Heavenly Vision Gives Emphatically Clear Directions For Living
Paul had a heavenly vision on the road to Damascus in which God gave him clear and emphatic directions: “I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision.” (My Utmost For His Highest Oswald Chambers January 24th)
12 “While so engaged, as I was traveling to Damascus with the authority and commission and full power of the chief priests, 13 at midday, O King [King Agrippa], I saw on the way a light from heaven surpassing the brightness of the sun, shining all around me and those who were traveling with me. 14 And when we all had fallen to the ground, I heard a voice in the Hebrew dialect (Jewish Aramaic) saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick [repeatedly] against the goads [offering pointless resistance].’ 15 And I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. 16 Get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you [to serve] as a minister and as a witness [to testify, with authority,] not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you, 17 [choosing you for Myself and] rescuing you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you, 18 to open their [spiritual] eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness and release from their sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified (set apart, made holy) by faith in Me.’
19 “So, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, 20 but I openly proclaimed first to those at Damascus, then at Jerusalem and throughout the region of Judea, and even to the Gentiles, that they should repent [change their inner self—their old way of thinking] and turn to God, doing deeds and living lives which are consistent with repentance. (Acts 26:12-20)
When we become born again (if at all spiritual), we will receive visions too. We must truly become Christians believing and trusting in God not simply believing we are Christians. We must go from the faith of a mustard seed to the faith of Jesus Christ. When you truly believe in the words of God and not simply think you believe you are a Christian, your life will change. God will manifest Himself to you in some spiritual way via visions, a small voice of God directing your way, etc. When you truly possess the faith to obey God’s voice, you will encounter setbacks like Paul too–we do not fight against flesh and blood but against spiritual forces in dark places.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this [present] darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) places. (Ephesians 6:12 Amplified)
We are in a spiritual battle for the minds and hearts of God’s children. When you truly encounter God, a change takes place in your mind, heart and soul. You want to obey God’s direction for your life. You will hate sin and everything that displeases God. You will learn to trust in God and not in your own ways.
The great thing is to learn not to be disobedient to the vision God gives you like Paul said.
Heavenly Presence Fell Upon Me
I remember just before getting baptized tears of remorse for past sins against God kept flowing from my eyes. I didn’t want to be embarrassed with red eyes so I kept wanting the tears to stop and drying them up off my cheeks and eyes. The Holy Spirit kept convicting me, and I felt remorse for sins against God the Father. [When you do wrong to others, you do wrong to God. Just like when you help the least of these Jesus brethren, Jesus says you do it unto Him. You are helping Christ when you help His brethren in need.] The tears finally stopped about five to ten minutes before my baptism. I remember Pastor Howard Flynn now deceased said to me as he called me into the baptismal water: “Are you okay?” I shook my head yes. I will never forget that day the Holy Spirit overcame me and made me sorry for sins.
I truly felt sorry for some sins that were beyond my physical comprehension. It was a spiritual experience that was beyond the normal physical realm like Paul experienced on the road to Damascus. God’s presence over shadowed me and helped me to see Him and what He wanted for my life: a relationship with Him. He came to me spiritually when I committed my life to Him via baptism: meaning dead to self will and self rule. I knew full well what I was committing myself to the day of my baptism at age thirty–thought about baptism for over a decade. I did not go in blindly and I knew once I made the commitment to serve God there would be no turning back.
I must develop a personal relationship with Yeshua and God who lives within me each and everyday to become effective for the kingdom of God. We must have that personal connection with God like Paul had on the road to Damascus. God will do for you like He did for Paul and other servants of God in the Bible. We must learn to obey God no matter what.
Oswald Chambers writes that it is not enough to know that Jesus redeemed the world. You must recognize and know that the Holy Spirit can make all that Yeshua (Jesus) did effective within you and me. God wants to reestablish a relationship with us. He wants us to become His ambassadors to a lost world to help them return to Him–recall God coming in a cloud to speak to the three apostles and Jesus.
Remember Yeshua on the mount of transfiguration with Peter, James and John. God came in a cloud with Elijah and Moses to speak to Yeshua and for the disciples to know that God will invade their physical space and speak to them. The spiritual realm of God will at times intersect with the physical realm and you will know that God is present with you. There are many such experiences in the Bible of God speaking to humanity. One of my favorites in this season of my life is about the prophet Elijah speaking with God found in 1 Kings 19:9-18 Amplified Bible.
Christians that truly believe in God will obey God’s voice and have an encounter with the living God because they have a relationship with the living God.
Let’s look at Matthew 17:1-9 below and we will end here:
17 Six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John the brother of James, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves. 2 And His appearance changed dramatically in their presence; and His face shone [with heavenly glory, clear and bright] like the sun, and His clothing became as white as light. 3 And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Jesus. 4 Then Peter began to speak and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good and delightful and auspicious that we are here; if You wish, I will put up three [sacred] tents here—one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 5 While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased and delighted! Listen to Him!” 6 When the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were terrified. 7 But Jesus came and touched them and said, “Get up, and do not be afraid.” 8 And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus Himself alone.
9 And as they were going down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Do not tell anyone what you have seen until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”