Lost and Found: The Devil is a Liar!

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   It doesn’t matter if you turn on your televisions, pick up a newspaper or magazine or just simply walk down the street, you will be faced with a huge issue facing all Christians, as well as all of society. The politics of personal values, as they relate to one’s beliefs, have been hijacked by a small, but extremely vocal and relentless group of people, bent on redefining things like traditional marriage, education, and faith. And while some try to remain neutral, in the hopes that they might not be  labeled as “intolerant” or “bigoted,” it is becoming increasingly obvious that the lost and misguided among us simply will not be satisfied with anything less than total acceptance of their personal belief systems, and total disregard for our own.
   Now as Christians, we understand that this is not possible in the eyes of GOD and as it is defined in Scripture. Moreover, we find ourselves defending the beliefs we hold dear, not in the sense that they are somehow wrong or intolerant, but as they are clearly the opposite of those held by this vocal minority seeking validation.
   Please pardon me if I seem overly political.  I’m simply frustrated by the razor sharp clarity I feel in my heart on the matters of traditional family and the like, as a means to address many of our societal ills.  I only wish to explain the teachings of my Lord and Savior, and those of Scripture as my reasoning for the things I hold dear. I do believe there are clear and obvious consequences to a life lived in sin, and I cannot or will not deny that for the sake of political correctness or some societal “trend.”
   As someone who was, is, and always will be a sinner, and as someone who has walked through his share of fire, with more surely to come, I cannot emphasize enough that I see it as my responsibility as a Christian to pray that HIS saving grace might visit upon all who need it, and to try, without condemnation, to bring them into the Light. 
   Surely, condoning that which we understand to be Biblically wrong must be the greatest hypocrisy. So as I struggle for the correct analogy and/or group of words which adequately reflect my deep sadness at watching the dismantling of our values and morals in favor of that which is without accountability, common sense, nature or reason, let me instead tell you of a man whose entire life speaks to that battle, as well as the will of JESUS CHRIST and the power of HIS healing love in our lives. 
   This man, is me, David Arthur, and my story is a poignant record of turmoil to triumph, and from sin to a sense of purpose and worth. You are about to read an all-too-real story of victory, snatched from the jaws of defeat, a story of CHRIST over the devil, and of the power of a Living GOD, complete with all the riveting pain and joy, as well as the truth that “THE DEVIL IS A LIAR!”
• • • • • • •
   I never knew my dad, as he committed suicide just before I was born. As a young child, I was molested by more than one individual.  But please understand that while these facts of life certainly affected me, and may have contributed to my fall, they were not excuses for my life’s choices. 
   My childhood was a blur of drugs, alcohol, and the homosexual lifestyle, driving me to run away from home numerous times, to the point where the state finally stepped in and placed me in an all-boys school. Not unlike many young folks lost in the battles of depression and family strife, I actually excelled to an above average standard in terms of my school work and intelligence level. 
   Sadly, this would not be the trigger I needed to break the bonds of sin, already engulfing me with the fiery speed of a demon in hot pursuit of my soul.  
   By the age of 14, my growing love of the streets had taken over my entire life. I’d finally run away from home and was prostituting myself on a regular basis. I was dressing as a woman, taking female hormones, and was fully engaged in a world that included an endless cycle of parties, sex, drugs and alcohol. Worse yet, completely taken in by the evil one, I was now HIV-positive as a result, but I continued to dive deeper into the dark world of homosexual and transgender prostitution, a world of confusion and lies that would nearly kill me.
      As my life continued to spin out of control, one sin seemed only to lead to another, as I was now gambling and selling drugs on a regular basis. My sexual partners were many, some paid, others not. My health had become an issue and was now rapidly deteriorating. Doctors explained that I now had the beginnings of osteoporosis, and was suffering from diabetes. And as if things could not get any worse, my nefarious activities had drawn the attention of law enforcement and I found myself in county lock-up at the age of 15, which became a “normal” routine for me.  I would eventually, many years later, serve the better part of two sentences in state prison. In prison, the inmate population saw me as somewhat of a “commodity.”
   Comporting myself like a female, I felt a misguided sense of belonging.  I even enjoyed my time of incarceration, at least to the degree that I could even understand true happiness or enjoyment. So with that misplaced sense of belonging, I set about doing my time and “living” my life. As my health continued to worsen in prison, I eventually began to find myself longing for something I could not quite understand or identify. Time, especially time spent in jail, can do this to a man. 
   It was during this period that I began to wonder why it was that whenever a certain Correctional Officer (CO) would work in my unit, I actually wanted to talk with this Christian man, while the other inmates would scramble and say, “Let’s go… Here comes Bishop.”  (To this day, I do not know “Bishop’s” real name). 
   I began to speak with Bishop on a regular basis. I began to read the Bible my mother had sent to me and to listen as Bishop explained to me that “this was not who GOD had Created me to be.” (Romans 1:27).
   For the first time in my life, I had come across a person who I just knew truly and purely loved me, but wanted absolutely nothing from me, but rather only wanted to give me something.  This was strange and almost alien to me, but I simply needed to know more of this saving GOD that Bishop spoke of.  Our conversations continued and my interest continued as well. 
   I was eventually released from prison, but sadly, I did not continue on in my study of God’s Word, but instead, I returned to my old life not long after being released. I did give it a try (living right), but it seemed the harder I tried to live right, the more opposition and turmoil I was faced with, so I went back to my “old ways.”
   Returning to my old ways had me laying on my death-bed within three  years.  Suffering from infections in my brain and blood while experiencing mini-strokes brought on by the infections, as well as a devastated immune system, ravaged by the virus raging inside of me, I was now walking with a cane, (and eventually a walker), and was nearly confined to a hospital bed.
      At one point in 2009, doctors told me they could do no more for me and that I would likely die at home. The devil had apparently done his job well with this chain smoking addict, and stood proudly poised to claim his prize in short order. Oh wait, But GOD…..
   Yes, but GOD was not prepared to accept defeat in my life. I hadn’t forgotten my friend in prison, and remembering his words of encouragement, I began crying out for GOD to “take it all away.”  Take away the pain of addiction and sin. Take away the misery of depression, loneliness and sickness. Take away the anguish of living without the knowledge of His love and mercy. I had reached the lowest point in my life and was surrendering to God no matter the consequences. I was begging for Christ Jesus  to intervene in my life and either save me or take me home. 
   I knew that my life was in the hands of my Maker, and strangely, I wasn’t troubled by that. I prayed with the power of a man struggling to throw off the enemy in favor of my one, true, living Savior, and I pledged everything I was about, everything I could, or would, become, and everything in my life. I knew at that very moment, that if it was His will, that I would move on or go home.
   It was 2010 and all was suddenly very quiet. For the first time in my life, I was truly unafraid.
   Within three months of believing, praying and begging for forgiveness, I was out of bed and walking unassisted. My T-cells were normal and my “viral load” was undetectable. A nurse practitioner who I visited regularly confirmed what the doctors just would not admit outside of the diplomas hanging on their walls: “it was a miracle.”  God really HAD performed a miracle. Subsequent visits to the doctor’s office were no less dramatic, with the medical team explaining that “it must have been a radical diet change” or some other anomaly which was causing my “miraculous” recovery. 
   I knew better, though.  If it were not a miracle of God, how, then, would they explain that my bone density was now off the charts and I’d seemingly reversed the effects of osteoporosis which had left me nearly bed ridden just months earlier? How was it that the burning brain infections that had threatened to kill me were now eradicated? I had even signed off of the psych medications I was taking for treatment of PTSD, depression, anxiety and an array of other diagnoses, telling my therapist: “I just don’t need these anymore.” “I don’t need YOU anymore.”  “I have GOD!” 
   I was “on fire for the LORD” and there was no stopping me. There are simply no limitations to the power of Jesus Christ’s intervention, so long as you accept HIS love and forgiveness of sin.  I have even dropped from a massive 415 lbs. to 270, all while simply praying for the guidance and life discipline only He can provide. 
   Needless to say, the power of this “tool” that God has granted me, this testimony, has left me in awe and slightly shaken.
   Don’t tell me of your conflicts. Don’t tell me of your need for acceptance or validation. Don’t tell me of your anguish over your station in this life. And while we all have our “crosses” to bear, none is greater than His -- or its power to overcome yours. 
   Now there will be those who dismiss this story as the extreme, and still others will try to paint me as misrepresenting my sexual orientation or previous lifestyle for the purposes of promoting my faith. And indeed there have been those from my past who’ve sought to derail my journey home to the Lord. 
   Well my friends, denial has become far too prevalent in our society today, and many of those same nay-sayers now seek me out, but for different reasons, begging me to help them find what I have found. Begging to understand how the death in my eyes has now become a sparkling light. And I say to them, as I say to you, “It’s free for all those who truly seek it!”
   My story is, indeed, one of hope and rebirth, of a sheep gone astray of its shepherd, manipulated by the evil one, and then saved by the grace of a loving and forgiving God. And so looking at it through that lens, what’s next? 
   Well, I now regularly network and travel to share my testimony of God’s miracle in my life to any and all who will listen.  I hope to eventually initiate a “halfway house” project for those trapped by the LGBTQ world.  While there are intervention houses for all of the related issues of drugs and alcohol, there aren’t any to provide the assistance and spiritual guidance to the lost souls confused by the myriad of misinformation being spewed by the mainstream media today. 
   I believe that this type of support network is essential in providing everything from day-to-day living quarters for those on the street who’ve been shunned and cast out, to spiritual and Scriptural guidance away from the darkness of sin. There is hope, and I am motivated as only God can motivate, and by the power of The Holy Spirit that saved me and indwells me, to help rescue those lost souls trapped by a lie of monumental proportions. 
   To that end, I am available to speak on request and will travel around the country in support of God’s truth, in love, and under the banner of this ministry that God has blessed me with.  I call my work “I Belong, Amen Ministries.”  I truly hope that you are moved by this short and wholly inadequate representation of a life changed, and that you might consider supporting IBA Ministries’ efforts as we go out to set the record straight. 
   Ultimately, and for my part, I believe it will not be the election of a new president so much as all of us striving to live as God intended us to live first, which will allow us to turn this mighty ship around.
   I am living proof, a walking, breathing, living testimony, of that.  I am unafraid now to speak the truth, in love. 
   Be joyful in the risen Lord today and always…

You can read more about David Arthur online at 
IBelongAmen.com or
write to:
I Belong Amen! Ministries
P. O. Box 176
Hancock, ME 04640
Phone: (207) 669-4242

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