This week I lived a series of events that I believe affirm again, without any doubt to me, that God is real. Only a loving Heavenly Father or The Matrix (as in the movie) can explain what happened. And only the work of “something or someone” real here on earth, the Holy Spirit, can explain who directed me.
For the last few weeks I have been feeling – extremely weird. I am a bit weird, but even this has been extreme for me. I won’t try to elaborate much as I have tried to tell others and can’t find the words. The only metaphor that kind of fits is as if I am a computer and someone removed an essential, but non-essential part. What I mean is I was still functioning though as if somehow also broken at the same time.
I know when it started, March 23rd after I finished trying to share a message that Sunday morning. I write tried as I felt it was a total flop I shared. It had been a busy week, had very little sleep that night, I was getting sick, but there was more. After the service I felt emotionally horrible and I am still coming out of – it? This brings me to Thursday last week.
I meet a great friend, brother in Christ, and active attender at the InterNational Church of Wroclaw (INCW) nearly every Thursday at 10am. It is truly one of those situations of “as iron sharpens iron” Proverbs 27:17. Each time we meet I am challenged on nearly literally every level of my life.
As I was preparing to go to the meeting I got a message from a person who left their cell phone at our apartment. They wanted to come and get the phone. The timing put me leaving a little early, but no problem. I met them outside our apartment in-route to my meeting. But before I picked up the cell phone I felt I needed to bring a book I started reading; The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers. It is a huge book so I opted for a smaller book as a sample. The smaller book is one portion of the big book; So Send I You, Workman of God.
I was finally ready to go out the door with my Bible, So Send I You, my transportation pass, my cell phone, etc., and my friends cell phone. As I left the front entrance it stared to rain so I waited with half of my body in the rain and the other against the door. My friend soon came and I declined an offer for a ride because public transport was going to be easier for both of us.
I ended up arriving at the meeting place about 25 minutes early. So I plopped down in a chair and pulled out my Bible. I read and truly felt directed to certain passages in Luke before the following. As a church the INCW was studying the passages in the Gospels that were the events during the week prior to Palm Sunday. Thursday was Jesus going through Jericho and meeting Zacchaeus.
I don’t remember any specific insights from the Bible, but in general I felt so encouraged and energized. This was one of the first times I felt so at peace in weeks. Then I felt led to put down the Bible and read the book I had brought. I had not brought it to read, I didn’t think. It was just going to be a discussion topic with my friend.
The first line of the book hit me emotionally, as if physically almost. “When we speak of a call we nearly always leave out one essential feature: the nature of the one who calls.” I felt like a fish and the hook was set in my mouth. I was hooked and had to continue. What is extra weird is that the statement was not the message I needed to hear to bring me out of my struggle. But what I felt was that the missing part to my computer had been reattached and this was one more part of the process.
I had woken up early that morning to pray, sadly the time went pretty much as usual for me recently, without the ability to focus well. Despite my struggle I felt like I had been with the Heavenly Father. Then the time in the Bible had been meaningful and He had touched my heart. After the first sentence of So Send I You I realized how directly, powerfully, intentionally, personally the Lord was speaking to me.
The feeling was so tangible I almost wondered if my heart had been what was perviously missing and it was beating again. I took a few moments as if somehow I had oxygen back in my body again, I felt alive! But the feeling was not euphoric, it was more of a sense of peace, intense joy, and completeness. It was a sense of AWE. God was interacting with me in such a way that it was visceral, something I was experiencing and could touch.
I can not prove in a court of law or a laboratory that God had been working in me through the power of the Holy Spirit, but nobody can convince me otherwise. Everything I was experiencing was too perfect to be chance, too real to be dilution, too right to be luck. The God of all creation was “speaking” to me through the Bible and insight God had given another man about 100 years ago.
I had to keep reading. I wanted more of what I was experiencing. I never wanted it to end. Slowly I read and took pleasure in the insights, the truths, in the book. Then I came to page 18 and the focus became perfect. “If we have been getting hard and metallic, untouched spiritually – not backsliding, but getting out of touch with God – we shall find the reason is that we are allowing things to come in between us and the sense of God’s call.”
This statement does not likely resonate with you. But it was just what I needed to hear at the moment. Now that I read the statement it doesn’t even have the same impact as that day. God’s message yesterday is not exactly the same message today. God’s will for yesterday is not exactly His will for today, or for tomorrow which never comes.
The point of all this is not to bring you into my mind through those events last week. My goal is not to teach you a truth or inspire in some way. I really don’t know if there is a profound reason for me to write this post.
But my deepest hope is that you have personal experience the work of the Holy Spirit. I want everyone I ever meet to know experientially a personal relationship with God. There is nothing else that can match the love of Abba Father. I am privileged, as I hope you are as well, to have the “living water well up in me” John 4:14.
Do you know the tasted of “living water”? About 2000 years ago Jesus experienced the reality of God’s perfect love. He lived and suffered that week leading to the cross so that you and I can experience the living water. You and I should have lived and suffered that week instead of Jesus. Praise the Lord the story doesn’t end at the cross!
“He is Risen”!