Why He Came – His Solution Offered

Adam Has A New Experience – Guilt, Shame, And Fear

When Adam realized things had changed after his rebellion, and for the first time he felt guilt and shame, he hid himself from God. He was exhibiting what was now the human condition that we all experience, guilt and shame.

Finally, God comes looking for him and asks, “what have you done???”

Adam Refuses To Acknowledge His Guilt

Now Adam exhibits another aspect of the human condition, he tried to blame it on someone else. He told God that Eve brought him into rebellion. And when God questioned Eve, she told him that Satan had caused her to rebel. What a picture of humanity! Out of our own human nature, we’ll always find someone else to blame for whatever sin we get caught in. But that is not acceptable before God, every person ALONE is responsible for his choices, whether there were extenuating circumstances or not.

They Try To Cover Themselves

Now comes a very important part of this story that a lot of people miss. As soon as Adam and his wife realized a great change had taken place in them, and for the first time felt the human emotions “guilt” and “shame,” they each took leaves and tried to cover themselves.

“…and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.”
  Genesis 3:7

 But what God did next, is one of the most important points we must understand in order to understand salvation.

The Covering Foreshadowing An Atonement

The coverings of leaves was not acceptable to hide their shame. Instead, Genesis 3:21 reports that God took skins of an animal and clothed them with them. There’s a VERY important point here, don’t miss it. Whatever we use to cover our guilt with, is not acceptable. The remedy God provided was animal skins thus showing that the cost of redemption is going to be the shedding of BLOOD. Sin brought death into the world, and the remedy for sin has to be another death. As reported in the Book of Hebrews, “without shedding of blood there is no remission.”

Why is that so? Why does blood have to be shed to “cover” mankind?

God was showing mankind that there is NO OTHER WAY he can cover himself, or cleanse himself of the guilt of sin. Whatever mankind tries to cover himself with is useless. Redemption requires the death of another.

THE LAMB

A lamb? Really? What’s that all about?

God teaches us with pictures.

Throughout the Bible stories, the picture of redemption through the blood of a lamb was the only way of salvation. Here are a couple of dramatic stories portraying this:

Isaac and the Lamb

God called a man named Abraham to take his son Isaac up to a certain mountain and sacrifice his son. As they were walking up the mountain, Isaac sees the wood and realizes they’re going up to a sacrifice, but notices Abraham doesn’t have a lamb. So Isaac asks his father,

“Where is the lamb?”

“But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, ‘My father!’ And he said,
‘Here I am, my son.’ Then he said,  ‘Look, the fire and the wood, but where
is the lamb for a burnt offering?’”  
Genesis 22:7

Notice carefully the answer Abraham gives:

verse 8:
“My son, God will provide Himself the lamb…”

So Isaac walked up that hill, with the wood on his back (foreshadowing Jesus walking to Calvary with the cross on his back) and at the last minute, as Abraham goes to slay him, God tells him not to, but to sacrifice instead an animal that was nearby, showing that the death is going to be SUBSTITUTIONARY. God Himself is going to provide the lamb who will be slain, taking the judgment ON OUR BEHALF, and it will be a substitutionary sacrifice.

Another beautiful portrait of the same thing:

The Passover Lamb

Many years later, the Jewish people were in Egypt, slaves to Pharaoh who caused them much suffering. God sent Moses to bring his people out of that bondage. After Pharaoh many times refused to let them go, God told Moses that he would be sending judgment, an angel of death throughout all of Egypt, and every firstborn son of every family was going to die — EXCEPT the sons of the children of Israel if they followed carefully God’s directions. They had to do exactly what God told them. It required belief. It required obedience. He told them that each family was to take a lamb, slay it, and take a hyssop branch and dab the blood of their lamb on the doorposts of their homes. And when the judgment came, when the angel of death came through the streets of Egypt, every house that had the blood of the lamb on their doorposts, would be PASSED OVER and spared the judgment of death.

That’s what the Jews celebrate to this day when they celebrate PASSOVER. Notice that the blood had to be dabbed onto the top piece of the doorframe, and then on each of the upper sides of the door frame. Picture it. What does that look like? It takes the form of a cross.

The Lamb Of God

If you understand the story till now, then you should understand the statement of John the Baptist who was baptizing one day in the Jordan river. Looking up, he saw Jesus coming, and he said,

“Behold! The LAMB OF GOD, who takes away the sin of the world!”
 John 1:29

There are many, many more picture-stories God has placed in the Bible. Jesus said,

“Behold, I have come; in the volume of the book it is written of me.”
  Hebrews 10:7

Summarizing:

. Abraham was pictured as a father giving his son as a lamb sacrifice.

. Moses taught that only the blood of a lamb would spare God’s people from judgment.

Those were to be pictures of another Father, the God of creation, who gave us his Son, so that if we put the blood of THIS lamb on the doorposts of our hearts, we are redeemed, and will not come into judgment – BECAUSE Jesus BECAME that lamb who was nailed on a cross IN OUR PLACE, to endure the judgment due upon the sin of each of us. Therefore, if the judgment of our sins was taken by HIM, there is no more judgment coming to us whoever will receive and believe him, because as Jesus said from the cross,

“It is FINISHED.”  John 19:30

The Final Solution:

Hitler tried to destroy every Jewish person in the Holocaust. His plan was called “the final solution.”

No. JESUS is “the final solution!”

Bringing life, not death.

 

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My Testimony

Friends, this is long. It’s actually a chapter from a book I’m writing.

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For years I thought that if only I could return to my hometown I’d be happy. There was no way I could fit in with the people in this Boston suburb. To me it was as though they were from a different planet. Or that I was. Esther next door had invited me into her home. We went past the ivory statue, and past the living room which was covered with snow-white carpeting.

“Don’t you get nervous,” I asked, “when someone sits on your couch with a cup of coffee? One drop would ruin your rug.”

“Oh we don’t USE that room,” she said, “it’s just for show.”

For show???

Never in my wildest dreams could I imagine having a room “for show.” In one house, I had slept in the cellar so my children could each have their own room.

For show???

Incredible.

I hated the suburbs. To me, people there weren’t real. There was a movie called, “The Stepford Wives,” which so reminded me of the people in the suburbs in which I found myself. The Stepford wives weren’t human. They were robots perfectly designed to look like humans, but really robots who kept immaculate houses, cooked perfect meals, and kept their husbands perfectly happy at night. I was glad I had watched that movie because it gave me a way to explain my reaction to the residents of this everything-perfect metropolitan suburb.

I yearned for home with all my being. I was beyond miserable.

After seven years there, we moved back to my hometown. I was beyond excited and was sure I’d now be happy for the rest of my life. But several months later I realized this wasn’t the answer for me. I now had everything I wanted in life. A husband, children, our own home, and the privilege of living in the community where I was most comfortable. It was incredible to me that I wasn’t happy. And for the first time, I had nothing to blame it on. I had it all. Not a single thing could have been added to my life that could have improved it.

Alcohol had been my constant companion for several years. It quieted the misery inside. And I was turning back to it now in a fury. But its familiar solace wasn’t there so much anymore. Even alcohol was letting me down. I guess I was down as far as a person could get. Nothing in life was able to pry me out of the depths of depression.

One afternoon something happened that little did I know was going to change the course of the rest of my life. I remember it so well. I was standing near the door in the front of the house when all of a sudden I heard from deep within me, “how do you know you’re right?”

“Whaaaaat …?????” I looked around but no one was there.

“How do you know YOU are right?” the voice repeated.

“Right?”

“Picture a long line,” the voice said. It continued, “In that line is a person who represents each of the major religions in the world. There’s a Catholic, a Baptist, a Lutheran, a Jew, a Moslem, a Buddhist, and one from all other religions as well, representing all the religions in the world. They all have one thing in common: the people in this line have been taught the tenets of their religion since babyhood. They all live in communities populated with like-minded believers of their faith. Their parents, their relatives, and all their friends are of the same persuasion.”

“But there can be only one TRUTH,” he continued. “And because they so differ, even totally contradicting each other, there can only be ONE person who has the right religion. How do you know it’s you?”

The implications of this left me staggering. It was so true. I had been taught the tenets of my religion from babyhood. I attended a religious school throughout my education, graduating from a Catholic high school. All my relatives and most of my friends were of the same religion. But suddenly I saw something that had never occurred to me in all my 27 years upon this earth. I saw it. I realized that the only reason I believed what I believed was because I had been taught it from my earliest years and had been brought up with it surrounding me all my days, and it was the only thing I knew.

But is that a foundation one can build truth on? It can’t be, because others of other beliefs believe just as strongly as I do that THEY have the right religion. And they believe it for the same reason: they were taught it from their babyhood, and were brought up with their religion surrounding all that made up their lives. I would say they are so wrong. And they would say I’M so wrong. One of us is wrong. How do I know I’m the one with the truth?

The religious system we grow up with is such a huge part of what we are. Truly, being steeped in it from our earliest years, it overshadows all we think, all we do, all we are. For most, it will never occur to them that it may not be the TRUTH.

And for me, realizing this was as profoundly traumatic as anything I had ever experienced in life. For three days I staggered around the house trying to deal with this, walking back and forth struggling with all my heart to forget what I had heard. My entire foundation had been pulled out from under me, because I recognized it as not being justifiable. Having been taught all these things from babyhood no longer justified them to me as truth.

The tremendous ramifications of this ate away at me and I felt like I was dying. I had no more foundation. Life could no longer make sense. I could not filter the things of life through my religion because I no longer had a religion. I couldn’t go to my parents, because they of course would only justify their belief. I couldn’t go to a priest because of course he would do the same. I did, though, write a letter to a priest I had greatly respected, telling him of this horrible quandary I was in, asking for guidance, and that priest did not respond to either of the two letters I mailed to him. I checked to see if he was still in the parish I remembered him from, and yes he was there. He obviously could not answer my questions.

On the third day of this trauma, I went into the livingroom, looked upward and said, “God, I do not have any reason to believe that you exist. I realize that the foundation upon which I did believe it -is no foundation at all. Having been told by mortal man that you exist, and it being in contradiction to what other parents tell their children, it just doesn’t have validity to me anymore. I can hardly believe I’m saying these words, but I have to because they’re true. All I ask is that IF you DO exist, please show me WHO you are and which is the right religion. I don’t care which is the right one. If you exist, just show me the right one, and I’ll join it. Show me who you are, IF you exist, and I’ll follow you no matter who you are. If you’re “Allah” I’ll become a Moslem. If you’re “Yahweh” I’ll become a Jew. If you’re “Jehovah,” I’ll become a Jehovah’s Witness. Just show me WHO you are. PLEASE.”

Weeks went by. I was in such an indescribable state — my mind in a maelstrom. I began reading the works of a psychic by the name of “Edgar Casey.” What he said not only sounded plausible, but he had some kind of power, and that validated him to me. I sent away and had my astrological chart done by a professional. And much later, I made an appointment with a psychic in another city.

One day there was a knock on my door. When I found two Mormons on my doorstep, I concluded that this must be the answer from God because of the request I had made that fateful day in my livingroom. (If in fact there IS a “God,” I thought.) So I let them in, and I let them take over my mind. They taught me the precepts of Mormonism, and I was nearing the point where I’d be received in baptism. But something happened. They were bringing me through some teachings using a cassette player and an easel. Each time the cassette would beep, they’d flip the easel to the next chart. Suddenly they flipped the chart and there before me was a picture of Satan. Before I had time to process this information, I blurted out, “why do you have a picture of Satan?!!” Immediately I wished I could take back the words, but they had come forth all on their own and I was left speechless.

“That’s not Satan,” they said, greatly offended, “that’s Joseph Smith the founder of our church!”

But I had “seen” Satan. Little did I know that even at that primitive state in my walk, the Lord was with me. But – here we go again: they were taught it from their babyhood, and were brought up with their religion surrounding all that made up their lives. I would say they are so wrong. And they would say I’M so wrong. One of us is wrong. How do I know I’m the one with the truth?

Well, there was a hitch in the story. The Mormon church could not receive me unless my husband gave permission. And he wouldn’t. To this day I don’t understand why he wouldn’t. He wasn’t a spiritual or religious man in any sense of the word, nor did he put any obstacles in anything I wanted to do. He had no knowledge of this church. In short, he had no reason whatsoever to not allow me to join this church. But he wouldn’t. And that pretty well ended that story. And I was back to drinking alcohol and just trying to block out life.

Thanksgiving was just ahead and my sister came one day to my door. She had joined some kind of prayer group, and when she told me some of the people prayed “in tongues,” I pretty much tuned her out. But she had something to tell me. She said that there was a man in my town who was counselling people like me, and would I be willing to see him. She wouldn’t tell me anything about him, and I really didn’t much care. So. He’s counseling “people like me,” huh? Well, I sure couldn’t deny that I needed help. What have I got to lose? “Sure, set it up,” I said. And she proceeded right there on the spot to call him. She explained to him briefly how “down” I was, and how hopeless, and how I was going to my death from alcoholism. Would he see me? Well, he told her, right now he was pretty over-extended with a full load of hurting people. But he told her he couldn’t just say no. He said, “give me a few days to discuss it with my wife and call me back.”

“Ok,” I said, “call him back in a few days. Whatever.”

Thanksgiving came and we all went to my parents’ house for Thanksgiving dinner. Little did I have any idea of the story that was about to unfold.

We finished dinner, and as we were clearing away the dishes, my sister said, “I’m going to call that man right now.”

“Of COURSE not,” I said, SO annoyed. “It’s a holiday! They’re doing the very same thing we’re doing. They’re involved with family. Don’t bother them today, we can call tomorrow.”

“Ok,” my sister said, and we continued to bring all the pots and pans and dishes to the kitchen.

A short while afterward, my sister said, “no, I HAVE to call him, NOW!” And with that, she went to the phone and placed that call. And I stood there bewildered that she was going to bother this man on a holiday.

Little did I know what he said to her on the phone that day. I was told only that we were to meet him at his office the next morning.

So the next morning my sister and I showed up early. We sat in the darkness of the hallway at the top of the stairs. I had jeans on, and I looked like I had crawled out of a cesspool. Sitting in darkness was such an apt picture of the reality of my life. But I was a little anxious to see what this man would say to me.

After a bit, the door downstairs opened and in came a man and a woman, each carrying a large book. “For once she got it right,” I said to myself, “that really looks like an astrology book, just by the sheer size of it.”

We made introductions and went into his office. And he and his wife proceeded to ask me the source of my misery. I began to TRY to explain, but I didn’t know how to put profound depression into words. If you haven’t lived it, there’s no way on earth that you can possibly describe it. They asked about my upbringing, my home life, the schools I attended, my parents, brother and sister, about everything that could in any way shed light on the cause of the deep depression I had lived with for so many years, and concerning which I found escape only in alcohol — alcohol which in the not distant future would have taken my life because at this point there was no bum on skid row who was more an alcoholic than I. It was the only thing that deadened the pain. And I didn’t care if I died.

After about a half hour of questions the man stood up, his demeanor changed and looking me deep in the eye, asked me “do you know the Lord Jesus Christ?”

“Oh nooooooooo, I thought.” I thought he was going to show me something that really works and it’s not that at all. My heart sank down to my toes.

“I graduated from an all-girls’ religious high school and you ask me if I know Jesus Christ?” I said angrily.

“I’m not asking if you know ABOUT Him,” he replied, “I’m asking if you KNOW HIM.”

“Well I guess so,” I said disgustedly. “I’m sure I know as much of him as you do.”

“If the President of the United States were walking down Main Street here, and you saw him coming, would you greet him as a longtime friend and ask about his family?”

“Of course not.”

“Why not?”

“Because I don’t know him personally, and he doesn’t know me.”

“And if it were Jesus Christ walking down Main Street, you wouldn’t approach him for the very same reason. You don’t KNOW Him.”

“Well I know all about him, born in Bethlehem and all.”

“But you don’t KNOW him.”

“Well I know they crucified him.”

“But you don’t KNOW Him.”

“No, I guess not,” I said greatly agitated. “It never occurred to me that one could know him in such a personal way. Is that what you’re saying?”

“Yes. I want to tell you that it is not by accident that you sit here today. The Lord Jesus Christ has arranged this.” Then he proceeded to tell me what my sister hadn’t yet told me. When she had called him on Thanksgiving Day, THAT was the sign he asked for. He and his wife were counselling a full load of people and didn’t feel they could take on any more. They had prayed together about my sister’s request and had agreed that IF my sister called them back at the least likely time, ON Thanksgiving DAY, they would know that they were directed to take me on.”

I sat there stunned. How I had argued with her not to place that call. All she had to do was wait one more day, I had said, I didn’t want her to bother anyone on my behalf on a holiday when they were busy with their own festivities and family. But if she had not called back ON that day, we would not be sitting here.

I sat there speechless. I could not open my mouth. I had never encountered anything so “real” as this in all my life. God did this? And then I remembered that day in the livingroom when I begged him to tell me WHO he is. And I remembered that day when the Mormons were trying hard to get me, and I “SAW” Satan in the face of their founder. I began to shake inside as I realized this is God answering me, he had set this up to answer my question.

The man stood directly in front of me and looked deeply into my eyes again. “Yes, you certainly CAN know Jesus as personally as anyone in your family. And He WANTS you to.”

I felt the tears coming now. Because I was being touched by love. Something was happening inside me which I could never have described. The voice of this man was speaking, but inside I was hearing the voice of God as he spoke through this man. It was THAT voice, the voice I had heard in my livingroom when he asked, “How do you know you are right?” The same voice. I was being touched in the depths of my soul by the most High God whom I had begged to let me know who He was; I was being touched by the most High God who protected me from the cults when I was SO vulnerable. I was being reminded that the voice that spoke to me that day asking “how do you know YOU are right?” was the same voice I was hearing now. The voice of the man standing in front of me changed. It was no longer that man’s voice I was hearing. It was that same voice I heard that day asking me, “how do you know YOU are right?” This was the voice of God, and I knew that as surely as I knew my own name. I had never experienced anything like this before.

I broke. I fell into a deluge of tears as I realized God himself had set this up. It was not that I had gone to Him, but that he had approached ME that day asking, “how do you know YOU are right?” He was listening attentively three days later when I came to the utter end of myself, foundation destroyed, and had cried out “then who ARE you???” And He had set this meeting up, because it was His plan to reveal himself to the likes of me. I sobbed hysterically as this all washed over my soul in realization that the Lord God Almighty had chosen to reveal himself to me.

My sister began to speak. “Remember that day last week when I came to your house and asked you if you would be willing to meet this man? Well I didn’t tell you the whole story. This experience began at a prayer meeting I attended. That evening I came to the prayer meeting in such a state of despair, and I broke down in front of everyone. They asked me what was wrong and I told them I had been praying for my sister for two years and the more I prayed the worse she got and I just can’t bear up under this burden watching her go down. A man in the prayer group stood up and said, ‘Your sister’s TIME has come!’ Then someone gave me this man’s name. I had never heard of him but I followed through and sure enough – your TIME had come.”

I didn’t know where the flood of tears was coming from. I hadn’t poured myself out like this ever before, in all of my life. I couldn’t answer her. I couldn’t say any more to him or to his wife. I did notice though, his wife was crying too. And so was my sister.

The man stood in front of me in all seriousness of manner but tinged with a gentle love, and said to me, “are you willing to give your life over to the Lord Jesus?”

“Oh yes, I sobbed, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.”

Then his voice changed again. It was that familiar voice again. It was as though the entire room disappeared and I could only hear that familiar voice from that day in my livingroom. “You have been the lord of your life all these years,” the man said. “Are you satisfied with what you have done with your life?”

“No, of course not,” I sobbed.

“The Lord Jesus Christ wants to purchase you. You are a house of many, many rooms. Each room represents a part of your life. There’s your emotional life. Your family life. Your marital life. Your financial life. Your educational life. Your social life. Many, many, many rooms. And the Lord Jesus wants to purchase this house. But you have to be willing to give over to him the keys to each room in the house. He will take possession, and will come in. He will redo the house top to bottom. He’ll knock out walls and redecorate. And He’ll want the keys to the most hidden rooms too, the places within yourself where no other has ever been, the places you have most deeply kept shut off. Are you willing to give over the keys to every part of you, to every part of your life? “

I understood on a level deeper than I had ever gone to before in all of my life – I knew what he was saying. I could never put into words how truly I KNEW and understood because this was a supernatural thing happening. It wasn’t just a man offering me some psycho-babble in order to help me out of depression. This was NOT the voice of any man. This truly, truly, truly was a supernatural thing happening in the depths of me, and the depths of me were answering in my place. “YES! YES! I KNOW YOU! Finally I KNOW you. Yes, you can have ALL of me,” I cried.”

The voice continued, “You must understand that this is an eternal exchange. You’re making an eternal commitment.”

“Yes, I understand.”

“There’s one more thing.”

“What?”

The price of the house.

“There’s a price? He’s going to BUY me?”

“Yes. You will be led into a covenant of commitment. You surrender your house, your life, every part of you. He brings the price and offers it to the Father. The price is…..”

“What?”

“The price is HIS BLOOD! The sacrifice of his life. Which He did for You. On the Cross. That’s the price.”

And all I could think was, “I’m not WORTH that. How could he give his life for ME?”

I don’t know how I spoke the words in the prayer of covenant he led me through. I don’t know how I had breath left in me at all, so deeply had I been sobbing all this time. It was as though all my soul had been poured out of me. I was lifeless. I was spent.

I followed the words of the commitment, the acceptance of the covenant. And I became HIS.

It has been years since that day, and tears pour down my face even as I write this. It’s as though it were yesterday.

He DID come in. And He DID tear down walls, and destroy treasures, and I felt him pounding nails as he redid the insides of my “house.” It did hurt. It continues to hurt. But the hurt can not compare to the glory he brought inside. I have known love that cannot be known any other way. I have known faithfulness, and comfort and encouragement.

Jesus Christ took that wretch, and truly I was a wretch if there ever was one, and he made me new. Now, many years later I live “in” him and him “in” me 24-hours a day. I’ve been in his physical presence, not only on that day, but from time to time through the years. He has NEVER left me, he has NEVER forsaken me. He has provided ALL my needs, and then some. I could write books, a book for every story that has taken place from that day. For there are many.

I will tell just one of them, because it happened shortly after that. It was the day before Christmas eve. I was sitting in my kitchen, with a glass of vodka in my hand. Having a drink before me didn’t seem to me as a “sin,” because it had been a part of my every waking hour for years now. Oh, from time to time I had tried to stop drinking because I could see how it was leading me to death. It had come to the point where I’d lose days at a time, with no memory of where I had been or what I had done. But each time I had tried to break off from it, I couldn’t get past withdrawal. Withdrawal was just way more painful than I could endure. So I had failed. Several times.

So there I was in the kitchen, the day before Christmas eve, and I got up for some reason, out of the chair, when all of a sudden Jesus himself was standing there next to me. I didn’t see his physical body. Unless you’ve ever “seen” anything or anyone “in the spirit,” there’s no way I can describe to you what that’s like except to say maybe you could call it a hallucination. That’s one thing that had never happened to me, no matter how much I drank, I had never had anything like a hallucination. So, with no other words to describe this, I’ll just say he was there, standing there to the right and slightly behind me. And he said to me, “if you will pour that drink down the drain, I will set you free.”

Oh the patience God has to have with us stubborn and rebellious people! Oh the extents of his love! My first thought was that tomorrow night we were having a Christmas eve party and we always all got drunk and sang songs and told jokes, and “had a ball.” This pattern of thought happened in a flash, “why couldn’t you have come the day AFTER tomorrow?” But I had recognized the seriousness of his voice. Though he hadn’t said it, I “knew” by the tone of his voice that He was offering me deliverance from this demon, and I dare not trifle with the offer. He came deliberately BEFORE the party. I had to make the decision. Shaking, I went over to the sink, poured the drink down the drain, and as that liquid flushed down the drain every desire for alcohol instantly and completely left me. I stood there stunned. He was gone. And so was the demon. I was completely and totally stunned. I slowly turned to my left where the bottle of vodka was still on the counter, and I gagged. I looked away, just unable to believe what was happening, and then turned to look again, and I gagged at the sight of the bottle.

What was this “gagging?” To this day I don’t have any explanation for it. All I know is that’s what happened, and continued to happen for about six months or so, I would gag at the sight of any alcohol. After six months or so, I lost all awareness of alcohol, and when I was around it, I just had no interest and didn’t really notice it anymore, something that is true even now so many years later.

But back to that day — I jumped into the car and drove to my mother’s house, burst through the door and said to her, “you are NOT going to believe what just happened!!!!”

She just looked at me stunned, having no idea what I was going to say.

I told her what had just happened, how the Lord Jesus himself had come into the kitchen and stood at my side, to the right of me, and how he had set me free from bondage to alcoholism, “I’m totally and completely free!” I exulted.

My mother said, “we’ll see.” She had known me that way for so many years, this seemed too much to believe.

The proof was in the pudding. We had the Christmas eve party and I had NO WITHDRAWAL!!! After all those years — NO withdrawal! We sang, we told jokes, and everyone else was drinking, and I think I enjoyed that Christmas eve party more than any I had ever been to in all my life. I felt light as a feather, and I was free. SO free! I had had a miracle.

There is power in the Gospel. Scripture says, “For the message of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the POWER of God.”

I have been blessed with the power of God operating in me and in my life ever since. No, not as though there would never be pain again in my life. Oh, the pain to come — I’m glad I didn’t know what was coming. But the Scripture also says that ALL things work together for the good for those who love God, and who are the CALLED according to his purposes. And most assuredly can I attest to the reality of that word. Every single thing that has been painful in my life over the years has been turned to my good. Truly, and experientially.

Walking with the Lord is not a theology. It is not a theory. It is not head-knowledge. It is an experience, an adventure, a challenge, and the greatest joy possible to man. If I had a hundred lives, I’d give each one to the Lord Jesus Christ who I can say I KNOW as I know my family members. If I saw him walking down Main Street, I’d drop whatever I had in my arms and run into his embrace.

There are many chapters yet to write in this story. But there will be none more glorious than this one. I know what it is to be “born again,” because on a Thanksgiving weekend, I was born again by the power of Almighty God. And I live my life walking with him daily, and in the great and joyful anticipation of the day when I will be taken with him to his “Father’s house” which has “many mansions.” He has gone to prepare a place for ME there. And he WILL come and receive me to himself, that where HE is, I will be there with him — forever.