one. Our relationship with him is first. Come out now by the power of the Holy Spirit and the authority of Jesus name. Come out of that grave, put on the new man or the new woman and come alive like I came alive. Repent, turn away from your sins, surrender God, submit yourself to Jesus Christ, the only one who can save your soul and make you alive in him. The only one who can set you free from whatever has you in bondage, money, lying, cheating, poor relationships with others, anything that separates you from the love of God.

Cry out to him now. I am now a missionary in Liberia, West Africa. I want to tell you a story about a group of people in that country called Zogos. Zogos is a derogatory term.

It's the least of these. These people are treated like dogs. They're the throwaways. They're the drug addicts and criminals. And many of them are the former child soldiers from the brutal Iberia civil war, the leftover child soldiers.

Many of the Zogos literally live in the tombs and crypts in the cemeteries and graveyards. When the civil war ended in 2003, the child soldiers had nowhere to go. And many of them were orphans because the warlords killed their families many times in front of them when they were taking them. During the war, the warlords came and kidnapped the young boys and made them fight. These boys were as young as nine and ten years old, and they were scared to death.

You could just imagine the fear that they had. In order for them not to be scared, the warlords fed them drugs and they became addicted. The warlords made them commit murders, rapes, and even some were forced to cannibalize their victims. This is the most atrocious thing that I could even imagine for a young boy to be subject to this. When all they want to do is be a child, they just want to be a child and their childhood is stolen from them and they're made to commit these horrible war crimes.

You could just imagine the trauma that they had to undergo and that was left with them. When the war was over and the disarmament came, the government took away the guns but the addiction and the trauma in the child soldiers stayed. Now there's an entire population of drug addicted people living in the cemeteries and the ghettos along its edges all across Liberia. Drug addiction in Liberia was seeded through these child soldiers and seeded through the Civil War.

Now it's a huge problem and it is reaching all areas of Liberian society. In Liberia, in the capital city of Monrovia, there is a 13-acre cemetery called the Palm Grove Cemetery. In the cemetery, there are tombs and crypts that are built above ground because Monrovia is next to the ocean. Because the child soldiers had nowhere to go when the war ended, they went into this cemetery and broke into the tombs and crypts and lived there with the bones of the dead bodies.

Some still live there today smoking and using the drugs that they are so desperately addicted to in the same way that I too was so desperately addicted to the drugs that I could not stop smoking and using. If I had been born in Liberia, I would be in the cemetery with the Zogos. I identify with the Zogos. I do all the same things that they do.

I did all the same things that they did. I know this to be true, drug addicts go where the drugs are being used and in Liberia, that is in the cemeteries and in the smoke houses, in the ghettos surrounding them. When I was in Liberia on a mission trip, I went to the Palm Grove Cemetery and I had a church service on its edge and the men and women came up out of that cemetery.

They came up out of those ghettos. They came up out of the tombs and the crypts, out of the graves and started worshipping and praising the Lord and begging me to help them. Currently, we are building drug rehabilitation to side-ship homes in Liberia to help these people come out of the graves, out of their addiction and to come alive in Jesus Christ.

I'm telling you, brothers and sisters, friends of mine, everyone listen to this podcast. If they can come up out of their graves and come alive, then so can you. Ephesians 4 17-24 says, This I say, therefore, in testifying the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, but of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart, who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all-includingness with greediness. But you have not so learned, Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus, that you put off concerning your former conduct, the old man, which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lust, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man, which was created according to God, in the true righteousness and holiness. New man, new woman, shake off the bandages and linens, and come up out of your graves and start living a good life in Jesus Christ. Come out of that grave, shake off that dust, and follow Jesus. He has shown us the way. He is the way, the truth, and the life.

Hallelujah. Come out of the grave and love God. Come out of the grave and love people. Come out of the grave and share Jesus with the world. Repent. Turn away from your sin. Cry out to Jesus and He will save your soul.

Today is your day. You make the choice, whether you stay in your grave or you come out to be made alive. I had to make that choice when I was in prison, and I made that choice. It was the greatest choice, the greatest decision I ever made, was to surrender my life to Jesus Christ on the prison chapel floor and let my old man die.

You see, I had to hate my old man enough to let him finally die. Hallelujah. Today I encourage you to choose Jesus and to choose life. Now it is your time to truly live. Brothers and sisters, friends of mine, it has been my honor to be able to share this message with you. My hope is for you to understand that no matter where you are in your life or what you have done, if you give your life to Jesus Christ, He can change you into what He created you to be, and He will raise you once and for all out of your lonely grave. I'm going to end this podcast with this poem I wrote when I was in prison. It is for all of you who have found yourself stuck in the darkness of this world like I did when I was stuck in my addiction.

It's called, Cry Out to Him. Jesus Christ always patiently waiting, silent whispers, beautiful saving sound. The voice of truth always calling, wanting for you to be found. Lost in the hell of your addiction, drowning head first in the mire of disgrace. Falling into that deep, dark pit.

Can't even see the hand in front of your face. Smoke and mirrors are dancing, dark magic setting the snares. Trapped in a wicked illusion, crooked face, mirrored stares. Cracked silver lining, gold melted down in haste, hot fiery furnace glowing.

Only false effects of the drugs your soul bitterly tastes. Broken legs from falling, spotted eye, hot fire stare. Hidden in tormenting shadows as if you weren't even there. Cold blood running freely, tears, crying spirit calls.

Scraped knees on pavement in the busy street frantically chasing the runaway ball. Child of disobedience, deserving of punishing wrath. Love has come calling, obedience the much better path. Blindly walking in darkness, confused by the black rushing waters of sin.

Comforted by addictions, wicked pleasures. Stop the insanity now and let him in. The son of God is ready to answer. It is you who must cry out to him.

No place you have fallen is too dark. His light is bright, victory always to win. Cry out now for your savior, Jesus Christ, the mighty king of all kings. Your one and only deliverer from addiction.

A sharp, double edged sword he does swing. The biting soul and spirit hot slicing through marrow and bone. His blood will cover you gently, the first step in your journey back home. Only Jesus can liberate. His truth will set you free from addiction's only grave. Lift you out of your darkness, shake loose the heaviness of guilt and shame. Cry out now for your redeemer. Listen to his always calling, sweet saving voice. Reach for the trusted hand he extends.

Today is your day to make this life changing choice. God's word is your promise, giving you victory over all evil things. His holy spirit of fire, living breath, healing to your wounded spirit it brings. Comfort to your soul conflicted. Now is the time to let your spirit finally shout. Jesus will come rushing in to save. At the top of your lungs let it all out. Primal scream, terror filled yell like Jericho.

The resonating sound bringing down the giant walls. Breaking the heavy yoke that binds you. Let the spirit of Christ stop your continued fall. Love will lift you from your addicted pit like Joseph.

Release your feet from the snare. Pull you from addiction's fiery grave. Show you how to defeat the prince of the air. In the name of Jesus is all power, invoking God's highest authority from his throne.

Jesus Christ, the Lord over all creation. Let your cry out now to bring you home. Scream Jesus. Scream Jesus, please come to save. Grace will carry you on its wings to freedom.

For you this is your predestined day. Christ has located your position, always standing there right by your side. You have been too busy being fooled by magic, chasing the golden calf of your high. Dark valleys you have been your road map. Lost journey has you falling hard into this unforgiving pit. God has already marked you as his chosen. In Christ Jesus your destiny you will sit. The enemy has you in hiding, tricked you into going underground into his grave.

Take off the ignorance that blinds you. Let the light of Christ your soul to save. Cry out for your life eternal. Into sure death Jesus will come charging in. He is the key to your freedom, the power of victory over your sin.

Right now is the time of your calling. Step boldly into your royal family, your rightful place. Child of God shed the iron boots of addiction. Accept today's gift of God's light shining grace. Jesus is waiting to answer, never ceasing, always calling your precious name. Cry out to him for you are his procession. Take his hand and be delivered from addiction's dark magic, dead man's grave. I love you all and I pray that you too can find the freedom that I have found in Jesus Christ. Jesus breaks the chain. He is my Lord and Savior and the light that raised me out of the grave is the greatest life I ever lived. Living my life in Jesus Christ, God bless you all. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-19 20:03:58 / 2023-06-19 20:15:04 / 11

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