Heaven – The Cloud of Witnesses   Leave a comment

The scene is like a race in the Olympic games.  The sky is blue and the wind is catching the banners and lifting them high.  The runners are all lined up and on their marks and you are in line with them waiting for the starting signal.  You have trained so long and hard and sacrificed so much to be here and now it’s finally happening.  The signal sounds and off you go.  It’s your turn.  It’s your day and your time to run.  Then suddenly as you look up into the grandstands you recognize those you have only read about from another time!  Among this great host are the Apostle Paul, Moses, King David … they are on their feet cheering and saying things like,

“Come on!  Run!  Keep going!  You must win this race for us as well as for yourselves!  We ran well but we were not allowed to finish.  It was not for our time. (Heb.11:39,40)  But it is your time now and you are the last of the runners in this relay.  You must run!  You must finish well!  Go!”

Beside them are members of your own family who ran before you and those who discipled you.  They are crying tears of joy and calling your name as they wave you on.

This is the reality of Hebrews chapters 11 and 12.  Chapter 11 has been called the great hall of faith, describing many who have been over-comers in ages past and have gone on to be with the Lord in Heaven.  In chapter 12, Paul speaks specifically about them and all the other over-comers from Adam up to the present day when he refers to them as the great cloud of witnesses.  He encourages us to remember their legacy as we run this race and to understand that they surround us, watching us and cheering us on!  (Heb. 12:1)

Before we move on to study this subject, I wanted to share an experience I had with them several years ago:

Once again I had fled to the solace of the place where I had met Jesus so often.  But this time I could not discern His presence.  The agony and confusion in my heart was overwhelming.  It was becoming very difficult to discern what was actually being required of me by the Lord as a sacrifice and what was merely being stolen more and more by the enemy.  I thought of Israel, continually giving up land for peace.

I began to sob out all the pain in my heart to Him.

“Lord,” I cried. “I don’t understand.  I am completely Yours and totally in love with You.  I should be able to hear Your voice and know what You are asking of me.  Oh God, remove the confusion and bring understanding.  Speak to me and show me what to do.”

Finally I had no more tears left to cry.  I lay starring up into the afternoon sky, searching that quiet place within me for His still, small voice.  But I heard nothing.  The only noise was the murmur of the creek nearby and the wind blowing softly in the trees.  Now, time in this realm required me to make a decision.

At last I said to Him,

“Jesus, please see my heart.  See that I love You beyond all else.  If this sacrifice is what You are asking of me, then I am willing.  But I will not let the enemy steal from me all that I have.  So I give it all to You, my Lord, with all my heart.”

Reaching into His realm, I placed it all within a large gift box and tied it up with a beautiful ribbon and a card that read,

“To Jesus, with all my love.”

Then I lifted it up to Him.

Instantly a curtain was pulled back in the sky above me.  Within the large crowd of people I was viewing I recognized my earthly parents, grandparents and my husband’s parents.  There were a few others I knew, along with a great many angels who were all smiling, cheering and applauding loudly.  A few were crying tears of joy.

It seemed I had made the right choice.

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