Have you ever experienced something in your life that you never shared with anyone else because you didn’t think they would believe you? A dear brother shared with me a vision he had not long ago that could only come from the Lord, and it has reshaped some of his thinking on missions and how to reach some who have never heard.
There was another man who had an experience that is hard to believe, but it put a permanent mark on his life and ministry for the rest of life. I’m referring to the Apostle Paul. Here is His account of what happened.
“I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. And I know that this man was caught up into paradise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter. On behalf of this man I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses--” (2 Corinthians 12:2–5).
Many have dreams and experiences which I cannot doubt as to their validity, but I look to see what transformation they have made in the person or how it is going to impact the work of God for greater effectiveness. Another question I ask is; does the vision or experience just draw attention to the person or to God and His glory? Paul boasted about “a man in Christ” and not about himself.
This is a good test to put to any experience; making sure they accomplish what brings glory to God and not to man.
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