A Week with the Lord
A Week with the Lord
by Lonnie Lane
Life in the Lord is never boring. Or at least it shouldn’t be. If nothing is going on, we can always pray into something more exciting than what’s presently happening in our own lives and become a part of what God is doing somewhere else. Some weeks, though, are admittedly more fruitful than others. I’ve had two opportunities to share the Lord and what is undoubtedly one angelic encounter this week. Here’s my week (so far. It’s only Friday morning. More could happen.)
First, the angelic encounter: My Mom and I were in the car, breezing along at about 45 miles per hour when suddenly the car in front of me stopped. I’m really not sure what took place as it all happened in a flash. Maybe the light suddenly changed. I’m not sure. Mom yelled out and all I remember is seeing the white car in front of me and thinking how my hood will in a moment be parked in its trunk. No way I can avoid hitting it. I tried to swerve around it, wheels screeching, and waited for the impact. Somehow the steering wheel in my hands felt like it was turning for me. Now I surely can’t prove this, but it almost seemed to me as if my car actually bent away from the white car just enough to slide a feather’s width past it and the next thing I knew I was on the other side of the intersection. We were stunned, breathless, and exceedingly grateful to God for His protection. Now if that’s not an angelic rescue, I’m not sure what is. Needless to say, Mom and I broke out in a chorus of praises and thank you’s to God. Today could have been a much different experience for us than me sitting comfortably at my computer, painlessly writing. Or there could have not been a today for Mom or me. Praise the Lord for His protection.
It so happens, that morning I was reading Psalms of David’s protection by God. I felt to read them out loud and pray through them, with a little declaring the same words for myself in my paraphrased version. I tailored them a little for my own spiritual warfare since, to my knowledge, I don’t have any earthly enemies that I’m aware of. Only the devil. Here’s what I prayed:
“Rescue me, O LORD, from evil; Preserve me from violence (and demons) who devise evil things in their hearts. They continually stir up wars (troubles). They sharpen their tongues as a serpent; poison of a viper is under their lips. Keep me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked; Preserve me from violent ones who have purposed to trip up my feet. The proud one has hidden a trap for me, and cords; he has spread a net by the wayside; he has set snares for me.. I said to the LORD, “You are my God; Give ear, O LORD, to the voice of my supplications. O GOD the Lord, the strength of my salvation, You have covered my head in the day of battle. Do not grant, O LORD, the desires of the wicked one” Psalm (140:1-8).
Was that God’s way of setting the stage for His intervention on my behalf, though I had no sense of danger when I prayed it? I’m thinking, Yes! So if you’re inclined to pray through some Scriptures at any time like that on your own, or someone else’s behalf, could be you’re putting a guardian angel on alert.
Two days later a visiting nurse came to the house to attend to Mom who at 91 is periodically in need of a tune-up. Now nurses generally conjure up images that are not what this person turned out to be. True, I had a stereo-type of a nurse in my mind. Bill was not it. He’s a military medic turned visiting nurse. A big muscular guy with a few tattoos who is into martial arts and Taoism and the like. I wasn’t sure I wanted him touching Mom. We had to fill out paper work first and so we got to talking. Not even sure how we got into it, but inevitably we got to talking – about God. Then again, most of my conversations wind up talking about God.
This was not one of those quickie “Has anyone ever told you God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life?” kinds of witnessing for the Lord. That wasn’t going to work here. He is sure God loves him, though he didn’t see that we sin. “It,” the energy of the earth, is about love for us all, because we all are of one spirit, he tells me, a cosmic consciousness kind of thing, as in we’re all linked in one great togetherness. Seems to me like the devil’s attempt to turn worship from God as the only unique and holy “I am” into the worship of man for what “we are.” I suggest to him that God is not the least like we are. He’s holy. I can see that doesn’t compute. Bill is sure when and if he meets God it will be eye to eye as equals. I don’t think so.
I’ve had an experience of being in heaven, I tell him. I share a little of the vision God gave to me a number of years ago. Of how people are indeed one, but it is because they are free of sin and God has made us one “in Him.” This is the privilege of those who have accepted God’s provision to free us from the sin that separates us from Himself – Yeshua’s death on our behalf. I tell him of the joy that is heaven that is entirely God’s joy and so far beyond anything we can endure in our earthly bodies or imagine. I’ve experienced it, I tell him, but for less than a minute or I would have exploded or died. God is SOOOOO much bigger than what we perceive of Him!
He tells me his own near death experiences, two of them, and being supernaturally protected. He knows it had to be an angel. I ask him if he thanked God. He says he did, many times. This is good. Then he tells me of something he heard Joyce Meyer say on a TV show. He’s watching Christian TV! What do you know. He tells me stories of drawing pain out of people, a healing gift. And of the wisdom of his martial arts master whom he knows personally. What a lead in. I lean across the table where we’re sitting and whisper, “How about having the wisdom of The Master of the Universe whom we can know personally!” He nods up and down ever so slightly. I can see he’s listening.
“We go back and forth for a while and then I realize this is not someone I’m trying to share the Lord with, but someone the Lord Himself is after.”
We all are the voice of God to one another, he tells me further into our conversation. To this I share briefly with Him my experience of hearing God’s audible voice and of the unchallengeable authority that is conveyed in His voice which leaves no room for us humans to think we are in any way at all equal with Him, although by His grace we are welcome into loving fellowship with Him, on His terms. We go back and forth for a while and then I realize this is not someone I’m trying to share the Lord with, but someone the Lord Himself is after. That’s why he’s here!
“I see in you a man who wants to know the truth. God sees your heart. Could be that’s why we’re having this chat. This isn’t a coincidence,” I tell him, meaning it. He nods again. Pensive. Although he comes back with answers because he’s given much of his life to know what he knows – I can see that look in his eyes that happens when the Holy Spirit is putting a hook in someone’s heart and tugging ever so slightly, but sovereignly, to bring them to Himself.
In the end he agreed to take my book home and read it. It’s the testimonies of 5 Jewish people and what issues they had to deal with in coming to the Lord, each one different. Each, by the way, in my family, including my own testimony. I figure my brother’s story, the one about following the guru to India, might be one he could relate to. We’ll get to talk again. He has to come back. He is scheduled for six more sessions with Mom. Next time I’ll invite him to church so he can experience what the presence of God feels like. Pray for Bill, would you?
Event number three for this week – lunch with a rabbi. He comes from a significant family having had impact on Jewish history. A few months ago I discovered we have a mutual friend, a Christian I’ll call Danny. Having read some of his family’s history, I was most interested in speaking with him and reading a new book he’s written. Besides, I have the feeling that God wants to press into his life. I begin to pray for him. A discussion with Danny results in the rabbi agreeing to come for lunch. I found out at 11:30 p.m. when I checked my messages when I got home from a late church meeting, that they’d be coming for lunch the next day. Yikes. Good thing I checked. The next morning I get an email from the Rabbi. He’d be glad to come for a “dairy” lunch. Dairy lunch! Of course, he keeps kosher. I should have known. Well, there goes my chicken salad with grapes and walnuts.
What to make? I have 2 ½ hours and I’m not even dressed yet. I talk with my daughter about what I should make for lunch. I try and remember dairy meals from dinners at my grandmother’s home. But most of those where mostly cheese blintzes with sour cream. What kind of gourmet lunch is that for this auspicious occasion? My daughter suggests a nice frittata with asparagus. Are eggs considered dairy? I can’t remember. I turn to the internet and type in: Eggs dairy kosher. Immediately a wealth of article options floods my screen. Jews would consider this worthy of much commentary to be sure one doesn’t violate the kosher laws. It turns out that eggs can be both meat or dairy, or as my Yiddish speaking grandmother would have called them (and therefore so do I), fleishadich (flesh) or milchadich (milk). If you slaughter a chicken and find eggs still in the chicken, then the eggs are considered as part of the flesh of the chicken because it’s still attached and therefore fleshidich. If, however, the egg is now independent from the chicken, it can be used in a milchidich meal. I decide on a spinach quiche. I hie myself off to the supermarket for the quiche. Time requires I buy frozen rather than make it from scratch. And just in case, I buy two packages of cheese blintzes and a pint of sour cream. This and a salad and we were all set.
I mention this little story because Jewish people today would have the same reaction if Yeshua was speaking to them today regarding these kosher laws. We’re talking two thousand years of this kind of law-keeping. That’s why “they were amazed at His (Yeshua’s) teaching, for His message was with authority” (Luke 4:32). Why? Because he wasn’t quoting what the rabbis said about this and about that, but speaking on His own authority. When you don’t have the Holy Spirit and you want to please God, there is a tendency to make laws. Then, as what happened in Judaism, they made laws to go around the laws to be sure no one violated the first laws, but now you have the second ones to obey as well. That was what Yeshua was addressing when He accused them replacing God’s commandments with a heavy yoke, saying, “Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men” (Mark 7:8).
“Can you see how it is possible to be entirely pre-occupied with wanting to please God and completely miss Who He is and what He is like, not to mention why He gave them the laws in the first place?”
The laws about the chicken and the egg derive from an obscure verse (two of them actually) that say, “You shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk” (Exodus 34:26; Deut. 14:21). Why God told them this, even twice, is up for grabs. Maybe because it lacks compassion. Whatever the reason, just in case, God forbid, a speck of flesh would remain on a dish or pot in which you were cooking something with milk, and just in case, though fully unintentional on your part, the milks somehow happens to come from the same goat, oi vey! So, in order to avoid such a violation of God’s law, we won’t ever eat meat and milk from the same plates, and we won’t even eat meat and milk in the same meal. Add to this that at least a number of hours must pass between a milk meal and a meat meal so they don’t mix in one’s stomach. So there you are. That’s the kind of minutia of laws that Yeshua was violating in the Pharisees’ eyes when He ignored them. Can you see how it is possible to be entirely pre-occupied with wanting to please God and completely miss Who He is and what He is like, not to mention why He gave them the laws in the first place? A good example of that rationale is addressed in what Yeshua said about the Sabbath, the major issue of law-keeping by tradition: “Yeshua said to them, ” The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27). Nevertheless, I’m making a kosher meal for my rabbi guest.
Finally they arrive just minutes after I’m ready. God’s timing, I’m sure. Introductions all around and we sit down to what turned into a lengthy meal and lots of conversation. I am fascinated with the story he tells about his family in Israel in the “early days.” I learn things I didn’t know. Finally the conversation gets around to God, not that God wasn’t part of the Rabbi’s story. He was. This man loves God. But he’s not a believer in Yeshua and doesn’t think Jews need Jesus. We have a covenant with God that the Gentiles don’t have, he says. They need Jesus, we don’t. We have God already. It wasn’t clear to me who he sees Jesus as being. At some point he mentions how some people think of God as an angry God. But, he says, if they could hear God’s voice, they would hear the voice of the person they love the most, the one who has been the most loving toward them, such as a mother or grandfather. I tell him I’d like to augment that concept. For the second time this week, I shared how I have heard God’s voice audibly and how it is so far beyond what any person could convey. I tell him of the power in it, of the unchallengeable authority in that voice. Unchallengeable! And of the tenderness and caring. I tell him how every cell in my being came to total rest, as if I’d never had any stress in my life when I heard that voice. While there had been an ongoing banter the whole afternoon, these few moments while I was telling this story, held a kind of holy hush. I was aware of a kind of stillness in the room. Angels at work on the rabbi’s behalf, perhaps.
To be honest, (would I be anything else?) I’ve shared this story many times, but there was something of an anointing happening here that let Danny and his wife and I know that God was in this big time. With an attitude of respect for him, which he deserved, I told him that to me, nothing is worth more than knowing Yeshua. I told him that Yeshua is worth anything it may cost, letting him know there had been a cost to me. Somehow I felt he needed to know that. I pray that the seeds of God’s truth will seep into his soul. He is a man to be respected. He loves God. I want him to know my Yeshua, who is also his Yeshua. Pray for him, will you? He also left with a copy of my book. Would you say a prayer for the rabbi too? Thank you.
It’s been an interesting week. I have heard it said recently that God is stepping up our effectiveness as salt and light to the people around us. No more being hidden away in a pew. It’s time to share the truth we believe with people. No one can tell you your testimony isn’t valid. If you tell God you’re open and willing to share, He’ll bring people across your path. Maybe you’ll even get to have lunch with someone really special. Don’t think you have to “get ready” except to love the Lord. He’ll speak through you. It may sound like I had all the answers, but all I did was share what was already real to me. God will put in your mouth what you are to say. “Do not worry about how or what you are to say; for it will be given you in that hour what you are to say. For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you” (Matthew 10:19, 20). I have certainly found that to be true. Trust Him. I just heard today of a pastor who was getting ready to preach a sermon and he said to a friend, “I can’t wait to hear what I’m going to say.” Sometimes I feel the same way. That’s part of the fun of it – hearing what God wants to say to that person. He lets us in on it as we share.
Reprint of this article is permitted as long as you use the following; Use by permission by Messianic Vision, www.sidroth.org, 2009.
Scripture quotations are from the New American Standard Bible Copyright ©1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved. Used by permission.