Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Adventure Continues...

This is an excerpt from my new book, the Working title is
"The Adventure Continues:
More Adventures in the Spirit"
 The Plateau of Sacrifice
by Richard L. Spangler
   Once again I am caught up in the Spirit, finding myself where I was before, standing on top of one of the Mountains of Refreshing, one of several. There is a light breeze of refreshing blowing around me and yet through my body, soul and spirit. The view is as amazing as before. There are beautiful valleys below me and the glorious mountains reaching upwards to high places of Heaven.
   Suddenly, the Wind of the Spirit sweeps me up and I am soaring above the highest of the mountains and beauty below me is breathe taking. As I begin to worship our Father, the Glory of God surrounds me, becoming so thick I can see nothing but the light of His Glory.
 I feel myself dissenting through the Glory, the ground racing up to meet me. I land softly and starts walking, as the glory lifts. I stop in my tracks, stunned by what I see.  I am in a barren place, no trees, no plants, no grass and no water as far as I can see. The ground looks strange. Upon closer inspection, the ground is a solid black rock.

  Since, the Lord put me here I decide I might as well explore this new place. I walk in one direction for the rest of the day. As evening came, tried and hungry I lay down on the rock ground to try to sleep. After a restless night, I get up and continue my trek across the rock. After walking most of the day, I come to what looks like ledge. To my dismay, it is a sheer drop off, its looks like its hundreds of miles down to the valley below. I turn walking along the edge, looking for a way down. This takes the rest of day. As night fell, I move away the edge and lay down to try and get some sleep. The next day was the same and next.
  As the day dawns, I feel like every muscle and bone in my body aches, I am tired and hungry. The realization hits me, this is a plateau and there is no way down. My frustration explodes, and I yelled at God, “Why have you left me here?   “Why are you not coming to my rescue?” At times I shake my fist skyward and I other times I pound my fist on the ground.  

   At some point my yelling turns into pleading with God and asking for forgiveness for every sin I have done or might have done. Finally, (dirty and bloody) I lay down and say, “Lord I am yours. If this is where my life ends, then take it, I surrender to you my Father and my God.” Just then,a bolt of bright light, strikes me, it lifts me up. Then, I fall asleep from exhaustion.

    I don’t know how long I was asleep but I woke up lying on a carpet of grass. Sitting up, I am surrounded by fruit-bearing trees and right beside me there is a brook of crystal clear water. I roll over and drink my fill from the brook. Then, getting up I pick and eat some of the fruit from the trees. Standing there, I begin to think, “How did I get here?”
   I hear a familiar voice behind saying, “Get where?” I turn and there stands Jesus, smiling at me. I fall to my knees and worship Him.
He lifts me up and repeats, “Get where?”

“Get here” I reply.
Jesus says, “You are in the same place. You didn’t go anywhere.”

“But, I had to, this is a beautiful place and the plateau was a black barren place.” Jesus starts laughing. This is very confusing to me.
    Jesus explains, “This is the same place. It is called the Plateau of Sacrifice. This whole plateau is alter and the moment you surrendered your life, your sacrifice brought forth all that you see around you. Sacrifice always bears fruit and the greater the sacrifice the greater the fruit that is produced. Come and walk with me.”
  As we walked I thought about what Jesus had said. I began to think about his sacrifice, which is the greatest sacrifice of all and the abundance of fruit that has come from His sacrifice. I was glad that I would not have to make this sacrifice again. Then Jesus said, “There are many places of sacrifice.” This caused my heart to sink a little.

 Then I spoke, “I hope I will be able to make the sacrifices when the time comes.”
Jesus: “You will be able but you also must be willing.”

   We walked on, enjoying the beauty that surrounded us. There was even a tree lined trail that had appeared on the side of the plateau. I looked away to enjoy the view and hear, “See you soon my son.” I looked back and Jesus was gone. I continued down the trail. 

   Two thoughts filled my mind. First was that there are many places of sacrifices, this caused a part of me to cringe, I knew that was my fleshly nature not wanting to sacrificed. The second, was that I was able but needed to be willing. Willingness is the key to making sacrifice and to all the fruit that comes from that sacrifice. I stop at an overlook and cried out to Father, “Lord, I cannot be willing on my own, Holy Spirit help me to be willing, to yield my will to your will, even when it means making sacrifices.”
   Suddenly, the of Wind of the Spirit is flowing around me and lifting me up.