I am attempting to peck this out on my phone.
After I got out of the Coast Guard, I have had a few experiences where my Lord has used my near drowning experiences (despite my strong swimming ability) in showing me just how he works in me, and others whom he has chosen to bring into my life.
These were deeply personal events, and are what were used, instrumentally, in guiding me in the evangelism of who was to become my wife.
These spiritual experiences always happen at a deeply spiritul level, as the Lord knows who I am personally, and just how to communicate (commune) with me most effectively, like he does with all genuine beleivers!
These events should never be framed in a one size fits all promotional event, which can be staged for Jesus, like done so often by churches, in books or the internet!
Yet this is exactly what happens, like a predigested meal to feed infant’s, or even to peddle as church sermons; this market is disgusting, mostly used by Satan to confuse and deceive actual brethren, away from Christ themselves, yet is rarely considered.
This is why Paul coined the term “enemies of the cross” , as they will not come themselves for their own personal crusifiction, but would rather “leach” from others in using systematic theologies, while attempting to justifie themselves before God!
This is why you can’t “teach people into Jesus”. Either the Lord will directly speak to his own, or he will not.
In the past when I have shared my experiences with professed believers, they have never failed to either dismiss the event, or use it as their own, provided it contains enough sensationalism.
This is so they can bolster themselves up in the eyes of others as spiritual men, while at the same time denying Christ in another (namely me) in building up their status in the world.
I am a very open person, and it has taken years for me to learn to not cast my Spiritual Pearl’s before swine!
THE HARDEST LESSON TO LEARN, was that most who claim to be with Christ, have never seen him nor known him! And because I do walk with him, it causes me much marginalization, persecution, and rejection. Especially concerning the religious about Jesus Christ!
When I had my near death experience while in Army water survival training, some 20 years after my experience in the surf, the Pastor “borrowed” my shoulder to shoulder with Christ experience, when my heart stopped: to use in his church flier that week, to *flock more people into church.
The very sad part to me (dispite being in the leadership at the time) is that I was never encouraged to share narrowly escaping my own death, nor my many experiences with the Lord, which I thought most edifying!
Never, ever, it seems am I going to be recognized in the world as the spiritual man which I have become, despite many a harrowing experience which the Lord allowed in my life.
And, that is the cost of true discipleship, rejection by the world, and many times even other (imature) believers, who wish to be seen as something – rather than a nothing and a no one.
By, Roland Dell