Undone By the Power of God
By Randy Rudder
The 700 Club
CBN.com -“Buddhism, Hinduism, yoga, meditation, Vedanta, this sort of eastern philosophy—it was the promises of those things that fired me up, extravagant promises--promises of a life free of suffering, experience of the ultimate truth, enlightenment.” So says Michael Graham about his initial curiosity about eastern thought.
Michael Graham’s fascination with eastern mysticism came when he was a teenager in Melbourne, Australia, even though he attended a Christian school. “It’s amazing that after ten years of boarding school, fifteen minutes of chapel every morning, one and a half hours of church on Sunday, all I really remember were the stained glass windows and the nice hymns. But if I’d been asked to explain the gospel, I wouldn’t have had a clue.”
With no spiritual compass, Michael began studying books on eastern philosophy and religion that he found in his father’s library. “They were averting to the possibility of becoming superman—being free from the human condition, being happy, overcoming all your limitations. And I thought, ‘Whoa, where do I sign? This is just what I’m looking for.’”
For years, Michael practiced meditation, but couldn’t achieve the peace and calm he strived for. “I was a failed meditator. And that’s the reason I went to India; to have my meditation fixed by a meditation master in that country.”
There, he studied under a famous guru. “He was a charismatic character--not just personality wise, but he radiated something. I said that I’d come all the way from Australia to learn how to meditate properly. And he said simply, through the translator, ‘Don’t worry, everything will be fine.’”
But everything was not fine. “After 28 years of practice, I was not enlightened, nor had anyone that I was associated for all those years come close to it either.”
His guru told him it was only a matter of time. “He would say ‘Three years with me, you’ll be enlightened.’ and then the third year came and then he jacked it up to six years, then he jacked it up to nine years, then jacked it up to twelve years, then he jacked it up to three lifetimes,” Michael remembers. “So it was always elusive, always out of reach.”
Still, Michael persisted. He even became a yogi and started running transcendental meditation centers in the U.S. and India. One day while meditating, he had a strange experience. “I was looking for the truth, and as it turns out, the Truth found me,” he says. “I went into isolation for 10 days, and a quite extraordinary thing happened. The image of Jesus Christ formed up inside my chest cavity. But what happened following that was astounding. It was an experience beyond all words can tell. There was an openness and love coming from Christ to me of cosmic proportions, along with an invitation, a welcome, as if to say, ‘Give me your life and breath and I’ll take care of you.’”
Michael was stunned. “I didn’t know how to respond. What was I going to do with this?” he recalls. “I mean, I didn’t have a major problem with Christianity, but I was the inside track--a yogi, the real thing, the mystical thing—church and standard stuff, would have been of no interest to me. I didn’t know what to do.”
So Michael continued with his practices. While in the States, he says he had a revelation. “As if pushed into me from outside myself was a conviction that everything I had done--all the disciplines, practices, the thousands of hours of meditation the cognitions, the realizations--had all added up to a huge, fat zero.”
After that, Michael began listening to evangelists on the radio during his daily commute. “I must have listened to about 150 hours of top expository preaching. I became quite well educated to the first principles of Christianity, the Bible, who Christ was, why He came, all His promises. That’s what really got me: ‘I’ve come that you may have life and have it more abundantly,’ that sort of thing. I thought Wow, you know, that’s what I was always looking for. And I became sufficiently well informed to make up my mind that one day I would make a decision to acknowledge Christ as Lord and Savior.”
The time for Michael to make that decision came at a Billy Graham crusade. “I saw a big billboard in Oakland—it was 1997--saying something about Billy Graham coming to town. So I thought, ‘What a wonderful opportunity to make this decision in front of a cloud of witnesses.’”
After the message, Reverend Graham gave an invitation for people to come forward and accept Christ as their savior. Michael did not hesitate. “I was down there like a shot out of a gun. And from that moment, I was never the same again,” Michael remembers. “There was a rest that came over me that was behind feelings and experiences. But above all, this began a change of heart and mind that I'd sought so much through the eastern spiritual tradition all those years. And it came as a free gift of grace.”
Now an author and apologist, Michael still travels to India to tell Hindus that true peace only comes through Jesus Christ. “Wherever I am, I am sharing the gospel through the means of testimony, either written or spoken. My purpose is to acknowledge that Jesus Christ is the source of my life, to extend His love to other people, to promote the fact that He is preeminent and supreme, and the fact that it is through Him that salvation comes, and Him alone. And this is what gives me meaning and purpose.”
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