Suddenly, without warning or notice, the horrible weight of the face of Death passed right through me and I was free. Free from fear, free from the confines of my room, free from Earth, free from space, from time. Free in the deepest blue aura of Heaven, past death, full of life, floating.
Then I saw Him, the Lord in all His Glory. The Lord as a being of pure light, glowing with every distinct feature of His face purely visible, glowing as the light of the world, of His world, of Heaven. The Lord of Heaven and Earth, my Master, my Savior, my All in All, was approaching my floating being.
I had truly come into the presence of the Lord in all of His majestic splendor,I had asked, but I didnt know what that request entailed. I didnt know I would pass through the valley of the shadow of death, to find life. I hadnt noticed as the Lord approached, that my countenance had changed, that I too, had become a being of light. Like a child, I beheld my Master and in His arms, I found peace.
Soon I found myself kneeling before Him as he sat down and with His arms around me, He gently cradled my head in His lap.At the feet of Jesus, He spoke to me, gently, with the most comforting words I have ever heard, and welcomed me into His presence, into His arms, into His Glory. There in the presence of the Lord, in answer to my need, I knew I would find the answers I was seeking. I knew He would meet my needs, He would answer my questions, as He had granted my request.
"What is it? My son, whats bothering you?"
"What do you mean everything?"
"Well, everything. I have so many questions, so many problems, I really need some answers."
"That is why youre here, isnt it? To find the answer."
"Yes, but I dont know where to begin."
"Then begin at the beginning, thats a good place to start."
"Im sorry, I dont know what to say."
"Then speak from your heart, your feelings. Let your innermost thoughts guide you."
"But Im afraid."
"There is nothing to fear, Im here."
"Well, when I first asked you to come into my life, I thought you would be the answer to my problems, that you would take care of things, all things.
"I thought you had a plan for my life, that you came to the Earth to die for me, to save me, to forgive me of my sins that I might have life, eternal life, and live with you forever in Heaven."
"But it was too hard, there was so much to do, so many rules."
"Rules! What rules?"
"You know, the rules. All the books that were written, all the things to learn, the steps, the things I had to do. It was just too hard, I couldnt do it."
"Follow the rules, the steps, the more I learned the more impossible it became."
"Where did you learn these rules?"
"From church, from my pastor, from TV, from ministry newsletters, from the radio, from the audio and video tapes I played and from the books I read. I was constantly trying to learn what to do."
"I wanted to serve You, so I searched the books."
"What did you learn?"
"The twelve steps to this, the four steps to that. The principles of faith, You know, the steps to maturity."
"And, where did these steps and principles come from?"
"From Your Word, naturally."
"Are you sure?"
"Sure Im sure. Every book I read, every principle, every step was based on the Bible."
"Yes, I must have listened to a thousand sermons and read hundreds of books all based on Your Word, all demonstrating the things I needed to do to make you happy, so I could do what I was supposed to do to be a good Christian."
"And what do you mean by good."
"You know, acceptable to You, to God, I wanted to be good enough."
"Good enough for what?"
"For Your service. I wanted to be good enough, so You would use me for Your service, but I never felt good enough."
"Thats because its impossible."
"What do You mean, impossible?"
"Just what I said."
"Why did You make it impossible?"
"But You said I could never be good enough."
"Thats right, there is none that is good enough, there are none that are righteous."
"What do You mean?"
"It was impossible for you to save yourself from your sins, right?"
"Thats why I had to die on the cross for your sins, that your sins would be covered, forgotten because you could do nothing to save yourself."
"I know that, thats why I accepted You as my gift of salvation.
""Then you should also know that you cannot serve me on your own, that you cannot become good enough by trying. Righteousness, My righteousness is imparted through My Spirit."
"But I know all about the Spirit, Ive studied the Spirit, I even know about the gifts of the Spirit."
"Exactly, you know all about the Spirit, but you failed to truly know My Spirit and therefore you knew about the gifts, but you never realized that My Spirit was My gift to you.
""What do you mean?"
"You were never meant to do anything, you were not supposed to work at it, to become good, to try, to learn more about, or to do what you cannot do. You, were created, to be."
"Exactly, to be transformed to My image, by the gift of My Spirit, and that was and is your only reasonable service, to present yourself, body, mind and spirit as a living sacrifice, Holy acceptable to Me.
"By letting go. Remember when you said you thought I was the answer, that you asked Me into your life to solve your problems."
"Well thats your problem. You allowed Me to come into your life, to be part of your life. You added Me to your life, but you never stepped into My life. You never allowed Me to become life. You came to Me with problems and then you added Me to your life and to your problems. And, you added Me to your problems, one by one, your way, and that became your biggest problem."
"I dont understand."
"Remember when Adam and Eve were created in the Garden of Eden?"
"They were created perfect and they were in perfect harmony and fellowship with Me in a perfect state of being."
"Ive never thought about that."
"And whatever they did or said or thought was okay because of that state of being, that perfect fellowship and communion with Me, the living Word."Whether they swam in the river or sat by the waterfall. Whether they walked in the forest or climbed up a mountain, watched the sunset or basked in the glory of a sunrise, whether they ate or drank from a mountain stream, their thoughts and words and deeds were pure and acceptable to Me. They lived in Me and had fellowship with Me and experienced their entire life in Me. Whether they were awake or slept, played or loved, they experienced Me and My love. And they had nothing to learn or do to keep that love and My fellowship that they were created to have and enjoy. They experienced My love, and My peace. They were My joy and My delight and they delighted themselves in My life and experienced My life as it was meant to be, as they were created to be."
"But they sinned and disobeyed."
"How could they do that?"
"Because I gave them choice."
"Yes, the choice to be, as I intended and therefore to live in My world as created beings or to become as god, knowing both good and evil as human beings, making their own choices, to become what they want to be."
"And You gave them that freedom to choose?"
"Yes, they were free. Free to live with Me forever, without sin, without fear, without sorrow, without pain, without hurt. But they chose to disobey."In doing so they made their own world. A world of choices, of good and of evil, of right and of wrong, of sin and of consequences, a fallen world, cursed with choice."And so, man now chooses, with a fallen mind, in a cursed world, his idea of good and evil. He determines what is right and wrong. He becomes a god in his own thinking, controlling his own destiny, determining his own fate, making choices, all of which fall short of the Glory of God."
"In what way? How ?"
"Because he is making the choices, because he is in charge, because he is in control of his life, instead of God."
"Then that is the true result of the fall, that man with a fallen mind makes choices that affect his life and that all of his choices are wrong?"
"But how is that possible, that every choice of man is wrong?"
"Because there are none that are good."Because, all have fallen short. Because, the best of mans righteousness is as filthy rags, menstrual rags, dead life, potential life, potential holiness, but dead, incomplete, unfulfilled. Because, it is the result of a fallen mind, acting as god, choosing good, choosing evil, when both are wrong, determining what is right in his own eyes, he has become a god in his own eyes, living out his own purpose, to his own destruction."For what does it profit a man if he makes all the right choices in his own eyes and gains the world, only to lose his soul?"
"I dont know, Id never taken that thought to its full conclusion."
"Few people do, for they determine every thought, every truth with a fallen mind, to follow their own purpose, whose end is destruction."
"Thats a tragedy!"
"Yes, but that is the plight of man. All have sinned, all have come short, all will die, and, all are in need of salvation."
"So thats why you came, to save mankind?"
"Yes, to offer salvation to all, to take away the sins of the world, to give man life, abundantly for eternity, to restore man to the freedom Adam and Eve possessed before the fall and to give them choice, the only choice."
"The only choice?"
"Yes, the choice to come to Me, to believe in Me, to have Me, to experience Me, to live in Me and have life, but there is a cost."
"Yes, to have life one must choose to lose his life."
"And that is the choice You came to offer?"
"Yes, that is the only real choice. Anything else, is foolishness."
"Thats why man, professing himself to be wise, has become a fool?"
"Yes, but theres more to it than that."
"What do You mean?"
"Remember what I said, that you added Me to your life?"
"Well that is also a sign of foolishness, for like the unsaved man who makes choices, you chose to add Me to your life, to solve your problems, rather than to step into Me and let Me become life."You wanted to keep control, to determine your own physical and spiritual destiny and so rather than giving your life to Me, you kept hold of your life and added Me to your life, truly missing the mark of putting Me first."
"But, I didnt know."
"You should have, you spent enough time studying, debating doctrine, seeking, but you never seemed to find. Thats why you have so many questions, because you though you sought the answer from Me, you never found that I am already the answer. Therefore you have never found Me or realized that I came to find you. You never lived in Me as a found one, as a completed one, as a fulfilled one. You studied about Me, but you have never really known Me and therefore have never experienced being truly known by Me."
"But, I went to church."
"Yes, but you also went to work."
"I went to Bible Studies, I read the Bible every day."
"Yes, but you also read the newspaper."
"Is that wrong?"
"No, but you gave more allegiance to your boss and to your job than you did to Me. You read the Bible, out of duty, 7 minutes a day, but you read the paper because you wanted too. Right and wrong come from attitude not from the doing or as an obligation. You sought Me, to get from Me, never realizing that in the giving of My life for you, in the shedding of My blood for the remission of your sins, I gave you My all. I gave you all that there is, that you might have life, My life, eternal life, and that life is yours, even now, if you choose it."
"I thought that I did choose You."
"In your own way of thinking, you did. You chose to come to Me with each need or problem. If I solved your problem your way and gave you the answer you were looking for, you would thank Me and go on your way. But, if you didnt get your way, you would always complain and mope and blame Me or ask Me why I didnt do what you wanted. Do you see what you were doing?"
"Yes, I was using You for my benefit, to meet my needs. But didnt You say You would take care of my needs?"
"Your needs, yes, but your wants, your way, for your purpose? What about your calling, according to My purpose?"
"What do you mean?"
"I created you, I formed you, I have known you before the foundation of the world was laid. I have called you to Myself, for My purpose, to be all that I want you to be, not for yourself, but as an answer, an example to others."I have given you all that you need. You are blessed above all the creatures of the earth for I have given you My Spirit, to lead you, to guide you, to direct your path, to communicate with you, to give you all truth, that you may dwell in Me forever."
"Yes, dwell, abide, be."
"By choice. You believe and become, what I have called you to be."
"I dont understand."
"You dont have to understand. You dont have to learn. You dont have anything to do anything in your own effort, you only accept what I have said and be."
"Be, not conformed to this world, but transformed by the renewing of your mind. Be, a new creature, a new creation, in Me."
"But, I dont know how to do that?"
"Thats the problem. You always feel you have to do something, rather than to be someone. Someone in whom I have already begun My work as well as someone in whom I have already completed My task, for I have known you from the time you were formed in the womb. I have fashioned your most delicate and tiny parts. I have had a plan for you since the beginning of time and I have called you according to my purpose. I will do the changing, for I am the transformer that has already made you a new creation, in Me, that you may fulfill that purpose. And, I will do it. In fact, I have already done it."
"For I am not a God made with hands. I am not an idol made from wood. I am not a building to be visited, a shrine to be memorialized by your assembly. I am not a temple to be adorned with splendor or placated with tokens or gifts of your choosing, nor do I dwell in them. I AM GOD, the Logos, the living word."
"I am not to be worshipped occasionally, out of duty or responsibility. I am not to be considered a pressure or an obligation, to be a placator of guilt or an excuse for failure. I am not to be blamed for success or used as a giver of blessing, a fulfiller of desire or the fulfillment of want."
"You need not seek My blessing, for I am your blessing. In Me you are already blessed."
"You need not claim My promises, for I am your promise. In Me, you have all of My promises, for they are already yours. I am the fulfiller of My promises. I am the promise."
"You need not ask for faith, for I have given you My faith, the faith of God. I am the substance of faith, the substance of things hoped for. I am your eternal hope, the hope of Glory."
"You need not ask for peace, for I have already given you My peace, for I am peace."
"You need only to choose. To choose this day whom you will serve. To choose to freely present your body as a living sacrifice, holy acceptable to Me as your reasonable service. Remember, I am the choice, the only choice.
"I am God and there is none else."