A Living Testimony
by Marie Dial
ONLY DOCTOR JESUS
CAN HEAL A "DISEASED SPIRIT"
HELL ON EARTH. No, that wasn't the name of
my rock group. It was my day-to-day existence. Maybe you know what hell on earth is all
about. Maybe you are as miserable as I once used to be, and like myself, didn't know which
way to turn.
Please let me offer you some hope. No matter what your "hell on earth" may be .
. . there's a solution for your situation. What is this solution? The power of God working
in your life. Allow me to tell you a little of my past so you can better understand how I
came to experience my living "hell on earth." Then I'll share how the power of
God working in your life can change your situation.
I am from a family of 10 children. There were five girls, five boys. I had a good
childhood. My parents were not rich; neither were they poor. My father and mother loved
the Lord very much, so all of us children were blessed to have a home environment that
taught us rich spiritual values.
At an early age, I was an achiever. By the time I was in junior high, I was involved as a
pom-pom girl, cheerleader, choir member and drama club participant. I was active as well
in the church my family attended, having great zeal to serve the Lord.
As I entered high school, my ambitions grew. I graduated early from high school because of
my drive to excel. Upon completion of high school in 1977, I received two scholarships
from the Illinois State Scholarship Commission to attend Illinois State University, where
I had plans to major in business and pre-law.
In my zeal to achieve, I decided to run in the Miss Black Joliet Beauty Pageant. To my
surprise, I won the pageant! I was crowned Miss Black Joliet for 1977. MY, I thought to
myself, what is there that I can't attain?
Then life got busier. I quit going to church and did not have any time to read my Bible. I
had less and less time to pray and eventually stopped altogether. I stopped getting the
proper rest I needed as well, because I didn't have time to sleep. I was constantly busy -
going here, going there - trying to meet the incredible demands on my life I was now
thrust into. So in my busy, hectic, tiring life, I decided I needed "help" to
keep me going.
That's when I was introduced to cocaine. The super "lifter-upper." It kept me up
- alert. In fact, I stayed up so much that I drank Champagne to come down sometimes just
to relax enough to get some rest.
No need for me to worry about getting addicted to cocaine though, I told myself, because I
can do whatever I set out to do. When I'm ready to quit taking cocaine, I'll just quit.
Simple as that. Just another goal reached. I thought I was in control, because I always
Once I would be attending Illinois State University, I convinced myself that I would
escape the desire for drugs, so I continued to take cocaine up until college started. It
had become so natural - such a part of my life - which I never realized that it was a
snake slowly coiling around me.
My freshman year at college soon became just an extension of "the good life" I
had known the year previous. I would invite friends over to my own campus apartment for
the purpose of studying, but soon it would turn into drug parties. Finally because of poor
grades, I left college and went into a new phase of "the good life."
I was hired at a Jean shop as an assistant manager, and in a few short months became Store
Manager. Success again! Shortly after that I went on with a larger chain. Being a beauty
queen -- this lifestyle fit me perfectly, with my love for clothes and my natural ability
to work with people. Of course, climbing the ladder of success meant more money too
As the years passed, I continued to live life to the fullest and continued using cocaine.
I still felt I had a handle on everything in my life.
My success enabled me to live in a relatively high-class neighborhood on Lake Michigan in
Chicago, Illinois. Then one day I decided to quit doing drugs. My solution was to become a
workaholic, but sad to say, that didn't work for long.
Then I started free-basing cocaine. This was taking the powder drug and cooking it into
solid form to smoke it in a pipe. My relationship with my "friend" grew more
intimate. I found myself having a love affair with the pipe, smoking that
"harmless" little drug called cocaine. No problem -- I could quit . . . if I
really wanted to. But why want to? The snake was now coiling around that portion of my
brain that makes a person quit caring that they care. I can quit - I just don't care to .
. . right?
Every waking moment I used cocaine. Soon I began to have difficulty keeping a job. Having
to leave the high-society life, I found a more quiet, reclusive place to live. There I was
introduced to crack cocaine. As I began to smoke this drug, my insides changed. The
intensity of this drug was more demanding. Wherever this drug was to be found I had to get
there. The venom of the snake had now totally taken hold, and although I told myself I
would not let crack cocaine make me a slave to it like regular cocaine had, I was totally
Twelve years passed from the time I had started my relationship with cocaine. It shouldn't
surprise anyone to know that my life was reduced to one of lying, stealing, and
immorality. As a drug addict, when you can't hold down a decent paying job, you go to any
lengths to feed your addiction.
Because of my great weight loss, my family showed up one day and demanded that I come home
with them and admit myself into a drug rehab center, which I did. It only cost a mere
$10,000. It was a 21-day treatment center. I went to meetings and sat around the tables
and identified myself as "Marie a drug addict." We were taught to believe we had
a disease and that we could never be healed of it. But by will power we could break the
habit, if we wanted to bad enough. True, but when the "want to" in you has
passed the point of no return, in a weak moment, most everyone reverts back to that which
has offered pleasure in the past.
Once out of the rehab center, it was just a matter of time that a weak moment was bound to
come. They always do. They always will when you go off drugs or alcohol. Weak moments are
part of living. It's what you rely on to overcome those weak moments that gets you
through, or what leads you back into the hell you've come out of.
I didn't have what it took to overcome. My want to didn't want to bad enough at those weak
moments. I gave in. Only this time, I was worse than before. Whatever I might have stopped
at before in feeding my drug habit, now I had no difficulty in doing. I now could do
anything I had to do to get drugs. Yes, part of me hated being a slave to the drug, and
what it was doing to me, but yet another part of me loved it. And I also came to realize I
could not stop the habit, no matter how determined I became. Physiological or
psychological, something was now in control of me and I did not control it. If society
wants to call it a genetic disease and leave it at that, so be it. God calls habits that
destroy our bodies (not to mention destroying our relationship with others) sin. Plain old
fashion sin. Sin transcends physiological and psychological, because sin originates in the
spirit of a person. There's only one doctor in the whole universe that can make a
"diseased" spirit whole. His name is Doctor Jesus Christ.
One night I got into an argument with one of the ladies I associated with. The following
morning I was stabbed seven times in the head and 7 - 8 times in the upper body. My
attacker left my body lying in front of a doorstep.
Someone then brought me into the house and laid me on the dinette table to die there. My
lung collapsed and due to the loss of so much blood, I was getting very little oxygen to
the brain. The owner of the house asked why they had brought me into her house, and then
demanded they throw me out back somewhere to die.
As I lay there bleeding to death . . . feeling my life slip away from me, I felt that I
wanted to go ahead and die rather than continue to live the way I had lived up to that
Then my life began to flash before me. I flashed back to those earlier years when I had
served the Lord so enthusiastically and was so fulfilled in doing so. I also could see my
father praying for me. And then so clearly . . . I knew God created us to be eternal
beings, and upon dying, we will either go to heaven, or to hell.
Somehow I had enough strength left to whisper two requests: "Please call my Daddy and
tell him I love him," was the first. Secondly, I said, "Jesus, please forgive me
of my sins, that I might see you in heaven."
Only God can explain what happened next. I
did not die, but was graciously and miraculously spared.
Hours later, lying in intensive care, I knew I had to turn from my wicked ways. I knew I
had to change. And I knew the only way I could was with God's help. But how, I didn't
know. Not then, anyway.
The stabbing occurred in November 1989. On December 2, 1989, by the providence of God, I
entered Western Michigan Teen Challenge, A Christ-centered outreach for the
"spiritually diseased." I was soon to learn that they have only one physician
there, working through people called to serve Him. This physician's name is Doctor Jesus.
His Spirit is flowing out of those who serve there. And it was there in that haven of
healing that I made an eternal decision to once again serve Him, and it was there that He
released His power to bring victory over my "hell on earth."
So how does Doctor Jesus release His power in one's life to gain victory in their
"hell on earth?"
To begin with, calling yourself a Christian just because you have invited Christ into your
heart years ago like I did doesn't automatically guarantee you victory over your difficult
situations anymore than someone going to a medical doctor and refusing to take the
doctor's advice. How then, does Jesus release His power? We must be careful in formulating
how God works, but there are some simple rules that have proven effective down through the
years since Christ ascended into heaven. As we are to be obedient to what a medical
physician tells us to do . . . likewise, we're to be obedient to what our heavenly
physician has recorded for us to do. Our heavenly physician has given us the Holy Bible as
our manual for living. We need to be obedient to what God has recorded in His manual for
The advice in the Bible is full of power. For God declares in the Bible these words:
"For the Word of God is living and active and sharper than any two edged sword, and
piercing even to the division of the soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able
to judge the thoughts and intents of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12) What this simply
means is that the Word of God has all the power ever needed to overcome every "hell
on earth"; every obstacle; every barrier that is holding a person back from serving
God to the fullest.
Somewhere in God's Word there's an answer, a remedy, to your "hell on earth," if
you will only have a skilled instructor show you where it can be found. Reading God's Word
for yourself, or listening to it being read, will better equip you to know where you can
find power for your situation in the future, or if you need to help someone else find it.
Why then, even though I was in church all the time when I was younger, didn't God's Word
equip me through those difficult years when I was a drug addict? But sad to say, it did!
My pride just refused to heed God's advice. God's power isn't released to the prideful;
it's released to the humble before God. As long as we think we don't need God and can rely
on ourselves as I did -- He's given us enough free will to let us be our own God. For
God's Word surely says, "God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the
humble." (James 4:6)
Dear reader, if you are in a situation that you want victory over, or have besetting sin
you cannot stop, Doctor Jesus will give you victory over it . . . if you will surrender to
Allow the Holy Spirit to show you from the Word of God that those who belong to Jesus
Christ have an eternal purpose that starts here in this life. Pursuing riches, success,
power and pleasure solely as a means to an end are Satan's tools of sidetracking us from
the things that are most important to God. God's highest purpose for every person is to
join in loving fellowship with Him through Jesus Christ. Until we have accepted God's
provision for allowing this to happen, which is to first accept Jesus Christ as one's
Savior, and then purposing in one's heart to let Him become Lord of everything that keeps
us from obeying His Word in the New Testament . . . we're either trying to please God some
other way other than what God has recorded in His Word for us to obey, or we're hoping
that His mercy will triumph over His judgment.
Once Jesus has become your Savior and you consciously purpose Him to become your Lord -
allowing Him to burn away the sin in your life and allowing Him to change your
thought-life, so you can begin to think as Jesus wants us to think, and do as Jesus wants
us to do according to His Word. Once we've started doing this in our life, then we can be
assured we are on the right path with God.
When Christlikeness is manifest in us, and out of us, we can't help but look for ways to
pour ourselves into others who are struggling and less fortunate, especially if they are
desiring to grow in Jesus Christ. Fine if God wants to financially bless me - make me
powerful in the eyes of the world - successful in whatever profession I end up in. That
doesn't change our highest priority or center of focus . . . which is to use our time,
talent, and treasure in pouring our energies into learning about God in His Word and
reaching out to others who desire to know about God and grow in relationship with Jesus
Christ. Just growing in knowledge of God without pouring yourself out to others only makes
one more knowledgeable about God. DOING the Word of God makes you Christ-like. You can't
do what the Word of God tells us to do without pouring yourself into the lives of others.
Successful Christianity is being led by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:13-14), and letting the
love of Jesus Christ manifest Himself through you to others. Don't let ignorance
bottleneck Jesus flowing out of you to others, okay?
God's Word makes it perfectly clear that we can invest our time, talent, and treasure
during our lifetime in things that will mean absolutely nothing when we pass into the next
life. God's Word also makes it well known that we are to invest in heavenly treasures, not
solely earthly treasures (Matthew 6:19). When we determine to invest in heavenly
treasures, it involves how we spend our time, how we invest the gifting and skills we've
been given, and how we spend and invest the money God allows to come into our hands. God's
Word solemnly warns us that we will not only give an account of what we've done during
this lifetime once we've become born-again Christians when we stand before Christ. But we
will then be subsequently rewarded in regards to how we've labored to help build the
Kingdom of God in the lives of people we've poured our lives into.
Let's take a sober look at what scripture says about this issue [remember ... unbelievers,
the unsaved, those who thought they were in touch with Christ but were in touch with the
wrong Christ (YES we can be. Read Matthew 7:20-23); these will not make it to heaven]:
Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward
according to his own labor. For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's
building. According to the grace of God, which was given to me, man needs to be careful
how he builds upon it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one, which is laid,
[the Apostle Paul; notation ours], as a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and
another is building upon it. But let each, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds
upon the foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw -- each man's work
will become evident; for the day will show it, because it is to be revealed with fire; and
the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work. If any man's work, which he has
built upon it, remain, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work is burned up, he shall
suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire.
Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If
any man destroys the temple of God (which is Satan's plan to do in you through drugs, not
to mention numerous other ways he has), God will destroy him, for the temple of God is
holy, and that is what you are. (I Cor. 3:8-17 New American Standard Translation)
In closing . . . what has been gained when I stand before God . . . what has been
accomplished of any eternal significance in this life for God? If I've become the most
successful, the most influential or powerful, the richest, the most decorated . . . if
when I stand before God and have not pleased Him, what have I gained?
Even though I may have little financial means, I still can invest in heavenly treasures.
It does not take money to invest time in pouring my life into others. It does not take
much skill to reach out with the love of Christ, showing mercy and compassion to others
that are hurting or struggling. All it takes is determination. It does not require
anything other than time to be a prayer warrior for God. Being a prayer warrior, if that
is what God is calling you to be, is as important as being a Pastor or a Preacher.
Remember . . . prayers only get answered if people pray them.
Lest the devil deceive some: earning our salvation does not save us. Neither are our sins
forgiven by earning forgiveness, contrary to what some may teach. What Jesus Christ has
already done on the cross of Calvary is what guarantees my Salvation and my forgiveness of
sins (past, present, and future sins, by the way . . which is hard for some to believe).
Rewards in heaven, or loss of rewards in heaven, will be determined to some degree by what
I've done with my life after I've become a Christian. If I'm building on any foundation
other than what the Word of God says to build on, that very same Word gives some grave
warnings. (Revelation 22:18-19)
As the saying goes (and oh how many will painfully realize just how much warning has been
given when the stand empty-handed before Christ, having squandered their time, talent, and
treasure during this lifetime):
"ONLY ONE LIFE WILL SOON BE PAST, ONLY WHAT'S DONE FOR CHRIST WILL LAST."
Thank you for taking the time to read my testimony. May God richly bless you as you seek
to know more about Him, and the joy everlasting that comes from knowing that you are
walking in His perfect will for your life.
The Marie Dial Story is graciously provided by:
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