Sid Roth Welcomes Mike Shreve

SID: Hello, Sid Roth here with Mike Shreve. Here he is, one of the most successful yoga instructors in the city, and he’s challenged by a good friend that did the same thing as him, went that same road. And this friend said he bumped into such a great power and it had to do with Jesus. And he wrote him a letter and said Jesus is the only way, and Christians are praying 24/7, a prayer group, because they saw an article about him in the Tampa newspaper. So Mike, this all led you to be fair-minded about Jesus.

MIKE: Exactly, exactly.

SID: What did you decide to do?

MIKE: Well I decided if He really did die on the cross for the sins of humanity, which was opposite to what I believed at the time. I believed it was just an example of obedience to a destiny, but it had no atoning power for sin. But I thought “If He really did do that, then I owe it to Him to at least open my heart up to the possibility that He’s real and that He is actually the savior of the world.” Because I was not a close-minded individual. Even though it made no sense to me logically, I thought “I’m a seeker after truth, I’m going to open my heart to the possibility.” So one day… I ran a yoga ashram by the way, which is a commune where people are discipled on a more intense level. And I sent all of my students up to the front of the ashram, and I went into a back room and took just a Bible with me. And I made a commitment. I said, “Jesus, I’m not going to use any other prayer. I’m not going to chant any mantra, I’m not going to read any other source of information except the Bible, and this day belongs to You. And I believe that this day, if You’re real, and if You’re the only way, You’ll show me.” And I prayed about 7 or 8 hours and read the Bible…

SID: Most Christians don’t pray 7 or 8 hours, and here you are praying 7 or 8 hours.

MIKE: Yeah, we started every day at 3:30 in the morning and would meditate for 3 hours, doing Hindu chants and things like that. But anyway, nothing happened, and I was expecting an audible voice or a supernatural visitation. But for me, God had a different plan. That afternoon, I was hitchhiking to go teach at University of South Florida, and one of the members of the prayer group was two miles away walking into a laundromat with an armful of dirty clothes. And the Holy Spirit spoke to him and said “Don’t go in there. Get back in your vehicle. I’ve got something for you to do.” Most people would not change their direction.

SID: Now this is the prayer group that was praying for you?

MIKE: Yes, the prayer group that was praying for me. And he obeyed God on that little bit of information. He got back in his van and said “Ok Lord, where do You want me to go?” And he felt impressed to drive a certain direction and every half mile or mile, he would feel that impulse and turn again, and then go a quarter mile and turn again and the Holy Spirit led him to the very spot where I was standing hitchhiking. Now the odds of that happening are incredible.

SID: There are no odds.

MIKE: Yeah. One member of that 10 member prayer group that was praying for me in a city the size of Tampa, and I had only been out there on the street hitchhiking about 5 minutes, so it was awesome. It was a divine setup. And he pulled over to the side of the road, and I opened the door, and my heart started racing, because I knew this was not a coincidence, it was a God incidence. I look up on the ceiling and there was a picture of Jesus that he had taped to the ceiling.

SID: And you’re praying “Is it true about Jesus?”

MIKE: Oh yeah, yeah. And here there’s this picture, and this guy introduces himself, and it’s somebody I’d heard about. He was the most advanced student of yoga in Tampa, other than myself. He was very revered in the yoga community, a student of Yogananda, who was a very famous yogi. And he had, according to our little group, fallen away from the faith and gotten hung up with some Jesus freaks on the other side of town. So I’d heard about him, and he’d heard about me because this prayer group was praying for me. Well, we launched into a conversation that didn’t last very long. I said, “Listen, if you’re the answer to my prayer, I’m ready to find Jesus.” He said “You can come to our prayer meeting tonight.” I said, “I don’t want to wait.”
He said “Well, I can pull over to the side of the road now.” So he pulled over into a parking lot and we sat down in the back of his van and discussed things for a little while, and I had a couple of mental blocks that I might mention. I told him “I could never quit believing in reincarnation.” He said, “Don’t worry about that, try Jesus.” I said, “Well I could never believe the Bible is actually God’s inspired word.” He said, “Don’t worry about that, just try Jesus.” I said “Well I’ll never believe in hell.” He said, “Don’t worry about that, just try Jesus.” He knew that if he got me embroiled in a theological argument, he might lose me. He kept bringing me back to the main issue, and that’s the supernatural experience of an encounter with the Lord Jesus that proves everything else. And so, I was willing. I knelt down and prayed a very simple prayer. So simple, my mind rebelled against the simplicity of it. I said “Jesus, if You’re there, and if You died on the cross for my sins, and if You truly are the Savior of the world, come into my heart right now. I surrender my life to You.” And Sid, it happened. To use Bible words, I was regenerated, I experienced spiritual rebirth. What does that really mean? It means that the Spirit of God came back into me after 19 years of being separated from God.

SID: What is the difference between what you’re describing and what you used to believe in reference to the presence of God, the Spirit of God?

MIKE: A huge difference.

SID: What’s the difference?

MIKE: It’s a huge difference, because in Eastern religions, we were taught that God is already internal.

SID: I see, “God’s in everyone.”

MIKE: And therefore, a spark of divinity. And so, in order to find God, you look within. But the Bible teaches something we call theism, which is the belief that God exists external, or in a sense, outside of physical creation, or apart from physical creation. So that, when you have an experience of unity or union with Him, He comes into you from without.

SID: What did you feel?

MIKE: Oh, it’s hard to describe. It was a warmth, it was a sensation of the personal presence of God, which is, again, a part of the huge difference between what I believed before and what I believe now. God in Eastern religions is just an impersonal life force, a cosmic energy, and you meditate on that energy, but you don’t really pray to that energy. But when I encountered the True and the Living God, He was a personal God who expressed His love to me in a personal way. It’s a relationship, and that’s what Jesus came to offer.

SID: Yes, but guess what happens? He then tells his 400 students he’s been leading them down the wrong road. We’ll be right back.

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