And will manifest myself to him.
So, what is your story? Everybody has one, especially Christians. Our real story is His story because it starts with our first encounter with Christ. I often say that my life didn’t really start until I was born again, it was out of that first encounter with God’s love that I came alive and began to have purpose and meaning in my life. It’s funny the differences in our stories but also the stunning similarities that followers of Jesus have. Often it starts with a realization of our shortcomings, yes the sinfulness that characterizes our lives. Next, He reveals His love and forgiveness which brings us into the most shocking of all experiences. Forgiveness brings us into the presence of the Lord, this is often characterized by extreme and unexplainable joy. You could say you are alive for the first time, and now joy is filling every part of you. Here are some thoughts from Charles Spurgeon on this unfolding story.
“In the biographies of eminent saints, you will find many instances recorded in which Jesus has been pleased, in a very special manner to speak to their souls, and to unfold the wonders of his person; yea, so have their souls been steeped in happiness that they have thought themselves to be in heaven, whereas they were not there, though they were well nigh on the threshold of it-for when Jesus manifests himself to his people, it is heaven on earth; it is paradise in embryo; it is bliss begun. Especial manifestations of Christ exercise a holy influence on the believer’s heart. One effect will be happiness; for in God’s presence there are pleasures for evermore. Holiness will be sure to follow. A man who has no holiness has never had this manifestation. Some men profess a great deal; but we must not believe any one unless we see that his deeds answer to what he says.”
The holiness thing totally catches you by surprise. I never would have connected joy to a new holy lifestyle, joy was the last thing I would have connected with living right. I thought holiness smelled of somberness, I never would have associated it to ecstatic joy and celebration. So what is your story? Have you entered through His portal of forgiveness into bliss and holiness? That’s when you will truly begin to live.