TIMES OF REFRESHING
By Jorge Lacovara.
When we travel to a foreign country - where another language is spoken - the first impact will be a feeling of shock instead of a warm welcome. The loud speakers will be announcing advertising that we are unable to understand and when we abandon the airport, normally, we will follow the crowd blindly in the hope that we have a common destination.
We are talking about changing one country for another on this Earth, where the language and the customs are different. I ask myself how will it be on the day we pass from this world to the other, to the world of the heaven. A world with an anknown language. A world of brilliant light. A world that is unimaginable.
During our life, the Holy Spirit has a great mission: to prepare us for the coming encounter with the pure Supreme Being in that other world.
BLESSINGS ACCORDING TO THE LORD
"Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities." (Acts 3:26).
It is God's will to bless us. When we speak of the blessings of God we do it in a selfish manner, thinking of material things. Perhaps a newer car, a more beautiful house and an opulent bank account. God's concepts are quite different. In the quoted verse we can see the greatest blessing God can give each one of us. Let us examine it:
"... in turning away every one of youf from his iniquities." Should this be the blessing then we are taken from our wicked ways and saved from our sins; we are led to life and light. What a glorious blessing."
"Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord." (Facts 3:19).
In the eyes of God, the times of refreshing are not symbolic of good services, signals or power. The true meaning of these times is related to the cleansing of our sins from our hearts, and the removal of our wickedness to be then delivered unto freedom.
How do you think God would do this? God will capture your heart and mine, your will and mine. The Holy Spirit will try to do it in one way or another: through His love and mercy; His patience; His tenderness. Once our hearts were captured we are then free to decide to approach Him.
Did you ever stop to think we have the free choice of going to hell? Many of us decide to go there. Also, there are those who decide to go Heaven which means to go unto Him. ~ no one is obliged. ~ Did you ever try to reach Heaven compulsively? There were times when I tried. I promised to be a faithful believer; I meant to be one! Naturally, it did not last long: with luck it lasted one day; generally, only half that. I admit my attempt was a failure.
I found out that when God captured my heart I could reach any hights:
On one ocassion I asked God what did He do to many of my generation: they abandoned their careers, promising futures and took the decision to follow Him. Although the decision seemed madness, even though everyone was against the idea, one of them said: "I have to do it!" Today, I took a look at the present generation and I pose the following questions: What happened to them? One cannot detect this gift in them; what inspired us? The majority of us were religious but not believers. God's love motivated us. Because of His love motivated us. Because of His love we were ready to do anything.
We used to sleep only three hours nightly because the services lasted until almost dawn and then we had to go to work early in the morning. This did not happen ocassionally; it happened week after week. As the years and the times of God passed, and the Holy Spirit entered further into my heart, I was determined to follow Him though the future was uncertain. I know that even today many have lived through that experience; and I know I am no exception. I was willing to go through hunger and necessity; it made no difference to me to have furniture made of apple boxes. Was all this due to our consacration. Of course NOT! ~ You know what? ~ God's love came upon us and captured our hearts.
In these days the Holy Spirit is coming closer once again. As God is love He will not force you to come. You will find yourself accepting it not because the law obliges you but because of love. God will not wed a religious wife but a loving one.
FREE OF PURSUERS
God's work will protect us from our great enemies: death, sin, Satan, hell, world, flesh, and ego. He already took us from Satan's hell. At the moment of convertion, we were raised from darkness and taken to the reign of the Beloved one. But I think that although we left Satan's hell we are aware of the fact that there is something within, called EGO and FLESH that are still in conflict. Therefore, the times of refreshing come to free us from these pursuers and prepare us to enter the world of life and light.
Do you know the origin of selfishness and greed?
"BITERNESS" . They are caused by childish caprices
intended to gain an end. They are demanding our attention. They
become frustrated when they see others doing what they should be
doing. Automatically, ENVY rears its head and says: "Why
can't you have what they have? What have they got that you
haven't got? Just then, another little friend arrives: PRIDE and
it says "you don't have that but you deserve to have it!
"Therefore consciousness surges in the belief that this is a
true assertion. The other party is guilty. The conclusion will
lead to the raising of ire and fury. Do you know where this all
began? Please, review the beginning of this paragraph. The times
of God's refreshing are to free us from our own wickedness.
Then, when approaching the pearly gates, we will be face to face with the glory and the splendour of His holiness.
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