Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise"1 (Lyrics)
Recently, I have been reminded once again of the wonderful healing power of Jesus.
Thirty-three years ago, at the age of 42, I was shunned and excommunicated from my cherished childhood church because I had divorced and married again. The congregation included my parents, siblings, and friends. I learned of this action when my mother called to tell me that she would never be able to talk to me again. The pastor told me that I was under Satan's spell and was walking in darkness. The small church leadership had decided that because of my remarriage, I was setting a bad example for the young girls in the church, and I was unclean. I mistakenly concluded that I had lost my salvation, and I felt like the essence of my being had been sucked out of me in a heartbeat.
Matthew 7:7-8 – Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. (KJV)
As time went by, I searched churches and pastors for answers that weren't forthcoming or that I couldn't receive. I was terrified at the thought of being disconnected from God. Distraught, I felt that the person I knew as me was slipping away. Then one day in tears, I simply turned to Jesus and said, "I don't know if You want me or not, but I will follow and serve You for the rest of my life, even if You send me to hell." I discovered biblical Christian radio and television pastors. I listened to a sermon each morning before I went to work. Like a sponge, I soaked in Scripture. I read my Bible, and I prayed. God's storehouse of blessing poured down on me as I learned from His Word and teaching that I was indeed saved, and that His forgiveness of sins applied to me — past, present, and future. At some point, God, through the Holy Spirit, enveloped me in Christ's healing power. Then, unexpectedly after seven years, the pastor lifted the shunning. He notified me that "marriage is good in the eyes of God", further explaining that my husband and I were welcome to return, which we did for a visit. Years after my release from the shunning, I realized that I had been gifted with those seven years of adversity to develop a biblical relationship with Jesus Christ and to learn that He alone is the essence of my spiritual being.
Psalm 30:2 – O Lord my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me. (KJV)
If ever you are in a place where doubts assail you, don't turn away from God. Run directly to His holy Word. Review salvation, forgiveness, repentance, and restoration. Know that according to Romans 8:38-39, nothing "shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (KJV)
Prayer: Dear Lord, we come to You with our surface needs, to find that You have something much deeper to teach us. Teach us — everyone — that You, Lord, are the essence of our spiritual being. Amen.