My name is Michael Chriswell
I was married with five children, living in a million-dollar home with all the toys, the travel, a successful business, and I was even being called the next "Zig Ziglar" (motivational speaker), by some. I was living my dreams, or so I thought. After years of practicing the advice of success gurus, I overcame my very ugly childhood and proved I could "make something of myself". By 2007, my small biz income was $700k and growing at 300% annually. By early 2008, I seemed to have reached the top of my game, but behind my smile was a growing sense of tension—I had no peace.
I had become a believer in Jesus Christ back in 1989, but with no one to disciple me, I continued living the way I'd always known. After I got married, I got more involved in church and then became a busy body “Christian” doing all the churchy stuff. At the same time, I was striving for success in the business world, and after one gigantic failure, I finally hit “the big time”. You cannot serve both God and money." (Mat 6:24)
I had been relying on success like a false god and was deriving the majority of my identity and acceptance from it. On October 30th 2009, the tension reached an 18-month high point. I got on my knees, cried out to God and completely surrendered everything to Him.
Nine months later (to the day), my wife divorced me and took our five children. I experienced betrayal, non-stop false accusations, slander, parental alienation, business failure, bankruptcy, loss of my best friend, loss of my reputation, all of my money. I literally lost everything. Then it got even worse.
I spent the next 18 months, studying, organizing and obeying them. The more I obeyed, the more of His presence and fruit I began to see in my life. It was absolutely incredible! Today, my relationship with Him is truly indescribable, even when I’m suffering through hardship (1 Jn 2:5) and I know that I have still only scratched the surface.
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