Every Knee SHALL BOW
Here I stand, suspended on nothing, naked before the Bema, before the God who is Holy, Holy, Holy. The God of Love, yes; but also the God of Justice. God, who required that my life meet not a standard of excellence but of perfection.
A life not one of us can even come close to living out before Him. Meeting His standard is required for entrance into His Perfect Heaven. Not our standard.
Just a millisecond ago I was in my body. Now my body has gone the way of all flesh, back to the dust it was made of. I am what is left. The essence of who I always was and will now continue to be; a soul and spirit.
The words and phrases of Scripture that have filled my mind on earth now swirl around me. “Absent from the body, present with the Lord”. A moment ago I lived in the physical world. My eyes watched as darkness overtook the world I knew.
Then Blazing light enveloped my being as I was drawn upward by a power not my own. My spiritual eyes now accustomed to this light found myself standing before the ONE who called me into existence from eternity past. The ONE who gave me life as He did you. Life yes, but with a purpose to fulfill. His purpose, not mine or yours.
The word Awe, or for that matter any other word devised by mankind cannot come close to describe the ONE I now stand before. I stand before Him bathed in the light of His love. I feel love surround and envelope me for He is Love. He created me. I have never been loved like this, I do not want to go back to my body or to my life on earth.
No words have been exchanged at this point. Only a gaze between us that seemed timeless. Then, His eyes changed as He looked at me. They became eyes of fire. This light that pierced me, surrounded me, enveloped me became uncomfortable.
I found myself falling to my knees before Him and then further down until I lay prostrate before Him. Face down, with my arms outstretched, suspended in space…forming the Cross. A new feeling of emotion swept over me. I felt alone as I felt the penetrating gaze of His eyes of fire.
The Book of Life was opened before me, His book, His Autobiography. Scriptures poured forth from it swirling around me. As my life unfolded before me, verses came forth and applied themselves to every scene of my life. The verses I had memorized came forth to join the ones that poured forth from His Word.
Then they attached themselves to scenes from my life. They condemned me, for my life did not uphold His commands. We are called to live for HIM, to Love HIM, to Honor HIM. The only way we prove that we are HIS is by obedience to His Word by applying it to our lives.
He had given me life. I was to live that life for HIM as His image bearer, for each of us are made in the image of God. Now it was Scripture, the very words of God that were judging my every act, my every thought…the motives of my heart. My life was now being reviewed. Ernie Pahlek, my words, scenes of life, thoughts of my heart and mind towards loved ones, my circumstances, my choices, my actions and more continued to play out before me…then everything stopped.
Up until now no words had come out of my mouth. I only watched this shared vision of my life before God. Then I heard His voice speak. His words lifted me upright before HIM. It was now my turn to speak on my behalf.
Have you ever taken the time to think about what will come out of your mouth when you stand alone before the God who is HOLY, HOLY, HOLY? This was not the Babe of Christmas, nor was it Emanuel (God With Us)…but the Risen Lord, wrapped in Light, with fire in His eyes. I had claimed Him in life as my Savior and Lord.
The words now formed in my mind. Every accomplishment, every deed I did in my life began with the letter I. Did I truly do it all for HIM? Or, was it for me and the praise, honor and glory others lavished on me. Was I really humble? I claimed to know Jesus as Lord with my mouth. I tried to prove it with my actions and deeds. But God judges only the Heart and its Motives.
Nothing I have ever done entitles me to enter His Heaven. Comparing myself to others or to people in the Bible will not justify me. Isaiah said we are all un- righteous before a HOLY GOD! Only 3 words come forth from my mouth. Lord, Forgive Me.
The thief on the Cross and I have much in common. I tried to live my entire life for Christ. He lived only the last few minutes of His life for Christ. Neither of us are worthy, each of us is equally guilty of Sin before God. It is only His Grace to each of us that allows mercy to flow to us so we can be forgiven and then enter His Perfect Heaven.
It is all a gift from God. Through Faith alone by Grace alone do we hear Him whisper our name and then Turn, Repent, and Accept HIM as Lord. Strength comes back into my body as I rise up to a knelling position. I feel His hands around me lifting me up before Him.
He says, “My sheep hear my voice. I knew you before the foundations of the world were made. The Good work I began in you; I have now completed. You are one of mine and I love you with an everlasting love. Come; let me show you your new home.”
Oh…My God…My Lord…thank you. He takes me to the place He prepared for me. There is a door before me. I turn back and look to Him. I am overwhelmed with emotion and I burst in tears and great sobs. These were tears of great sorrow, and of pain.
I looked behind HIM…faces were everywhere before my eyes. My children, my grand children, my parents, my relatives, my neighbors, my dear friends….all whom I loved in my life. All there before my eyes in one moment of time.
I reached into the air behind Him trying to touch them. Sobbing and choking back the tears I cried with a loud voice to HIM. But what about them? What will happen to them?
He spoke softly to me. This ONE who spoke the Universe into existence. “Ernie, I stood at the door of your heart for 38 years waiting to be invited in. Then I whispered your name and you heard my voice and you opened the door to your heart and let me in.
The decision to open the door to your heart was yours not mine. The same decision is theirs as well. I will continue to knock on the door of each one of their hearts for as long as they live in time. I will wait patiently as I did for you, to be wanted by them. They too as you have, in a yet future moment; will stand before me. They will have to answer my question…”Who do you say that I am?” They two will be held accountable to my Standard of Perfection.
Then the same hands that formed me in my mothers womb, gently wiped the tears away from my eyes. He opened the door before me and said, “Welcome to my home, to your future…for you, the past is gone forever.” “As for them…they have the Law and the Prophets (Luke 16 verse 30 -31).
The Messiah Jesus walked out of the pages of the Prophets and into our world. The world HE MADE. And for a while the Heavens loss became mankind’s gain, and God proved that his mercies are new every day.
At the end of my days, when HIS Throne fills my view, I will sing of HIS Mercies anew, and I will STAND in HIS Presence Forever and ever.
“May the Lord God Almighty, the Ancient of Days, the Lord God of Israel shower you with His Grace and Mercy and Peace…. as you raise your voice with the Apostle Peter’s response to the question Jesus asked him on the Mount of Transfiguration…..
“Who do you say that I AM?” You, are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God”.
Will you be able to stand before HIM when He comes the 2nd time?
HE IS RISEN, HE IS RISEN INDEED ! ! !