By Jonathan BeWell
Praise the Lord, hallelujah!
Praise You, God, for your purity and perfection! Praise You Lord, Jesus Christ, for saving me and my testimony! Glory be to You, God, our Father who art in Heaven! Thanks be to the Holy Spirit's comfort, teaching and guidance! All we know, understand, experience and struggle with is for your glory, perfect plan and unquestionable will. I shall not want or crave anything outside of Jesus Christ's way. Let me know if so, let me understand what You want for us is best. May I pick up and carry my own cross, denying myself for You. I worship You as all knowing, powerful and gracious. May I draw closer to You and keep You as top priority in my family's lives. You are first, my family is second and I am here to serve. May I serve you reverently, fully and completely. May there be less of me and more of Jesus Christ instead. Jesus, You are thee only way, light and salvation. All I need is You. God, You take care of the rest. You are in control, God, making and letting everything happen. I am in awe and wonder of your creation. I am eternally grateful, worshipping You and your Son for thee ultimate sacrifice and act of love. This body is your temple, use it as You will. Bend me from my will to yours. It is all about You, everything concerns and relates to You! Yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever, in Jesus Christ's name, amen!
By Tony Elliott
This is a testimony of the Glory of God and is but an excerpt of an ongoing story as I am only 60 and I hope He is not done with me yet. It is He that has directed my life. It is He that has shown me truly that there really is nothing He can’t do. It is He that amazes me every single day with His Love, workings, and presence. He deserves the entire credit for this story, when I just simply follow, listen, and obey He does it all and leads my life into marvelous adventures. So this is His story, not mine. It is by His grace that I have learned that when you follow Him without hesitation, put your life in His hands - your heart surrendered, then by His strength He will sustain you – nothing will be able to stop you. You can be assured that this story is all true - every word. My hope is that it will motivate those of you exposed to it to have a greater faith in the One who is able, realize that God is alive and well, and that He is still The Great I Am.
My parents always made sure that I was in church every Sunday. I remember hanging out at the church a lot after school, anytime really. Poor Pastor Sweat probably thought I was his kid – I followed him around like a shadow every chance I got and talked the guy’s ear off. Because of his patience with me and the hunger I had, Jesus was very real to me – the matter of fact childlike kind of faith, no reservations, no doubt. I used to sit on the concrete wall behind my house for hours talking to Him – I told my mom I was just thinking. As I grew he moved on and that mentoring went away, but the knowledge that Jesus was always around me did not. At least for a few years...
I was pretty much always a loner as a kid. I was smaller than my peers and that made me a target in school and I shied away from people. That carried with me until I turned 16 and got a car. That is when I met some friends outside of the school circle and for the first time began to feel accepted. They all smoked pot and I fell right into that because I craved the friendships and wanted to be accepted into their circle of friends. That is when I turned away from Jesus – how could someone I couldn’t touch compete with real friends. I quickly moved to the point of smoking it every day and never thought about it. I had friends and parties and no-one to teach me about how bad that was – who listens to their parents? This highlights the danger of choosing the wrong friends, having accountability to no-one but myself, lacking a real role model or mentor, and ignoring what I knew was right to satisfy an inner desire to have friends. I became lost in the world and turned my back on Jesus and everything I knew was right to satisfy the flesh and selfish desires. The world sucked me in.
When I turned 18 I joined the Air Force. Continuing on with the lifestyle I was living, everything spiraled downward for the next couple of years. The dark side began to take hold and I started to delve into the black arts. I thought I was some kind of magician with the parlor tricks. It wasn’t long until one of the tricks backfired and I realized it wasn’t me doing the tricks. Lost in selfishness I really didn’t know which direction to take. Soon after that I had a vision, day dream, real dream, not sure. In that vision my eyes were opened to the spiritual realm. I don’t know for how long, but time in that place is meaningless. The carnage of misery was everywhere. As I focused on the happenings around me, absolutely terrified to the point of holding my breath, I saw hordes of demons reeking verbal and physical havoc whispering horrible things and bringing calamity on what appeared to be helpless souls. The agony and torment expressed by those souls was horrible to see and there were few exempt. I knew then that demons had been pulling my strings. Then one of them noticed that I could see him, it wafted over to me like a smoky solid cloud and breathed on me. I can still remember the stench of it’s vile smell. As quickly as it came on it was over. I now intimately know just how real the life and death spiritual battle is, how terrible, how close, how relentless. Absolutely terrifying does not describe it, it was much more devastating than that. So I made the only logical, wretched, selfish decision possible I swore off spiritual things – all of it. I told God to back off and leave me alone and I turned my back to all of it. Little did I know of the stakes… That experience was so traumatically impressed into my memory that 20 years later I wrote this to try to make a feeble attempt to put into words what I saw.
To Spin A Twisted Tale
In the beginning his life was normal
Like any other small boy
He ran and jumped and had some fun
Not knowing they watched with evil joy
From his youth he thought he was in control
Things came so easy and fast
Soon he moved beyond friend and peer
Emotions and thoughts kept under tight grasp
As he grew into a man it seemed
He had it pretty good
Health and love, a nice family
Things turned out just as he knew they would
That’s when they started to sneak into his thoughts
Taking note of his torment and fears
Knowing the dreams and desires inside
They laid in wait, in dark shadows they hide
From those shadows they reached out to touch him
Slowly draining his soul and strength
Unnoticed by his conscious mind
They did not worry to take their time
Sometimes they would breach the wall
Causing his eyes to see
The consequence of the battle inside
Into the physical realm did they slide
The things that happened would cause him
To tighten the grip on his soul
Run, run, as fast as you can
But the battle was still too close
As he filled in with shadows and darkness
The sludge filling in every space
Years passed by as he went beyond sighs
‘Till he remembered not the way it had been
They carefully planned and waited
The attacks subtle and right on the mark
They wanted to take control of his life
By filling him up with inner strife
He found himself locked in a corner
Bound by deceit and lies from them
Filled with sadness, loneliness and dark melodies
That no one else can see
Weary he rests while the war rages on
Hiding from enemy's shots
In a foxhole he camped while they searched him out
He watched them laugh as they cast his lot
Decades passed as they lay in wait
Locked away from his open view
Emotions and feelings in a stranglehold trapped
Seething inside with them like boiling wax
The sludge bubbled and popped, spewing despair
The waves hit with relentless force
Confusion ran deep as he fought for a glimpse
Of truth and reality
Over the years, fed by their lies, incredible sadness advanced
Diligently stealing his hope and his joy
Replaced with solemn misery
Finding out they had stolen his years
At last, no more did he have any tears
Tiptoeing in, they plan their attack
They know of every fear
As they whisper and wait for his eyes to close
He feels their presence so very near
They reach out with their lying tongues
Abhorring the truth and the light
Master deceptors, they pride themselves
To spin a twisted tale
Hidden corners they illuminate
With various shades of gray
Bringing sorrow and pain and grief and such
Into the light of the nighttime day
They make his dreams seem real to him
Like an alternate life that he lives
People and places and memories unique
To the nighttime world that does exist
They paint pictures of hurtful sorrows
Making him believe it’s real
The fear and pain and tears pale out
To the utter loss of hope
Slowly they reach his conscious mind
Appealing to wants and desires
Rearranging the normal priorities
Little by little he hits his knees
He sees and thinks things that make him believe
That he knows not any more
Where he comes from, or where he will go
Life has become a raging cyclone
He feels the battle begin anew
The footholds they had dug in deep
The attacks they sent cruel
With glee working the tools
Mind and body blitzed
As darkness falls, he sadly reflects
On the sorted state that exists
His mind collapsing into a frenzy
Soon there will be no more escape
Unwillingly, he gives in at last
To the drifting away of restrain
Though he knows that it’s not right
He longs to give in to the dark delight
From dusty corners unimaginable
And the darkest place of his heart
Comes the fulfillment of what he fears the most
While trapped in the sleepy part
They boldly emerge, slipping into the realm
Where joining in to agony sweet
The partners of his nightly world
Torment him till he lies prostrate
Restlessly, he tries to regain - any kind of control
But locked up in the cycle of life
Is the unavoidable fact of sleep
And the living world of dreams
From the depths of his soul he tires
Of the struggle to separate
The subtle difference between sleeping
And finding himself awake
It seems that the nightmares got loose
And crashed right through the wall
Tumbling into his waking thoughts
Blurring the line of night and day
His consciousness dulled by exhaustion
Whirling him into despair
Reality lost to a circle of time
Oh the pain that no one knows
With each passing moment
Thru his veins it flows
Invading his being
Each fiber and cell
Making his life a living hell
His thoughts a jumble
Dreams bad at best
There's no relief, even in rest
He tries to ignore it - it won't go away
The torment he feels
Is there to stay
Where can he turn, where can he hide
No person understands
Though he does not lie
He puts on a mask
With himself makes a deal
But ultimately it's more torment he feels
The wave hits hard, he quivers and shakes
Praying for reprieve
Nobody cares even if they could tell
How he longs for the toll of the bell
As the pain inside builds to frenzy
He begins to lose his hold
Unable to distinguish between realities
The anguish is more than he can behold
The light of hope grew dimmer
Fading away it became just a glimpse
He tried many times to reach out for it
But he would always miss
The people around him were clueless
They really just didn’t know
For to share with them the feelings inside
Is somewhere he did not want to go
But the distress caused by the emotions
As they torment him night and day
And the physical reaction from sleepless nights
Made him wish they would stay away
So he made up his own little plan
To beat them at their own sport
As he left the physical life he had
He thought it his last resort
For the longest time he wandered with them
Learning the tricks of the trade
How to reach out gently through shadows
Causing confusion and pain
To materialize into the dream world
With horror, agony, and pain
Wearing thin the fragile wall
Between consciousness and dreams
Stepping out on his own he searched
Looking for a friendly place
Somewhere that has familiar scenes
Like ones he once embraced
The torment had caused him to change
To a cunning, wicked thing
Gleefully planning to breach through that wall
Rememories of anguish did ring
Carefully from the shadows
Hidden away from view
He noted in him the torment and strife
Laying in wait ‘till the time was right
Then he painted the picture of a nighttime day
That worked so well with him
Dreams he would twist
Pain he would bring
All with intent of a bitter end
In the beginning his life was normal
Like any other small boy
He ran and jumped and had some fun
Not knowing they watched him with evil joy…
Spiritual warfare is real and hidden by only a veil which our enemy can breach at whim. I wrote this story when I was about 40. Reliving that vision solidified my resolve to stay away from all spiritual things that I made so long ago, but God was preparing me. After all that time, He still did not turn His back to me and must have shown me through the veil for a reason. Well, I skipped ahead of myself – back to the story...
I met my wife Marsha when I was 22. I couldn’t help but to fall in love with her, she was (and still is) very sweet and we got married about a year and a half later in October 1982 – yep, 37 years in a couple of months. The cycle of picking the wrong friends continued in spite of that and I found myself being introduced to crack in 1985. Things spiraled quickly out of control as most people know. I will skip the gory details of the lies, deceptions, and stealing, which there again everyone knows how that goes. I was deep into the addiction and had some serious anger issues. Marsha finally caught on and gave me the ultimatum one day – it is either that or me. That is when God showed me that He was there even with my back turned. I could not lose the love of my life, so I cried out to God, who never turned His back to me, who stepped in and removed the lust for the crack from me. I went from burning through $500 of crack in one day to clean of it all the next and never craved it again. That was God. I had a motorcycle accident shortly after that and should have died, but I believe that God set into motion a chain of events that took me from the friends and people I knew and brought me to live in a new location across the state of Florida where I had a fresh start. Even through all that my back was still to Jesus – how could He love me when I was so wretched, spiritual things are off limits, I did not acknowledge the miracle He performed with the addiction, and besides that I was very angry with Him for allowing all the pain, – lost 30% of my skin - but He never gave up on me. By this point I had decided that there was no way He would want me, thought I was past the point of being saved, and didn’t know if I really wanted to be. After all I turned my back to Him. With my back turned I couldn’t see His arms reaching out for me, even though He saved me from that addiction. I was too lost to turn around and look.
He was always with me, even though I was quite the sinner. The night we got married, we agreed to wait five years to have a baby. I was laid up for 18 months from the accident and during that time Marsha got pregnant with Holly. I do not believe that this is a coincidence – on our fifth anniversary she went into labor. This was totally unplanned by us – I couldn’t work - had a cast on my arm for 18 months from the motorcycle accident. He is always listening. He can do anything. He loves us so much that we can turn our backs on Him and He still works in our lives to bring us closer to Him and bring blessings and breadcrumbs.
Holly is an amazing daughter and has been blessed by God with strength and beauty. Always very precise in everything she did and very smart. She was in kindergarden when she created a checklist down to the minute of how her day would go. She was six years old when she decided that she was going to be an astronaut and fly a mission to mars and held onto that dream through like her third year of college when the astronaut training program was scrapped. At Embry Riddle she was training to be a pilot, decided she did not want to do that and took up air traffic management. She is now an air traffic controller and married a wonderful husband. She runs marathons, volunteers, and has signed up to do yet another Iron Man race. She follows God.
Holly was about three when a co-worker started taking Marsha to church. I was so lost in my own selfishness and convictions of spiritual things being off limits that I was not going to give up sleeping in on Sunday and figured that He wouldn’t want my wretched soul anyway. My sweet wife finally convinced me to go. I was reluctant, but said I would at least go once to check it out. When I stepped into that church foyer, I got a hug from God. Still remember it vividly. I was completely stunned and felt like I just got home. Over the next couple of years we became involved and began to learn and grow spiritually. He actually hugged me… Ahhh, the breadcrumbs...
Meanwhile, Marsha got pregnant with our son. By the time she was six months along I felt sorry for her. Somewhere I have a picture of her eating dinner with the plate sitting on her belly. Kept kidding her about having a 10 pounder. Then we started to notice something strange. Praise songs would cause him to squirm. By the time she was about 7 months there was full fledge dancing going on every time there was singing at church. It was quite entertaining. Her stomach would literally be bouncing all over the place during the praising. That is the Holy Spirit.
Then God gave us an anchor, a promise, a hope, an encouragement. He reached into our world and gave us something tangible. A man named Drew came over to us after a service, laid his hands on Marsha’s belly, and spoke out a prophesy over our son – the details of it are still playing out, so I will not share the particulars of it. I will tell you that what was spoken was amazing and he said things only God could know. The evidence of those words played out in my son’s life in the early years – we called him ‘the soccer field evangelist’. He would search out kids that were not on the field playing and lead them to Christ. We were going to need that anchor of hope, but didn’t know it just yet.
Then came years of life. We grew and matured in Christ. Raised the kids. I went to work at a small Christian school so they could go there and I could be there for them. I witnessed a miracle there with a spaghetti dinner. Trying as we knew to follow God. It has not been an easy road as with my back turned to God, His blessings were minimal. In 2000 I went through deep depression – the enemy was relentlessly trying to convince me that none of it was true, my life was pointless, I was unworthy, nobody cared, all was for nothing, I was too bad off for God, and brought me to the point of suicide. With my failure to realize that the enemy never gives up, I had no defense and that allowed the enemy to get in. In the midst of it I managed to hold onto enough faith to cry out to God with some words that I can never forget. I realized that I could not turn my back to it anymore and if I were to have a chance God would have to protect me, heal me, be my refuge. Is the Bible true – yeah, every word. Deep inside was the knowledge of the utter reality behind the veil, and I was under attack...still...relentlessly.
heal me, oh Lord, from affliction
make haste to deliver my soul
for the agony runs deep
there is no relief
but from your hand alone
I am glad He loves me. He honored that prayer in a big way. I gave my heart to Him that day and never looked back. He took all the pain, the fear, shielded me, gave me strength, broke chains, and delivered me. Much of that has not been an overnight process, but instead He has had to rip some of the old man from me. All the while He gives me glimpses of His Hand to encourage me. Just little signs that I know are from Him. Confirmations, even miracles have followed me. I should be dead a few times over.
Instead, He gives me breadcrumbs. He also showed me some really good things in visions and dreams. One vision in particular inspired me to write this painfully inadequate description:
Written words are powerful in their unique ability to portray an image personal to
the individual who allows himself to become a canvas on which the author loosely paints,
surpassing all other forms of media in which one is presented with external stimulation.
When the sights and sounds of a story are created within the reader’s inner mind,
the result is something which can never be duplicated over speaker or on screen as each
mind perceives things in a different fashion. We of the family of God are brought together into one body and strive for the mind of Christ - therefore, as the following is a feeble attempt to put into human perspective the Majesty of God, we must carefully allow the Spirit of God to be that author.
Without the Holy Spirit’s help, we can’t begin to fathom the immense and infinite Glory, Power, Magnificence, Splendor, and Purity of our living God – the Great I Am.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
...a small flicker of light, a bright star twinkling in the inky night sky,
far off in the distance.
You find a pure white light beams out from this point in all directions - driving the darkness away until only the light remains.
Approaching this source of light, you perceive that it is taking the shape of a supreme throne. The lovely, brilliant rainbow created from the massive flow of power gleams as brightly as the radiant emerald surrounding the throne, paling the beautiful, intricate ornamentation.
Around you everywhere is resemblance of a sea of glass, polished like mirrored crystal, softly reflecting the superb, holy splendor. Carefully, slowly, you approach, finding that this place is immense - the length and breadth of it filling your senses to the point of being overwhelmed.
Thunderous vibrations emanating from the majestic throne rumble you to the core when the light that is not only around you, shines through you, illuminating your innermost parts.
Even now to your humbled soul.
This magnificent light is disturbed only by fantastic bolts of lightning shooting from it in all directions as if the very space around you is saturated with light to the point of being able to contain no more.
As you gaze your eyes upon all this brilliant glory now right up close, you notice that proceeding from the throne is a mighty river.
The river of life. Crystal clear. Rushing forth like a mighty waterfall.
The very substance of it not water, but a stream of unstoppable waves of life spewing forth, filling the universe.
Then you realize...This is just His chair.
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the Throne of Grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16
Why would anyone not want to follow that kind of magnificence?
During the years since that time God has shown me some very wonderful things. I have grown to and continue to grow to know and hear His voice. Learning to hear Him has responsibility - He expects obedience when He tells you to do something. Here are some examples:
(1) I know I was told to go on a mission trip to Berlin and He would not stop telling me to go for weeks. I told Him I was not going, so leave me alone one night as I went to bed. He must have spanked me all night long – literally. Woke up the next morning feeling it from head to toe. I said fine, I’ll go – but you got to pay for it, we have no money for this. The money started pouring in. People I never met were walking up to give me $100 bills that they claimed that God told them to give. I ended up helping others pay for their trip. He used this trip to remind me how thin the veil is.
(2) Another time I was told to hold onto $1800, I was going to need it. About a year and a half later a mission trip to Columbia was announced – guess what...$1800. There were lifelong friendships that formed on that trip. I got to see God at work there, the growth of disciples under the conditions was amazing. These people have so little, but praise God with all their heart and share God’s love.
(3) In 2005 a 350 pound garage door broke loose, came down the tracks, and hit me in the head. The doctor that stitched me up and a completely different doctor that unstitched me both got in my face and said the exact same words about an xray - “Why should I bother, you should be dead”. No, because God wrapped me in His warm, tingly love that day. I physically felt it just for a brief moment, it was like being in a cocoon. He healed me and I have no symptoms at all from the injury. Got a big dent in my head to prove it. There are many more stories, but you get the idea… There is nothing impossible for God.
Then, at 18, my son was introduced to drugs. The next seven years was a literal tornado of darkness. He spiraled quickly into the depths of addiction. There is not enough time for me to tell you of the sheer agony we went through – to many of you it would be a familiar story. Through all of that misery, we held on tightly to the promise that God made us through Drew that day. We stayed convinced that God knew what He was doing and that He was going to use all this for His glory. As painful as it was we knew that God had His hand in it and the my son needed to learn these things to effectively work God’s plan for his life. The kid was in school. Josh was in God’s hands. Then God’s Grace brought him to Innerfaith Disciple House with a recommendation from Holly. In love they brought out Josh’s relationship with God and nurtured it. God is going to work through Josh in a big way.
So that brings me to this season of my life. In February my son had been clean for about two years and I believed doing well when I heard that familiar voice tell me to come to Texas for six months. It’s kind of funny, but I looked up and said...What!?!?!? Are you crazy? Quit my job and leave my life for six months?? What am I going to do for work? Yeah right, Marsha’s (my wife) going to go for this haha good luck with that one. What about the life group I lead? My answer to all my questions was consistently – Don’t worry about it, just go. When I finished, He said “now go tell her”. So I went into the other room and told her. She said...”What?? I’m overwhelmed and going to bed, don’t even talk to me”. She woke up and first thing told me that she was so at peace with it and that she wanted me to go. What a woman of faith she is. Allowing God to speak through her a confirmation to me like that was wow. I’m a blessed man. So, I quit my job, packed my stuff, and headed for Texas. Got here on a Sunday evening, put out several resumes Monday, got an interview Tuesday morning at 9 am, and got hired on the spot with a man that had scripture on his office white board. Called me Thursday to confirm, and I started Monday morning. Total of one week out of work. What a God we serve.
I was out of work for a total of one week and I got here with no prospects. That was God. Two weeks before leaving I fell from a 14 foot height onto a concrete floor and landed on my left hip and shoulder. I bounced off the floor and kept working. That was yet another miracle from God in my life. By His grace, since February I have had many confirmations, prophesy spoken over me, words given through me for others, truth spoken that I believe has begun to open eyes, many lives have been touched by His love through me. I know that He is faithful to complete the work in my son He promised me so long ago and believe He is allowing me to witness and be a part of the transformation. Yep, all God. He has given me a boldness that I never thought possible. This is all God.
Want faith? Don’t be hearers of the word, but doers. Let your life be a model of asking God to bless others. If He tells you to give away all you have, your new car, your jacket, whatever...do it. He directed me to a wonderful group of people at Breath of Life Church. I had left a different church, at an early service with my son because he has to work. I passed by this little church and God shined a light on it, then told me to go. I said “but I just went to church...”... I didn’t make a half mile before the Holy Spirit turned me around. The first song made me cry as it expressed my journey into this season exactly. I went to a ‘home church’ gathering the next week and there was a young man who took me aside and prayed for me. He stopped at one point, looked at me kind of funny, took his jacket off and gave it to me, and then told me God was going to wrap me up and keep me warm. I thought, a jacket, in the summer? A few weeks later I got an infection in my elbow and was running a 103+ temperature complete with the shivers when I got home from work. I needed that jacket, God wrapped me up and kept me warm. He is amazing. I am absolutely stunned at how He takes care of us. I’m sitting in a hospital bed right now from that infection. Think I’m worried? God has got this and I praise Him with every cell in my body. I heard “Trust me” - so with my life I will.
So I got an infection in my elbow and after about six days found myself in the hospital for a week. I’m now laid up for two more weeks plus as I have continue Daptomycin IV’s at home for 10-14 days. Joshua did not like me being sick like that. He took me to the ER and witnessed me passing out on the floor in the ER while getting an IV. I am confident that God is using this, and other things, to bring about the breakthrough. Wandering the halls I was able to, witness to, brought hope to, made friends with many people in the hospital. I also had a very special visitor who brought me a message of hope and peace.
Josh and I are now moved in together. The first night was something. He had an allergic reaction to a new body wash to the point that his throat was closing at 2 am. Josh acknowledged that was happened was not from God. We will be marching the perimeter of this house seven times every evening praising God with every step. This is exactly what I ran from 40 years ago and now I’m in the midst of it. I have an feeling that something big that will change Josh’s heart is about to happen. I am asking God to pave the way, that He is welcome here, to give me wisdom, to touch Josh’s heart. To pave the way for His messenger. For Josh to regain his child-like faith.
My home health nurse came by to change the dressing and get labs, etc. Well, she was messing with the dressing, tugging at it. I didn’t like that very much and with everything else going on I got overwhelmed and passed out on her with Josh standing there. She had to do CPR on me for like 30 seconds – my heart stopped and I stopped breathing. My chest is sore today from it. I literally died right there in front of Josh. This is not about me, but God’s way of getting Joshua’s attention. “Trust Me” is what I heard as I passed out. There is much peace in that. More breadcrumbs… I truly believe that something big is about to happen and that there will be no doubt it is from God. Spent another night at the hospital. There is no doubt that He is orchestrating all this, there are so many clues.
God is alive and well. He has not changed. We are the ones who allow ourselves to become so deeply embedded into the world and ourselves that it directs our paths instead of the Holy Spirit. There seems to be no leeway for the Spirit to work in many people’s lives as they are so absorbed in their patterns and behaviors they will not deviate from the people they greet, the relationships they have, the moments they deny others to shine a light into their world – just too busy or too absorbed in themselves. Have you ever seen a light shine on someone? Go talk to them. Is God telling you to turn left here when the store is the other way? Turn left and look for the light. Have faith and He will direct your paths right to someone that needs love. Go take a few minutes and love on them. We are not given faith to seek after blessings for our own lives, but are given it to share with others to motivate them to follow Christ. Is He telling you to say something to a stranger – don’t be shy, do it. A few innocuous words you think are nothing might change someone’s life and you may never know. Words are powerful. I met a man and started talking with him. I found myself telling him that if God was telling him to do something, then he should do it, even if was to give his car or house away, and then proceeded to tell him why he should. When I finished, he asked me how he could be sure it was God. First and foremost He will confirm it like he did with my wife, I think I was his confirmation. Second if it is out of sacrificial love, then that is God. I may never know what God was telling him to do. This kind of thing happens to me almost every day.
I met a woman that was brokenhearted. I believe I spoke into her life – very personal, so no details. A few weeks later she came to mind so I started to pray for her. Then God revealed just a sliver – showed me it was just a sliver – of His love for us. Good thing it was just a little, I was overwhelmed. The front of my shirt was soaked as it went on for like 20 minutes. I had to ask Him to stop several times. There are really no words to describe it. This was God as I do not have that kind of love and compassion personally, this was supernatural. The bible tries, but when you see the boundless, pure, unlimited Love He has for us it is staggering. It changed me. We can trust Him with our very lives.
Jesus demonstrated faith to us. As a man, He had no possessions but the clothes on His back – not even a place to lay His head down at times. He gave it all away. The only time I remember in the scriptures that He prayed for himself was to ask the Father to take the cup away. Prosperity is good, but the resources you accumulate given away in love is better. Be more like Jesus. Pray the blessings fall on your neighbor, your co-worker, the single mom down the street – you may be asked to provide those blessings and I urge you to do so. Seek first the kingdom of God… Give up your jacket.
Faith is a two way street. Just as we desire to have faith in Him, He has to have faith in you to obey. When you seek Him with a quiet spirit You will find Him. Then follow, you will know His voice. Once you begin to listen, there will be more. The lights will shine for you to see on the lost or for someone right in your midst that is lonely. You can have faith in that – but you have to be always looking and praying – knowing that He is faithful - to be able to see. This kind of love is sacrificial. Then exercise that faith and go love them, allow the Holy Spirit to speak life through you. That takes boldness and He will give it to you. In doing so you will see miracles and your faith will increase – look for the breadcrumbs. When you say wow, that is God. He has not changed. He is the same God that felled the walls of Jerico, tamed Daniel’s lions, made the furnace flames cool. He lives in you and believe me still works miracles. Come to Him not expecting Him to do something, but with an expectation that He is capable of doing anything. With an expectation of Him moving in our midst - letting go of the conviction that He withholds His hand. Believe that He will work wonders – we serve a miracle working God. Have some faith, take the leap. Who can we fear when God is our fortress, so Love God. Love people. Follow Him wherever He leads. Stop turning your back and fall into His arms, they are reaching out for you. When you find that, then share it. Let your life be a model of following God and trusting Him with your very life. He really does hold it all in His hands, so there is nothing to fear. My life is His.
Everyone God calls has their own personal calling. Some called to be the best mommy you can be for example. Whatever your calling is we are all to hold out our arms for our neighbors. That includes everyone on the planet. For you will be known by the love you show one another. That is an active thing to do. Bring someone along with you and lead them the way toward Christ. You can change the world by following God. A handful of men 2000 years ago did. They did it one person at a time – it is all about the relationship and the display of His Power and Love. God loves us all and does not want even one to perish. Love those people that you come into contact with with the end of having them experience the Love of God. Don’t forget that words are very powerful and that you may never know the impact a few words can have, so make them count for the Kingdom of God. Let Him guide your hands, feet, and tongue.
Like I said way back in the beginning of the story, it is but an excerpt of an ongoing story and I have to stop writing sometime or I’ll never be done. I’ve tried to include enough to get the point across that we serve a miracle working God. He is alive and well. There is nothing He can’t do. Give your heart to Him and never look back. Your life will never be the same. What an incredible ride.
In a moment of quiet reflection
In a far away place close to home
Billions of people around me
And yet I was all alone
With eyes opened by unseen force
Earth's inhabitants did I see
They were struggling with the dilemma
Of their mortality
As they considered the way it could be
From among the options presented
All their wisdom applied realized
That it boiled down to choices three
The choice to many was obvious
There isn't any God
Life happened by chance, by a fluke,
In a trance
They were taken by the evil one
If you've ever seen a baby born
Or studied biology
You would know deep inside,
Way down beyond pride
That all life comes from God alone
Two choices left, which one to take
Sadly many waited too long
By not choosing many were lost
Ushered away by the evil one
So the number of those who are left
Only a portion of those on the Earth
Pondered the choice - the fork in the road
Directing the life they lead
But deception was strong, and desires played in
Many swayed to and fro liking their sin
For them the battle would never be won
Taken prisoner by the evil one
Out of the billions of people I first saw
Only a few were still there
A shimmering light shined down on them
To show them the way to go
The path was brightly lit
So some of them chose to go
Into the darkness where they could hide
There they sat by the evil one’s side
Very few left to ponder the choice
How to pick not so simple
For the powers beneath the paths are strong
With promise of reward for life and beyond
Some chose the darkness, for many a reason
They were deceived by the father of lies
Worldly things they got while they walked the Earth
Proudly taken away by the evil one
A precious few followed the path
The light they let shine on their soul
Narrow and rocky, it was hard to walk
But Jesus encouraged them on
Some not so determined to stay on the path
Doubt, lust, and greed overtook them
Lured by worldly things as their reward
In the end taken by the evil one
And God gathered up His army
One day, it is written you see
Against the evil one and all of his own
For that is the way that it will be
And the kingdom of darkness fell hard
Deep in a pit they were placed
The ultimate price they would pay for their choice
They were sealed to go to the fiery lake
This image I leave you, seek out the truth
The answer is laid out in scripture
Consider your choice in the most thoughtful way
It is for all the rest of eternity
There are those who will just not consider
The truth in the Holy Word
The instructions He gave us are ignored and brushed off
Evil delights in their fall
Time is precious, we will never know
How long we have to ponder the choice
God controls the time that we have left
It is not for us to know
Jesus is knocking on the door to your heart
Will you join Him in Heaven with us
For me and my house, we will serve the Lord
In His love and eternal care
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life
Behold, I stand at the door, and knock:
if any man hear my voice, and open the door,
I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.