God answered one of the most earnest cries of my heart, to Him in prayer, this morning and He did it after the fact and it just brought me to tears. It was so beautiful and so beyond what I was looking for. I’m going to tell you a bit of a story and what God’s answer showed me. I am simply in awe.
I’m going to try to make this as short as possible because what transpired in the past is not all that relevant, it’s about today and now and that is what is really important.
I became a Christian in my mid twenties, God delivered me from drinking and I began a new life that I had never known before. It wasn’t a straight path, there were a number of times when I definitely got off the road and I was still holding onto the reins.
My wife and I got married, we had children and I earnestly tried staying on that road. I made an awful lot of mistakes because there was far too much of me, in me, than there was Jesus. Yet, even with that lop sided arrangement that I tried to control, God saw fit to allow me to experience what He could do through His Holy Spirit in me and He allowed me to taste of His presence and His capabilities and especially of His love and concern for me. There are some events that took place during this time period that I will never forget. This was a time of awareness of what God could indeed do. It was where He showed me of His Holiness, my sinfulness and His overwhelming love.
Then I hit what I call my wilderness years, trying and failing, coming to grips with the reality that even when you love someone, that in itself does not negate the reality of our own selfcenteredness and how destructive that can be. There were many ups and downs and I spent far too much time there. I am amazed at God’s faithfulness and patience during these times.
Then God brought me face to face with my own mortality when I encountered cancer. I was told that they had to operate and even then, there was only a 17 % chance that I would be alive in five years. That was over twenty years ago and there is still no cancer. That’s what it took for God to get my attention and I am grateful to Him for that. No it wasn’t fun but it was necessary.
The road back to God came slowly because I had to come to grips with Him being in control versus myself. That came about by me getting to know Him through His Word and prayer and a substantial amount of refining, rather than just knowing about Him. That road back started about 12 years ago, about the same time that I started this blog. If you look at the Archives, there is a story there. The difference between then and now is like night and day. God never changed but I did and it is still ongoing. God is amazing.
I’m 75 years old now and it is hard to but into words how gracious God has been to my wife and I and our children during this whole time. God has blessed our marriage and my wife and I have truly become one. Yes we are different but we are one and I am so thankful for God’s grace.
But I remembered the younger years, when God showed me of Himself and what He could do and there were those awarenesses that He gave me and circumstances that He put me in and I think I was looking for that assurance of my connection to Him, that I had experienced in those former days. Those were the “signs and wonders” days, where totally out of the blue, God would allow me to learn of Him and what He could do. Those “events” happened many years ago, and the road to knowing Jesus has been slow and deliberate. I do know His presence again and I am at peace with Him, but part of me was looking for that confirmation of acceptance via the presence of the “signs and wonders”.
“Lord, could you show me another vision like you did before, could I be in your presence like you allowed me to be, before. Could I experience the power of your Holy Spirit within me like you used me to speak to that group of young people or the other instances before?”
And God’s answer?
God said no.
I will give you what you really need, the awareness that I live within you.
How beautiful is that?
My Holy Spirit resides within you. I give you those thoughts when you are praying to me. I give you some of the words when you write some of those posts. I hear your prayers and the love that I showed you before is no different today than it was those many years ago.
I live within you, today, now, this very moment.
That was this morning.
I remembered the thoughts He put in my mind about the “It’s Just Not Possible” post while I was praying. I remembered the Scripture verses He brought to my mind as I put that post together. I remembered the odd word here and there that would just pop into my mind that perfectly said what I thought needed to be said. No, it’s not every word and it’s not every post but He definitely helps me put some of them together.
But all of that, all of it, is nothing, compared to the reality that God’s Holy Spirit lives within me and He always, always points to Jesus. If you look at the post entitled “It’s Just Not Possible” you will see where I hinted about needing to see what Thomas saw. That’s the “signs and wonders” connection I was looking for, yet once again.
Did I know this before? Yes I did but I know it differently now and even that is a gift.
It’s hard to put into words the beauty of what Jesus does for us. He sends us His Holy Spirit and by doing so, He lives in us. He guides us. He comforts us and He walks with us.
John 14:15-18 NASB
“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.“
And this “awareness” or internal witness is not just for me, it’s for all of us who believe and trust in Jesus, so you can see why I just had to share it.
Now take that awareness and go out into the day!
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!