December 5, 2005 – TRANSFORMED BEFORE MY EYES!
Transformation of our lives should be the most important event on our agenda. “Good” according to the world’s standard just isn’t “good enough” because we are to walk in perfect holiness so Christ can be seen in us. 2 Corinthians 6:16 what agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” 2 Corinthians 7:1 since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.
We are Christ’s ambassadors and the only way we can make a statement to the world is if they first see Christ in us. Only then will others trust and believe our words. The world is tired of the phony rhetoric of the “so called Christian.” The world wants to see our fruit and our actions. Are we truly serious about our calling? Isaiah 58:6 is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? 7 is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter – when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? 8 then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. When the world sees the nature of Christ within us, they will know that our “Father is God.” If Christ is within you, you can feel the cry of the Spirit bidding you to be “transformed into His image.”
A number of years ago, I witnessed a man undergo the most wonderful transformation I have ever seen. His transformation was immediate and bore much fruit. He and his wife lived across the street from us. Though I befriended his wife, I was never formally introduced to him. I would see him from time-to-time in the front yard. We were cordial and occasionally waved to each other from across the street. His wife was a Godly woman who attended church frequently; however, she never mentioned Christ to me. From her, I learned that her husband would not accept church, ministers, or religious talk around him. In fact, she had orders never to approach him on this subject. Perhaps her husband’s admonitions made her afraid to share her faith with me.
Quite suddenly, an odd thing began to happen to me. The Holy Spirit began to burden my soul for this man. I never told anyone, but I knew this burden was a supernatural one. As I was praying for him one morning, the Lord told me he was gravely ill and had only a short time to live. The next day, his wife called me and told me they had rushed him to the hospital the night before. She did not seem alarmed about his health; in fact, she said the hospital was going to release him soon. She obviously did not know the extent of his condition. I didn’t know what to do next, but I knew the Lord would lead me according to His will.
Later that day, the Lord compelled me to call my neighbor and tell her that I would gladly bring my minister to visit her husband if he ever wanted to talk about God, or desired prayer. I cast my bread upon the waters and waited to see what God would do. Ecclesiastes 11:1 cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again.
A short time later, the woman called and said her husband wanted to talk to me and my minister. She was astounded, for it was unlike her husband to make such a request, but I knew it was just another example of the power, love, and greatness of God. He is not willing that any should perish and He reached out for this dear man at the twelfth hour. God had it all planned from the beginning of his life. God’s timing is perfect and He always does a perfect work. Our God never fails. It was God’s plan to move me across the street from this man so that I could intercede for him, and it was the Holy Spirit who anointed me to pray our Father’s prayers for him. I was privileged to receive the burden for his soul, but it was God that transformed this man before my eyes. Psalms 118:23 the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.
When my pastor and I entered the man’s room, he looked extremely ill; there was no inner light or joy in his eyes and no smile on his face. As we began to pray for him, he responded immediately. He began to pray for forgiveness and to worship and praise the Lord. His praying was barely audible, but God heard and answered him immediately. There was no doubt that we witnessed a miracle of God’s grace. I could almost hear God say, “Welcome home my son!” One thing was for sure, the man knew God loved him and welcomed him into his family. The man’s eyes lit up and a big smile was on his face. Joy oozed from his being. Everyone present could feel God’s perfect work and His victory over satan.
Then, the strangest thing happened! As I smiled at him, the man reached over and patted my hand as if to say “thank you.” At that moment, his eyes filled with the knowledge of the Lord and he spoke directly to me, “I will be waiting for you when you come through the northern gate of heaven.” As far as I know, he didn’t even know heaven has gates! Revelation 21:12 it had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. 13 there were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west. I am convinced that this dear man will know the exact gate and time of my entrance into heaven and will be there to welcome me.
He worshipped and praised God until the very end, dying a few nights after his transformation. Another neighbor was with him the night he died and she told me that he was totally out of his mind. She said, “He was smiling, clapping his hands, and pointing to the ceiling until he finally fell asleep” (and passed on). She did not understand his behavior, but she witnessed the glorious home-going of a saint of God. 1 Corinthians 2:14 the man without the spirit does not accept the things that come from the spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. To me, her words spoke volumes. I went away rejoicing because he had the glow and joy of the Lord from the day he was born-again into the family of God until he died. His relationship with God was real. You could see it on his countenance and hear it in his words. He displayed all of the feelings and reactions that one has when entering into the presence of God and becoming His beloved child. There was no fear at anytime, only the recognition that he belonged with the Father and had all the privileges of His son.
Your life can be transformed as well! God is calling out to you. He wants you to return to your first love, Jesus Christ, and His way of life. When you belong to God you belong to him in “unconditional love.” Your life is eternal, whether you wish it or not. It doesn’t cost you a thing to walk with him, but it will cost you everything if you do not. When you give your life to God, the truth of God’s promises will be evidenced in your life. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain! Matthew 16:26 what good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?
In Christ’s love,