15 January 2016

Visions of Faith

"It is impossible to please God without risk." 
~Chris Bassett 
@pastorcjb
Several years ago, when I first began truly and earnestly seeking God for myself, the Lord gave me three visions that taught me about faith, a topic I had been studying and praying to understand.

In the first I stood alone, everything I knew well-lit behind me, visible in perfect detail and vibrant color. Before me was absolutely dark. Right at my toes and almost touching my nose right before me was a dense and tangible darkness, hanging curtain-like. If I had reached out before me, my hand and arm would've disappeared into it. I understood that moving forward into that was faith, and at that point assumed I would proceed one careful step at a time, feeling my way, carefully testing the ground before I put weight on the forward foot.

Days passed, and I thought about that vision many times, allowing it to sink into my soul as I continued to listen to my Lord. The second vision came in a quiet moment as I stood in my bedroom one afternoon and began the same, me standing in that place, the well-known and well-lit behind me, the thick darkness before. This time I knew that I stood at the edge of a cliff, the depth and width of the abyss before me completely unknown and utterly unmeasurable. At that moment in the vision, I made a decision: I gathered myself, sprinted two steps with everything I had and with arms open wide threw myself into the black.

And I finally understood.

That is faith.

A few days afterward I had an experience in prayer that answered the choice I had made in the second vision. As I began praying that evening I felt surrounded by evil spirits--distinctly individual intelligences consumed by ill intent who came to threaten and frighten me. Praying for protection, I immediately felt wings--powerful, brilliant and shining--rising from my shoulders as I knelt at my bedside. They stretched and flexed, a perfect set of gloriously white eagle's wings that sheltered and protected me. Then, much to my surprise, God gave me a tail in the spirit just as strong and beautiful as my wings: a long lion's tail that with one swing banished every one of those spirits behind and around me. The tail and wings protected and covered me as I prayed, and I felt such power in the spirit, such blessing.

The first vision showed me where I was at that moment: on the cusp of something new and totally unknown. In the second vision, I made a choice and acted on it. And then Jesus showed me how He responds to those who trust Him so much they refuse to edge timidly into the dark.

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I welcome questions and concerns--they are most often what spur us closer to the truth. I only ask that we all give everyone the most generous benefit of the doubt, assigning the best motives possible. A soft answer truly does turn away wrath, and an atmosphere of Jesus's love is the best for learning, no matter which side of a discussion you're on.

Thanks so much, and God bless you!