The Way I Met God
|This is the way I was saved.
One night I was silent
before God in an attitude of prayer when I first sensed and
became aware of the presence and power of an invisible
Personality, a Great Spirit, with a great affection for me and
a tender concern.
The presence of the Spirit drew magnet-like all bad feelings, guiltiness, inadequacy, discouragement out of me. I felt troubled over nothing. Instead I felt fresh and clean. Colors were clearer than before. The texture of what I touched was delightful whereas before it had been only ordinary. I had a great sense of well-being. Afterwards I went walking in the night luxuriating in life and grace and feeling blessed.
Later I realized my heart had been recycled by grace. I also realized God was busily cleaning, forgiving, filtering and reinvigorating life everywhere. A Great Spirit was alive in the center of things. A universal heart was working, redeeming and sustaining the universe.
I now had first hand knowledge of God. I knew God was and that He is invigorating and redeeming the world. “I knew that my redeemer liveth.” (Job 19:25) I was confirmed in God. Whereas before I had suspected, now I knew.
I have found that many people, usually liberals, who have been sorrily schooled out of their ability to believe in the supernatural and grace resent it when I make this witness for God. They look at me patronizingly and roll their eyes. They punch each other and nod. They intimate I am crazy.
But I feel if having an encounter with God, an awareness of God, being seized by an exalted affection and awareness of a tender concern is crazy, then bury me near the Apostle, Paul, who had an experience of God and wrote the 13th chapter of Corinthians beginning with the first verse, “though I speak with the tongues of angels and have not love, I am as sounding brass.”
Believe me, the world could use more of such experiences. Demonstrations of God’s grace should be welcomed, and those who have them not shamed. But I am not ashamed of God, “for if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God.” (Peter 4: 17) I glorify God that I may do witness for him.
I pray that you and many others may be made aware of the presence of a great affection with a tender concern. May you also have wonderful if different and unique experiences of grace.
I was fortunate in this experience of God because it unlocked my mind. I was too much chained to conventional materialism. Then I was sure there was a spiritual realm as well as a physical realm. Only the two joined together can make us whole and well directed human beings.
This experience also enabled me to understand in another way. Before it I had understood intellectually, but after it I understood emotionally. I enjoyed a better understanding. I understood the Apostle more.
I understood that before being filled spiritually, we are as hollow vessels made for a purpose we do not know. In being filled with God we find our function and the fullness and purpose for which we are made.
Oddly enough I also saw that the message of the Gospel of God is rather simple. The message can be taken in and understood by ordinary people. But the devil is in the details added to God by men: things to argue over, to be divided by, and to obscure the obvious simplicity of experiencing and enjoying God.
Sometimes I consider how the devil is in the details: creeds, rules, laws, pronouncements, doctrines, dogma, laws and apostolic successions. Oh, my Lord! MANY cannot put love first and rise above the DETAILS. What has happened to our simple understanding of God?
I am sure that at times we should lay aside the complexities and details, the correlations and the commentaries, the councils and the creeds and get back to God. How badly Christianity needs to strip down to God. Return to the basic things which were well demonstrated to me in my visitation of God.
As you see my experience also confirmed my outlook of Protestantism. I see the necessity of returning to a simple New Testament faith. I appreciate the wisdom of the Protestant reformers: Simplify that you may focus to glorify.
Now it is true that God is a mystery and very deep, but the mystery has a certain charming simplicity that enables it to touch and be in touch with mankind.
So I teach the New Testament Faith always and everywhere. In doing that I am trying to show that God is a personality, not an equation. He is simply met and is simple to understand. Recall the words of Jesus: “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly of heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11: 29-30)
Dr. James MacLeod may be contacted through the Neill Macaulay Foundation.