face it! Many of us are living defeated
lives for various reasons. Often we look
outwardly to blame our defeat on people,
places, things or circumstances, but instead,
let's look inwardly, asking ourselves a
few questions that might spark some insight.
Who 1s The Enemy?
It is pretty common knowledge that we have
three enemies who try to defeat us: the
world, the flesh and the devil. This world
system has been in our face since we came
forth from our mother's womb. This evil
world looms before us and tells us that
God is far away, in the distance. We grab
the closest treats to satisfy our persistent
cravings. And we blame everyone else, instead
of taking responsibility ourselves. Could
it be that we are our own worst enemy?
Let's get real! The enemy is that person
in the mirror. Granted, you may have come
from a dysfunctional family. We may blame
God, but God is not our enemy. God loves
you, and He has a plan and a purpose for
your life. I encourage you to keep hope
Look At Me
After getting through County jail, I went
straight to death row, awaiting execution.
God had another purpose for my life. The
death penalty was found unconstitutional
in '72, and I went to California Men's Colony
where I got into hobby craft. I made a toy
helicopter for a friend, and on the side
of it, I wrote, "Game is Blame!"
I knew at that time that I could blame a
lot of folks for my past behavior, but to
do so, would be only a game. I knew right
then and there, I needed to take full responsibility
for my actions.
This was before I came to Christ in '75.
Yeah, I could have blamed my folks for not
being perfect, or the devil, who is loose
in this world to deceive, but my own choices
were responsible for my downfall.
With responsibility came a need to be forgiven.
People sure didn't offer much of it. But
for the first time, I felt the unconditional
love of my family. Slowly, people did begin
to reach out to me. I'm so thankful for
those early friends like David, John, Luitgard
and others, who saw something in me regardless
of my crime. Then, those who knew the Lord
came and told me about forgiveness through
Jesus Christ. My greatest need was to unload
my burden of sins at the foot of the cross.
The Real Mirror
As I begin to look into the real mirror,
the Bible, I saw that I had not only broken
man's law, but I had broken many of God's
laws too. My conscience was already feeling
guilty. As I looked into the mirror of God's
commandments more closely, I had broken
all ten! I might have escaped man's death
penalty, but if God had immediately judged
me, I would never have escaped His death
penalty. I deserved death for my sin!
I made many toys in those couple of years
before coming to Christ. I stayed busy with
many things trying to get my mind off what
I had done, but there was no relief. I lived
in my headphones listening to Rock music,
but still my conscience was speaking even
louder. I could not drown out the thoughts
of my responsibility for what I had done.
Then, the book Helter Skelter showed up
in the prison library. It was not an easy
read, to say the least. I learned a whole
lot that I did not know as a result of Bugliosi's
investigation, but not without soaking the
book with tears. I won't rehash a lot that
I have written about before, but God even
used that book to show me the condition
of my heart. It wasn't long after that,
until I got on my knees and received Jesus'
payment for my sins.
What About You?
Our sin causes us to live defeated lives
in torment and condemnation. You may not
have a book written about your sins, but
you do have the Bible, that tells us without
the love of God in Christ, we have a fear
of torment. The fear of judgment hangs over
our head, because we have not believed the
judgment of Jesus Christ on the cross as
being for us.
I went to church, but I found out that
just going to church could not help me,
unless my ears were opened to the message
of the Good News. Although I was doing a
lot of listening, it took me a while to
snap that I was there to hear. I thank God
I was in a church where the gospel was being
preached, which is not always the case these
days. Some churches make you feel like you
need to give up all your vices before you
can be saved. If that was the case, we would
not need Jesus or the church! I knew I was
a sinner before I went to church. I needed
to be saved and rescued from a sinking ship.
I needed the Savior, Jesus Christ, to do
what I could not do in my own strength.
The law had showed me my need to be forgiven,
and I knew now that only the grace of God
could help me. A friend was there to walk
me to the altar. There at the cross, the
Lord opened my heart, giving me that measure
of faith to trust in Him. It was clear,
Jesus had died in my place for my sin. I
see now that "Tex" died that day
and was buried with Christ. That night a
new man rose up not only from the altar,
but from the dead with Christ. I became
a man who is no longer defeated by the world,
the flesh and the devil.
The Reality of Victory
It wasn't too long until I found in the
Bible the truth. Jesus destroyed the the
power the devil had over my life at the
cross. I found that God also placed me spiritually
in a heavenly position with His Son Jesus,
beside Him, far above all the demonic forces
of this world. I saw that I could proclaim,
and even sing, "Victory in Jesus, my
Savior forever. He sought me, He bought
me, with His redeeming blood!"
The years have passed now. I have grown
in the grace and knowledge of my Lord Jesus
Christ. I can not stress enough, the two
most important things are how we see God
and how we see ourselves. We are not only
to see ourselves victorious because of Christ's
victory, but that we have Christ's righteousness.
He became sin for us, so that we could be
perfectly right with God. Jesus Christ is
the heir of the blessings of Abraham, and
we are co-heirs in Christ, blessed with
all the spiritual blessings in the heavenly
How we see God will determine our level
of victory. God is sovereign, having everything
in His control. He is all powerful, all
knowing, everywhere present and oh, so much
more. But listen, number one, realize that
God Loves You! As the Apostle John wrote,
"This is real love. It is not that
we loved God, but that He loved us and sent
His Son as a sacrifice to take away our
sins" (1 John 4:10 NLT)!