For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you
1 Corinthians 11:23a, NKJV
I am always in awe when seeing God love on His people, and I especially love seeing God minister to children. Looking back in ministry, I have seen children be ministered to by God and used by God in powerful ways. This week was one of those special and unforgettable times as God ministered to the children in our services. Recently we have had several children make decisions to follow Christ, and we are seeing children coming to services with no previous church or limited church background.
This week in our midweek service the children were encountering the presence of God. Service was still going, and the children after being dismissed from their classes were being brought into the sanctuary with parents who were worshipping and enjoying the presence of God. Many of these children had never experienced this tangible presence. I watched in awe, as even young children were overcome by the presence of God and laying on the floor, others were in an almost trance-like state, unable to speak or respond. One child in particular was greatly affected and saw an angel and then saw and spoke with Jesus about the wounds in his arms.
This all sounds like the Bible coming alive to me. Throughout Scripture, and especially in the New Testament we see the believers having supernatural encounters with God that changed them and changed cities and entire regions for the glory of God. The Scripture is full of everything from paralyzed people running, angelic visitations and ministry, visions, spiritual gifts, and much more. These are all ways in which God displays His glory in real life to us. He is not, nor has He ever been “the big guy in the sky” that never interacts with His children. He continually delights in speaking to and revealing Himself to those who have ears to listen and eyes to see.
In this passage from 1 Corinthians, Paul speaks of an encounter he had with the Lord. Paul was not a disciple of Jesus while Jesus was on earth. Paul we know was previously Saul. Saul had quite the conversion experience when God supernaturally appeared in a bright light, blinding Saul, changed his name to Paul, and sent him on a discipleship journey. God gives a word of knowledge to a man named Ananias—even giving him the exact location where Saul would be. Here in 1 Corinthians, we see that Paul had another encounter with Jesus where Paul received a vision or spoken instruction describing the last supper. Remember, Paul (aka Saul) was not present at the last supper.
This is one of many examples throughout the New Testament of God revealing Himself in ways that are above natural means. The entire book of Revelation is written from a vision that John had while exile. John was so overcome by the presence of God and what he was experiencing, he “fell as dead” many times during the vision.
I am so grateful that Christianity is not historical words, written in a book from thousands of years ago, passed down through the ages that we say “Wow, look what God did. I guess some day in heaven I’ll see what that was all about.” The Bible is full of truth that you and I can experience today. It’s alive and active. The spoken Word of God has become the incarnate Word of God that lives today. You and I can experience every blessing available in God!
So today, I’m again encouraged, as Jesus said, to become like a little child, open my spirit wide and receive every last drop of love He has, and be willing to share this life changing Jesus with others!