Testing The Lord
by Graham Pockett
The Deceiver had a field day with me!
Trusting in my own strength, I floundered along a path with led me down, and down until one day in December 1992, my Christian wife left the family home in Victoria, Australia, and moved north to NSW. I didn't know what to do.
One minute I was beseeching her to come back to me, the next I was saying: "Good riddance to her, running away from me like that". Our relationship staggered on like that, separated by over 1,000 km and a gulf which, to me, seemed almost insurmountable.
One day, in mid-January 1994, I was discussing my dilemma with a friend (a 'bad' Mormon who smoked and drank!) and he suggested that as I believed in a Creator, I should ask It/Him what to do.
As a mark of both God's Plan and the frustration I felt with my marital situation (I love my wife that had never changed), after work that night I lay on my bed and prayed for the first time since I was a child.
"What can I do to get back together with Margaret?" I pleaded, expecting nothingness in return.
"Believe in Me!" a deep voice instantly replied, and I immediately knew it was the Lord Jesus Christ.
I was blown away by the voice!
I left my bed and went wandering, my mind in chaos, and happened to chance across a man with a cross in his lapel. Without knowing the man, I blurted out the strange experience I'd just had and he calmed me down.
He was an Anglican minister I was raised in the Church of England, now called the Anglican church and he drew out from me the story about how my ex-Catholic wife had become a 'born again' Christian some eight years before and was now attending a Pentecostal church.
"They're terrific," he said. "Really exciting. Not like the Anglicans little old ladies sitting on dusty pews but where it's at."
His excitement was infectious and, as a representative of my old church, was allowing me to accept the 'Pentecostals' in fact handing over his authority as my de-facto spiritual leader.
Shortly after I was born again as a Christian, the nagging doubts restarted.
"You've always known you could get Margaret back by pretending to become a Christian you didn't hear the voice of Jesus, it was just your mind telling you what you already know," came back to me, and I was in a quandary with the apparent truth of the argument.
Had I really heard that voice? Was it just my subconscious playing tricks on me? Doubts set in.
So the Lord proved Himself by testing me.
I felt that I had to go and tell a particular lady that Jesus loved her and the thought of approaching her with this comment made me feel sick. Suddenly I realised that it was God proving to me that He was in charge and that I really had heard Jesus' voice.
But to tell this women that Jesus loved her? Her forté was public ridicule and belittlement and I was under no allusion where such a comment would lead.
For three days I tried to ignore God's demand, and for three days I was most unhappy.
"Anyone else I'll tell it to," I tried to bargain with God, but the answer was always the same.
Finally I just knew I had to take the bullet between the teeth and face her. The first time she was busy, and I scuttled away both pleased and disappointed. It only postponed the inevitable.
Half an hour later my courage was up again and I went looking for her. As I approached her office, I saw a fellow worker leave and, as he shouldered his way pass me, I heard him mutter all kinds of expletives about her.
With a sudden onset of boldness, I wandered up to her and said: "Don't worry, Jesus loves you".
"Thank God somebody does," she responded, and I went on my way, too relieved to even think of following up on her statement.
So now I knew that not only had I been fortunate in hearing Jesus speak to me on the day of my salvation, but I had proved that God was in total control.
One other time I tested (or questioned) God was to do with the manifestations of the Holy Spirit.
I was suspicious of being 'slain in the Spirit' and had found it easier to go down when it was expected of me (when I thought that the pastor gave me a little push well, it felt like he was doing the pushing).
One night at church, about 17 months after being born again and shortly after I'd seen all sorts of crazy things at a Rodney Howard-Browne meeting in Sydney, I felt the legs pulled out from underneath me as the pastor was praying for me no gentle push this time. I fell heavily (no catcher can handle a 250-pound man falling vertically) but received no injury, or discomfort.
As I lay on the floor something strange happened my right hand started to shake!
I lay there watching this wildly twitching appendage, incredulous of the experience even though I'd seen others do things like this, and more. After ten minutes of this violent activity, I willed my hand to stop shaking (it must have been autosuggestion, I rationalised I had always rationalised everything).
It took a while for the mental command to finally reach my hand, but eventually the hand did stop shaking. No sooner had the hand stopped its wild fluctuations, than my right side started to heave not my whole stomach, just the right-hand side!
I then just gave up and totally submitted my will to the Lord's.
The shaking continued on my right side, crossed to the left, travelled to my legs, to my left arm and hand, and finally returned to my right arm and then hand by then the whole of me was violently shaking.
I promise never to test the Lord again!
I pray you have found this testimony interesting and I would be pleased to read any comments you may have. However, my workload is such that I may not be able to respond to all mail. Address any comments to Graham Pockett.
If you enjoyed this testimony, I encourage you to read my testimony of The Leather-bound Bible. I think you will find this short testimony interesting.
I Corinthians 2:1 NIV
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