“I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that” (1 Corinthians 7:7).
The following is an excerpt from a previous post The Night I Met Jesus (24-Hour Fasting and Prayer Event Message, November 2, 2018). Jesus spoke seven things to me that night, and I want to share them today. There were no new revelations to behold. No, everything Jesus said came straight out of scripture, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, because Jesus is the Word. The experience was incredible; one in which I am still gaining insights from years later, as well as being a continued source of peace. I wrote previously of six things Jesus said to me, but now I am ready to share the seventh.
One night, several years ago, a friend and I were praying in my living room. My friend was sitting on my couch, and I was kneeling on the floor, directly across the coffee table from him. Suddenly, as calmly as can be, my friend looked over and said that the Lord was standing next to me. Before I could react, Jesus leaned down and hugged me. I don’t know how to describe my immediate reaction; it all happened so fast. I was already on my knees, so I turned and knelt before Him with my face down at His feet, but the Lord directed me to stand up. Jesus said to me that sons do not kneel before their fathers; that moment, I hope I never forget, for as long as I live! The Lord smiled at me with such great love, while I fumbled about. I can still feel His smile. I realize now that when Jesus looked at me that night, He wasn’t looking upon my sins; in fact, there was no sin to look upon, at least not in that moment, because when the Lord looked at me, He saw Himself. I just knew that I was in the presence of the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End, yet I was struck by His gentleness, His humility, and His understanding. It would have been an impossibility not to see that Jesus held the universe in his hand. Yet there was no pride, absolutely no haughtiness; I was all that mattered to Him. Jesus saw into my innermost being; He knew my thoughts and everything else there is to know about me. He answered my questions before I asked them; He knew my thoughts before I thought them. The Lord went on to tell me that He is always with me, and that He has always been with me; moreover, Jesus said that He stands behind me on my left, with his hand on my shoulder; His right hand, I believe. I only shared this miraculous encounter with a handful of people, at the time. Now fast forward, to a few months ago, I was visiting with my friend, the same friend with me that night, and as we were talking, in a flash, I saw myself kneeling in my living room, on the other side of my coffee table. Next I saw a man dressed in white put his arm around me. The man was Jesus, and everything was just as it was that night. I didn’t even realize what I had been shown, fully, until the next day. And from that vision, I finally felt free to share the experience openly. The Lord’s expression of love was not just meant for me, alone, and that is why I am so overjoyed to share it with anyone willing to listen.
My recollection of that night is like that of an extremely vivid dream; a memory that is more profound, more substantial, more real to me, than my recollection of just a few minutes ago. And that is why I can still see His face; I can still feel the warmth of His smile; I can still sense His presence with me. It’s difficult to put into words what a joy it is for me to have finally been given the opportunity to share this wondrous account with you tonight! Tonight is surely a divine appointment, which has taken time, the fruit of circumstances and events, and of course, God working all things out for His good purpose, because I’ve carried this amazing encounter, around with me, for a quite a while now, and I never anticipated standing here before you recounting it. No, I did not. Nothing in any of the dreams, visions, or words, which I have ever received, by the Holy Spirit, is new; the Bible is already written, and God has always spoken to me through, and according to, His Word. He does not add to His Word, nor does God take away, and that night was no different. Everything Jesus said and everything Jesus did that night was said and done for a precise purpose. There is nothing idle about God; God is deliberate and purposeful. God is never wasteful; God is fruitful. “For God is not a God of disorder but of peace —as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people” (1 Corinthians 14:33). Each of Jesus’ words and actions were full of meaning. That night reaffirmed that sinners, never find themselves. I mean, come on now, how could one stumbling in darkness ever find the light on their own? No, the Good Shepherd comes for His sheep. So, what other truths, what other promises of God did the Lord impart that night? Let’ us take a closer look at six points.
1. Before I could react, Jesus leaned down and hugged me. I don’t know how to describe my immediate reaction; it all happened so fast. I was already on my knees, so I turned and knelt before Him with my face down at His feet, but the Lord directed me to stand up. Jesus said to me that sons do not kneel before their fathers; that moment, I hope I never forget, for as long as I live! Wow! All of a sudden Romans 8:17 became a whole lot more real to me! “Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” Humanity is like no other creation. I am a co-heir with Christ! You are a co-heir too, if you belong to Him. We are predestined to be conformed to the image of our Lord. “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters” (Romans 8:29). Just think about that!
2. I realize now that when Jesus looked at me that night, He wasn’t looking upon my sins; in fact, there was no sin to look upon, at least not in that moment, because when the Lord looked at me, I realize He saw Himself. And why should that have come as such a surprise to me? “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:17-19). So, no, this is not a new revelation at all. We in Christ are righteous and holy, because He is righteous and holy.
3. I just knew that I was in the presence of the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End, yet I was struck by His gentleness, His humility, and His understanding. We humans, more often than not, exert an awful lot of effort beating our chests, and puffing ourselves up, in order to exemplify strength. After all, the natural human response to being struck on the cheek is definitely not to turn and offer up the other. Don’t believe me? Just think about all the terrible insults onlookers said to our Lord, while He hung on the cross. “Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, ‘So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, come down from the cross and save yourself!’” (Mark 15:29-30). And that got me wondering; based on my own behavior at times, what insults might I have hurled at Jesus. I might have yelled at our Lord to strike back. Remind Him that He didn’t start this fight, but He ought to finish it. Tell Him that He deserves to be happy. Who knows? I may have even accused our Lord of being a doormat. I recognize that I sound an awful lot like Satan when He tempted the Lord in the desert, and worse yet, that’s what the world has too often seen in my witness. Not an easy admission for me, but a necessary one. You see, God doesn’t need my excuses, but He does want my confession.
4. It would have been an impossibility not to see that Jesus held the universe in his hand. Yet there was no pride, absolutely no haughtiness; I was all that mattered to Him. Jesus saw into my innermost being; He knew my thoughts and everything else there is to know about me. Satan whispers in our ear that God is far away, and too often, we believe his lie, but what does scripture tell us? “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” (1 John 3:1). Therefore, let us not be content to go on confining Jesus to the pages of the bible we read, or think of God from a far off distance, let alone remain ignorant of the reality of the principalities and powers beseeching the people of God. There is a war raging all around us rather we like it or not. But take heart, brothers and sisters, if you’re in Christ, then Christ is in you. God’s never far away from those who love Him. Rest assured, each and every one of your hairs are numbered. You are loved.
5. He answered my questions before I asked them. He knew my thoughts before I thought them. One of the specific points Jesus made that night was that He is past, present, and future all rolled into one. Now let’s be honest, outside of young, googly-eyed lovers, all that finishing sentences and thoughts done by anyone else would’ve probably gotten pretty irritating, but Jesus knew exactly what He was doing, and it still encourages me to this day. Jesus met my needs. Jesus demonstrated His faithfulness. “’Lord, if it’s you,’ Peter replied, ‘tell me to come to you on the water.’ ‘Come,’ he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?’ And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God’” (Matthew 14:28-32).
6. The Lord went on to tell me that He is always with me, and that He has always been with me; moreover, Jesus said that He stands behind me on my left, with his hand on my shoulder; His right hand, I believe. Jesus’ words made it plain to me that He knew me before I was born, even before time began, in fact. I was redeemed, not through my effort, but by the Father’s righteous decree, and everything else, which has happened, in my life has been me living out that salvation. Remember what Jesus said to His disciples, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me. No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life” (John 6:44-47). Check out what Jesus says in verses 45 and 46, “Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me. No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father.” Was Jesus referring to merely Himself, or was Jesus referring to those of us sent to Him by the Father? I contend the latter is true. Consider what Jesus goes on to say later in John, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand” (10:27-29). Consider what God says to Moses in Exodus 33:19 upon whom He’ll have mercy. Consider the potter and the clay. Consider the Parable of the Weeds. Consider Romans Chapter 8 and God’s “foreknowledge”. I strongly encourage you to spend this time of fasting and prayer pondering the deepness and richness of God’s love. I’ve merely touched the surface of how entrenched we are in the Father’s love; our relationship runs deeper than any of us can possibly understand. I am speaking to you tonight of agape; the highest form of love.
Jesus did share a seventh thing with me that night. Jesus said that I would find a companion, or that He was sending me a companion; my recollection of events is the least precise on this one, plus it has been several years. Admittedly, I was left a little perplexed, as I initially figured He was speaking in romantic terms—falling in love, marriage, etc., but I guess what He had in mind turned out to be so much more. Jesus said in Matthew 19 that some were born eunuchs, some were made eunuchs, and other chose to live like eunuchs, and Jesus, Himself, stressed that this was not an easy teaching to accept. In fact, I suspect that Matthew 19 was a tough day, all the way around, for those listening. “Jesus replied, ‘Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it” (11-12). Though I didn’t understand then, His words would come to convict my heart. Nearly a decade would pass by before what He said would manifest in my physical life, but I suppose at the appointed time, I began to step into my calling. I took up my cross, and I have known freedom ever since. As Paul wrote to the believers in Corinth, “I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that” (1 Corinthians 7:7). I have no regrets. What I have gained far outweighs any loss.
Beholding the Lord was nothing short of amazing! Although I have written some, and spoken some, on the subject, the whole encounter remains quite difficult to do justice with words. My perceptions were different in that moment. Time and space, and the laws of physics, went right out the door. Like I said, I knew I was in the presence of the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End, yet I was struck by His gentleness, His humility, and His understanding. It really would have been impossible not to see that Jesus held the universe in His hand.
Everything the Lord shared with me that night was for all of His children, the Body of Christ, even if you weren’t called into a Matthew 19:11-12 walk as I have been. Jesus loves each and every one of you, and He will change your life too! “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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).
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