Saturday, May 19, 2012

Delivered from Cigarettes and Saved

Zlatka, Haroutyun, and Len
I recently wrote about how my friend Haroutyun was raised from the dead nine years ago, and how the Lord spoke to him afterward in an audible voice.  For that testimony, see my previous post here.
He had only heard the Lord’s voice once prior to the time he was raised from the dead.  It was before he became a Christian. It was connected with cigarette smoking.
He had a desire not to marry at all. He and his wife Zlatka didn’t yet know each other. He worked in a printing house and she had a case of paper that needed to be cut. She asked him to help. That was the first contact. Afterward, she treated him to an ice cream for helping her. They met in a break room and spoke about friendship. She said, “Friendship should be true friendship.”
He asked, “What do you mean?”
She said, “Friendship is not for personal gain. Should not lie. Should be a person I trust.”
He said, “Since I am older than you, let me explain. That kind of friend does not exist.”
She replied, “I don’t agree with you, because I have a friend who has these qualities He never lied to me and He’s never disappointed me.”
He asked, “How long have you known Him?”
She answered, “Almost all my life. I can introduce you to Him.”
He protested, “No. No!”
She said, “Relax. His name is Jesus.”
Later she shared many things with him about Jesus. They became closer friends. He started inquiring more about Jesus. He realized he was one of those people Jesus came and died for him. And when that hit him, he started crying. He told Zlatka about this experience, and she became very joyful.
He said to her, “You didn’t understand. I cried!”
Then Zlatka explained what was happening to him, and how the Holy Spirit was revealing Jesus to him.
Then he prayed, “God, if you exist, help me quit smoking.”
He was playing bass guitar in a rock group. And a month after praying that prayer, he and his band had to go to Greece for a ten-day concert. He bought twenty packs of cigarettes before leaving. They went to Greece, but he smoked more than usual and finished them all in eight days. He wanted to buy Greek cigarettes, so he bought a pack, lighted one, and got sick.
He thought, “Those cigarettes are not good. I’ll buy a better one.” He bought Kent brand, but the same thing happened. He asked his Bulgarian friends for his usual cigarettes. They did, but after smoking one, he felt even worse. He began to see black spots and got a fuzzy brain. He thought, “I’m sick. What’s happened to me?” He was scared.
Then he heard the Lord say, “What did you pray for?”
He had prayed for the Lord to help him quit smoking, if He truly exists, and the Lord was reminding him of his prayer. His desire had been to not offend Zlatka with his smoking, but he did not connect this sickness with that prayer until the Lord reminded him.
That was in Athens. He couldn’t even get on the bus. On the bus he said, “I’ll never touch a cigarette again.” His friends laughed and placed bets that he would smoke again within one week. They watched for an opportunity to catch him smoking. But he didn’t. The Lord gave him the strength to stay free.
Later he gave his life to Christ and married Zlatka.

Author's note: I recommend reading Alcohol and Cigarettes -- Ten Divine Revelations. You may access my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master."  

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission.

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