Some time ago an acquaintance had suggested to me that since God was willing to forgive us our sins and wipe the slate clean then perhaps we could live as we liked and ask for forgiveness upon our death. I was quick to admonish him and point out that:
a. your heart has to be in repentance (God knows if we are sincere), and
b. that death can come suddenly, leaving no time for thought or prayer.
Little did I know I would need my own advice some time later. Does God get you like that too? Some months later struggled with a problem. Half of me wanted to be free from it, the other half… well, didn’t want that. I knew I was playing with fire… in fact, with my eternal future.
The memory of what I had told this person surfaced and I spent considerable time thinking and praying but my heart wasn’t in it. It was elsewhere. How could I have let it happen? Why wasn’t God saving me from this torment? Didn’t He know I wanted to work for Him? How could I have been so weak when I thought I was strong?
A short time later, whilst attending church, the pastor’s wife got up to prophesy. I’d not seen this happen before but was sure I’d get a message. I knew that God was watching over me but I had felt that for some reason, I just could not hear Him. I did get a message but not through her. Whilst she was speaking to others, I had a vision.
I was standing by a door through which a great light was emanating from within, shining around the doorframe. I knocked and tried the door but could not get in. Then the word ‘barrier’ entered my mind. “It was created by you, not by Me.” I heard God say.
The door opened and I entered in. I could see a silhouette of a figure in the centre of the room but I couldn’t make out the features. The light coming from Him was too bright, like nothing I’d seen before. I held my arm up to my face but not before I noticed others standing close against the walls of the room who could look upon the figure of light. They were smiling. My eyes hurt from the brightness. A voice spoke saying that I could look upon the light if I wanted to.
Suddenly I was filled with a new knowledge. I couldn’t look at the light in my vision because of the guilt within me. That guilt had been the barrier and the cause of the hurt in my eyes. Oh, how I longed to be rid of that guilt, but how could I, when I didn’t feel really free of those thoughts?
‘Weakness of the flesh’ flashed through my mind and once back home I searched my concordance for what I thought to be the right reading. But instead something else stood out… ‘my strength is made perfect in weakness’ (2 Cor 12:9). I stepped back placing my hand on my mouth. I felt like I’d been slapped and my eyes filled with tears. I had been weak and through that weakness God was teaching me about His strengths. Oh Father, how slow I am to learn! I praise you that I am weak and You are strong. I praise you because you always have time for me, that you teach me many things. That you don’t laugh at me but with me, and that you feel for me when I’m in tears. I understand that Your strength is made perfect in my weakness because it is at that time that I need You most. I was smug enough to think some months ago that nothing would separate us. How wrong I was! Father, forgive me.
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