I have described this experience many times before, but I sense that I have to share it once again. On October 27th, 1979, I desperately needed the Lord. At the time, I was considering suicide because my heart was so empty. But somehow, the Lord knew and understood my need.
You see, a friend (Tim Cross) had given me a book entitled, “Thou Shalt Receive.” It is an old book and is probably out of print, now. I couldn’t even find it online anywhere. But I put that book upstairs in my bedroom and forgot about it. But that morning I was in our basement/den and all alone. For some odd reason I could never figure out, that book I had left upstairs in my bedroom, was lying near me in our basement. I opened it and began to read the first few chapters and thought I was reading about my own life! At the end of one of the chapters, I was instructed to get on my knees, left your hands and repeat a prayer. Then added, “THIS TIME MEAN IT!!” in big bold print.
I don’t remember the prayer anymore, but I do remember being on my knees. My arms raised and reading the prayer with tears flowing down my face.
Suddenly, I experienced what felt like cold spring waters flowing through my body. It began in my toes, my feet, up my legs, filling my entire body, flooding my head and flowing up my arms and the moment it left my fingers, I began speaking in tongues.
Well, I had no idea what tongues were or what had happened to me, but I loved what I was experiencing. I began to sing in tongues, and I had never felt such peace and joy. I was overwhelmed with joy!
I read the rest of the book and found out what happened to me. I was not having a “vision,” per se, but rather something I truly experienced. For the rest of my life, I have been able to look back to that morning; to realize that I physically experienced my new birth. This my friends is what happens the moment you accept the sacrifice of Jesus, and accept His sacrifice and more importantly, His Resurrection! You become completely cleansed, with a new life created within you. No, it may not have been as dramatic as my experience, but it is just as real and profound. The only explanation for what I experienced is that the Lord knew that is what I needed.
Come to think of it, He has often given me physical illustrations of Spiritual realities. For a few weeks in the early days of my faith, He allowed me to see light radiating from people. Honest. I thought it was something every Christian saw. But I would walk into to church and the light radiating from some people was so bright I couldn’t look at them. For others, there was a light radiating, but it was bearable, where others did not radiate any light. In fact, some radiated darkness as if there was no life in them at all.
I thought this was so cool. As I said, I thought everyone witnessed this. But then, the Spirit of God spoke to my heart and said, “This will not last. Notice their countenance.” I began to look at each person and noticed their faces and the way they held their bodies. What person displayed on their countenance, how much light was radiating. To this very day, I can see this with people I meet. I can often sense immediately whether they are troubled or at peace.
That is, until last Sunday. During our discussions in church, the Lord showed me that I indeed experienced the new birth/ The same birth that each of us has received! The only difference is that for me, it was a physical experience. No, I cannot re-experience that new birth, but I can certainly remember it well! I have never once questioned my birth into His Life. One of the first verses I memorized is II Corinthians 5:17:
“For if a man is in Christ he becomes a new person altogether — the past is finished and gone, everything has become fresh and new” (II Corinthians 5:17)
The Amplified Version adds a much more accurate description:
If any person is ingrafted in Christ he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come! (II Corinthians 5:17 Amplified Version)
Sunday I kept trying to put this together. I said it was certainly a great image of what our rebirth is like, but the Spirit of God said, “No! It is not symbolic. It IS what each believer receives.” Whoa.
Watchman Nee wrote something very significant on this point:
We need revelation from God Himself. We need to have our eyes opened to the fact of our union with Christ, and that is something more than knowing it as a doctrine. Such revelation is no vague, indefinite thing. Most of us can remember the day when we saw clearly that Christ died for us, and we ought to be equally clear as the time when we saw that we died with Christ. It should be nothing hazy, but very definite, for it with this as the basis that we shall go on. (Watchman Nee, “The Normal Christian Life“)
So, in my experience, I actually saw what happened to you the moment you believed. It does not matter if you “felt” that rebirth or not, it happened! You were resurrected! All became new. You may have been a lousy worm inching your way across the earth. In one moment you became the very life and breath of Yahweh as He breathed His breath of life into you!
(I send out messages like this each morning in emails, and if you are interested in receiving them, send me your email address and I will add you to the list: Mail List)
I do thank you for your gifts. It is your faithful and continued support that makes these messages possible.