Despite all evidence to the contrary, my mom was not convinced that there was no hope of our Heavenly Father ever coming to my rescue, and she was unwilling to see me enlist with the devil’s army of darkness without a fight. So, she brought over the New American Standard (NAS) version of our Heavenly Father’s Holy Bible that I used to preach out of, and begged me to start reading it again.
Be assured that I resisted all urges to pick up that Bible. For all I wanted to do was wait for an answer to my prayer to the devil, and keep a watchful eye on what was appearing all around me.
Yes, all of the familiar images were on display just about everywhere I looked, but there was also a new one that really caught my attention. For it was of a man dressed in beaded buckskins (like an Indian/Native American in traditional clothes) who appeared to be actually standing in the room.
No, he did not move at all, but his presence was still rather unnerving—to say the least. For it looked like he was staring into the very depths of my soul, and he was holding a war-club (with a head shaped like a bird of prey) in his right hand.
My vigil ended on the third day, but before you jump too far, too fast, it may have had more to do with my mom calling me at all hours of the night and day than anything else. For phone service had been restored to the house in Bethlehem by then, and quite frankly, the main reason why I finally relented and picked up my old Bible was just to get her to shut up about it for maybe a little while. The possible significance of it being on the third day was not lost on me, however.
It fell open to the first chapter of Luke, and “For nothing will be impossible with God.” [Luke 1:37 NAS] caught my attention. Then, the strangest thing happened. For it was like a light went on in my head, and my heart became instantly filled with hope.
Could it be that it was my Heavenly Father, who was answering my prayer to the devil? For if nothing is impossible with God—then nothing would be impossible for God, and if nothing is impossible for God—then it would be possible for Him to forgive even me!
Oh how I wanted some more of that, but it was upon very shaky legs that I proceeded forward. For if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is—right?
But He said, “The things impossible with men are possible with God.” [Luke 18:27 NAS] Wow, that is even better, but…
Minutes turned into hours, and hours turned into days. Little did I eat, and little did I sleep. For I did not want to do anything but focus all of my attention upon what was contained in that Bible.
Yes, much of it was still fairly familiar, but to a very great extent, it was like I was reading the contents of that very special book for the very first time. For even the familiar parts had a much different meaning to me than I remembered.
I avoided the harder-edged parts as much as possible, of course. For I was scared to death that I was getting my hopes up over nothing.
And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin. No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him. Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. [1 John 3:3-9 NAS] Hence, a good example of a passage that I wanted to avoid. For all of my efforts to purify myself were failing miserably.
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28 NAS] Yeah, now that is more like it, but my heart was still gripped with such fear.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. [1 John 4:18 NAS] No, that did not do much to help at the time.
Coming across [Isaiah 6:5] did help some. For after reading about how the Lord cleansed the lips of Isaiah, which was to clean up his language, it came to me that the same thing had happened to me—even without asking for it!
Oh yes, that came as quite a shock. For it had been a very long time since I could complete a sentence without adding some very colorful adverbs and adjectives—not to mention all of the off-color stuff!
No, I was not trying to be cool. Well, maybe a little at first, which was obviously in vain. For a honky-tonk angel once told me that I could not be cool even after being left in a meat locker overnight.
Nonetheless, it was not long before having a foul mouth had nothing to do with trying to be cool. For that was just the way I talked.
A good example of that happened during a rare attendance of a Sunday School class at my mom’s church. For when asked what I thought about King David’s sin with Bathsheba [2 Samuel 11:1-27] I said that I did not believe he had any idea what the hell he was getting himself into. Needless to say, they did not call on me again.
Much to my dismay, the euphoric feelings over the filth being removed from my lips was rather short-lived. For my shadows started rearing their very attractive heads in a more pronounced manner than ever. For eyelashes, fingernails, body hair and even facial expressions were now becoming clearly visible to me.
Thoughts of being beyond redemption filled my head, and terror gripped my heart. For I figured that I must not be trying hard enough to not pay attention to them.
Just to be clear, it was not on account of just how much I appreciated the beauty of the female form that had me so concerned, but even if that was all there was to it, it would be enough. For it is written that if anyone looks upon a woman lustfully, they have already committed adultery with her in their heart [Matthew 5:27-28].
Yes, I did indeed consider what the rest of the passage [Matthew 5:29-30] appears to suggest. For I could see where spending the rest of my time as a part of this world blind would be better than spending all of eternity in Hell, but deep down in my gut (so to speak) I knew that gouging my eyes out would not stop the torment. For I could see them just as clearly with my eyes closed, and making it even worse was that it was when my eyes were closed that I could see them actually doing what they appeared to be doing with my eyes open.
[Philippians 1:6] helped some. For it talks about how the members of the church in Philippi were promised that Christ Jesus would complete the good work He had begun in them, and I hoped that this applied to me, as well.
Being shown an Amplified Bible version of [Philippians 2:12-13]helped even more. For it includes the part about not working out our own salvation in our own strength that has been left out of most other versions.
Yes, it could be argued that I was getting all excited over something I wanted to read, which had been added to our Heavenly Father’s Holy Scriptures to the extreme detriment of all who would be led astray by such. Yet, I had been having a feeling for quite some time that this is the way it really is. After all, if it really was entirely up to us to purify ourselves from sin, we would have as much to do with our own salvation as our Heavenly Father would, and that would be a contradiction of the truth absolutely being that it is a gift of God, which has nothing to do with our own efforts to prove ourselves worthy of His favor [Ephesians 2:8-10].
As with the euphoria before, the hope did not last long. For I could not take my eyes off of the sexually explicit images for more than a minute or two, and my Indian friend would not take his eyes off of me.
I would repeat, God is in control, over and over again in my head, in the hope of obtaining a more lasting peace. Sometimes, I would even say it out loud when I was alone with my shadows. For I had it in my head that this might keep the devil and his demons at bay.
It is written that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen [Hebrews 11:1], and that it is impossible to please Him without faith [Hebrews 11:6]. So, I had a decision to make, and I decided to believe that my Heavenly Father really did love me, and that He would make things right for me again. For He is, after all, the Lord God Almighty [Exodus 6:2-3], and His will would be done [Isaiah 44:24-28].
Oh yeah, that really did it. For there were times when the room would actually start to spin after that.
Okay, maybe it was just my head spinning. For I would get the same sensation even while wandering outside of the house.
It was while I was outside of the house and shouting out loud that God loved me, and that He was in control, when a particularly disturbing thought invaded the inner recesses of my mind. For it reasoned that if God really did love me, and really was in full control of all that happens, then why did He allow all of the things that had contributed to my current state of absolute misery to happen in the first place?
Time seemed to stand still at that very moment. Making it even more intense was being made acutely aware of the fact that a very great many (if not all) of the angelic host in Heaven were eagerly awaiting my response.
No, I was not driven to my knees by a bright Light [Acts 9:1-19] but I do not consider what I experienced as being any less significant. For just as soon as I seriously asked, “What is going on?,” my eyes were opened to see things as they really were.
Changing metaphors, what started as a trickle, soon became a flood. For I was inundated with answers to questions that I had never thought to ask before, and I began to feel like the Prophet Jeremiah felt like when He was called to proclaim what He had been given to say [Jeremiah 1:4-10].
In previous attempts to explain what I experienced, I have said that I was flooded with an enormous amount of Spiritual knowledge and understanding, and that needs to be clarified. For it is true that I was absolutely overwhelmed with Spiritual knowledge, but much of the understanding came later. In fact, it is still going on.
A good example of something I did not quite understand at the time had to do with being told that the hardness of far too many hearts is exceedingly great. For I thought that was in reference to those outside of the Christian community, and then I hit a wall of opposition within.
Oh, I was so excited about what I had been given. For it provided explanations to such things as to why a loving God would allow a bus-load full of innocent children to die in an accident if He could do anything about it, and I set about to tell all of the good Christian people from my past in the area what I had been taught.
The explanation was that such things were meant to give us opportunities to give our Heavenly Father the full benefits of our considerable doubts. For He created mankind to give Himself opportunities to receive a very special kind of love, and all that happens in this world is for the purpose of achieving that.
Simply put, it is relatively easy to love someone, who almost always does what you want them to do. Whereas, it is much more difficult to do so when they do not, and all of the pain and suffering experienced by others adds all the more to it appearing to be much more likely that most (if not all) of us were created to be the objects of His scorn—certainly not His affections.
They were having none of it, however. Some were more polite than others, but they all made it quite clear that they did not want to have anything to do with either me or what I had learned.
I was absolutely devastated. For I could understand why they would not want to have anything to do with me while I was still an unrepentant drunken whoremonger, but there I was standing before them as a dramatically changed person.
Hence, another thing I did not understand at the time. For trying to explain what it is like to enter into our Heavenly Father’s absolute truth to someone, who has never experienced it themselves, is like trying to explain what a rainbow looks like to someone, who has been blind all of their life.
Needless to say, it is not going to be successful. For someone, who has been blind all of their life, would have no frame of reference, and this points to another thing that took a while for me to better understand. For instead of just giving knowledge and understanding about this or that, our Heavenly Father has wanted me to actually experience many things for myself, and this is the same for everyone else—regardless of whether they ever come to accept it as being as such or not.
Speaking of such, I suppose I should have realized that they would not want to receive what I had been given. For I used to be one of them years before, and I would not have been very receptive to anything that was contrary to what I had been taught. For if it was good enough for my parents, it was good enough for me, and most in the Christian community have many more generations of tradition to base their faith upon than I did.
No, not all of the good Christian people I knew turned a deaf ear to what I was trying to tell them. For my mom was very interested, but it was like I was speaking a foreign language whenever I tried to explain something to her.
Alas, what arguments we had. For I did not understand at the time that she had not been given ears to hear what I had been given to say.
Neither did I understand that it really was like I was speaking a foreign language to her every time I tried to explain something. Hence, what speaking in tongues is really all about.
No, this is not to ignore what happened on the day of Pentecost [Acts 2:1-13], nor to say that there is no such thing as an angelical language, but the absolute truth of the matter truly is that what is referred to as speaking in tongues in our Heavenly Father’s Holy Bible is more about saying things that are misunderstood by others, who think you are talking about something else, than actually speaking to them in a different language.
Please, be assured that knowing these things was not making me feel superior. If anything, it was having just the opposite effect. For I have always had a problem with rejection.
So, I sulked back to my little house in Bethlehem, and yes, my shadows were all still there to greet me. In fact, many of them had accompanied me on my first evangelical mission, and they appeared to be mocking me every step of the way.
There was one who appeared to be on my side, however, and it was around this time that it was revealed to me that my Indian friend represented the Lord Jesus Christ holding me in His right hand. For the head of His war club was carved into the likeness of an osprey, which is a medium-sized eagle.
All of that was symbolic of my calling. For another name for an osprey is a fish hawk, and a hawk is an aggressive hunter of its prey, which is consistent with me being called as an aggressive fisher of men (and women, of course).
Nonetheless, there were limits. For it would be to work against what our Heavenly Father wanted to accomplish to seek to force someone (in one way or another) to accept what they did not want to.
Therefore, since it had been made all too painfully clear to me that very few (if any at all) were willing to accept that what I had been given to say was of our Heavenly Father, a different approach was most definitely needed, and I became real excited over the new plan of attack that came to mind. For it involved going to members of the Christian community and asking them to help me understand what was right or wrong about the new way I was looking at things. After all, is this not a request that no good Christian can refuse—right?
No, there was nothing disingenuous about it. For I really did have a great many unanswered questions swirling around in my head, and this was making me feel real confident about it being much better this time around.
It did not take long before it became all too painfully clear that I still did not have a clue. Granted, it could be said that it was better this time. For I was not met with nearly as much open hostility as before, but the most consistent answer I received to my questions was that there is much that we are not meant to understand at this time.
Little by little, the flint in my own heart started forming another thick layer of crust, and on the way back from my last encounter, I was reminding my Heavenly Father that I had not signed up for any this nonsense. For all I wanted from Him was to have my health restored so that I could finally make my dream of running my own cattle ranch a reality, and to be allowed to have a good wife and family to share it with.
With just one stroke from His terrible, swift sword, my belligerence was shattered. For [1 John 4:1-6] basically says that those truly in Christ Jesus listen to His chosen servants, and that cuts both ways. For in far too many cases, it was as if nothing had been said at all when I had sought to tell someone about what I had come to know and understand, but in all fairness, I sure didn’t want to hear what they had to say when it made me feel like I had been listening to the wrong voices in my head.
Was this some kind of joke? For if it was, I was not laughing.
Be assured that I felt like the joke was on me after I made an attempt to get in contact with my daughters again. For I was so hopeful that they would be shown just how different I was now, but it was quickly made abundantly clear that they still did not want to have anything to do with me.
Nonetheless, I knew that my Lord and Savior was there with me, and that went far beyond merely being a matter of faith. For I could actually feel myself being in His very presence, and there were times when I could feel Him rocking me back and forth on His lap, with His arms around me.
The storm still raged, however. For I did not feel good enough to be one of His chosen servants, and I insisted upon blaming myself for my inadequacies.
Somewhere in the midst of it all, [Romans 11:32] smacked me between the eyes, and I actually wondered where it had come from. For I could not recall ever seeing the verse before—let alone having heard a sermon based upon it.
Yes, I would think that there would be many a sermon preached upon such a verse as this. For it makes it quite clear that our Heavenly Father bound all of mankind over to disobedience so that He could have mercy upon us all.
Could it be that being who I naturally am was not all my fault? No, this sounds too good to be true.
Yet, how could it be otherwise? For how could I have ever done anything wrong unless I was allowed to?
Passages such as [Numbers 20:1-13] brought me crashing back down to earth in a hurry. For if the Lord could deal with Moses so harshly after him being such a faithful servant for as long as he had, how could I ever hope to be pleasing in His sight—regardless of whose fault it may be?
Immediately after terror gripped my heart again, a curious thing happened. For a thought entered my head about the reason why He had denied Moses the privilege of leading the children of Israel into the promised land was that this is what He wanted Joshua to do, and that it was not meant as a punishment.
A couple of days later, another curious thing happened. For when I read, Now the Lord said to Joshua, “This day I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you.” [Joshua 3:7 NAS] I was immediately reminded of the thought about Moses not being allowed to lead the children of Israel into the promised land not being meant as a punishment.
Yes, I was trying to be funny again by referring to what happened as being a curious thing. For it was around this time when I came to realize that the true Word of God is the Lord Jesus Christ—not the book that He had written about Himself to serve as written confirmation of what He Himself wants to personally reveal to each and every one of us, on an individual basis and without exception.
In other words, it was around that time when it became clear to me that the cart was being placed before the horse. For it has been widely taught that faith comes from the Bible in one way or another. Whereas, the absolute truth of the matter truly is that faith comes from its Author, and His Holy Scriptures are provided to help us to better understand what is really going on.
Yes, I realize that my account of the light coming on after I read [Luke 1:37] appears to contradict that, but I was trying to stay true to the way it appeared to be to me at the time. For the bottom-line is that I had a great desire to find something like that, and this great desire came from the Author—not the book itself.
No, none of this is meant to say that what we naturally consider to be intelligence has nothing to do with the process. For it most certainly does to a certain extent, but instead of it being the result of an independent ability, true knowledge and understanding comes from our Heavenly Father allowing and enabling us to know and understand things every step of the way.
Yes, many would take great exception to that. For they have been led to believe that it is only after someone has been born again in Christ Jesus that His Holy Spirit comes to live within their heart.
No, I am not here to deny that it is true, but I am called to help explain that the perception of this has been greatly corrupted. For the absolute truth of the matter truly is that His Holy Spirit has been with all of us from the moment of our conception, but it is only after accepting Christ Jesus as truly being our Lord and Savior that we are made aware of His constant presence.
It is also at that time when we are allowed and enabled to start seeing things through His eyes (so to speak). Hence, the reason why it is referred to as being born-again. For nothing looks the same to us after that.
Be assured that there is more to it than that, with changes in character most definitely being a part of it, but it is not the same for all. For it all depends upon what our Heavenly Father wants to accomplish in and through someone that determines just how much they are transformed into the likeness of His only begotten Son, who truly is the Lord Jesus Christ.
Along with all of that, it was also revealed to me that it is fruitless to think of our Heavenly Father and His only begotten Son and His Holy Spirit in separate terms. For it is true that they are three separate individuals, but since they are One and the same with each other, where One is, the others always are.
No, this is not to contradict what was written for our benefit. For it is true that we can only come to our Heavenly Father through His only begotten Son, but this is only because of it being the way He wants it to be. For our Heavenly Father has always been everywhere all of the time, and that certainly includes being with each and every one of us every second of our lives in this world.
Upon completion of that session, I better understood why being given great knowledge comes with great sorrow [Ecclesiastes 1:18]. For it was becoming ever more increasingly clear to me that almost everything about what our Heavenly Father actually says is absolutely true is quite contrary to what has been generally presented as being the truth in His name for quite some time.
Subsequently, it was also becoming ever more increasingly clear to me that what I was being given to say would not be what most would want to hear. For they had just too much to lose in their sight, especially in regards to self-righteousness.
No, you will not hear too many personally embrace the term. For it is right up there with being holier than thou, but what else could it be? For they want to believe that it will be by their own (self) efforts that they will be found right (righteous) before God, come Judgment Day.
All while openly professing to have full and complete faith in His grace, of course. For one did not have anything to do with the other, according to what they had been taught.
No, it cannot be denied that some really are more (even much more) Christ-like in their ways than others, but this is by our Heavenly Father’s hand—not their own. For there is NOTHING good about ANY of us apart from Him—be assured.
Be also assured that it applies just as much to what we naturally consider to be good about lives. For our loved ones, our interests, and even the kind of work we do, are all gifts from our Heavenly Father.
It is in that regard that it can be said that I was given a great advantage. Sometimes, I would even say so myself. For after everything I considered to be good about my life was taken away from me, I had nothing left to lose. Therefore, it was made fairly easy for me to want to accept what our Heavenly Father actually says is absolutely true.
Oh, but there was still way too much of my natural self left intact to glory in my lowly circumstances for very long, and I took to heart the parable of the widow, who refused to accept no from the judge [Luke 18:1-5]. For I still desperately wanted my physical health restored, along with a good wife to have and to hold.
No, I have no delusions about actually changing our Heavenly Father’s mind, nor would I want to. For the best prayer to pray is for His will to be done, but I did find myself back out on the road again soon enough.
In some ways, it was the same, and in others, it was not. For my health had not been restored, and I was as lonely as ever. Nonetheless, I did have a better understanding of what was really going on.
Well, at least I did at times. For having a great understanding of what was really going on did not make things any less painful for me, and there were times when I wished it had of been the other guy, who had answered my prayer.
Oh ye of little faith, I know. Of course, I even wondered if I had of been woefully deceived about that.
As a matter of fact, I did believe that I had good reason to. For the road was becoming harder and harder for me to negotiate with each passing day.
Thankfully, I was among friends at the company. For they recognized just how sick I was becoming, and they took me off of long-haul to work more locally.
Well, at least I wanted to believe that I was among friends. For the second local load I had to deliver went to Toronto.
Yes, I most certainly am talking about the one up in Canada, and most of the local load I was dispatched on were shuttle runs between the Tyson plant in Russellville, Arkansas (around 60 miles northwest of Little Rock) and a cold storage facility on the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia. Many a load also went to and from the Tyson plants in Center, Texas (around 90 miles southwest of Shreveport, Louisiana and Pine Bluff, Arkansas (around 40 miles south of Little Rock).
There was one of those loads that I was sure glad to be on. For it was at a cold storage facility on the southwestern side of Atlanta where I met a true child of our Heavenly Father.
No, I cannot remember his name, but I hope to always remember what a witness he was to me. For when I asked him to join me at the Blue Spot (a generally all-black strip club next to the Petro Truckstop on the west side of Atlanta) all he said was, “Since becoming a Christian, I no longer want to go to places like that.”
Oh yes, it stung to hear that, but it was not enough to keep me out of the place later. If I remember right, the bouncers called me, “Spot,” for being the only white guy in the place.
No, it was not that I had backslidden that far. For the focal point of my fears was that the great desire to do such things had never really left me, and I was just not strong enough to withstand the pressure. Hence, a description of a true crackerhead.
It sounds plumb pathetic, I know. For many have went their entire lives without having sex of any kind.
Making it appear to be even worse is that we are not talking about any sort of addiction here. For as it was with my drinking, my sexual desires were governed by want—not need, but in all fairness to myself, when the urge hit hard enough, just saying no was not an option.
Yet, I still wanted to believe in what I had experienced before, and then it all came together for me one day, which is when I heard in a sermon being broadcast over the radio what our Heavenly Father had been already personally revealing to me. For what is truly meant by the truth will set you free [John 8:32] is that our Heavenly Father truly is in full control of ALL that happens, and that all who are truly in Christ will not be judged.
Cutting to the chase, all who are truly in Christ are not always set free from sinning while they are still a part of this world. For it all depends upon what our Heavenly Father wants to accomplish in and through each individual, but all who are truly in Him can be certain of being set free from the ultimate penalty for sin, which is eternal spiritual death. For He has already paid the price in full for ALL of the sins that have been (and will be) committed in this world.
Adding all the more to my confidence was having it revealed that as it was with the Apostle Paul, so was it also meant to be with me. For it is written: To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. [2 Corinthians 12:7-10 NIV]
Oh yes, that would have me added to the hit list of many a ministry, if any of them cared enough to listen. For they are all about taking personal responsibility for our actions, but the proof of what I have been given to say about this can be seen every time they take a sincere look at themselves. For who from among us can honestly say that they are completely without sin—even after truly accepting Christ Jesus as being their own personal Lord and Savior? After all, is it not true that all wrong-doing is not doing things just exactly like our Heavenly Father would (both in spirit and practice), and that all wrong-doing is sin according to His witness, which is confirmed in [1 John 5:17]?
No, this is not meant to encourage wrongdoing. How could it? For who in their right-mind would want to purposely do what would be most harmful to themselves and others?
Yes, there is more to the wages of sin than just eternal spiritual death. For the ramifications of wrongdoing can be quite far-reaching in this world. Just ask the friends and family of a drug addict (or alcoholic) if you don’t believe me.
No, it is not at all true that someone can only hurt themselves—not even when they have no friends or family, nor have had any negative impact upon society in general. For what hurts even the least of us hurts our Heavenly Father even more.
Just to be clear, none of my sexual desires were ever of a homosexual nature. In fact, I used to hate those kind of people with a passion.
Hence, another thing that was changed about myself. For it was revealed to me that fornication is fornication, and that they are as helpless to change their ways as I am to change my own.
Alas, such is the essence of faith. For it is made very hard to give Him the benefit of our doubts at times, but since the kind of faith that truly is of our Heavenly Father is not blind (nor deaf) is it not ultimately made even harder to disbelieve?
No, I am not talking in riddles. For our Heavenly Father declares that no one will be able to honestly say that they did not understand everything He wanted them to, come Judgment Day.
Neither will any of us be able to honestly say that He did not come to their rescue when they most needed Him to. For our Heavenly Father reveals Himself in various ways to even those who do not want to find Him, and this is what not putting any more upon us than we can bear is really all about [1 Corinthians 10:12-13].
Nonetheless, it would do us ALL well to not take it for granted that everything that can be spiritually heard is actually our Heavenly Father speaking. For Satan and his horde of rogue angels are also allowed and enabled to whisper sweet nothings into our ears at times.
A good example of that is what I experienced one night on a particularly dark and spooky road around 50 miles due west of Green Bay, Wisconsin. For in the hope of being delivered from out of another deep pit of despair I had fallen into, I kept reminding myself of the fact that my Heavenly Father would not have stopped me from blowing my brains out if He had not of wanted to really have all that much to do with me. I then heard a voice (just as clear as a bell) that said that it was not the Lord God Almighty, who had stopped me from doing myself in. It went on to say that He only hears the prayers of the righteous that are directed to Him, and that I was now his to do with as he liked.
Talk about being terrified, but almost immediately, my Heavenly Father came to my rescue by reminding me of the fact that I was created to be His. He also reminded me that only those who do not want to truly be His will not be welcome to spend all of eternity with Him in His Kingdom of Heaven as an heir to all that is His glory, come Judgment Day.
No, artistic license is not being employed here. For I really did have all of that buzzing around in my head.
None of it should be of any shock to you, anyway. For it is called thinking, and it is something that you experience each and every day.
Now, it may not be that you have full-blown theological debates raging in your head at all hours of the day and night, but it doesn’t really matter. For our Heavenly Father is involved in all of the decisions we think about—even the ones about such mundane things as what to fix for supper or what to watch on TV, and the devil and his demons are also allowed to put their influence in play at times.
On the other hand, it may very well be just a matter of me thinking too much. For I have been told that on a number of occasions, when I have tried to explain what was going on in my head.
One of those occurred while at a truckstop chapel in eastern Pennsylvania, and after I left, I was feeling like a complete failure. For I always blame myself when things do not go well.
Again, my Heavenly Father came to my rescue, and He did it in a rather interesting way. For as I approached a slower truck in front of me, the image of wild horses running free formed in the dust on the back of the trailer, and at the same time, [Jeremiah 12:5] came to mind. If you are not familiar with the verse, it is about Jeremiah being conditioned for tougher times ahead.
Yes, I suppose it really can be said that our Heavenly Father moves in mysterious ways. For He even started speaking to me through the lyrics of songs, in that certain lines would seem to literally jump out of the speakers and dive deep into my very soul.
No, I am not talking about just Christian music. For Def Leppard’s Bringing On The Heartbreak, Too Late For Love, and Paper Son hit particularly hard. As did Collective Soul’s Shine, Go Go Dolls’ Iris and Name, Gordon Lightfoot’s If You Could Read My Mind, Chicago’s Feelin' Stronger Every Day and Hard To Say I'm Sorry, Ten Years After’s I'd Love To Change The World, Styx’s Foolin’ Yourself and Grand Illusion, REO Speedwagon’s Ridin’ The Storm Out, Triumph’s Hold On, Fight The Good Fight and Lay It On The Line, as well as Ozzy Osbourne’s Road To Nowhere, Mr. Crowley and See You On The Other Side.
Oh yeah, there were many, many others, and not all of them came from the classic rock side of the musical scene. For Johnny Cash’s Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down hit harder than ever, and Christian rock groups like WhiteHeart, DC Talk, The Newsboys, Guardian, Petra, and X-Sinner were singing about things I had never heard before.
Moreover, it did not even require listening to what was coming out of the speakers. For He would sometimes wake me up with a song buzzing around in my head, and that continues to this very day.
Yes, it could be argued that it is just another example of having a song stuck in your head, but it should make one pause to wonder when a song that has not been heard in a while is there to help bring in the day (such as Rare Earth’s I Just Want To Celebrate). Ah, but of what value is any of this to those who do not want to believe it?
Not to belabor the point. For I am quite sure that all who have been allowed and enabled to get it have been given enough information to do so already.
Nonetheless, I am compelled to add a few more songs to the list before moving on. For Kansas’ Carry On My Wayward Son replaced Molly Hatchet’s Flirtin’ With Disaster as my adopted theme song after I went through my change, and Kansas’ Point of Know Return, Dust In The Wind and Hold On have also meant a great deal to me.
Be assured that the same can be said of Simon & Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Waters, The Boxer, The Sound of Silence and I Am A Rock. For they have also played significant roles in the emotional roller-coaster that has been my life in this world so far.
Yes, it would sure simplify the whole process of getting to know Him if He would just make Himself clearly visible, but there is a very good reason for why He does not. For He wants us to want to love Him for the right reasons, and if He was clearly visible in all of His glory, most would only want to bow down before Him because of being too afraid not to while others would only want to do so for their own personal gain.
In my earlier years, I was led to believe something completely different. For I was taught that our Heavenly Father had to leave this world because of being too holy to be in the presence of sin, and that it was for this reason that He has to move in such mysterious ways. Woe be it unto us all if this is indeed true.
No, our Heavenly Father has not left us as orphans to fend for ourselves in this world, and on a bright, sunny afternoon while I was backed into a dock at a warehouse in Smyrna, Georgia (northwest suburb of Atlanta), He made it even more abundantly clear to me that I was not just a product of the natural order of things by speaking to me in an audible voice. He said, “Introduce Me.”
No, He did not speak to me in a booming voice coming out of a storm like He did to Job [Job 38:1]. Neither did He speak to me in a whisper on the wind like He did to Elijah [1 Kings 19:9-13].
In fact, there was really nothing distinctive about it. For what I heard seemed to come from an adult male (speaking in English, without any discernable accent) who was no more than a couple of feet away from me.
No, I cannot naturally blame anyone for thinking that what I heard was nothing more than a figment of my very fertile imagination. For I was lying down in the sleeper at the time, but there is not a doubt in my mind that it really was our Heavenly Father speaking to me in a way that I could easily understand.
Since then, He has audibly called me by name a few times, which has been greatly appreciated. For I have had many a doubt about many a thing, with most of those doubts coming back to whether or not I am indeed a chosen servant of His.
Hence, another reason for our Heavenly Father hiding Himself from our physical sight. For it leaves room for doubt, which makes the kind of love that He can receive from us all the more satisfying.
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