"The Cross & The Caterpillar: An Invitation to Receive Jesus"
The invitation to accept Jesus was made, and I wanted with everything to raise my hand and shout I want Him; I need Him. Like the woman of Samaria, I was thirsty and I wanted Jesus to quench my desiccated soul. I knew that Jesus would change my life and give me hope; He was what I had been searching for all along. He would forever eradicate the clouds of emptiness and loneliness that had hovered over my life for years.
My heart melted as the people softly sang Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, there is something about that name. But just before I could raise my hand to indicate that I wanted this Jesus, the devil in one final attempt to keep me his prisoner unleashed his ultimate weapons of torment. An unexpected panic set in, paralyzing me to my chair and I was suddenly engulfed by its strange power.
An Angelic Vision:
It was as if time stood still; for within seconds, I could see a horde of angelic beings unleashed, positioned, and ready for combat. I could feel the energy that flowed between the two forces. The ones who were named The Beautiful Ones were calm but ready for action while the other evil and hungry was waiting to plunge like famished lions.
The Beautiful Ones carried banners that were made of pure white material and the name Peace was written in luminously gold inscriptions. I beheld a glorious white horse, and they called the Great One that sat upon it the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). It was a brilliant sight to behold.
When I looked upon the evil ones, I was overtaken by fear that caused my vision of the Cross to fade. Instantaneously, the enemy crowded around and blocking my view of the path they made it difficult for me to find my way. The darkness that lingered along the way was extremely frightening and dreadful and the horses that stood nearby were fearsome; their unsightly countenance was enough to make one run and hide.
I saw myself trying to find my way through the obscurity of the night; the light that once was had mysteriously vanished leaving me within the shadows that now surrounded me. As the riders drew nearer and nearer, I clasped my hands over my ears; for the chilling sounds of their hoofs caused earsplitting thundering. I was petrified, scared and all alone.
I covered my eyes and I could sense they were near because of the stench of rottenness that lingered in the air. I could smell murder, hate, envy and many of the abominable things that the Scriptures spoke about. I had been guilty of some of these things and I began to tremble and weep.
But as I looked toward the hills, I remembered The Beautiful Ones I had seen, and I wondered what happened to the strong angelic warriors and the Great One whose name was Prince of Peace. I knew it was only His mercy that could save me now. But where was He? Why had they not protected me?
Eventually, the vision faded, and I found myself back in the little small church. Though I could not make sense of what was really taking place, I knew that if I did not take this opportunity, it would somehow be my last. But just as I thought it, the pastor proclaimed, “This may be your last opportunity; for tomorrow is not promised to you. This is your last call.” Then he counted to three. That was all I needed to hear and forgetting the raising of my hand, I flew down the isle before he could call the last number. Sometimes I think I was scared into the Kingdom of Heaven; for the evil mass of demons and the thought of spending eternity separated from God was unbearable.
But it wasn’t fear that drew me to the Cross, it was His love. The Scripture states that it is God’s love that draws and leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4). It was His whispers of love that drew me to the Cross and His precious Holy Spirit at work in my life; pulling and tugging at my heart. He let me know that He would never desert me like others had and that if I opened my heart to Him, He would change my life forever.
As I stood at the altar, I saw the beautiful Cross again, and behold, the One they called the Prince of Peace stood by. As I repeated the sinner’s prayer, The Beautiful Ones encircled me. Hell’s fury was no match against The Beautiful Ones. They were unable to withstand the brightness that emanated from their garments, causing the evil ones to retreat.
I found myself before this glorious Cross, and as I stood before it, I wept like a baby. The Great One that had sat upon His horse was now walking toward me. As He approached and knelt down beside me, He placed His loving arms around me; I could feel the power of His forgiveness. He could hear my thoughts and feel my pain as I told Him all that was on my heart and how much I needed Him. I needed Him to show me the road to eternal life because I knew that I could not do it on my own.
We were surrounded by a glorious cloud and all was silent. I told Him that I was afraid of the evil riders and with one wave of His hand they dissipated into thin air. All I could see was just He and me. His touch was warm and I could feel the power of His love flow right through His fingertips. He asked me if He could come into my heart and I answered yes. Suddenly, the silence was broken and a loud uproar rang in celebration (Luke 15:7). He then placed a ring on my finger. I felt as if I was in a marriage ceremony and I was the bride. He said, “Today you belong to me. I make a covenant with you and that is, to love you and care for you all the days of your life. This day, I crown you with the crown of life.” And with that a magnificent crown was placed on my head. Then someone handed him a beautiful robe and He placed it over my shoulders.
I was immediately dressed in an awesome and amazing armor. I looked like a princess warrior. Not even Xena (a movie character) was arrayed in what I had on. I took a look at my feet and I had on the most beautiful golden stilettos; they sort of look more like boots but they were the most beautiful and most comfortable shoes I had ever worn. Small pieces of metal were attached on the soles of the shoes to improve my grip during slippery conditions and sets of sharp blades were connected on the upper parts to provide aid for climbing.
A magnificent warrior belt swaddled around my waist; I was warned to never take it off. Within the belt were slots and pouches that automatically opened and closed like an eye. There was also a place for the attachment of my shield and sword.
I could feel the weight of my breastplate and on it were the twelve stones that represented the Twelve Tribes of Israel (Genesis 48:28, Revelation 2:12). I somehow knew I belonged to the Tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:10), but I did not ask how or why. He then instructed me to blow the trumpet in Zion and to sound the alarm (Joel 2:1).
He placed a staff in my hands and a book in the other, pointed His finger down a path, and told me to take the road. It was a dark and dismal looking path and I knew that the evil ones were lurking and waiting behind the scenes. I told Jesus that it was impossible for me to see my way because of the gloomy mist. He told me that whenever it got dark and whenever I couldn’t find my way, the Word which was contained in the Book He had given me would illuminate my path. I was warned to guard it with my life.
I was led to a road and by looking at it, I knew that it was not going to be a smooth journey, but with Jesus looking on and the Cloud of Witnesses on the sidelines, I knew that I would be okay. As I began my journey, I noticed that Jesus and the Cloud of Witnesses stayed behind. I quickly turned around and asked if they were not coming with me. He answered that He would always be with me (Matthew 28:20).
I opened my eyes and noticed that people from all over the church had approached the altar to hug and welcome me into their church family. I was so happy and I knew that I had begun a new chapter in my life.
PREVIEW into the sequel . . .