Marlowe's Shade

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Entry 1-18

The seasonal analogies are already getting old, but today prayertime was not so much the battle it's been lately as a tough slog through a winter storm. I did just about everything "right". I even got up half an hour early. Here's where I think the catch is sometimes. I know I've made a connection when I "feel" something. If Watchman Nee is correct [and he is certainly scripturally sound] what occurs in my spirit will usually overflow into my soul. When I "feel" nothing, two explainations are possible. What is going on in my soul can quench the spirit. Or what is going on in the spirit is not perceivable to the soul. Both point to a problem with the soul, something amiss in the will, thoughts and/or emotions.

As I was trying to meditate on what I had read the night before, one passage from Nee's book had somehow been redacted from my memory, which at one point was almost photographic. I could even see exactly where the sentence was on the page in my mind, and even parse out some of the structure, but the words didn't come back. I figured that this editting of my memory had to be significant. I got the book afterwords and this was the forgotten sentence:

Neither God nor the devil can do a work in us without our consent, because the will is free.

I believe that's almost verbatim. Although I thought I understood the idea of free will, I've, through observation of myself and others, grown accustom to the automatonic behavior of mankind. This is not our true nature but is due to our living entirely in the flesh. Interesting that this was wiped from my memory. The whole purpose of this sturdy is to hear from God, and something in my will is resisting that. From the perspective of the flesh that is understandable. If your phone rang and the caller ID said it as from God, would you pick it up?

Which reminds me of a story:

On a Saturday night several weeks ago, this pastor was working late, and decided to call his wife before he left for home. It was about 10:00 PM, but his wife didn't answer the phone. The pastor let it ring many times. He thought it was odd that she didn't answer, but decided to wrap up a few things and try again in a few minutes.
When he tried again she answered right away. He asked her why she hadn't answered before, and she said that it hadn't rung at their house. They brushed it off as a fluke and went on their merry way.

The following Monday, the pastor received a call at the church office, which was the phone that he'd used that Saturday night. The man on the other end wanted to know why he'd called on Saturday night. The pastor was dumbfounded and couldn't figure out what the guy was talking about. Then the caller said, "It rang and rang, but I didn't answer."

The pastor remembered the apparently misdirected call and apologized for disturbing the gentleman, explaining that he'd intended to call his wife. The caller said, "That's OK, let me tell you my story."

"You see, I was planning to commit suicide on Saturday night, but before I did, I prayed, 'God if you're there, and you don't want me to do this, give me a sign now.' At that point my phone started to ring. I looked at the caller ID, and it said, 'Almighty God'. I was afraid to answer!"

The man who had intended to commit suicide is now meeting regularly for counseling with the pastor of Almighty God Tabernacle.

Snopes says it's an urban legend, but I've found some more detailed versions that came from a syndicated gospel radio show. I guess only God knows.
papijoe 6:54 AM