Meet God, Over by the Band Saw
The Garage of Blues is turning into a real sanctuary. I opened it up and made it a place where I can work and even just hang out comfortably, and now I find myself going out there in the evenings to pray.
I keep telling people to pray in tongues. I keep telling them it will build their faith and change their lives. Every once in a while, a little voice tells me I might be wrong. But it keeps WORKING and WORKING and WORKING. Maybe it only works for a few years in a row!
I thought the garage would be a place where I could use my talents and spend time with friends. That was not the real purpose of the place. I keep my hideous camo backpack chairs out there, and I listen to Julie True and Grace Williams, and I pray for long periods. I am drawn to it. Finally, I feel like I’m spending enough time in prayer. And over the last week or two, amazing things have happened. I’ve felt power running through me. Faith has poured through me like water through a fire house, and I know it didn’t come from me.
I haven’t written much about the ridiculous lawsuits I faced a couple of years back. I am not interested in stimulating the plaintiff further. But I can tell you one interesting thing. I knew they weren’t going anywhere.
When I looked at the first complaint–I am not going to insult the plaintiff’s skills here–all I am willing to say is that I did not see it as a threat. As a lawyer, I saw nothing there that I thought was worthy of concern. Read into that what you will. The same thing is true of the complaint in the second suit.
Strangely, though, I went through periods of anxiety. I was sure I had nothing to fear–intellectually, I was sure–but sometimes I was worried anyway. It drove me to pray. It helped motivate me to find a church. One day, I was driving home from the grocery store, and I decided to pray about the latest lawsuit, and suddenly I felt faith gushing through me. I grabbed the center console of my truck, because I felt as though I would be swept away. I had to hang on in order to keep my balance, even though I was sitting.
My faith told me I was in the clear. It was a shocking experience. It was strange and unexpected, and I knew the power didn’t come from me. And it turned out my faith was right. In fact, God answered some very specific prayers about this situation later, and he did it in front of my father, whom I have been trying to reach for God. It was nothing less than astonishing.
Why tell you this? Because it demonstrates what prayer in tongues does. It’s like putting air in a compressor. Faith isn’t just belief. It’s a supernatural substance. It leaves you and goes to do its work when you pray, just like air powering an air tool. When you pray in tongues, you build up a supply of faith, or maybe you just widen the channel through which it travels. Then later, when you pray with your understanding, that faith is on tap. It will come out and surprise you. It will bully your doubts and fears. You have to experience it to know what I mean.
It may not happen until you’ve been praying in tongues for months or years; you shouldn’t expect to get it the first day. But it does happen. And now it’s happening to me several times a week, in my garage. It actually scares me sometimes. I want it. Don’t doubt that. But it’s unnerving when God manifests himself boldly. It’s rewarding, and it’s also humbling, because it reminds you that there really is a God up there who sees the stupid things you do.
I’m getting a new lathe. The old Clausing isn’t cutting it. So to speak. The search has wasted a lot of my time. I get obsessive when I have to spend a big sum, and I shop a lot. I was tired of being caught up in the quest. Last week, in the garage, I prayed for God to bring me the machine I needed, at a good, but not predatory, price. If you believe in the Golden Rule, you should not go out of your way to pay people as little as possible. I finally realized that a few weeks back.
A lathe is an insignificant thing. It’s not a new leg or relief from blindness. It’s something that brings me pleasure, like a new pistol. I don’t really need it. You would not expect God to be highly motivated to bring me one. Nonetheless, I got that same blast of faith as I was praying. It shook me; literally.
That was Thursday. On Friday, I got a surprise email from a machine salesman I had been talking to. For some reason, his company had knocked 10% off the price of a lathe that interested me, and they had removed some stuff I did not want, and they had added things I did want. Not for me. For the general public. They put it on Ebay. The salesman found out after the fact. I knew this was the best deal I was likely to see for months. It was much better than it sounds, because of the expensive accessories that were added and subtracted. I prayed about it, and I felt like I had the go-ahead, so I pounced.
I have no idea why they cut the price. They could just as easily have sold it for full value.
If God will send faith through me to help me find an extravagant toy, what will he do when I have a real problem? It’s pretty exciting to think about it. We don’t understand how good God is. We can’t help but underestimate him.
I don’t have time or a good enough memory to list all the other improbable things God has done for me after sudden bursts of faith, but believe me, it’s more than lawsuits and machine tools.
During my time in the garage, he has sent faith through me for some other things, so I am waiting and watching.
I should not be surprised that God helped me out with something I didn’t need. My church has its faults, but our pastor was right when he told us this: God responds to faith, not need. Think of all the Jews who cried out to him during the Holocaust. Who could have needed him more? Yet they were not saved. How many children die of cancer every year? How many rapes are permitted to occur? Think about Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which were full of women, old people, pets, and babies.
God is the personification of compassion and justice. If need were what counted, the world would be a much safer place. The Bible tells us faith, not need, is accounted to us as righteousness. I can’t defend it or explain it. I am not God. But because I am not God, and I know my place, I will not criticize it.
I get things I don’t deserve, and God withholds bad things I do deserve. That is the reality of my life. I am not gloating. I’m stating the remarkable facts. Over time, it’s becoming more consistent. I don’t claim I’m immune to adversity, but he truly does take extraordinary care of me, and I believe he will do it for you, if you do what I do. It’s not a matter of permanently ceasing from sin. It’s not a matter of doing great numbers of good deeds or of being exceptionally virtuous. Those are all wonderful things to aspire to, and you should try to be good, but faith is what makes the wheels move.
People tell me I’m wrong, and that life is not supposed to be easy. But Jesus said his burden WAS easy. Christians will encounter persecution and mistreatment, but we get victory. Look at Jesus himself. He was persecuted all his life, and people tried to kill him on a number of occasions. Until the time when God was ready to give him up–for his own purpose–he was safe, and he had inner peace.
I don’t think I’m wrong. I think this is the way I’m supposed to live. Maybe one day God will let people who hate me take a hand in sending me to paradise, but I don’t think I’m going to live in defeat and suffering in the meantime. I think I’m going to win when I should lose.
Of anyone who would offer to correct me, I would ask, “What is your testimony? How many healings have you had? How many visions? How much peace do you have? How often does God’s overwhelming presence–not a mind-manufactured feeling of peace, but his supernatural, palpable presence–come to you in a week?” If nothing supernatural is happening in your life, you’re not living in God’s power. You’re trying to do it on your own. You’re living on pride and portraying it as a deep understanding of how undeserving you are. The fact that you’re undeserving does not mean God doesn’t want you to have it. What if he took that attitude toward salvation?
If it makes you happy to make pilgrimages on your bloody knees, and to live in poverty, and to talk about all the things of which you deprive yourself, so be it, but you should know that you’re really saying God owes you. God doesn’t owe me a thing. I get things I don’t deserve, all the time. I can’t be aware of more than a tiny fraction of the things he does for me, but even that fraction is overwhelming. I am a charity case. A trust-fund baby. I am only too glad to say so. There is no way I can earn this.
Why do you think the angels and the dead praise God incessantly? Because they were told to? Because they’re afraid? Of course not. It’s because you can’t be near him without being blessed. We say God is good, but do we really know what it means? It doesn’t just mean he never sins. It means he never stops doing good things for others, and he always does far more than we deserve or expect. The God who ordered us to go the extra mile goes the extra light year. If he didn’t, he would be like the teachers who laid heavy burdens on people, yet refused to touch them with their little fingers. He would be a hypocrite. Does that sound like God to you? If he asked anything of us, it’s because he was already doing it for us, himself.
Try it yourself. Try it for a week. No charge. Nothing lost. I won’t give you a money-back guarantee, because money is not going to change hands. Just do it. If it doesn’t work, go be an atheist. I’ve been getting results, and so have other people who have listened to me. I don’t think your experience will be any different.Stumble it! Save This Page