This story came from an Ananias House training trip. Names have been changed for safety.
At the age of 14, David was well known among several Syrian cities for his work in witchcraft. He was sought out for his abilities. He was paid well. Satan was using David for his work of deception and darkness. Then Jesus…
One day, David had a dream…a vision of himself lying on a hill of dirt. Then Jesus appeared with 12 following Him and David watched them from a distance. When he woke up, he wondered why he had such a dream…where did it come from? But soon he forgot about it and went on with his work of witchcraft.
Then one night as David put his hand under his pillow to go to sleep, he saw a very large city with a great light brighter than the sun. It pleased him to see this sight. Then Jesus was standing in the center of the light speaking to him. David did not understand His words, but his heart understood. He was telling David that he belonged to Him and that He had a job for him to do. David got up and went to the mirror to see if he was sleeping. He was not.
And a third time…was it a vision or had he been kidnapped? In the moment, he did not know. It felt like he was over the house. Then Jesus appeared and came to David, putting His hand on him and speaking to him. David was shocked and very joyful.
And so his journey with Jesus began. David asked, “What do you want me to do? I am a difficult, hard person and I will ask many questions. Maybe I will tire you.” Jesus didn’t answer.
“If you exist, Jesus, I am ready to leave all of this and do your service…but I need some signs.” David had determined that he would ask Jesus for something very specific so he would know there was no coincidence.
Like Gideon, he set the criteria…a phone call from a certain person at a specific time. David was sure the phone would not ring, yet there was a great conflict going on inside of him and he felt much fear. The demonic influence in his life was very real and the battle for his soul was raging. The time came…the phone rang…it was the very person David had named…he threw the phone down in fear. “It is impossible. It is just chance.” So he tested Jesus again. This time he would not give Jesus any forewarning. Instead, he simply said, “Jesus, let [him] call now” and immediately the phone rang. Again, he was afraid. Then a third and final test. “If you are real, Jesus, you will do this. If I am tiring you, please forgive me.” David gave Jesus a very specific time (hour:minute:second) for a certain person to call; the time came and went and the phone did not ring, so he concluded the first two experiences were coincidence…then the phone rang. “I believe Jesus sometimes treats us according to the simplicity of our hearts to draw us.”
Though David was not fully convinced and still had many questions, he determined he would follow Jesus. He knew someone with a very simple knowledge of Jesus and received from him a book about Jesus through the Bible. David read that book every day and began corresponding with the ministry that had distributed it. The same post office box that had once been used for his work in witchcraft was now being used to send and receive information about Jesus. The ministry was sending David Bibles and literature.
Still without a strong foundation in Christ, David was compelled to begin his own ministry. He distributed books and included his own contact information. Soon he was receiving many requests for literature and Bibles. After a long while doing this ministry, David decided to begin attending a church where he asked many questions. He wondered why Jesus had allowed him to do the evil and witchcraft for so many years. David finally decided to give his soul completely to Jesus and then understood that Jesus had allowed it so he would be born again and then God could use him to fight those kinds of actions and people. “I understand their actions. They are not strange to me; I know their tricks.”
After another 4 or 5 years of learning the Word, he was baptized in a nearby city. With 400 to 500 people present, he was able to give his testimony of God’s patience and grace and power in his life, calling him from darkness to light. The old had gone, the new had come!