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I have just returned home after a spirit-filled and inspiring church service. I sing in the choir. Today our anthem, which matched the pastor’s message, was “The King is Coming.” Singing that song was a powerful experience—so joy-filled! But our pastor’s sermon built up to it well by listing scripture after scripture that speaks plainly of the second coming of our Lord Jesus. Living in the world, I find it too easy sometimes to slip into a mode of thinking where the scriptures become more allegorical than prophetic. The service today brought it all back home for me and helped to anchor me again in the Good News that the writings are real. Jesus was–before there was anything, He came, He is risen, He is alive, and He will come again. This is real: He will come.

1 Corinthians 15:51-52

New Living Translation (NLT)

51 But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! 52 It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed.

I mentioned in my last post that I would tell you more about my recent experiences of the Holy Spirit. They have to do with peace. Not world peace or peace from earthly struggle, but God’s peace.  The maturing of a new Christian happens in stages that differ with individual experiences. For instance, my own struggle with pride and intellectual hubris was great. I suffered from a materialistic need to achieve success under my own power. Even as I was reading in God’s word that He has a plan for my life and that His way is a lighter burden than my way, I resisted understanding what I was reading. I still felt that achievement was only justified if it came about under my own power.

Jeremiah 29:11

New International Version (NIV)

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

A few weeks ago, I was agonizing over my choices for graduate school. All the material about graduate studies seems to imply that if the wrong choice is made, entire futures of opportunity are closed to the student. I cried out to the Lord in frustration saying, all I want to do, Lord, is what you will for me, go where you need me, do the work you need done. How am I supposed to choose the right school to make all that happen? If I choose wrongly, then I will ruin everything!

Immediately, a powerful sense of a golden-lit peace fell like a blanket over me. It penetrated layers of thought and emotion, of stubborn resistance, and reached somewhere deep inside my thoughts.  I had a powerful image of the Kingdom to come, where all work will be meaningful and satisfying, and where each of us will have a natural inclination fulfilled in work for which we have been designed. “This is the only work that matters, child,” I felt the Holy Spirit saying within me. “Continue to hear my guidance. That is all you must do. I will work out everything else.”

Matthew 11:28-30

New Living Translation (NLT)

28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

I have held onto that vision with all my heart since then to remind myself that I am incapable of wielding enough power to ensure God’s will. And the reverse is true: no amount of struggle on my part can undo God’s will (although I can stray from it, as long as I listen and obey Him, I cannot disturb the plan). My only job is to listen and to obey. He will take care of everything else. What peace that knowledge gives me! I am blessed that God should care enough about the anxious struggles of one tiny member of His creation to give her a glimpse of His true Kingdom.

2 Samuel 22:50

New Living Translation (NLT)

50 For this, O Lord, I will praise you among the nations;
    I will sing praises to your name.