Tuesday, December 22, 2015
I was thinking today of the things that I know. The things in my life that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt. This kind of knowing gives a person a deep rooted foundation in life; for when the winds of life blow, and oh boy, they will come, it's this knowing that anchors the soul.
The hymn "how firm a foundation," which was published in 1787 by John Rippon came to mind, here's the fist stanza:
How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
You, who unto Jesus for refuge have fled
Here are two of the things that came to my mind that I know beyond the shadow of any doubt:
1. That God brought my wife and I together when we were fifteen years old. Michele and I both got saved at fifteen and were married at nineteen.
Here's a gift that God gave me and it came through a dream, and no, I'm not Charismatic. During our dating I was reading Watchman Nee, he was a church leader and Christian teacher who worked in China during the 20th century.As a young believer I read parts of "Normal Christian Life" the whole of "Love not the world" and parts of "sit, walk, stand".
Watchmen Nee was into the deeper spiritual life movement. What I faced through reading Nee's books was this question, "do I have Michele before the Lord? Do I love her more than God? I spent countless hours praying, crying, and just getting emotionally messed-up over this question. The reason I got so messed-up is there is really know way of answering this question.
I knew I loved God. I knew I loved Michele and wanted to marry her, so how do I know if I love her more than God?
After a year or so of this constant struggle, and to note, the biggest fear was that if I did have have Michele before the Lord, I would have to give her up.
One night I had this vivid, life impacting dream that has stayed with me all my life. Here's the dream:
Michele and I were walking holding hands and we started to get separated and started drifting apart to the point we could not see each other anymore. And in the same way that we drifted apart we started to drift back toward each other. As we got closer and closer we reached our for each others hand and as we grabbed each others hand we both simultaneously said, "Jesus." As soon as we said Jesus, I woke up. I believe that God did give me this dream...It made me realize that He brought us together and He will keep us.
It made me know that Jesus Christ holds us together and is the glue in our lives...this has made me in the thirty plus years of marriage build our relationship on that solid rock...this I know.
2. I also, know that my conversion to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ was only the work of God. I was a teen who was living the 1970's life style. Doing drugs...hanging with the wrong crowd...getting in trouble at school and with the law. Until that night in January of 1975, when God had my cousin, who just was released from state prison, waiting for me at my house to share the gospel with me.
That was a Thursday night. The next day in school at the last period I had a meeting with the school psychologist. I was getting kicked out of High School. As I sat in that office answering questions an overwhelming power came over me to pray, and pray I did.
Right in front of that school psychologist I prayed. I bowed my head and acknowledged my sin to God. I felt, and felt deeply that I sinned against God. I asked Jesus to save me and forgive me. When I stopped praying and looked up the psychologist asked me, " is everything all right?" to which I replied, "I don't know, I've never felt like this before." She asked me, " like what," I told her, " I feel so clean inside."
This I know, that day, Friday, in 1975, I was rescued and redeemed and cleansed with the redeeming blood of my Savior.
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