Dealing in the Wrong Business
My name is Sheldon Landy, and I can remember a time when I thought life was good. I was a young man, full of life and vigor, a hard worker, esteemed highly among my peers. I had a beautiful family (a wife and two boys.) I enjoyed providing for my family and others.
In fact, I left college to work. I would work countless hours just to ensure that I would have the means to help others. Sounds pretty good good, right? Wrong! My work was dealing in illegal drugs. On March 25, 1999, God put an end to it. I was arrested that day for drug trafficking. I was crushed. Many may not understand this, but I actually thought I was doing something good. As I sat in a cold, dark cell trying to make it through what was the worst day of my life, something happened. Something happened that turned the worst day of my life to the greatest day of my life.
That night, I received a visit from the Lord Jesus. Though I did not see Him, His presence filled the jail cell and I found myself conversing with a God that I had not known. That night, I received the Lord Jesus into my life, and He accepted me. The Lord said to me, “Son, I know your heart and how you will to do good, but you are going about it the wrong way. I am going to give you something truly precious that you can share with all men.” And He gave me His Son.
That night I was enslaved to Christ and there I remain to this day. My greatest desire immediately was to know the Lord Jesus Christ. My only task was to serve Him. I became obsessed with the word of God because it was my only comfort in my afflictions. From sun up to sun down, I would read my Bible and commune with the Holy Spirit. I was excited and totally taken up by this newly found grace. Such power, such love, such faithfulness! This was great!
Now do not get me wrong, this was a very trying time for me in my life. All around me things were seemingly falling apart. I was separated from my family, losing material possessions, and trying to keep my family encouraged; on top of all that, I was dealing with the possibility of being sentenced to 25 years in prison as a plea bargain.
But through it all, God was with me. He gave me understanding of what I was going through and why. God showed me the errors of my ways and used my afflictions as a teaching tool rather than punishment. The fire was being used to refine me, not destroy me. My trials were working for me, not against me. I grew daily. Fear was replaced by faith, worrying by prayer, and uncertainty by confidence. I was able to see above and beyond my circumstances because His grace enabled me to trust Him. And in trusting Him, He turned every single adverse situation for my good; after I learned from them, they fell away as if they were never there.
So I stand before you today, not reformed, but transformed. I now see things from God’s perspective, being filled with His Spirit. Now I realize that I will go through trials and endure many afflictions, not because of wrong doing, but because of my Christian testimony. Victory is assured. The Scriptures tell us that “many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all, and thanks be to God who always causes us to triumph in Christ Jesus.”
As Christians we must prevail. If we follow the flow of our circumstances, we will definitely fall under the power of the tempter. But if we would just trust God at His word; He will not allow our enemies to triumph over us, He will not forsake the righteous, He is a strong tower to those who trust Him and victory and deliverance is sure. I can now declare as Job declared, “I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eyes have seen you.”
Now, 17 years later, here I remain in the love and power of God. Through God’s faithfulness, I now serve as Director of One Heart Ministries out of Conyers, Georgia and serve as Pastor of Fellowship of Believers as well as other positions with various ministries. Through these ministries, we have witnessed the power of God at work in seeing thousands of lives transformed and the Kingdom of Heaven populated. Truly God has allowed us to be the “Salt of the earth and the Light of the world.”