Thursday, March 12, 2009

Living in the Kingdom

This is where the rubber hits the road.  Now that we'd made a decision it was up to us to live it out with the Holy Spirit's help.  We had been partiers--Saturday night meant we were usually gone dancing and partying.  The first Saturday night after we gave our life to the Lord the telephone rang and the people said "Let's go to one of the nightclubs in Salina".  So we went. When we got home we looked at each other and both said it was the most miserable night we had spent.  After that the phone would ring every week and I would lie saying that we had company or were sick or had something else we had to do.  I didn't have enough guts to tell them that we were Christians now and the Lord had taken away any desire to party that way.  I didn't want to offend them.  This went on for abut 6 months and then the Holy Spirit convicted me that I should tell the truth.  So I did and it freed me to live my new life openly.  

              "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;                      the old has gone, the new life has come!   II Cor. 5:17 NIV

We were Catholic and the words 'saved' and 'born again' were not in our vocabulary.  We attended a Bible study with our Protestnt friends and they showed us in scripture what the words meant and helped us understand what had happened in our lives.  We wanted to see what our church had to offer so we questioned our priest.  He told us "I don't know what you are talking about but there are some meetings going on out in Hays next weekend that you might be interested in".  This was Pentecost weekend and the meetings, conducted by a Father Rohr, were excellent.  In the evening they had a prayer meeting and we had never been to anything like it. It was awesome!  The power of the Holy Spirit was there and healed and delivered people. When we got home we started going to a prayer meeting in the Catholic rectory in Concordia. Everyone would be praying aloud as the spirit led them, then a silence would fall on the group and someone would give a prophecy or a word of knowledge or word of wisdom.  There was a little boy, 6 years old, who would often prophesy at length.  It was always beautiful and right on. Later, we and another couple started a prayer meeting and Bible study in our own church.

We started sharing with our family and friends but were not able to communicate what had happened  to us in a way that they could understand.  We were at my sister's house for dinner and she asked our daughter to say the blessing.  She didn't say the traditional blessing so then my sister told her children "now you say the real one".  She didn't understand where we were coming from but later she became a very strong Christian and prayed for people's healing and salvation and openly shared her new faith in Jesus whenever she could.

We were Godparents to one of my nieces.  I felt the Lord was telling me to write her and her husband and tell them what we had experienced in our life.  We were taught that it was the responsibility of the Godparents to help form their spiritual life.  It took 4 pages and their response was that they really didn't understand why we were sharing this with them. They are a very strong family today,  dedicated and living their lives for the Lord.  So our responsibility is to share what the Lord has done for us and then let the Holy Spirit do His work.

After a couple of years we realized there was a different emphasis between the Protestant Bible study and the Catholic prayer meetings we were attending.  The emphasis at the prayer meetings was on the power of the Holy Spirit Who lives within us and is our present day enabler. 

"But when He, the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth, He will not speak on his own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come."    John 16:13   NIV 

So we spent more time at the prayer meetings and at charismatic Masses.  We also went to Full Gospel Businessmen International meetings and Catholic charismatic conferences where we observed and experienced many miracles, healings and deliverances.  More about that later.

As we live in the Kingdom it is our reponsibility to share the 'good news" (Gospel) with the people around us and whoever we meet wherever the Lord takes us.  In John chapter 3 Jesus tells us that we must be born again to see, enter and hear the Kingdom of God.  In verse 13 He says "I have spoken to  you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?"    NIV  This tells me that we can all live in  the Kingdom of God right now.  You must be born again!! 


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