Visit from a spiritual being is a special event

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 14, 2007

How does one explain the experience of having a visit from a spiritual being?

How do you know that you have been in the presence of a spiritual being such as an angel?

Most people will automatically think that you are mentally unbalanced. But you know what you have seen and how it has changed your life by the event.

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Why do we think that with the finished books of the Holy Bible that all the spiritual experiences that come from God has stopped? Just because the Bible is complete, it does not end the work of God through His angels or visions toward mankind.

All through the New Testament, we see place after place where God sent His angels down to guide men through difficult times in their lives.

Basically, we are afraid of the reactions of those around us who view the spiritual supernatural experience with great skepticism.

Even in the church world, many clergy and laymen do not believe that God still uses angels or vision to communicate to His believers.

The last great frontier is not the great oceans of this world, nor the great frontier of outer space, but the true deep understanding of who God is and how He works within His Kingdom. We must be willing to allow God to do what He feels that is needed in our personal lives and not question what methods that He has designed to use for our benefit.

I want to make very clear at this point, that we do not worship angels. We should all understand that angels and visions do happen and are at God’s disposal to serve at His command.

The Bible is filled with different places where God has used His angels to take messages, fight battles for His people and to be for administrators of the divine beneficence toward us in regard for our defense, direction in our ways and keeping us from evil.

The books of the Bible may be complete, but the experience of God’s hand upon our lives is not over until we enter into His kingdom. Spiritual forces and resources are available to all Christians but you must be able to believe by faith in all God’s abilities to rule His kingdom in His own ways.

Most people think they know more than God does, so they limit what God can do by their way of thinking.

When I see a shepherd’s staff even today, I still get chill bumps because my first experience came to me when I was six years old. This happened at the Burlington Methodist Church.

It was on the Christmas of 1955, mother made a promise to take us to my grandmother Bailey’s church for the annual morning children’s Christmas program. We would go to church with her and return to her home for the Sunday annual dinner with the whole family. The church was filled with people of all ages and the program was ready to start when my first experience happened to me.

I was just sitting there watching all the people moving around in the church when I noticed the exit door on the right of the platform begin to slowly open. I could see a man standing there in the shadow of the doorway.

He had a full beard and was wearing old clothing that I had never seen before. He slowly moved out of the shadows and stood in the middle of the doorway. What really impressed me was that he looked so genuine in his clothing. He was as a real as a shepherd could be.

He held his hand a shepherd’s staff and even leaned upon it. He never spoke a word but stood there looking at me with a very kind smile on his face.

To be honest, I felt special because he looked at me.

There was an amazing warm feeling that came over me while I watched him standing there. I was totally thrilled at what I could see of him. I took my eyes off him to look at my grandmother who was telling me to please sit still.

I must have been excited about what I had seen and was standing on my feet moving around so much. When I looked back to the doorway, he was gone.

During the whole program, I would ask grandmother, where was the man dressed up like a shepherd? It was all children and no adults in this play, was the answer that she spoke back to me.

By the last part of the Christmas program, my grandmother was wishing that she hadn’t brought me to church that day. I was not upset at what I had seen, but more at the fact of her threatening to spank me if I didn’t be quiet. She thought that I had made the whole story up just to get attention from her. But I did see a shepherd and I would later understand that it was really an angel from God that I had seen that day.

I feel a deep warm love even today when I think back about that Christmas day in 1955. This was for my benefit to prepare me for the calling into the ministry. God had already started sitting things in motion for my life in believing the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I never dreamed that I would ever be the pastor of the Burlington Methodist Church, but in December of 2001, God brought me back to the place where He first touched my life with an angelic visitor. And, yes, there are still things happening from God in my life.

Just stop limiting what God can do in your life. Jesus said, all we need is to believe without doubting the Word of God or His actions.

Dr. Scott Mann is pastor of Burlington United Methodist Church in Burlington.