From Prisoner to Pastor

Rodney G.

I never knew my father, but I knew I was angry with him.

My single mother only took us to church at Easter and Christmas, but when I left home in 1976, she did something strange: she gave me a Gideons Bible.

I’d never read the Bible, but I cherished that book because my mother gave it to me. But I didn’t open it, because I was my own God, with my own commandments that I could change any time I wanted to. I believed in a God, but I knew He was way out there somewhere. He didn’t care about me, He didn’t love me.

But six years later, depressed and directionless, living on the streets, and using women, alcohol and drugs, I finally opened up that Bible. It touched my heart and God spoke to me. He kept speaking. However, it took four more years and a prison sentence for me to finally accept Jesus.

I had longed all my life to be loved unconditionally. In spite of me, He still loved me; with my anger, with my drug problems, with the shame I carried.

But while I struggled to escape my old life, God never gave up on me: the Word would speak to me in the midst of my sin. I remember going to get my drugs one day, and God saying to me: “as a dog returns to his vomit, so does a fool to his folly.”

And so, seven years after meeting Jesus, I finally told God that I couldn’t keep being depressed and drug addicted. I knew there was something more to life, but I don’t know how to get it. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired, and didn’t want to wake up tomorrow and do it all again.

Then the Lord spoke to me in my spirit, “Son, you’ve made Jesus your Saviour, but you haven’t made Him LORD!”

My life shifted at that very moment. I realised I’d had enough of Jesus to keep me out of hell, but I didn’t trust Him. I didn’t know how to trust anyone, so I was still just trusting me. I was the captain, He was the co-pilot. I asked God to forgive me, and to let Him be captain of this ship. At that moment, I died to self and surrendered totally to God.

And my life changed instantly. The situation was the same, but inside I changed perspective.

I’m so grateful he stayed with me. Even though he loved me as I was, he loved me too much to let me stay as I was. God is a transforming God.

It’s amazing what can happen when you submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

He is my Saviour, and more than saviour. He is Lord!

Thank you!

‘Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.’ – Matthew 16:24-26