Kyle deeply inhaled the morning filling his chest with inspirational vigor. It was the first Monday after the mid-semester evangelism retreat. He was pumped! Powerfully motivated by the dynamic speakers, he was ready to charge headlong into the pits of hell and liberate the captives from the oppressively hideous bondage of Satan’s clutches. No mercenary or insurgent was as focused on victory as Kyle. He was God’s man of “faith’n power for this present hour!” He was going to make God proud!
Energetically he jogged to the campus chapel. It was empty. While others were still in bed or hustling to ready for class, Kyle was determined to meet with God and emerge from the chapel empowered to take names and kick demon butts. Kneeling reverently at the front he bowed in prayer and waited for the infilling of the Spirit.
Minutes passed. Nothing. Kyle was beginning to panic. Was there unconfessed sin in his life? Frustrated he began to pace. Praying in hushed tones he desperately cried out to God for a fresh anointing to empower him for service.
Still nothing. Angered, he slumped across the chapel pew. Spreading his arms out along the pew’s back, his head fell backwards and he stared aimlessly at the ceiling’s architectural beam-work seeking answers.
What am I missing he questioned God. He waited. Just more silence.
“That’s it!” he shouted triumphantly as he sprang to his feet, “we live by faith not feeling!”
Startled by his loud outburst, he quickly gathered himself and looked around the chapel for assurance he had not made a fool of himself. Good, he was still alone. Revitalized he existed the chapel filled with the same divine direction of the early Crusaders.
Falling into step with the other students rushing to class Kyle spotted his first two targets: Mike and Andy. Big men on campus! They were first string linemen for their championship S.E.C. football team. If they came to God, then the rest of the team would fall like dominoes.
Over the next few weeks Kyle strategically arranged his schedule so that he could interrupt Mike and Andy’s routine. He had known Mike from high school, so the intrusions appeared innocent enough. Each encounter seemed more promising than the last. Kyle knew it was just a matter of time.
Back in his dorm room, Jerry, Kyle’s suitemate would often interrupt his prayer and Bible study time with annoying questions. Jerry was the official campus “nerd.” He had an I.Q. off the charts and worked feverishly in the biochemistry department to complete his degree. His father had died of lung cancer and Jerry was determined to find a cure so no other family would experience the tragedy. Kyle sympathized with his loss and admired his mission, but he had little patience with Jerry’s challenges to his faith. Kyle labeled Jerry as an intellectual who needed scientific evidence before he would ever accept the possibility of a god. Kyle had neither the energy nor the information for mental gymnastics with Jerry’s doubts. Kyle just dismissed Jerry as a casualty of war.
Days turned into weeks. The spring semester was coming to a close. Kyle hopes were drowning in a pond of disparity. No one had been freed from Satan’s clutches. Andy and Mike annoyed tolerance of Kyle’s interruptions was blatantly obvious.
He had failed God. He had failed himself.
The alarm clock’s 5:00 am alert sounded like “Taps” to Kyle, it only accentuated defeat. It was nearly impossible to throw swing his feet over the edge of the bed and make them march to the campus chapel.
Entering the solemn sanctuary Kyle slipped into the familiar. Approaching the altar, he stopped short. Slumped in a pew was Jerry. What was he doing here Kyle wondered?
Hearing the footfalls, Jerry turned to meet Kyle.
“I knew I’d find you here,” Jerry said.
“Yeah, I guess my routine is, well routine!” Kyle smiled. “What’s up?”
“Kyle,” Jerry began, “You’re the only God-believer I know. I don’t know who else to ask.”
“Ask what?” Kyle quizzed.
“How do you do the ‘God-thing’,” Jerry continued. “I always had an answer. I always was in control, but the more I research, the more I see my limitations.”
Kyle slipped in next to Jerry and began…
Silent to their physical ears, Satan’s blood curdling screams paled against the victorious sounds of broken chains that rocked and echoed through cavernous regions of hell!
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