God’s Word is True, Chapter 1: The Encounter
Before I give this testimony, I would like to say, I am a Christian. And the one who deserves all the credit for this testimony is Jesus, the God of the Christians — and not only the God of the Christians, but the God of the whole world, to whom we must all one day give an account. This true account is written with the intent of persuading you to trust him more for your every need. And if you have never trusted him, to begin to do that.
On a Saturday in April of 2005, I woke up and had a burden to pray. So I did, kneeling by my bedside, as was my custom. I prayed that God would help me find a job, since I needed one. I dozed “on and off” during that prayer time, and, during one of those “dozing off” times, I had an encounter that was more than just a dream. It was a living encounter with someone who knew me, and who spoke directly to me. He said to me, “I can’t believe you have not done more for your wife! You should at least buy her some flowers!” Then, he said to me, “There is a meeting happening at seven o’clock. I will meet you there!”
I woke up from this and immediately asked my wife, “Do you know of any meetings that are happening at 7:00 o’clock?” She couldn’t think of any, and went about her day. I began to think about this encounter, and thought about what the “man” had said. He had said I should buy my wife some flowers. If he had not been so “stern” about it, I probably would have been very inclined not to have bought them. But he expressed a real sense of “This is something you NEED to do!” about it, and, being convinced that God wanted me to do this, I proceeded to drive to the store to buy some flowers for my wife.
While buying those flowers, I heard an announcement on the loud speakers of that large department store (where they sell everything from A-Z). The announcement said, “Get your family portrait taken for only $4.95. Make your appointment now at the portrait studio.” I thought to myself, “Here I am standing looking at the flowers I am about to buy, at the very precise moment that I am about to take them, and on comes this message about the portrait studio. This is something my wife has told me she would like.”
Because of the precise timing of it all, how at the EXACT moment that I had placed my eyes on the flowers the announcement had come on, and how my wife had told me prior to that that she had wanted our family portrait taken, I did not want to turn away from the distinct possibility that God had led me to buy the flowers, so that I would hear the message on the loudspeakers, so that I could make an appointment at the portrait studio, so that God could do something else kind of interesting! So, I did not hesitate to make an appointment! This was FUN! Following my heavenly Father’s leading was ALWAYS fun! And if God was not “in” it, he would make that very clear. But if he WAS in it, he would make that clear, as well! And what did I have to lose, except a few moments, anyway?
I loved meeting people, anyway, and, if God was not “in” it, then I would at least get the chance to say “hello” to a few people and perhaps even brighten their day! Thank-you, Lord, for the opportunity to live on this earth, and make a difference! With that attitude, I set out to make an appointment to have our family portrait taken. After making the appointment, I went home with the flowers. Now prior to leaving the house to purchase the flowers, I had also found out that there was a Christian meeting happening that evening at – lo and behold – our own church. It started at 7:00 o’clock.
I continued to ponder what the “man” had said in that encounter I had while asleep, “There is a meeting happening at seven o’clock. I will meet you there!” Then I understood who the “man” had to be! It was God HIMSELF who was going to “meet me” at the Christian meeting! “Meet me” was an expression for “have an encounter with God”. I had already had an encounter with God in the morning. But at that seven o’clock meeting, I was going to have an even more special one! Yes, I was excited! This was really the FATHER I had come to know back in 1985. God was not “boring” or “dry” or “lifeless” or “stale” like some people made him out to be! He was ALIVE and WELL! And EVERY DAY that I lived, was a BRAND NEW OPPORTUNITY to experience his GOODNESS, his MERCY, his FAVOR, his LOVE and his awesome PRESENCE! Was this not reason enough to LIVE? Why did so many commit suicide? Why did so many find no hope in life? Because they did not know him!
How would God meet me? I did not know yet. But soon, I was going to find out! My family and I went to the meeting, and it was an International Fellowship gathering attended by about 20 people. Think about it! A mere 20 people! Could God work in an atmosphere like that? Didn’t it require a huge atmosphere of about 20 thousand people before God would do something special? No! God could do very special things with just TWO people meeting together! Because, in the Bible, we read this wonderful promise that Jesus gave to his followers: “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” (Matthew 18:20)
There was singing. Then there was a time of sharing. Who would like to give a testimony of something that God had done for them? This was critical in the Christian life. If you did not share what God had done in your life, then where was your light? Where was your influence? How could you persuade others to trust in this wonderful loving God? A man who was still very thankful for what God had done in healing his son twenty years earlier began sharing. Ah, a thankful heart! This is the type of man or woman that God could use on this earth to make a REAL DIFFERENCE! But the story was so OLD! Could it REALLY make a difference? Yes! The story of Christ’s death and resurrection is even older still! And it made a HUGE difference in people’s lives! This story could ALSO make a huge difference! ANYTHING offered to God could make a huge difference, even our pain!
When this man gave this testimony about how his son had been healed, it touched my heart in a profound way, and opened me up to receiving an emotional healing blessing of my own from the Lord. We all carry many many hurts inside of us through our upbringing and circumstances and disappointments that we have experienced in life. God knows that, and sometimes we don’t even know about that ourselves! We could just be carrying on our normal day without realizing that, deep inside of us, there are some “old wounds” that have yet to be healed. Well, here is what happened to me. As I listened to that man giving his testimony about God healing his son, SUDDENLY God MET ME, and DEEP WITHIN ME, I began to weep uncontrollably. A “faucet” had been turned on, and I couldn’t turn it off! Someone brought over some tissue paper, because I was not stopping weeping, but continued to weep through an extended period of time.
What was happening? God was meeting me. Just as he promised.
Was this significant? Well, it was. First of all, it was significant because God had TOLD me he would meet me at that meeting, while I was in prayer that morning. What is the significance of this? The significance is that GOD’S WORD IS TRUE. When God says that the will DO SOMETHING, HE WILL DO IT! As frail human beings, we sometimes doubt that God will DO what he SAYS he will do! God says in the Bible, his word, that he is coming back one day to judge the world! He will! The Bible SAYS that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is LORD! It will happen! The only question is, will it happen because you have freely decided to worship God, or will it happen because you find yourself in the very unfortunate situation that you have rejected God all of your life only to find out AFTER you die (when it is too late) that Jesus Christ really is Lord?
The day had started off with a word from God, which said, essentially, “Get your wife some flowers,” and, “Be at that meeting”. Both where necessary. Both were VERY IMPORTANT. Both were steps of obedience. Both were steps of faith. Both were required in order to receive blessings that God wanted to impart into my life. These were real, tangible, blessings, but they required both my FAITH and OBEDIENCE in order to receive them. And I had not received them all, yet! At the meeting, I received a special emotional healing blessing from God. And, as a result of going to that department store to buy my wife some flowers, I was about to receive something more, still. But it wasn’t realized yet. There were more steps of obedience, still, that I would have to take, to see that one come true. The next blessing to be received would happen as a result … of going to the portrait studio!
(Continued in Chapter 2)