Joshua 24:31 – “And Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua and all the days of the elders who survived Joshua, and had known all the deeds of the LORD which He had done for Israel.” NASB
In my life, I have learned that hearing or seeing something first-hand is a far superior motivator than hearing about. We have all heard accounts that inspire us for a time, but if we do not experience it for ourselves that inspiration wanes. On the other hand, if we experience it for ourselves, we are much more likely to hold on to that experience for a long time, if not permanently.
I heard about the joy of having your own children and that was inspirational but not lasting. However, when my sons were born, the euphoria I experienced and the joy of watching them grow up and become men is something that no one can take from me. It is personal, not theoretical. It is not something I have heard about it is something I have experienced.
I have observed people trying to maintain the experience of their parents or grandparents spiritually. It is never successful although some have so devotedly attempted, they became miserable trying to maintain what they heard about but never experienced.
When I was in Bible College, I heard many stories of incredible miracles and exploits throughout church history as well as reading them in the Bible. They were inspirational and created a desire in my heart to experience them myself. I would become motivated by an account of someone else and for a few days, weeks, or even months I would desire earnestly the presence of God to experience that miracle or move of God. Sadly, because I did not experience it over time it would dissipate, and I would feel an emptiness inside that could find no satisfaction.
On one weekend I accompanied the Sign Language Choir to Palestine, Texas, and was enjoying the service that Sunday afternoon at one of the local churches. A lady from my home church turned to me and asked how my mother was. That was a bit disconcerting because I knew she was referring to something that I knew nothing about. I found out that my mother was in the hospital and had had an injury that was quite serious.
I immediately informed some of my friends in the choir that I was leaving to go to the hospital in Crockett, Texas, and asked them to pray and when they got back to school have others pray. When I arrived at the hospital the appearance of my mother was devastating, and she was paralyzed from the waist down. I felt totally helpless and knew that my prayers we not extending past my fear.
I stayed there on Monday and then traveled back to school on Tuesday only to discover that I was sick with a cold or the flu and ran a fever of 102 for two days. On Thursday, I managed to get to chapel and the Evangelist conducting our school revival gave a testimony and prefaced it with, “I don’t know why I’m telling this, but somebody here needs to hear it.” His testimony was about his daughter having a life-threatening illness and his time praying for days. He was in the sanctuary of the church and sitting at the piano. He said, “I cannot play the piano but realized that with my right hand I was playing the tune to ‘There’s a wall of fire around me, there is nothing now to fear’.” At that moment, he felt faith leap in his heart and knew that his daughter had been healed.
I had a sense of assurance in my heart that God had healed my mother. There were about 14 other students that came to me after the service and said, “I believe God has healed your mother.” I went back home the next weekend and on Saturday went into the hospital room and shared with mother and the family what I had sensed from God. I didn’t ask her to do anything differently. The next afternoon, after church I went back, and her countenance was completely different. She looked at me and said, “Last night I heard in my heart the Lord say, do this.” She sat up in the bed, got up, and walked across the room and back. She then got back in bed and informed me that she felt she was to wait for the doctor to come in on Monday and take new X-rays to confirm the healing.
I experienced or witnessed, first-hand God’s miraculous power, and from that day to this I have had an unshakable confidence that He Heals today, just like the Bible says. I have confidence that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever, just like the Bible says. I do not base that on what I have heard or read, but what I have heard, read, and experienced. I know that I know, that I know. That was one of several miracles I have experienced personally.
May the LORD help you to experience His person, power, and presence for yourself and give you unshakable confidence in Him.
Blessings as you enjoy this wonderful day in Him.