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Published on february 14th, 2022 | by Michael Drive


The day that changed my life…

I had been living in Paris France for the last several years.  But as a recording artist, I decided to return to my childhood home of Hollywood, California, on a three month plane ticket; to present my new album to the American music industry.  On this night, I was at a girlfriend’s house, and I liked her, so I was laying my moves on her; and when I say “moves”, I mean more than just a dinner date.  Looking for fulfillment in a ‘woman’ was one of my idols, and so was sex; but that was when I didn’t know what an “idol” was according to God, even as a church-goer for 26 years at that point.  Nor did I know that having ‘idols’ was the very reason I had no real power over my actions in my life; the sins I was in bondage to!  I didn’t even really know the meaning of the word “repent,” that according to Jesus, it meant “sin no more.” And why would I need to repent in the first place, since the church told me “You can’t lose your salvation - you repeated the ‘sinners prayer”(?)  Doesn’t that negate any need to repent, or even a motive to change?  Why should I repent, if I have a free ticket to Heaven and I’ll never lose my salvation? Therefore, live it up! Do whatever you want.

You see, that just didn’t make sense.  Sometimes, the wisdom of the world is so nonsensical; and I say the “world” because the church today is so much like the world now.  As an unrepentant sinner still enslaved to my sin at the time, they told me I would “still go to Heaven,” simply because I raised my hand and repeated some words after a man from behind a pulpit one day.  It’s something THEY call “the sinners prayer,” which I found nowhere in the Bible.  But that’s what I was always taught in church, and that’s what I was expected to believe, regardless of what the Bible actually said.  It left me in bondage; enslaved to my sin with powerless “religion,” candy-coated with false hope.  The resulting truth of the matter became clear:  Whether they meant well or not; frankly, I was lied to.

So back to that night with the girl:  as we were sitting in her room having something to drink, she pulled out a piece of paper and started reading me a poem!  Strange, I thought, yet the artist in me liked the idea anyway.  But then this “poem” that she had written turned out to be a prayer to God… about me, asking HIM to change me!  Talk about surprise, and subsequent plan change!  Then, while she was reading this one page “prayer/poem” out loud, something started happening in me.  I didn’t understand it right away but something inside me, including my motivation to continue my “moves” with her, had been completely halted.  As in a song recording; I bypassed the “pause” button, right to the “stop” and then cut the power.  It’s as if all of a sudden at that moment, I received some kind of supernatural mind plug from God, with the strong feeling that what I was attempting with this girl - was very wrong, and I had better not do it!  Sort of a jolt of conviction, with God letting me know He was not pleased.  Yet, in His compassion and love for me, it was by His grace that He was letting me know this.   I think another thing that had to do with it, was the fact that I wasn’t satisfied with who I was, and would get on my knees from time to time and ask God with a feeble but sincere prayer; to let me know how, or what to do, to be set free: free from what I knew in my heart was wrong.  I needed God to show me if there was anything I had to do about it.  I sincerely didn’t know! 

Now this was 2006; years after I had gotten divorced.  I had a failed marriage; and after I was no longer married, I plunged into self-pity at that point; making excuses and justifying what I knew was wrong, and I began sleeping with my girlfriend(s), consequently leading to lying and deceit in the midst of “using” them; all while dragging God’s name through the mud because they all knew that I “claimed” to be a “Christian” (so-called).  Yeah, right.  It was all a farce, stemming from that powerless “sinners prayer” that I was deceived into believing it changed me.  Like that fairy tale where the frog turns into a prince…  The “sinners prayer” (‘poof’) turned me into a ‘saved-by-grace’ “Christian” so now, no need to repent and surrender to Christ since I “can’t lose my salvation.” …And then of course I would live happily ever after (in total bondage).  Even my old bandmates of the popular Christian band I used to be in, tried to convince me at the time that I was going to Heaven despite my unrepentant lifestyle!  In fact, they didn’t have much problem with my “belief system” at the time when I was sleeping around and totally in sin.  But the moment I repented and had victory over it… all of a sudden, I had loads of problems from them, including from all the apostate church-goers that came out of the woodwork against me on social media!  Try to figure that one out!  (Disclaimer- I think my old bandmates might have come around to a certain degree since then, but I’m not sure).  But back to my own deceit:  As I was sleeping with my girlfriends, I seared my own conscience, justifying myself with this song and dance; “Well, God understands, He knows what I’m going through right now, but I’m saved by His grace, because He loves me right(?) Plus, I’m a ‘Christian’ since I said the “sinners prayer.”  Now, you should know… that having heard little-to-nothing about Jesus’ command to “repent” from any of the numerous churches I went to, well let’s just say:  Not even knowing that Jesus required it for salvation according to Him (Luke 13:3), I felt justified in my ‘rebellion’ against God. (‘Rebellion’ is what God calls it).  That’s what’s really dangerous here - I felt justified, and I didn’t see a need to change (enough to do something about it).  Of course; if I would have died in that state; on the judgment day, I would have had nothing to say, and I would be an unjustified fool with no excuse:  I had a bible; I should have read it.  I should have believed God, rather than choosing to believe what other “men” (in the name of God) told me, as convinced as they were. 

Truth be told, I had read the Bible several times over, and I did as many others do: pick and choose what my “will” wants to believe, and ignore the rest. I didn’t want to believe those parts which told me I needed to give up the sins that I loved, and the things of this world that I loved.  Instead, I would just rationalize those scriptures away with something like “oh that doesn’t apply to me.”  So after my marriage was over, I lived this blatantly rebellious lifestyle of fornication and other things in my self-gratifying life, while claiming to be a “Christian,” and I did that for seven years.  Oh, I would certainly rationalize; and get my violins out; and declare my sob stories from time to time with real tears, trying to justify myself.  But God wasn’t impressed with any of it.  What He probably saw was a pity-party hosted by a self-centered man in bondage to His sin.  But in His mercy, He loved me enough to give me a wake-up call.  Because, what happened next paved the way for my life to change overnight.

So on the night that this girl read to me her “prayer/poem,” all of a sudden I somehow KNEW that I wasn’t justified, and somehow KNEW- I had better stop all of this; (and do it now!)  This was definitely God’s grace, revealing it to me in the way that He did.  This was a very difficult decision to make initially, but with the greatest amount of faith that I could muster, I made the frail choice to stop.  I said; “God, I don’t know how I’m going to do this, but I just make the decision to stop what I’m doing, and I trust you to help me.”  Then, I picked up the phone and cancelled a really hot date that I had with a another girl (who I had recently met).  She was drop dead gorgeous and with whom I was looking forward to going to bed with, (truth be told).  Yeah, I know…

Little did I know; that first step to obey God sent a strong message up to Him… that I was finished making excuses, and I was no longer satisfied with living that way, and deceiving myself into thinking I was “saved” when I wasn’t!  But God saw my heart that night; that even though I didn’t have the truth yet, I showed Him that I wanted the truth.  3 days later on Monday, June 26, 2006, I got the rest of the story!  He brought one of His true followers into my life, a real prophet of God whom the Lord used to speak to me the words (and power) of Jesus Christ - The true gospel with the most amazing power! Not the greasy-grace gospel-of-tolerance delivered by Pastor Feelgood down the street that gave me 5 minutes of warm fuzzies (until I resumed my sins that night).  No, I absolutely knew this was God- because not only did the Bible back up every word that was spoken to me from God through this person, but all of it was busting me where I knew I was wrong, and speaking directly to me, right to the marrow of my bones; even prophesying things about myself that ONLY God could have known! I began trembling.  Jesus pulled out all the stops; and revealed to me the whole truth; the “way” to have Him; the way to be truly born of God, and HOW to have victory over sin, and remain victorious! …Sin is a snake you can’t control without this.  I couldn’t wait; I totally repented that night, and power shot through me like you wouldn’t believe.  I was trembling. I mean, literally “trembling” for 3 days.  That was my first experience with the ‘fear of God’ that Jesus talked about in Luke 12:4,5.  Now I no longer feared anything else.  But wow, did I fear God!  Probably exactly the way the apostle Paul feared God after Jesus blinded him and rebuked him on the road to Damascus.  I can relate to that.  What a mind-blower to find this out, and to be given this opportunity.  I don’t deserve it.  Not to mention, as I said earlier:  To this day, I have not gone back to those sins, about 16 years later at the time of this writing!  I’m free from the sin I was in bondage to, by God’s grace, living victorious ever since for the sake of the Gospel of Christ, and nobody other than Jesus Christ could have done that!

I did everything that God instructed me to do that day.  I give God all the glory for His power, and for the power of His Holy Spirit in this victory!  What I received from Christ was supernatural; not the phony religious trip I had always heard.  No, this was the real thing - the same gospel that JESUS delivered. HIS words in the Bible were now living in me.  No longer believing the wishy-washy apostasy from much of the church today, that had infected me.  Now, when they try to tell me their garbage, I recognize it right away like alarm bells going off.  I defend JESUS and what HE said; always bringing it back to the words of Jesus.  However, many of them don’t want to hear it, even though it’s JESUS who said it!!  Can you believe that?  And this is HIS church?  It shows you their hearts, that their problem is not with me, it’s with Jesus Christ.  They don’t even believe Jesus anymore.  Only on the surface, not in substance.  That’s the state of the church today.  Oh, they’ll never admit that out loud  – they’ll say “of course I believe Jesus.”  But no; 5 minutes later they show that they really don’t.  They’re so quick to deny what He said, in both their speech, and in their actions.  What it really shows is their hearts.  

I know what the Lord gave to me:  A strong and clear conviction, as well as His new nature with power over sin!  Never going back into sexual sin since that day, and it’s not a continual, struggling temptation, because I’ve put it to death.  It doesn’t mean it’s always easy, because I have to die to myself, and implement what the Bible says, like taking every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2Cor 10:5).  But giving into sin is a lifestyle for people who want to go to Hell.  Not for me.  …and God knows I’m not lying about any of this. 

So all in all, what I have to proclaim, is a great message which God has given me to tell His church, including those who don’t go to church, because it’s the greatest message of hope that there is, period.  Especially in a world that is right now producing such a state of hopelessness, desperation and sadness.  It’s the same message that can free any of us from the bondage of sin that is right now claiming a lot of us.  It changed me literally over-night!  Not a temporary band-aid with ‘warm fuzzies.’  This was the real thing and my life proves it.  When you truly repent, what you get is power, the Holy Spirit and a relationship with your Creator!  THIS is what people want in their lives; not religion.  This is what they need to hear, and it’s what they’re looking for.  How do they get it?  Repentance and total surrender to Jesus Christ, giving everything in their heart over to Him and realizing that they are not their own, they belong to God!  A few short years of unfulfilling pleasure is not worth Hell for all of eternity.  

Those who fear God and take that first step; they get to watch what He does next.  Power, joy, peace, purpose and freedom from “struggling;” ever struggling in bondage to their sin and their flesh.  They want power from on high; they want victory, a clear conscience toward God, and a highway change - away from Hell!  Not to it!   IF their commitment is real, He will free them, and they will have “unspeakable joy” and a tremendous peace that surpasses all understanding, such as they have never known before.  

For that man or woman who is truly seeking God with a whole heart:  Doing that will lead him or her to God’s goodness; the kind of repentance that brings a beautiful and utterly real relationship with Him. 

This is the closeness you were always meant to have with your Creator.  It’s the way you were meant to be and what you were born for.




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