Someone once told me, “Derrick, don’t ever forget your past. Never let it haunt you, but always let it remind you.” Most all of us, have dark parts of our past that we would rather like to keep buried, mostly because they remind us of the times we were not the best versions of ourselves.
2…’Thus says the LORD: “I remember you, The kindness of your youth, The love of your betrothal, When you went after Me in the wilderness, In a land not sown. – Jer 2:2 NKJV
I was not the best teenager growing up, I had almost no respect for my parents. In all honesty I could have gone down a very dark road, I was certainly well on my way. I never touched drugs, alcohol was my choice of a ‘good time’. I spent some of my time stealing, mostly money. The truly amazing thing, I believed that I was a Christian. I believed that God was real, but my lifestyle, my actions, who I was, it did not reflect that reality. Looking back I can say I was truly deceived! The enemy of my soul did a great job getting me to believe that I was a Christian and going to Heaven. (I am not saying that because you steal or drink or commit any other sin that you are not a Christian. It is a HEART issue. My heart was far from God but my mind believed I was close enough)
It all changed! On January 24th, 2003 I experienced an encounter. Not just some minor occurrence. I had a Power Encounter with The Living God! I responded to an altar call, I knelt down in excruciating pain (by my senior year of high school almost all the cartilage in my knees was removed) so much so that I began to cry because of the pain. The pastor that was up on stage began to pray, I began to repeat back to God a very simple prayer. The moment I began praying something very powerful happened.
I began to feel this warm and tingly sensation start at the top of my head and slowly move through my body. It almost felt like a blanket being draped over me, but I could also feel it inside of me. When this feeling reached my knees, the pain vanished! I could not even feel the floor! It was as if I was kneeling on clouds. I began to weep because I now knew: GOD IS REAL!
Like most, my journey was full of ups, downs, lefts, rights, and of course many failings and fallings. But in 2007 I was led to take an internship through a prayer ministry called International House of Prayer in Kansas City. While I was there, the LORD only stoked the flames that were already burning on my inside. I fasted and prayed on a very regular basis. I felt SO ALIVE!
I do not know about you, but I have experienced plenty of dark days since the day I had that Power Encounter. Days of complete and utter failure. So much so, if it were not for God’s grace and the people He brought into my life, I can honestly say I would not be who I am, or where I am today.
It is so important to allow the Holy Spirit to remind us of our beginnings! To remind us of when we first fell in love with this All Consuming God! The Truth of the matter is, God never forgets the kindness of our youth and when we first came to Him!
The Truth is this, God might be saying to you, “You are not in love with Me now, but I remember a time when you were!”
Jesus, I ask that you would come and reveal to me the truth of where I am at with you today. You are so gentle and kind. You are Faithful and True. Come and remind me today, of the times that I have encountered you. Would you fan the flame in my heart, whether it is already a raging fire, or a smoldering wick, come and blow upon me. Holy Spirit, come and fill me up and help me to never forget the Goodness of God in the land of the living. Amen