Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Power of God's Presence

In Hearing God, Dallas Willard writes:

My oldest brother, J. I. Willard, served for over 30 years as a minister under the blessing of God. But his entry into the ministry came through long and intense struggles with personal and financial issues.
One evening he faced a major decision that had to be made the next day, a decision that would commit him for years into the future. He prayed long into the night, falling asleep at around 1:30 a.m. But, he relates, at 2:00 a.m. "that room lit up with the glory of God. I saw a figure. I did not see a face, but I recognized it to be the person of Christ. I felt a hand on my shoulder, and I heard a voice that said, 'Feed my sheep.'"
As has been the case for many others who have been given such experiences, the presence of God almost overwhelmed his consciousness, and it also transformed various aspects of his personality. He was suddenly living in the study of the Bible, memorizing much of it without trying to do so, even though his days were spent in hard physical labor. He had been painfully addicted to tobacco all of his adult life; desire for it was removed without his asking. According to him, the "aroma" of that room full of the presence of God has stayed with him ever since.