This past weekend I was exchanging emails with Catherine, one of the first-year students in our Doulos Training School (DTS), regarding my article called Striving to Enter the Kingdom of God, which I wrote several years ago. She was expressing her appreciation for the article, which was a new teaching for her, since she had never heard it taught in any of the churches in the UK where she lives. She initially said, "I have always believed and lived a relationship with our Lord, but not by striving before."
However, a couple days later, she remembered a supernatural experience she once had while striving to be closer to the Lord, when she was just a teen. It's such a remarkable experience, and such a great example of biblical striving, that I felt I should post it here, so that everyone could benefit from it. Here is the testimony in her words:
I was at a Butlins holiday camp in Minehead, UK, with my foster parents and they went to their son's wedding, they didn't want me with them so after breakfast she gave me a green, 1-pound (£1) British banknote for lunch, I felt more rejection.
There is a big hill nearby so I made my way to this hill and walked up to the top, determined to strive and seek and find God. I had nothing to eat or drink all day (after only a light breakfast), as I was determined to meet with God. I spent all day at the top of this hill and found God and His love and peace. I felt so loved and happy, and no more pain of rejection. But as I came down to the bottom of the hill, I realised that I was lost, and I couldn't remember the Chalet number at the holiday camp either.
I asked Jesus for His help, then I met a man called Paul (he had a beard, and he looked Jewish, like I had seen in books at school). He Said, "You are lost aren't you?"
I said, "Yes,"
He had a green jeep, so I accepted a lift from him. He told me about my foster parents and about my vision that I had received from the Lord a month earlier, which I thought I had only told my school friend Sandra about. I wondered, "How does Paul know so much about me?" He took me to the right chalet, and I turned to say thank you and wave goodbye, but Paul and his jeep had just disappeared.
My foster mother said, "Where have you been, it's 7:00 pm?"
I said, "I got lost, and your friend Paul found me and brought me home."
She said, "We don't have a friend called Paul, You must have been with a stranger, and what have I told you about not talking with strangers."
I went to bed and read in the Bible, the Scripture that says, "You will entertain angels and not know it." (paraphrase from Hebrews 13:2). So I knew God had sent His angel to save me.
So our Lord told me, "This is what I am teaching you to do every day to diligently seek Me and strive to come closer all the time and I will bless you."
So thank you so much for your amazing article, it has been such a revelation and a blessing to me, and I feel closer to the Lord already.
I only wish I could teach others, I will pray about other people joining the (DTS) studies as it is so important for the church.
Praying for you all.
Bless you all.
[END OF TESTIMONY]
When I told Catherine that I and my family all believe it was the apostle Paul, she replied, "Yes I agree with you, I do believe it was St Paul that was sent to me. He had so much love and compassion just as he does in his letters to the churches in the New Testament, and his love and passion for Jesus our Lord is awesome. When I read his letters in the New Testament, it's like I know him in Spirit and I remember my encounter with him."
She continued, "As our Lord has shown me, this is such an important teaching. I have had so much joy being closer to our Lord since I learned this teaching and remembering my encounter with St Paul. Striving to be closer to our Lord brings a stronger faith and blessings."
Why should any of you consider it incredible that God could do this? He is the Sovereign Lord and nothing is too difficult for Him. Just as Moses and Elijah appeared talking with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1–8, Mark 9:2–8, Luke 9:28–36), so the Lord can permit anyone He so wishes to have this sort of experience.
This is all part of the communion of the saints that is spoken of in Scripture and in the Apostles' Creed. We believe in the communion of the saints. According to the apostle John, "...if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin." (1Jn 1:7). Those who walk in the light in this way not only have fellowship with the Lord, but with the saints here on earth. And if God chooses to allow it, they also have fellowship with the saints in glory.
Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus. Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?
“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15). He preached that we must repent and believe.
Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International. He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.