When I got up to return home, I pulled out a cigarette and lit it. I took 1–2 puffs of the cigarette when I heard the Lord speak to me saying “put out that cigarette”. I did not immediately obey His voice, but rather I began to argue with Him. I remember thinking that it was silly to throw away a perfectly good cigarette. God patiently, and just as quietly, repeated the same thing “put your cigarette out”. Thankfully, I obeyed the second time. I say thankfully because as soon as I discarded the cigarette, the Holy Spirit began to vividly reveal to me a number of truths concerning the nature of “good” and “evil”. First, He showed me that in His eyes all people are either “good” or “evil”. Furthermore, He showed me that this delineation is black and white, i.e. there is no grey, you are either 100% “good” or 100% “evil”. He also revealed to me how those that are “good” cannot easily be around those that are “evil”. As soon as I saw this latter point, I realized I was on the wrong side, namely I was “evil”. This then explained why my “good” Christian wife had so much difficulty being yoked to a non-believer. Once I acknowledged in my heart, my acceptance of the fact that I was indeed a sinner, the vision I was having became even more intense. In particular, I was then shown that the battle between “good” and “evil” was one that is currently on-going and is being fought both on the earthly plane, and in the spiritual realm.
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this work, against spiritual wickedness in the heavenlies.” (Ephesians 6:12)
The focus of the vision then shifted. Upon looking out over the Santa Clara valley, I saw a multitude of light beams (like a series of small flash light beams). The Holy Spirit then told me that these lights represented those people that were “good” in the eyes of the Lord. I suppose the Lord was showing me what He wanted me to become, a light in a world of darkness. I note that it was only later, when I started reading the Bible with regularity, that I realized that this was very biblical. In particular, it is stated in scripture that those who believe on Him are “children of Light” (Ephesians 5:8). Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount also taught of the light,
“You are the light of the world…..let your light shine before men in such that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14,16)
and finally the apostle John writes
In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” (John 1:4,5)
With this final vision, my initial encounter with Jesus Christ ended. In total it lasted about 40 minutes. I then returned home where my wife immediately saw that something had happened in me. While trembling, I explained to her what had just transpired.
Since my rebirth, God has blessed me mightily. Ten days after my rebirth, on Palm Sunday (4/4/04), I was baptized. Seven days after this, I had my last cigarette (after having smoked for 20 years, praise God!). Within a month, the Lord provided a job for me at Samsung electronics. Four months later, three of my daughters accepted Christ into their lives, and after approximately 9 - 10 months, my teenage son came to the Lord and was baptized.
The Lord continues to do a great work in my life. I thank Him daily through both worship and prayer. I also look to Him on a daily basis to teach me, through revelation and through the reading of His Word, what I need to know in order to follow Him. While not always successful, I try to remain attentive to His “still small voice” (1Kings 19:12) for “to obey is better than to sacrifice” (1 Sam. 15:22).
Share your voice, heart and love in the comments.
Lynn has wonderfully mapped out the steps we all need to walk through to develop and grow this vital relationship with Him. This was the Lord’s intent for her transformation journey all along, and His intent for you too. Here she has spelled out the spiritual truths behind the principles and talked us through how she applied them. These truths are universally applicable to us all, though as the details of our lives, situations and hearts will be different, we will apply them differently. - Reader Review from Barnes & Noble.