As Victor considers accepting Christ, the enemy puts up a tremendous fight.
“Anything your pastor has to tell me, I already know,” I told my wife, but I knew it wasn’t true. I had been drinking every day of my life since the age of 12, and even as a young child, I had never been a churchgoer. My abusive, alcoholic father hated religion and had kept us away from anything pertaining to God. Instead of taking a warning from his example, I had followed it, and for 38 years I had been enslaved in the underworld of drugs and alcohol.
I suffered much during those years, because I never had peace. On several occasions, I risked my life in my drunkenness. When I got married and had children, my family also suffered greatly. At length, my wife, Leticia, gave herself to Christ and joined the Seventh-day Adventist Church. But I was still immersed in vice. Leticia continually invited me to church, but I wouldn’t go; so she enlisted her church to pray for me, and for 12 years they cried out to God for my restoration.
At last, I decided to give up alcohol, but when I stopped drinking, anxiety overwhelmed me. Trembling, I went to the doctor for medication. It helped for a time, but the panic attacks always returned. I could see that on my own, I wouldn’t hold out for long. I needed help.
Around that time, my wife’s church held an evangelistic campaign. I decided to attend and see what they had to say. Every night the preacher made a call to accept Jesus, and although nobody knew it, a struggle raged inside me. I was sure that Jesus was the help I needed, but I did not have the courage to stand up and accept Him as my Savior.
On Friday night, one day before the close of the evangelistic series, I sat at our meal table, thinking about whether I should get baptized. A message came to my cell phone from an anonymous sender, full of questions. “Are you willing to accept a God who killed so many people in the flood? Why would you want to worship a God who allows pastors and priests to rape children? Are you sure what you’re doing?” Then another text came in, also full of doubts.
Feeling jittery, I showed my wife the messages. Good and evil warred in my mind. I could feel the Holy Spirit calling me to a decision, and I recognized the phone texts as an attack from Satan. The enemy knew that he was losing a good soldier to Jehovah’s army. Strangely enough, the thought encouraged and strengthened me. With confidence I proclaimed: “I am going to be baptized.” It was the best decision of my life!
Two months after my baptism, the enemy tried to bring me down again with panic attacks. I asked my wife to take me to the doctor, but then I remembered God, and I asked her to kneel down with me instead. As we prayed, a great peace came upon me. Glory to God! The panic attacks have not returned since that mightily answered prayer.
I know that, as a human, I will be tempted every day. My old friends continue to invite me to go back to drinking, but God gives me strength to resist and remain firm. Today I enjoy attending church with my family and spending time with my brothers in the faith. God has even given me the opportunity to share the message of salvation through evangelistic meetings! I know He will use me for great things in His work.
Victor Aguilar is a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Saba, Honduras.
How You Can Help
Pray that God will continue to give Victor victory over alcohol and help him win many others to the faith!
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