I guess this would be part of my testimony, and yes it is part of God’s dealings with me as I have plodded my way along the homeward path to find John Bunyan’s Celestial City.
This is about one particular part of my walk, where I had already gained an element of understanding and light, regarding the Christ within us all, and the Christ within me in particular, and was in a struggle to level up in my mind, how it could be possible for Christ to be living His life in me, through me, when all I could see was me, and my short comings. It just did not add up logically on a human thinking level, in spite of the fact that He commands us to judge not by appearances, take no thought, and to be still, knowing that the Father knows all our needs. So, I guess I was calling God a liar and myself the truth sayer by calling the appearances reality.
One of the big things with me, from when I was first saved was my smoking, and that was one of the very first things I set out to put right and conquer, so that I could become more godly, holy, Christ like so that God would be pleased with me and see how much I loved Him for doing this thing for Him. I twisted, bent my mind into all kinds of shapes to try and work the miracle, I came out with all kinds of affirmations, faith statements, prayers, even going forward to the alter calls to get myself improved.
Zilch, NONE of it worked, it was all hopeless, and I was left helpless. Why did God not help me? Was I such a dreadful sinful person, the lowest of the low, that I couldn’t even give up smoking for a man who had been willing to have nails whacked into his hands and feet, and a crown of thorns thrust into his scalp, so that the blood poured down His precious face. Not to even mention the beatings He had taken before this cruel crucifixion was carried out. I could only ‘cry out’ with Paul, “Oh wretched man that I am, who will deliver me from this cursed body of death” Thank God, St Paul was there for me, and was able to stop me from going completely mad, or worse.
It was time for me to grow up. It was time for me to cease from my self-centeredness, and stop being concerned about, me, me, me and the way to start that was to ‘die’ to self. I knew Paul said ‘he died daily’ and God was about to teach me how I also had to do the same. I had to pick up His baton again and STOP calling Him a liar, and start by faith taking Him at His word. I had to ‘die’ to all the appearances of ‘the wretched man’, that I saw myself as and start seeing with what Jesus called ‘The Single Eye’, the eye that would fill my body with light, as opposed to the eyes that judge things by appearances and draw their own delusions.
I had to call all those things that I hated about myself God. I had to, by faith, say that in spite of my reasoning to the contrary and my seeing of the appearances, that it actually was Christ Himself living through me ‘ALL the time HERE & NOW on a moment by moment basis. This felt and sounded like blasphemy to my ears and to my mind, and I was just waiting for God to put me under the first truck or bus, that came by, for having such audacity to say such a thing. Then, low and behold a wonderful thing happened. Instead of the severe blow of reprimand from God that I was expecting the opposite happened, and there He was with His arms wrapped round me giving me a huge hug and kiss and saying “I Love You, Good and Faithful Servant” My eyes opened on Planet Earth for the first time to SEE that the Kingdom of Heaven WAS all around me, that God was everywhere and in and through everything. There was nowhere He was not. It was such Joy to know that I was home. That I’d reached the Celestial City, and there He was At the Gate, standing AS ME, with the keys to the Kingdom in My/His hands.
He then, as He had often done, in the past, when revealing things to me on my walk, showed me a little mental picture, for clarification, of the reality of what had been going on with me and a kind of sweet reassurance to show me I was not going mad, but completely on track.
In this mental picture I saw a Pumpkin. It wasn’t a particular pretty Pumpkin. It was rough, and a bit dirty, but worst of all it had been cut about and carved up. Someone had cut two holes for eyes, another hole for a nose and a further larger hole for a mouth, creating a face on the pumpkin. It must have been Halloween time. But the worse thing of all was that the Pumpkin had been completely hollowed out. It was empty. There was nothing in it. It had no substance. It was dead.
Sitting next to it on the table was another Pumpkin. This Pumpkin was complete. This Pumpkin had not been marred or scarred, and it looked at the Pumpkin sitting next to it, and with words of derision said “Look at the state of you. You’re a mess. You are all cut up with holes and are empty. I am so glad that I am whole and have not ended up like you”.
Just then the door opened and someone came in with a lantern, and placed the lantern inside the hollow Pumpkin, and the Light flooded out through every hole and crack. The Light flooded out to such an extant that it even basked the other Pumpkin with its Light and Warmth.
“You see”, said God to me. “All those things you hated about yourself are the very things I need to manifest Myself to MY World, through YOU. So now you no longer have to change anything about yourself. You ARE the Light of the World, go out and LET your Light shine, for I have shown YOU the mystery.