Encounters (Jan. 14, 2009)
Hebrews 13,2: "Do not forget to receive strangers, for by so doing some have unwittenly entertained angels."
Now I usually write with a more detached focus, but after three fruitful encounters with angels in the past ten years, I'm being led right now to offer up just some plain, old fashioned, God fearing testimony. Which probably is better for my soul, and perhaps yours.
I don't even exactly know why I'm supposed to share this- suppose for folks fighting the good fight of faith. And for the glory of our ever merciful God, who commands the angels.
All three of these encounters came with a message, and much blessing. I'll just mention the messages, and you can make of it what you will, as befits the freedom for which he set us free.
The first one came in the form of an intense, burning, laser bright, red light that interupted the distraction of a seemingly faithful person, sent by Satan. Like the possessed woman sent to distract Paul's work, while praising and apparently supporting it, until he figured out what was up. Anyone who has spread the gospel meets folks, often the churchiest of all, like this. They can interupt and muddle days, months, and years, and pastoral plans if they are not spotted and delivered, and introduced to their savior. It sure helps to see these folks coming.
It was the brightest every-where-at-once, darting back and forth, force field of loving protection that I had ever seen or experienced. It rendered the distractant permanently outside any concern of mine. Message sent and received: the Lord cared about me, and the hosts of heaven cared, and my steps were ordered and mattered. He wasn't, and still isn't, going to let folks distract me from his purposes in my life.
The next angel showed up about three years later, in the form of a faithful woman from a town and a church just up the road who befriended me over a couple of months. Now I was a pastor, first thing we learn is 'be wary", but she never slipped up, not once. After two months of disproving my wariness, she invites me to Saturday Revival at a Pentecostal church, in Amarillo a city about two hours away- "Downtown Fellowship" or "River of Life Fellowships"- something like that. There was a South African Missionary, John Sheesby, preaching. He preached well for a half an hour, to about 30 of us, but that wasn't the message.
Then Bro. Sheesby came directly out of the pulpit and placed in my hands "John G. Lake: His Life, His sermons, His Boldness of Faith" (KCP, Fort Worth, 1994) saying "God told me to give you this book." I said "OK, I'll take it." I've read it again again, dude has PHD in the Holy Ghost. I've preached it repeatedly. I was accused five years later of trying to channel his Spirit- I took that bit of nonsense as a compliment.
I never saw or heard from her again. I never met anyone who ever knew her, though she was a card carrying member of my ilk just one church up the road. I don't even remember her name. But I received her message: "If you want to be a man of God, and know God, to know Pentecost, learn a thing or two from Mr. John G. Lake."
Third angel: I got totally rear-ended by a car and as my car and I were doing loop de loops one way, and crashing into a overpass abutment another way I cried out "Jesus!." Then jumped out the car in my bare feet on the cold pavement, having come to rest still in the middle of the passenger lane. And it wasn't thirty seconds until a Mexican woman handed me her cell phone and gathered my shoes while the trucks whizzed by. How beautiful is that? An angel speaking Mexican Spanish to a guy who pastored Mexicans for ten years. I told her "Habla espanol, I understand." I understand God. You just saved my life.
Message sent: "Do not be afraid. I have overcome the world."
Well please forgive me for not doing a treatise on angels today. It ain't no academic subject for me. I'm just glad they are out there, praise God, and helping folk.
Peace Out Amigos.