When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the LORD; And my prayer went up to You, Into Your holy temple. Those who regard worthless idols forsake their own Mercy. But I will sacrifice to You with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay what I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD. So the LORD spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land. (Jonah 2:7-10)
This generation has never been forced to seek God like many other generations, but that day has come upon us. We have been allowed to come to the end of our own Biblical philosophies, fleshly human ideals, and our confidence in our own ability to save ourselves.
The prophet Jonah followed his own ideas, because he thought he knew more than God. While he was on the ship, the storm arose and he was thrown overboard because of his disobedience and he was swallowed by a whale. This whale had been positioned there, by God Almighty, to save Jonah’s life and give him the opportunity to turn back to the Lord. In the whale’s belly he was forced to seek the Lord God Almighty and decided it was best to repent and obey God.
Kenneth E. Hagin (Dad Hagin), taught us that it always pays to obey God, it does not cost us. He said, “It may look like, at the moment, that it costs us. It may not be easy on the flesh and payday don’t always come every week, month or year but sooner or later payday will come and the blessings of God will abound!”
He often told the story of when Pastor Hagin was in the army. Pastor Hagin was riding a motorcycle with some others on a mountain road with gravel. He lost control of the motorcycle and was headed off the cliff, to sure death. Dad Hagin had prayed and the Lord said to Him, “If you had not been obedient to what I told you to do it would have been bad. Because you have obeyed me, I have protected his life.” Dad Hagin truly loved his son, Rev. Lynette Hagin and family and only wanted the best for them. I believe he is in heaven cheering us all on right now. He wants us to seek God as never before. We came into the Kingdom for this day!
Why I Turned To the Lord
I turned to the Lord on my third escape from prison because I was tired of being a criminal and suffering all the torment, heartache, depression and pain that went along with that lifestyle. In May of 1982, I broke down and began to weep, sob and cry tears of anguish in repentance to the Lord. I was forced to seek God because I had no where and no one else to turn to. No one on earth could help me out of the mess my life was in!
The Lord will allow you to come to the end of your own road in life. The reason He does is because He can’t stop you. He made you a free moral agent with the right to choose, and make your own decisions. He watches us with sorrow as we try to make our own way without Him, because He knows our way will end in defeat.
The Mercy And Grace Of God
When I asked the Lord to help me, He didn’t beat me over the head with guilt, shame or condemnation. It was like He had been right there all along, waiting for me to ask for His help. It was like He knew that I would make the right decision and was patiently waiting. Oh! What love and grace flooded into my spirit that day in May of 1982! The load of sin was lifted, demons left me and spiritual scales fell off my eyes and I could see.
Where Do You Stand?
What are your plans, decisions and choices? Will you continue to try without the Lord’s full input into your life, or will you turn to Him? Don’t wait until you are forced to seek the Lord. It is much easier just to get on your knees and tell Him that you would like His help in every area of your life! Spending time in His presence will be so very sweet, and you will find the solution to every question that you have in your life.
The Lord’s Plans For You
You may ask, “Brother Randy, do you know what the Lord wants us to do?” My answer is yes. Jesus spoke to me and said, “Tell my people to develop the character of God in their lives. That is the only thing that is going to sustain them in the coming times that you face.” You and I are going to be tested in our character, morals, values and belief in the Word of God as never before, in our walk with the Lord. Some Christians don’t believe that the Lord allows us to be tested. Read Matthew chapter four and Luke chapter four. Jesus himself was tested and tempted by the devil in every area of his beliefs, morals and values. The devil cannot win, if you stand on the Word of God, in faith!
How To Develop The Character Of God
The Lord Jesus Christ said to me, “The character of God is more important in your life, than any gift, sign, miracle or wonder. Quit praying for the power of God, the power is going to come. The Power of God can take you places that you can’t stay if you don’t have My character.” Of course, I knew that we were to pray for the gifts of the Spirit and ministry gifts to be in operation, but we must develop the character of God in the process.
In the 1940’s and 1950’s there was an outpouring of the miracle power of God. Many of the ministers in that era died prematurely because they opened up their lives to the devil because of immoral character issues. Satan slipped in and took their lives and hindered the spreading of the Gospel. Jesus said to me, “I have been waiting on My ministers and Christians to get their character right. I can’t withhold the power any longer because the time is short. Prepare your life for My Glory!” I have been working on developing the character of God in my life for many years. Right motives, desires, actions and a strict obedience to the Word of God is always my goal.
Steps The Lord Gave Me
I am not trying to put off on you the steps the Lord gave to me, and make you do them. However, what He told me would work for anyone else also.
Read and mediate on Colossians chapter 3, Ephesians chapters 4 and 5, Galatians chapter 5 and 1Corinthians chapter 13. I was instructed to meditate deeply on them and read portions out loud to myself. This is not all a person is to do, but it is a good solid foundation to build on. I was instructed to arise early each morning and pray, before I could be overwhelmed by what I would face that day. I am a morning person, so I like getting up early. You may be a night person and that will work too.
When you read in Galatians chapter 5, you will read, walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. What does it mean to walk in the Spirit? Walking in the Spirit means you practice doing spiritual things. Reading the Bible, praying and singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord Jesus. Of course there is more but that is the doorway into the more. The Holy Spirit will lead you into all truth.