Called Called Called by by by the the the Holy Holy Holy Spirit

Jamaica Gleaner - - FAMILY & RELIGION - – S.S.

WHEN EV­ERY­THING else fails, try Je­sus. Der­ron Man­ning came to this re­al­i­sa­tion af­ter search­ing for peace and com­fort in all the wrong places and in the wrong things.

“I felt like I was at the end of the road, liv­ing a life out­side of Christ. I had done all there was to do – the girls, par­ties, al­co­hol and ganja – but I was still empty. There was this long­ing in my heart for some­thing more,” he said, adding that he was brought up in the Church. So, he knew what he needed to do to find what he was look­ing for.

“Some­where along the jour­ney, I felt like I needed to ex­pe­ri­ence the world in a new way, so I knew I would go back to God one day,” he told Fam­ily and Re­li­gion.

He was bap­tised in 2003 at 12 years old but lost his way along the path. How­ever, he recom­mit­ted in 2014 at the age of 22.

Man­ning said the cat­a­lyst that led to him recom­mit­ting his life to Christ was the con­stant feel­ing of lone­li­ness and empti­ness that he tried des­per­ately to fill with other things of the world.

“I had reached a high point in my univer­sity ca­reer. I was fairly pop­u­lar and had much in­flu­ence on those around me. I started to dee­jay at par­ties, and that added to the pop­u­lar­ity. I at­tempted to run for a post in stu­dent lead­er­ship, but some­thing deep down was say­ing no. I tried to fight the feel­ing but couldn’t. Now I know it was the Holy Spirit call­ing me,” he said.

“It was at a praise ses­sion that I cried out to God. It was the first time I can re­call hav­ing a true en­counter with Him. I could feel the chains break­ing. For the first time, I was ex­pe­ri­enc­ing true free­dom. I sur­ren­dered right there. Lit­tle by lit­tle, all my ad­dic­tions started to fade and I be­gan to ex­pe­ri­ence the trans­for­ma­tive power of God.”

Man­ning said some­times he re­mem­bers the things he used to en­joy and feels like go­ing back just for an­other high. The key for him, how­ever, is re­main­ing prayer­ful and in tune with his Bi­ble. Thank­fully, he has friends who mo­ti­vate him to use the word to fight back.

CON­TRIB­UTED

TRUE JOY Nor­dia Samuels

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