We may judge people for the things that we have been through and mastered…
but we only laugh along with them in the things
we have not yet mastered ourselves!
Chapter 1: From Religion To Reality-
You Must be Born Again John 3:7
As I look back on my life as a “Christian”, my fellowship with the Lord himself began about midway in my own life. I was always taught I was a Christian from a child, so I didn’t know it was a choice to become one. Our family went to church and we said prayers before meals and we all believed God was real.
In my teen years I studied Confirmation material in the Lutheran church in hope that I would be confirmed and allowed to take communion with my family. I remember my Dad asking the preacher, after Sunday service, how I was coming along in my classes. The preacher replied “Well, actually, David is falling behind on his memory work and he may not be able to graduate with this class.”
I remember this conversation as if it was yesterday… and I was devastated. I knew I was a little behind and falling short of perfect memory recital, but it never crossed my mind that I might fail and not be able to take communion. Before my Dad spoke, my heart witnessed that he would be ashamed of me and I remember how these thoughts shamed me instantly.
But my Dad surprised me. He laughed and told the preacher… “Well, I guess if David doesn’t pass, we will just have to make a Methodist out of him”. Then Dad put his arm around my shoulder and we walked back to the car with the family. He shielded me from disgrace on every side… and when we got home, we worked on my memory verses.
Dad knew something that I did not yet understand. It wasn’t memory work that would save me. It was not what I did right or wrong that had a great bearing on my eternal salvation. He knew that I must be born again spiritually. It is a decision every individual has to make for themselves. After many years, I finally came to that place in my life.
I was thirty six years old and at the end of myself. Oh, so badly I wanted something new. If Jesus was not real, then I was lost and my battle was a tragedy. I prayed, “God, I know I’m a sinner. I’ve failed myself and I failed you. Forgive me of my sin. Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God, that you died for me and God raised you from the dead. Come and be my Savior. Come and be my Lord.
Little did I know that the miracle of all miracles had just taken place? On the outside I looked the same, but on the inside I was clean. Ten thousand rain showers could not cleanse me but the blood of Jesus had just washed me whiter than snow. All guilt was gone. All my sins were forgiven.
You say, ‘It can’t be that simple”. But it is. God didn’t make everlasting life hard. It’s inside your mouth and in your heart. Romans 10:9-10 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. NIV
Chapter 2: Enter into Your Rest-Hebrews 4
Once we are “born again”, God offers us an outstretched arm and an open hand to come and enter His rest. Jesus said, “My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:30 Just before that in verses 28 and 29 He says “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, 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.” NIV
Often when one gets saved there comes a time of great refreshing. They are free from sin and the grace of God is simply being poured out on them. This is their first taste of the love of God and the freedom of the Kingdom. I remember the first rain shower after salvation. I was working on a construction job signing tickets for truck drivers as they dumped base material from their trucks. The sky was really getting black and suddenly the rain just fell! No sprinkles, just a pouring down rain. I was standing out in the middle of the job, thoroughly amazed, saying, “Wow, this is God’s rain”. It wasn’t just rain anymore; it was God’s rain. I was in His rest. I didn’t have a care in the world… until someone in a pickup pulled up alongside of me and hollered out the window, “What’s the matter with you, are you crazy? Can’t you see it’s raining? Get in.”
After a slight hesitation, I did get in the truck. But I didn’t want to. I wanted to enjoy Gods rain.
And as newborn children, we trust God. We know He can do anything. Our trust in Him is His rest for us.
But eventually a newborn Christian will go through a test that he does not pass… and the devil will trounce on them with both feet and try to condemn them. He will keep repeating “You failed. You failed,” or “You sinned and God will not forgive you” but even while your fears and tears are still in your eyes God is willing to forgive you. Don’t ever let the devil tell you otherwise.
God says “Come enter My rest. Don’t run from Me. Confess your sin to Me and I am faithful and just to forgive your sin and cleanse you of all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 We must trust God. We must trust the word of God. Just as we have trusted God as a baby Christian… we must believe and trust Him with the same fervency to the end.
Chapter 3: Be Thou Perfect-Matthew 5:48
“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” This seems to be a tall order from God, but when we are born again we are one third of the way there. Man is a three part being; spirit, soul and body. Our new recreated spirit is alive to God and desires only to please Him. Your spirit being, who is the real you, delights in the way of the Lord and always desires to follow the word of God. The Holy Spirit always leads us in the way the Lord would choose and He always leads us to do good.
Our spirit is willing to follow the Lord and do the “perfect” thing. However, we still have a soul and we still live in a body. Our soul (mind, will, and emotions) must be renewed.
Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. NIV
As we read the Bible, the word of God acts as a cleansing rain shower… washing away old mindsets and breaking down false beliefs. The more we read the Word, the more we bring lifelong wrong thinking into the light. Suddenly we don’t want to think that way anymore, we want to do what would please our Father.
For example, if someone hurt us before we came to know Jesus, our carnal nature would desire to “get even with him or her” or talk bad about that person when they weren’t around. We might even desire to physically fight them to “pay them back” for what they did to us.
But the Bible says to forgive. The Lord says He will take care of the differences. Hebrews 10:30-31 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. NIV
He commands us to allow Him to be the Judge… and some of the time it seems too much for Him to ask. But it isn’t. The key to enter in is as simple as a decision. “God, I choose to forgive because your word says to forgive. Although my emotions and my mind seem to be wreaking havoc against this person, I will forgive them. Help me Holy Spirit to bring my mind and emotions and will in line with your word. I desire to be a doer of the word and not a hearer only.
You may be surprised how God can help you to forgive those that you’ve never been able to forgive on your own. We actually even have to forgive by faith. We decide to line up with God’s word, and the Holy Spirit helps us to bring our words and His word to pass.
When I was a baby Christian in 1990 I repeatedly asked God to show me what I was doing wrong and what needed to be changed in my life. As I engulfed the word… God showed me many little things. As time went by, the Holy Spirit helped me overcome them one at a time. He didn’t show them all to me at once… but one thing at a time, as I was ready. As long as we live in this body, there will always be new things to learn from the word of God that will prompt us to change our thoughts and our ways.
Isaiah 55:9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
As we rest our eyes on His word and as we nourish our souls with His infinite wisdom… then we will begin to think and do as Jesus does. Jesus said he only spoke what his Father spoke and only did what he saw his Father doing.
Chapter 4: Enter into the Sanctuary
If it were at all possible I would encourage you to go to church where you got born again. If you happen to get saved hundreds or thousands of miles from where you live, this would not be practical. From the moment you are born again, God has a plan for your life… and He gave you a life guide. That guide is the person of the Holy Spirit.
John 16:13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. NIV
Now isn’t that a blessing! God didn’t just save us, He gave us Himself to be our guide.
Our life is a continual walk of circumstances and events that we’ve never gone through before. Each situation is new. Life itself has unexpected turns and suddenly we need someone to tell us what to do.
Can you imagine going hunting for grizzly bear? You’ve never been before. You start up the side of the mountain all by yourself and after a while the forest gets thicker, the trails get narrower, and the sun gets lower. Darkness is within minutes and the hunt somehow gets turned around in your mind. You realize that the bear is nine to twelve feet tall and he’s not worried about you. You begin to cry out for help because of your need… even while knowing it would be impossible for anyone to hear you. In desperation you cry out, and suddenly a voice from two feet behind you says “This is the way, walk in it.”
Isaiah 30:21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” NIV
You turn around and there stands a fully camouflaged, experienced, hunting guide. He knows everything you need to know and has all that is necessary to walk you through to victory in your situation. You ask him “Where did you come from?”
He replies, “Your Father sent me with you since the beginning of the trip. You couldn’t see me because of the camouflage.”
And the hunter says “But you were so quiet. Why didn’t you say anything to me? I could have gotten lost, you know!”
The guide answers… “Each hunter is different. Some want to make all the decisions on the journey as if I weren’t around. Though I was sent to guide them, I don’t force myself upon them. Their Father told me to let them choose leadership, either them or me. A few get lost up in these mountains and are never heard from again. I was with them all the way but they never asked for my help.”
“Others start out on their own… blindly trudging through these forests they’ve never been through before, and they also get lost. Eventually… like you did, they cry out and I am able to help them. You see, I know every square inch of the mountain you are walking through, and no matter how lost you are, I can still take you where you need to be. It will take a little longer than you desire, I’m sorry to say… but you went the wrong way at the beginning of the trip.”
“If you had called for me before you started, I would have taken you another way. I had already chosen the best route with resting places along the way and where your overnight camping would have been free from danger. Even from this place you have chosen,” He said as He looked around at their bad choice, “I am well able to make you succeed if you are ready to let Me guide you.”
The Holy Spirit is an invisible guide who is always with us. He already knows which way we should go and when we should leave. He foresees everything. Often times Christians don’t trust God with the most basic leadings of the Holy Spirit… He’s the inner witness on the inside of a born again believer.
In my own life there were a great number of mistakes made before salvation. My earthly father had always been there when I needed him… his answers were trustworthy. He never did laugh at me as if my problems were silly to him. He listened and talked with me and it seemed as though he always had the right answers… but he died when I was twenty. At age thirty six I invited Jesus into my life… and then I asked for the Holy Spirit to come into my life… with Him came my new life guide.
If you don’t know the voice of the Holy Spirit in your life, I would encourage you to seek His face until you do. Invite Him to come and show you and teach you as He did in Acts 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 15, 16, 19, 20… and more. Today’s Holy Spirit is the One and only Holy Spirit. Therefor… He is the same Holy Spirit who was in the book of Acts.
The people desired the Gift that Jesus spoke of in Acts 1… and today is a continuation of the same Gift. We could not get saved unless we agreed with God that we needed Jesus… and we cannot receive the Holy Spirit unless we agree with God that we need his Holy Spirit. So what if it defies everything you have been taught by religion… let God be true and every man a liar.
The Word and the Holy Spirit agree. We don’t always have time to look up an answer in the Bible for our immediate problems … but we always have time to look up and say “God… I need Your help now”. He loves you and He will help you if you will learn to listen…
Chapter 5: Be My Witnesses
Non-violent Christians are an unusual breed who are prepared for just about any type of service… but they will not make any commitments. Their time is very valuable to them and they dare not give it up… except to be in church or at some kind of church function. The funny part is, they lack satisfaction in their Christian walk and strive for more knowledge; another seminar… another club meeting… another “something”, but they can’t put their finger on the real problem. Philemon verse 6 may help those who identify with these feelings… “I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.” NIV1984
There is no other way to find what you are looking for. After I got saved in 1990, there were a number of times when people would hear my testimony at church and afterwards would say, “I used to be on fire like that.” There were so many who told me “I used to be…” that I questioned my “spiritual Mom” about the possibility of losing my zeal for the Lord as many other people had done.
Kas explained that it was “my choice. Many fall away from the Lord and His presence for a number of reasons, but it doesn’t have to be that way.” This lady went on to tell me that we have to spend time with God and His Word and many people fall into the trap of not “having time” instead of determining to “make time”.
God is supposed to be number one in our life. Who are we trying to please? Our first ministry is to God Himself… then to our husband or wife… then to our children… and then to friends… always in this order. There is rank and authority.
A preacher may argue that his ministry consists of many thousands of people and he cannot always consider all the needs of his wife and children before his congregation. That’s wrong for at least two reasons! Those thousands of people are not his ministry… they are God’s ministry through him. Don’t try to be what they need apart from the anointing. Through the anointing, King David was a great king to many people…but King David was a great failure in his own ministry. He was a miserable failure in the “Dad” ministry… and also in “Husband” ministry.
I’ve been there myself but I decided not to stay there. My wife and her needs come second only to God. I must seek wisdom through the scriptures and pray to guide my children. I cannot put my children on the sideline and consume my time with friends and hobbies. They look to me for guidance through my priorities.
Children are not blind. Children are not dumb. They can see their rank of importance by what we choose to do. Do they come in rank right behind Mom, or do they come in the ranking somewhere after your friends and hobbies… or even worse, do they rank even lower than your addictions? Some folks are addicted to television or sports… and many times children come after alcohol and drugs. One way or the other, you can be sure that they are well aware of their ranking in your kingdom and they feel your neglect.
I know a man that hated the way his father treated him when he was growing up. He wanted to go fishing from time to time. His father never had time to take him. His father sat in a chair every Saturday and Sunday and watched football. He could not understand why his father gave him such low priority, and rightly so. That’s not the way God intended life to be.
I knew that boy for at least fifteen years and he resented his father because he openly chose to rank him below football. Now that same boy is close to forty years old. He has a son who’s wanted to go fishing for a long time. As strange as it seems, he’s got just enough time in his life to go bowling and watch sports on television, but he doesn’t have time … for his son. Where do your children rank in your kingdom?
Enough about family. How about witnessing as Paul was writing to Philemon. We are a witness to our family. We are a witness to relatives that don’t know Christ… and the people on the job where we work. We don’t have to witness to them necessarily… we are witnesses if the fruit of the Spirit shines through us. Do children love being around you? That’s a big test. Children loved to be around Jesus.
If Jesus doesn’t shine through us, we aren’t ready to witness for Him yet anyway. We need to grow up so we can meet the needs of others. But if we are full of the Word and not sharing, there is a terrible danger of our lives becoming stagnant. Still water eventually becomes stagnant. Only running water remains fresh.
The Word going in without the Word going out creates a pond. God is looking for rivers… rivers of living water pouring out from man’s innermost being. After we get enough Word in us, and our contentment in our Christianity seems to move from us, we will eventually long for change. At least… God hopes so. Suddenly we look around and ask, “Where is the Lord in my life? It just isn’t the way it used to be”. The answer, believe it or not, is really quite simple… but it takes a while to grasp.
Chapter 6: Where Did My Lord Go?
The Lord is in the field with His army. He has been very patient in church. He has most certainly enjoyed the Bible studies that He started; to lift up and encourage His people to be warriors. He teaches us trust, diligence, victory and faith until we are ready to bust. Excitement is in the air and we get on a “spiritual high” until our Pastor announces an upcoming outreach. He says “We’re having an outreach this Saturday. As many as can come will be going door to door in such and such city and we will be asking people to give their life to Jesus. How many of you think you can join us this coming Saturday morning for an outreach to win souls? Just wave your hand if you can be there”.
Two thousand hands wave at Pastor and by next Saturday twenty-two people show up. All of a sudden our world collapses. Fear comes. We’re just not ready yet, so we rationalize we reason our way out of it. Many people stay home on Saturday and sulk in misery… and wish they would have had the guts to go. Most of them did not have one thing to do because God had set the day aside from their agenda so they could witness for Him.
One day I had been there one too many times and made the decision to go on an outreach…and then I tried another… and another. I have never felt “good” or “comfortable” about going out, but I’ve always felt good about coming back. Each outreach is a new adventure and an opportunity for God to reveal Jesus to me. Jesus did not know everything. He lived as we do and ministered through the power of the Holy Spirit… even as He expects us to do.
It is a shame to say that many times we face circumstances in life that we cannot handle alone… than we go to plan “B”. We call on God. It was never meant to be that way. Just as Jesus walked and talked daily with His disciples, the Holy Spirit desires that fellowship with us in the same manner.
By your decisions and your lifestyle, your life is a witness that you are a Christian? Would someone have to ask you if you are a Christian or can they plainly see that you are? When I was younger and going to church on Sunday’s, I thought I was a Christian. I confessed the Apostle’s Creed and worked as an altar boy. I thought that maybe when I became older I would be an usher or something. But these are “works”.
A man is not saved by what he does… and my lifestyle surely was not a witness of Christianity in any way. Oh, I was a “good Christian” at church but watch out during the week. Then Sunday would roll around again and I would dress up in my acolyte outfit, repent again, and be “good” at least through an entire church service. This was a normal way of life…I didn’t know there was another way.
The thing that baffles me more than anything is that only one person witnessed to me in the thirty-six years prior to salvation. One Christian came and talked to me about giving my life to Christ. Sometimes I think that there was only one person between Hell and me. What a thought! Would it be possible for me to stand in the gap for someone else? Yes – if I would go. The Lord is in the field with His army.
I want power. I want to heal people. I want a word of knowledge for someone… a word of wisdom from God that would encourage someone, or even change his or her life. I want the demonstration of the Holy Spirit’s power working in my life. Then I look around and realize that I’m sitting in my living room. The Lord is in the field with His army… so one day I made a decision to join the Lord.
There was an Easter outreach where my wife and I helped with handing out prizes as little children came forward with winning numbers that were hidden in their plastic Easter eggs. Over one hundred children and adults gave their lives to Jesus that day …and we were a part of it.
In another outreach we went door to door at an apartment complex for one hour. Vicky and I walked up to one door and knocked. A young mother opened the door… her hands shaking as she took a drag off her cigarette. In less than two minutes she dropped her cigarette on the ground and put her hands in ours to receive Christ. Then Vicky held her as she cried.
We asked if there was anything else that she might need us to pray for. There certainly was. She invited us in and opened the refrigerator door. There was one piece of liver she would cook that night. Her cabinets were bare… except for a half box of cereal. Those items are the only two things we saw in the house to eat.
“Please pray for food. I’m so afraid I won’t be able to feed my daughter. We need food.”
This is not a third world country I’m talking about. This is La Marque, Texas… United States of America!
As the outreach came to a close, Vicky shared with a group of eight what this lady was facing. Suddenly, we had one hundred and eight dollars in our hands to buy groceries. Only the Holy Spirit can move on the hearts of people in such a manner.
I must also include that the food was delivered the next day, Sunday morning, as we picked them up and took them to church. This same lady answered the altar call Pastor gave and gave her life to Jesus all over again… and she was so happy. Vicky and I have never been so pleased and filled with contentment in Christianity as we are today. The Lord is in the field with His army… at least, that’s where we’ve found Him.
How much more should I trust Him as one of His own children? Jesus said, “My words are not just my own.” He was extremely careful to listen to the Holy Spirit. He did not heal everyone on earth… or talk to everyone on earth. But He did talk about seedtime and harvest and He planted many a seed… and He harvested many.
Remember the woman at the well? Jesus planted a seed. The seed multiplied as the woman planted the whole city with seeds. Many came to hear Jesus and He watered the woman’s seed. Then God saved the whole city through one seed. Isn’t that awesome! The Apostle Paul said “one plants a seed… another waters it… and God makes it grow.
It is not us, but God who does the work… and we are co-laborers with Him. Jesus did not need a “word of knowledge” while He was sitting at home in His living room. He needed it when He was talking with the woman at the well and that’s when the Holy Spirit gave it to Him.
God is the most loving Father. If you are willing to go, God will speak through your mouth and give you all you need for that day in the light of what you know. Do you still say, “But I don’t know enough yet”? Well, neither do I. All I know is that when I do go, the Lord is in the field with His army.
Chapter 7: Obedience to the Master
The most important aspect of the Christian walk is obedience. Clearly, God is seeking obedience. Jesus says, “I only do what I see my Father doing, and I only say what I hear my Father say.” The Word of God is not what God said. The Word of God is “alive and active, sharper than any double edged sword”. The Word of God is what God is saying.
Do you desire direction for your life? It’s in the Bible. We fellowship with God by seeing what He is saying. Through the Bible we develop a genuine relationship with the Holy Spirit. We draw near to Him and He will draw near to us. Though God desires a relationship, He will not force Himself on us.
Once saved, I read the Bible diligently. The book of Jeremiah fascinated me. It continuously says, “…and the Lord said to Jeremiah,”… “and the Lord said to Jeremiah,”…”and the Lord said to him”…and on and on. The whole book is like that… and the Lord gave very specific instructions to Jeremiah. I wanted that kind of relationship with God. I called His Word out to Him.
“The Bible says You are no respecter of persons. I want you to talk to me like You talked to Jeremiah. I want clear direction like you gave him.”
It wasn’t long before He was talking to me about the tithe. I was tithing on my net income at the time. The timing was such that I heard news of a woman Christian singer who made fifty two million dollars one year because of her and her husband’s advertising and marketing skills. I began to wonder how much tithe they must have paid on their take home pay. Then I thought, “That’s so much money, they ought to go ahead and tithe 5.2 million on it. They ought to tithe on the whole amount.” The Lord immediately arrested my thoughts and judged me the same way.
There couldn’t be another standard for me… so I now had a decision to make. Now I really do tithe. It is simply obedience to what I know. Remember, God knows what we know and what we don’t know. That arrest came from the Holy Spirit. In Isaiah 55:8 the Lord says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. NIV
In Romans 9:1, Paul said, I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit… NIV
We’re talking about listening and obedience. Quietness. Stillness. Looking for an answer from God with everything in you. That could be one way to listen to God.
What about this… always involving God in your daily life… talking to Him as if He were with you. He is there with you. He cares about even the tiny things in your life. Do you care about what God thinks? It would certainly be to your benefit. He doesn’t just have an opinion about things. He knows everything.
The Holy Spirit lives in you if you are born again. We are one with the Father through Jesus. His inner witness leads us… He guides us… and sometimes speaks to us to give us direction.
I helped in the construction of highways with a small company. As the surveyor, it was my duty to make sure the entire finish project would drain the water properly when it rained. One day we found what I considered a major miscalculation on my part and one place on the road held water. After a few moments of speculation, I realized there was no way to fix my mistake. It could actually cost me my job. A co-worker of fifteen years then confirmed, “It’s not good, David. There’s no way to fix this problem.” Fear came quickly.
Suddenly, on the inside, the Holy Spirit said, “Don’t panic.”
My mind began racing. I heard it again, “Don’t panic.”
I walked away from my co-worker and began to pray. “Okay God… I won’t panic. But if I’m not supposed to panic, what am I supposed to do?” I said that to Him even though I knew it was a most excellent time to panic. I held my tongue.
I didn’t dare tell Him my mistake wouldn’t work. I was waiting on His thoughts… I had already heard mine. By thoughts… and His inner witness… and His loving grace, He began to direct me. He impressed upon me to get a piece of paper and write down all He showed me. I sat attentively in my truck, writing down everything He showed me.
My coworker tapped on the window for me to roll it down and hear what he had to say. I only rolled it down a half inch. He began to tell me it could not be fixed and I rolled the window back up. I did not need to hear him… I needed to hear God.
When I saw it written on paper… I didn’t have to look at it twice. It would work. I showed the plan to my partner.
“That’ll work,” he said. “How did you do that?”
I said, “You have got to be kidding… I just wrote what I was told.”
We had at least thirty years of combined, on the job work experience that said it couldn’t be fixed… and one word from God that said it could.
Well… who are you going to listen too?
Chapter 8: Relationship with Father God
Our Father wants us to watch Him. That’s what Jesus said, “I do only what I see my Father do.” Our Father wants us to listen to Him. Jesus said, “I only say what I hear my Father say.” In Proverbs 1:33 the Bible says, “Whoever listens to Me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.” NIV1984
Would you be willing to live that Bible verse? I ask you again, would you be willing to live “in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm”? Be careful how you answer.
Now watch this!
You have vacation time coming up. Your trip is already planned to do what you want to do. And of course, you’ve asked God to bless it… but you haven’t even asked Him what He would like to do with that allotted time. He may want to do something totally different.
Usually, at the beginning of the year we invite God’s wisdom into our lives and ask Him to help us plan a vacation. God may reveal to Vicky or me the exact time of the vacation and that’s all we know… so we submit for vacation time at work and so on. On the other hand He may show us exactly when and where we are going.
One year, as we prayed in January, the Lord showed me the precise day to ask for our vacation to begin. He also revealed that Vicky and I were going to Arkansas to visit my in-laws and that we were to invite Mr. & Mrs. Harris to go with us to Branson, MO. This was revealed in January and came to pass eleven months later… but not without obedience. When God plans good things for you… resistance will sometimes meet you.
In December, two days before it was time to leave our home in Webster, Texas (that’s a few miles south of Houston) the news reported that we could get snow and sleet on the day of our trip. The night before our trip was to begin… the weather report ventured to totally wipe out all our plans for Christmas and Branson. It doesn’t really snow where I live, not over a half inch in ten years anyway, so I’m not qualified to drive in snow and sleet.
The day of our trip had now arrived. We were packed and the weather report said that many highways were now closed in east Texas and everyone should stay home. Vicky and I sat down on the sofa and prayed… and believed for Habakkuk 2:1, I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me… NIV
My mom called to warn us not to go. We prayed. An hour later Mom calls back again to give us phone numbers to the Texas Department of Transportation. She had already called them… and we should stay home. I wrote the numbers on a tablet and then she asked if I was going to call them. She can’t stand it when I get “stubborn” and won’t listen, and she knows I don’t lie… so she was trapped. No matter what I said, she would not be happy.
“No Mom, I’m not planning to call them. We’re praying and expecting God to show us what to do”.
That conversation ended shortly and we continued to wait on God. After a little while, I heard the Holy Spirit so clearly on the inside, “I’m going to Arkansas”.
Immediately I looked at Vicky.
She asked “What”!!!
I said, “God just told me He was going to Arkansas.”
“If He’s going to Arkansas, I sure don’t want to be in Texas”, Vicky said as she laughed. She stood up and said, “Let’s go”!! She was excited.
I put a few more things in the car while Vicky called my mom. Then Vicky came out to the car with a big blanket. She looked at me and said “Mom made me promise to take this blanket so we wouldn’t freeze to death if we got stranded”.
We laughed and thanked God for a safe trip as we packed the blanket in the car… then went back in the house to make sure we had gotten everything. The phone rang. Guess who?
No, it wasn’t my mom. It was Vicky’s mom in Arkansas. She said, “Thank God you’re still home Vicky, all the roads are shut down up here”. All Vicky said was, “Mom, we’ll be there in eight and a half hours. We love you”, and hung up. She said “Let’s go before God goes without us”.
When you obey the Holy Spirit, no one else will understand. You may not even understand, that’s why it’s called faith. But you can’t have faith without hearing a word from God.
A little north of Houston it began to sleet. We kept going and praying. Fifty miles north of Houston it was getting icy, but absolutely beautiful. We never get to see this kind of weather. The grass and trees were covered with ice but the road was still warm enough to melt it. In Louisiana the sun began to set. In the rear view mirror the lights from any car behind us displayed a beautiful winter wonderland; icicles everywhere.
By the time we reached the Arkansas line it was snowing and sleeting and we were driving in the ruts of snow on the roads and bridges. I was really concerned.
“Be bound to the road”.
We went a little farther at about forty miles per hour, maybe less, and I heard it again on the inside of me.
“Be bound to the road”.
Then it hit me and I spoke out what God said, “Little red Honda, I command you in the name of Jesus, be bound to the road”.
Some of the bridges we crossed had sleet and snow three inches thick and I was then driving sixty and just cruising. We never slid or slipped even a quarter inch. I drove in total peace the last forty miles because God had given me a word. When God gives you a word… you can ride on that critter.
Once we arrived, we called Mom to tell her of God’s goodness. The rest of the trip was wonderful. After Christmas we drove to Branson and had a fabulous two days of shows and scenery and then went back to Arkansas. Only hours after we left Branson, it sleeted so much that people couldn’t leave there for four to five days.
All God is looking for is obedience. Joshua and Caleb were obedient and willing but ten other spies would not be willing to do what God desired for them. On the other side of their fear was God’s best and they never received it. But for Joshua and Caleb, on the other side of obedience, in the face of trouble, was God’s best… and they did receive it. All the other spies that went with them died.
The blessing is in the obedience. The Lord said this to me, “You amputate yourself from blessing when you do not do what I tell you to do”. Even in my journal recently I have written this message: “Do the natural things I command you. In that there is blessing”.
Table of Contents
- 1 How much more should I trust Him as one of His own children? Jesus said, “My words are not just my own.” He was extremely careful to listen to the Holy Spirit. He did not heal everyone on earth… or talk to everyone on earth. But He did talk about seedtime and harvest and He planted many a seed… and He harvested many.
- 2 Remember the woman at the well? Jesus planted a seed. The seed multiplied as the woman planted the whole city with seeds. Many came to hear Jesus and He watered the woman’s seed. Then God saved the whole city through one seed. Isn’t that awesome! The Apostle Paul said “one plants a seed… another waters it… and God makes it grow.
- 3 Chapter 7: Obedience to the Master
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