Having received favor in his supplication once again, the wretch felt the weight of glory press upon him. This was different from former times. It was sobering as he searched the depths within.
This latest gift received brought him to a place he fully recognized was The Crossroads of his existence, the watershed that would bring redemption or break him forever.
The rebel now stood before his Sovereign, having been raised from the prone; naked, broken, unarmed, ashamed, and concealing nothing.
“I can no longer take from Your goodness and just walk away ever again. You have done too much for me with my giving nothing in return. But I have nothing to offer to You. I have not money, not power, not influence. Nothing of any value. I have nothing of value to return.”
*your life* …
“My life?! My life is a junk heap, a train wreck. It is the least of the least that I have!”
*Give me your life. That’s all I want from you*
“Ok! If that’s all you want of me, from this very day forward I give to you my life. All of it. But for the life of me I can’t understand what you want with this garbage heap/junk yard of a life. It’s hardly worth your time. It’s now yours. But giving my life to You has got to show me how to live that life on a daily basis in a practical way. I haven’t done such a good job of it on my own. It’s got to mean much more than just going to church on Sunday! I guess that means that I’m a “Christian” now. So (thinking to himself now – or so he thought) what does that mean? What does it mean to be a “Christian”? I need somebody who knows, to teach me. Where do I go for instruction?”
*Read your bible*
-His brother gave him a new study bible earlier that year for his birthday. He thought it fit nicely among the classic literature on his bookshelves.-
“No, I wouldn’t understand it. I need somebody to teach its meaning me. It’s God’s oracle so it would be too deep for me to read and understand like an ordinary book. I need instruction in its meaning”
*Read your bible.*
“I wouldn’t understand it! I need somebody I trust to teach me!”
*Read your bible.*
“I won’t understand it!” with exasperation.
“OK! I’ll prove it to you. I’ll try reading it.”
“I’ll try reading it the way I approach classic literature. I’ll try to study its meaning in the same way.”
“I’ll begin in the New Testament with the story of Jesus. I’ll try the book of John.”
He began reading as though Jesus was standing over his shoulder reading along with him(which, in fact, was what was happening). He asked God, the God he surrendered to, questions as he read. And the answers came to him. Like a recall from memory, but it was a memory of things he had never learned before. The answers “just came.” He had found somebody he could trust to teach him, and that Teacher was Almighty God Himself. Jesus. The same God in whom he trusted enough to surrender his life. And that trust was being compensated through answers being revealed, slowly and over time.
He had a lot of free time that summer and he read his bible for eight hours at a sitting some days, hungrily wanting to soak everything in and be saturated with it all. Learning. Meditating. Musing on the things read. He felt like he was learning a new language and he wanted to know it all at once. He had discovered a new land that he had only heard rumors of, and he wanted to explore all of it as deeply as possible.
The rebel’s thinking began to change. His perspectives on life began to find an equilibrium he had not known before. He saw old, familiar and common objects of life differently, as though he found a new lens on a telescope that showed things much more clearly and right side up. He viewed people differently. Strangers were no longer strangers but rather friends or acquaintances he hadn’t seen in a long time. The God who was once far off in heaven was much, much closer now. He was a constant companion, immediately accessible; the One he had lost track of and was hungry to get to know and share his unfolding new discoveries with. The same God who created it all. The God he surrendered to. But far from being a prisoner, he was finally free! Free from his own, self-imposed enslavement to deception. He would never know imprisonment through false-freedom again. The immutable truth he had been seeking down many long, and often dark, corridors, he found in the most unlikely (to him) place, the primordial Christian Bible. And he knew he was home. A place he formerly thought existed only in fantasy fiction. A place that can’t be manufactured, but only recognized. A home that can be found, but never lost. Home is where Jesus is. In fact, that’s the rebel’s definition of heaven.
Jesus conquered him in his rebellion, melting his stubborn heart, imbuing it with His infinite loving kindness and a dawning sanity of revelation.
“When I think of the greatness of this great plan I fall on my knees before God the Father (from whom all fatherhood, earthly or heavenly, derives its name), and I pray that out of the glorious richness of his resources he will enable you to know the strength of the spirit’s inner re-inforcement—that Christ may actually live in your hearts by your faith. And I pray that you, firmly fixed in love yourselves, may be able to grasp (with all Christians) how wide and deep and long and high is the love of Christ—and to know for yourselves that love that is so far beyond our comprehension. May you be filled though all your being with God himself!” Ephesians 3:19 (PHILLIPS Bible)
“Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.
And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity.” Jeremiah 29:12-14