I "got saved" when I was seven years old. That means that I recognized Jesus as God in the flesh and that he died and rose from the dead to deliver me from sin and the penalty of sin.
Did I know exactly what that meant? I think I had a big, big clue. In church I usually sat on the front row with my eyes on the preacher. Dad was a deacon.
I was pretty much a good kid and when I was acting out I rarely got caught.
However, later in the year that I accepted Christ as my Savior I was staying after school for a detention. I was in detention with my head on my desk when I put my head up and there was Jesus in the air. He was just kind of there and he was telling me to go home.
The first thing I would ask me if I were hearing this is what did He look like. I don't really remember. I think though He was of the blue eyed, straight brown hair variety since that is the image I had been fed. It still feels like He was there and not there and I could feel and know He was there more than I could see.
Well I got up and left lollygagging and meandering my way home with not a care in the world.
I grew up a latchkey kid which was the norm in the 60's when kids weren't seemingly getting abducted every 7 minutes. All I had to worry about was bullies, gangs and winos. Having said that to me it was a fairly safe neighborhood. I wore my key around my neck and I was lowering my fat face and "husky" body down to insert the key when out of the corner of my eye I saw pink. The pink turned in to a pink hood with tires and then a pink Cadillac. It was Mrs. Mercy, my second grade teacher! In a flash of enlightenment it hit me that I shouldn't have just left detention. When is the last time you know of that a teacher came to a student's house for screwing up? I jumped off of the back stoop and tore around to the back, to the opposite side of the house but it was too late. My chubby self couldn't get over the four foot fence in time, so I just pasted myself to the side of the house with arms outstretched at shoulder level againgst the side of the house.
I don't remember what happened in between the time Mrs. Mercer caught me and when my dad finally got home. I do remember that my school teacher mom got home first. I probably went through a few anguished choruses of the "wait 'till your father gets home" blues. Sometimes mom would tear me up first. Sometimes even a close neighbor would get me. Back then we got "whoopin's." Mom was "off the hook" and would flail in anger. "Didn't... (Smack)... I... (Smack!) tell...(smack!) you?!" Dad was calm and would talk to you. I think he wanted to save his breath so as not to get winded for maximum effect while "whoopin."
He would usually take me in the bathroom. It was so tiny. There was barely enough room for two people to stand in there let alone dance to the syncopated rhythm of belt smacks. Later on I learned that I could feel little pain on my legs. I would scream, "Daddy please don't hit me on my legs!" and of course that is right where he would aim.
As the clock ticked down to contact time with my Father, time seemed to stop, but then suddenly there he was coming into my room. Mom told him what happened again and then left . He asked me why I left.... "Now what do I say?" I thought. "I saw a vision!?" Before I could stop myself that is exactly what came out of my mouth. "I saw a vision and Jesus was telling me to go home so I did." My father looked at me. I don't remember what he said. I don't remember the look he gave me. All I can remember is that there was no punishment! I thought about that for a long time, especially when I got in trouble. I thought it could be my ace in the hole.... Break a window?... Jesus made me do it. Get another detention? "See what had happened was Jesus and this other guy...
I never did that and was never really tempted to. In fact beyond the time of the vision the thought to do that never crossed my mind. It is an incident that I will probably always remember. Since then I have had the voice of God talk to me in a literal voice on one occasion in the '80's. I said, "God if that was you say it again." I heard nothing.
Now a days I am learning to develop listening skills by which I hear the still small voice of the Holy Spirit within. I am learning to combine that with God "speaking" through circumstance. I have learned that in addition God can have a special word just for me by illuminating scriptures and incidents. I know that I need to take a good look and give a good listen and then pray and compare what I hear to the word of God. I have learned to look for a confirmation in my spirit that it is God. I have learned that even if an angel appears and gives me a word that it has to agree with the Bible and that if I don't have a witness (confirmation) in my soul, in my spirit then I shouldn't follow that voice or angel or preacher... abaout which way my life should go.
Jesus said, "My sheep hear My voice," and I can become one with Christ by loving Him. The cool metaphysical aspect of this is that this is literal and that to love Christ is to watch over his commandments to perform them, believe them and become one with them. What are His commandments you ask? To love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and to love your neighbor as yourself.
I have wondered about this in times past. I know so many self-destructive people whom I believe don't love themselves. I have been there and so I think, "how did I get from there to here?" God brought me the entire way. He has put in all of us a seed of faith with which to recognize the truth when we hear it... when we see it. No matter how noisy our society is. No matter how "off the hook" our lives are. No matter the turmoil we can all hear that still small voice that leaps from our bosom when we hear the Word of God calling us. In the beginning was the Word; and the Word was with God and the Word was God so listen up everybody. Listen up. Paul said Christ is the Author and Finisher of or faith. He will finish what he starts and he will refine what he starts.