Friday, December 12, 2008

Three Visits of Holy Spirit

Just like the story “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens, this post is about having a supernatural encounter for the purpose of reevaluating your life. You will be visited by ONE Holy Spirit three times. He will show you things so that you will make right choices, change and do good in this world.

The First Visit from Holy Spirit – He takes you to the past.

The Spirit brings you to the time when Jesus walked the earth... (Read Isaiah 53:2-3)

Then he brings you to your childhood or just months ago. Some memories are happy, while others are not. What events have happened that hardened your heart, caused you to be bitter or not care? What have people done to you that makes you hate them and unable to forgive? Who taught you the lessons about how to yell at people or cuss or use sarcasm to put others down? When were you introduced to pornography, drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes? At what point in your past did you get away with lying to your parents or cheating on a test so that you knew you could do it again and again and not get caught?

Holy Spirit shows you these events and you feel uneasy as you watch them. You beg him to take you away from those places...and he does.

But, he takes you back to the time when Jesus was crucified... (Read Isaiah 53:4-7)

Suddenly, you are left alone to think about these things...

The Second Visit from Holy Spirit – He takes you to the present.

Leading you by the hand, you are transported far away to other places where God is working. You see millions of Asian believers, African believers, and Latinos lifting their hands in worship. You see missionaries and vehicles being used to get literature into the hands of Europeans. You see Christians in America, huddling in groups of fellowship, watching movies and playing games, and gathering for Bible Studies at Starbucks.

Then, you are taken to dark places. You see poverty and violence; natural disasters and tragedies. You see hatred, terror, and the faces of hopeless children.

When you finish your trip around the world, the Spirit takes you to a recent church service you attended or a time you were given a choice to surrender your whole life to Jesus and do good. He shows you the things that God has offered you. Is it salvation and forgiveness of sins? Is it a call to preach the gospel? Is it the chance to help a friend, a stranger, or even an enemy? Have you been challenged to give money to missions or witness to others yourself? Are you being asked to give up something you're struggling to hold on to?

The Spirit looks at you and with great seriousness takes out a scroll and reads these words:

“And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because your salvation is nearer now than when you first believed. The night is nearly over, the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” - Romans 13:11-14

Inside, you are left with the overwhelming sense that today you have many choices to make.

Suddenly, you are left alone to think about these things...

The Third Visit from Holy Spirit – He takes you to the future.

The Spirit brings you to the top of a high peak in the Jerusalem Mountains, far away from where you live. The sky is dark, but then Heaven opens up. (Read Revelation 19:11-21)

This vision is amazing (like watching the final battle in Return of the King) and terrible, all at once. It seems that Holy Spirit brought you here for a purpose, to show you your future. Where are you in the vision? It hits you like a sledge hammer to the chest – there seems to be only two places you could be. You're either wearing fine linen, white and clean, riding a white horse in the army of Heaven, or you're lying on the ground, bloody and dead, birds picking at your flesh.

Suddenly, you are left alone to think about these things...

Conclusion
Today, you are here and you must realize that you cannot undo the past. The things that you have done and the things that have been done to you cannot be altered. They have effected you and formed the way you think and see the world, and respond to others.

You must realize that in the present you are given many choices about how you're going to live your life and the things you'll pursue. You can be lazy or hard working, you can waste time or redeem the time you've been given. You can live for yourself or you can serve others. You can forgive, or you can hold on to the hatred inside your heart. You can believe and trust Christ to save you, or you can write him off as a myth and walk away.

You must realize that your future depends on what you do in the present. The purpose of the vision of the future is to show you the results of the things you have chosen in the present. The past is gone, but the present is an opportunity to let God transform your life and use you for good in this world.

How will you respond to the vision of the future? Will you join me and repent of sleeping through the present? Will you ask God to wake you up? Who needs to trust Christ to save you and give you a new life? Who needs to rededicate right now and ask Jesus to use you like never before?

Like Scrooge did with the ghost of Christmas future, we beg the Holy Spirit to not leave us there. When we wake up, we are renewed and challenged to love the world as Christ did and not as we have done before.

2 comments:

The Scoop!! :)) said...

Your illustration of the three visits is very thought provoking. I have not thought of it that way before. Thanks for sharing!! :))

JimmyBob said...

Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed it and it made you think. God bless you!