S T A R G A Z E R

Luke 6:12 “And it came to pass in those days, that he (Jesus) went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.”

The ponderings which have fostered this post are complex. They involve distant memories of a time when I knew not the Lord Jesus and was driven by forces that I didn’t understand. The reason for telling this is twofold. First, it’s a memorial of the Lords preservation during my season of chaos, of his introducing people into my life in the proper season, and his bringing me to godly repentance. second, it’s a call to reach out to the spiritually empty inquirers in our midst; lest they commit to a path that seals their destruction. This is going to touch on aspects of my personal testimony that I’ve never shared with anyone and will probably foster a playing of “The Twilight Zone” theme song in ones head. (I may lose fb friends over this)

It began with a somewhat unusual (Christian) song that I heard a few days ago.  It told a story about a girl whose relentless curiosity and desire for understanding made it impossible to function within the perimeters of that which is considered normal. This restless soul spent her nights beneath the stars, considering the unfathomable vastness of creation. As she beheld the handiwork of an incredible Creator whom she did not yet know, she was certain that he is very loving and wise. It’s likely that most people who come across this song, give it a quick “that was nice” and then move on to the next attraction. For me, however, it stirred up memories from the days of my youth. Everyone who is not born of the Spirit has an inner void that only God can fill. For some, however, this emptiness is profound. They somehow see past the shallowness that most of their contemporaries are content to settle for. Their environment, with all of its dramas and sideshows, seems pointless and they long for connection with something that’s real. 

MAYBE THERE’S A LOVING GOD (Sara Groves) This link goes to the song video. For some reason, It failed to post it in the normal manner.

For the most part, my upbringing was average. We lived in an average house on an average midwestern farm in an average community. There were no traumatic circumstances or mistreatment at the hands of others that would cause one to develop behavioral abnormailites. Many aspects of my life were average as well. I played little league baseball, was involved with 4H, and up until high school, performed at an average academic level. I strove to be a normal midwestern 1970s (and early 1980s) kid. Some of my interests seemed excessive for someone my age. I was very interested in geo-politics and current events. I was also fascinated by astronomy and space exploration as, from an unsaved natural standpoint, it seemed to be a doorway to a fascinating future. I was also fascinated by works of science fiction. None of these things would cause alarm, however, this was only part of my story.

From the earliest memories, I’ve had a very active imagination which seemed to reside beyond the boundaries of the physical realm. Despite my efforts to blend in, the world was actually kind of boring and many of the normal interests of my contemporaries failed to move me. I longed for more; something substantial, something to invade the monotony of it all. I became fascinated by anything paranormal or unexplainable. Bigfoot, UFOs the Bermuda triangle, hauntings, anything that offered a more dynamic world view. Amazingly, despite these inquiries, I never questioned the existance of God. Not only did I believe that he was, I believed the bible to be his word. I even read from the bible upon occasion. (Praise God for this roadblock on my downward spiral. had I embraced an agnostic view of the Creator, my situation would have been far more complicated) Yet despite this belief, I never seriously considered matters exclusively from from that angle. On those occasions that biblical questions did arise, I  would go to the only person in my life that I considered to be a christian. And she wasn’t a christian; she was a mormon. YES; it was a RECIPE FOR DISASTER!

I Timothy 3:16 “And without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”

In high school, I became withdrawn in many respects. after my freshman year, I pulled out of all remaining extra-curricular activities. I spent a lot of time alone; pondering what it all means. My sarchastic form of humor enabled me to maintain friends and function on the surface. But inside, I was profoundly empty. This is when I began going out late at night and just looking up at the sky. The stars were almost trance-inducing. I didn’t empty my mind like many teach as being a way to enlightenment. (Another roadblock! Praise God!) Instead, I just…..wondered. What does it all mean? This universe is so incredibly huge and we are stuck on a single planet thats overrun by evil. How many worlds are out there? Who inhabits those worlds? What are they doing at this very moment while I observe the photons emmitted by their star 50 years ago?” It was a never-ending train of ponderings and longings. Asking what is out there and wishing that I could this place to join them. I would go out at night and watch the sky; hoping; even asking, to see something from another world.  At that point, I would have raced toward anything that manifested, while frantically calling out “TAKE ME WITH YOU! YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE TRAPPED HERE!”

Jeremiah 9:2 “Oh that I had in the wilderness a lodging place of wayfaring men; that I might leave my people, and go from them! for they be all adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men.”

Something needs to be pointed out here. I’ve heard of people who can “summon” ufos and they will appear. This tells the true nature of these things. They are not benevolent beings from a star system 50 light years away. They are demonic entities who will play a starring role in the end times deception. In his incredible mercy, God never allowed my callings out to be answered. This was extremely dangerous because, for all practical purposes, this amounted to “summoning.” I think it was Steve Quayle who once stated “when you call into the darkness, the darkness will answer.” Joseph Smith got into trouble when he was out in the woods praying. He received an answer in the form of an entity called Moroni. The first thing this being told his non-discerning inquirer was “all of the churches are wrong; I want to give you the restored gospel to share.” (or words to that efffect)

Deuteronomy 4:19 “And lest thou lift up thine eyes to heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven.”

In addition to the ufo aspect, I was simply fascinated by the creation itself. As my senior year progressed, my life took on additional anomalies. I would roam late at night; across the fields and down dark country roads. Mine was a restless spirit; driven by questions and riddles to which the answers seemed way out of reach. My dad occasionally expressed concern, (son; you live in an imaginary fog) however, not to the point of seeking professional help. There was no “charted graph of despondancy” or pharmaceutically enhanced “path of self-recovery.” This was another roadblock from God for which I am grateful. But the biggest protective roadblock had to be the shielding me from deep involvement with the occult. As I was being noticeably “lured” by entities, something seemed to literally hold me back. I also played Dungeons and Dragons with friends (I had a few) and, despite the almost hypnotic attraction to the game and the accompanying entity,  (there was a very enticing entity involved) I was unable to become “very heavily” involved. (One of my friends from that group  began dabbling in witchcraft and another one is now dead. The latter reached a point where he would go into these “trances” and, one day in 1989, he never came back.)

Just a side note……PRAISE GOD THAT THERE WAS NO INTERNET BACK IN THOSE DAYS! The way that I was wired at the time, having so much information at my disposal (especially information on the occult) would have been the final nail in my spiritual coffin. One can say “well there are a lot of christian sites” but in those days, I wouldn’t have sought them out.

Acts 10:38 “How God annointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.”

This story could have ended in a number of ways. I could have been commited to the care of psychologists, placed on a neverending program of medications, given over to ungodly therapists, and been lost forever. I could have plunged headlong into witchcraft; a venture that I believe was curtailed by a prevailing fear of God. The fear of God was like being inside a big protective bubble in those days. It restricted how far I was willing to venture. I could have ended up passing through increasingly destablizing stages of demonic possession. I could have become depressed to the point of cutting short my days under the sun. But none of this happened. In June of 1983, the girl next door, went to live with relatives down near Elkhart. These folks were Christians; real Christians who loved Jesus. As I became a regular visitor (Teresa and I had been friends for years.) something began to happen. The Holy Spirit began revealing to me my sinful state. I found myself  “wanting what this family had.” In September of 1983, that I believed on Jesus and was born of the Spirit. 

I don’t know if this can speak to anyone or even if it’s good to enter this into a public forum. These things are long since under the blood of Jesus. I don’t know if the above song is a real testimony or just cleverly assembled lyrics which cause one to consider that “Maybe there’s a loving God.” Either way, the story involves a behavioral anomalie which, until hearing this, I was certain that “nobody else in the entire history of the world had ever engaged in.” (lol) Today, I still love to spend time under the stars; especially after work, (I’m on second shift which makes this very easy) however, I no longer entertain vain imaginations. Now it’s time of incredible prayer and fellowship with the Lord Jesus. The distractions of the day are on hold and it’s just me and the Lord. This actually began right after I was saved. I continued to go outside, however, that was where the similarities with the past ended. Now it was a hurrying to be with my Savior, who had pulled me out of darkness and into his marvellous light.

Jeremiah 33:3 “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”

Blessings always in Jesus name.

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