” For everyone who calls upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved. But how are people to call upon Him Whom they have not believed in Whom they have no faith, on Whom they have no reliance?And how are they to believe in Him (adhere to, trust in and rely on) Him of Whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without a preacher? And how are they to preach unless they be sent?”
This teaching is very different. It includes many I and Me statements. It’s because this is a story of how God saved a lost mess. Me! Let me preface this by writing that if God did this for me, what do you think He has done for you? This is the postage stamp version of a multi novel story of a rambling train wreck.
Now Mr. K was just bound and determined to make me a better safer pilot. He knew that I was strictly a VFR (visual flight rules) guy. Without getting into too much detail the general rule is that VFR pilots must stay 500 feet below the clouds, 1000 feet above the clouds, with 2000 feet horizontal separation from the clouds and have at least 3 statute miles of visibility.
Which means you can probably fly with widely scattered clouds or high clouds but on an overcast day you’re out. That is, if you want to live and keep your certificate. Such stories I could tell about fools who break these rules.
But, Mr. K was a Certified Instrument Instructor and a Certified Flight Instructor. He wanted me to learn how to fly on instruments just in case I accidentally got into a bad weather situation. So one day I got a call from him. He told me that he was flying a King Air down to Savannah and asked me if I wanted to fly with him. He also told me that he would drop me off in my sons college town and come back on his return leg and pick me up, So I got to see my boy which just sweetened the deal.
Before we were cleared for take off, Mr.K told me to fix my eyes on the instruments and mentally fly the plane without looking out the windows or at anything else, through rotation and climb out. This was to get my eyes adjusted to the instruments before they had the opportunity to focus on the outside of the plane. It is very difficult to get your head back in the cockpit once your conscious is fixed on the seen.
By the time we got to our assigned altitude and were on course, my mind was in those instruments. Mr. K told me that you can not trust anything but your radios, flight instruments, avionics and controls when you are flying in overcast conditions. I peeked outside and we were in solid soup. My mind went right back inside the cockpit and I mentally flew the plane all the way down to the runway at the first stop. We did this in other air planes on perfectly clear sunny days and on days that were mostly cloudy and completely overcast. I believe that today I could safely fly on instruments in an emergency.
What I learned is that flying on instruments requires trusting in the true facts rather than the ones which are seen. For we cast our eyes not on the things that we see, but on those that we DON’T SEE, because the things that we see are temporal and subject to change. The things that are not seen are eternal and of God. Before the following events occurred I was totally blind to the unseen. I lived totally in my flesh, and my flesh believed that what it saw was more real than the things it did not see.
So, writing of flying blind; I will share the following:
On this day exactly 30 years ago, I got down on my knees and asked God to show me the way. Little did I know that the Way was Jesus. Think on that. Jesus is the Way and the Truth and the Life. No man comes to the Father but by Him. There is no other Way.
My parents were both alcoholics and I swore that I would never be like them. But that is exactly what I became. A drunk and an addict. It would take a substantial book to tell my sordid story. Trust me it was as ugly as it gets. The only thing I did not do wrong was to stick a needle in my arm, abuse my children or my wife or commit adultery. The world was crashing in on me as a result of my irresponsibility and sloth and the consequences were becoming ominous and far more than I could bare. Let’s say that I was living in a very dark world. I was completely living in my flesh.
When I was a teenager, I had accepted Jesus as my savior but it was only in a very cursory way. I didn’t want to go to hell. But I walked away from Jesus. When He tried to help me turn back to Him, I ignored Him. I loved Jesus but I did not want to change. I wanted to get numb. So I couldn’t let Him be the ruler of my life. He would want me to get clean And, being numb is all I wanted. I could blame my horrific childhood, or parental abuse and neglect and 8,000 other outside stimuli, but the bottom line was I used and drank because I wanted to.
It started in college. I spent my first semester drunk. Then with the draft (which would have been the best thing that could have happened to me) hot on my heels in the raging middle of the Vietnam war, I got the well known substance scared out of me and stayed sober for several years. I had no interest in becoming a ground pounder. I wanted to finish college and go to flight school. Unfortunately the military requires one to be able to see and hear before turning them loose with a multi-million dollar airplane. Then when I turned 24 and the pressure of being a parent and facing the adult world became real, instead of seeking my Lord, I went right back to my old comforter.
Over the next ten years I would have periods of brief sobriety, And I managed not to use or drink at work. But I was miserable and it was effecting my job. Things went completely off the deep end by the time I was 34. I was destroying my world financially and professionally. My mind had turned to jello. I was smack kabab in the middle of a multi-phase earthquake that I created. The main ingredients of addiction and alcoholism are I, Self and Me (ISM)
I was fully submerged in all three.
To put it mildly, I was entombed!!!!! I was living in a hell that I created!!!! My world was dark, dank. paranoid, and Godless. Jesus couldn’t help me because I wouldn’t let him.
But on that day when I asked Him for help, It came flooding in and my life would never be the same. God directed me to AA and the friends of Bill kept me clean until I found Jesus. Six months later on a business trip when I was very tempted to use and drink. I again hit my knees. I cried out to God and told Him if He didn’t help me I was going to hit the bars with my client. “Turn on the TV” came an instruction from a voice that is now my best friend The Holy Spirit! I did. I pulled the switch on the old fashioned TV and their was Billy Graham. At that very moment Billy said these words, “You may be in your home or in a hotel room, but you can ask Jesus to be your King and Savior and He will be.” In that instant I prayed that prayer. And the Stone In my life was rolled away. Jesus breathed life into me and called me out of the grave, just as He did Lazarus.
I was saved by the Grace of Jesus. It was by His grace that I was saved through faith and that was not of myself, but a gift from God, not of works, Lest any man should boast.
The old me died at that very moment. I inherited all of the promises of Jesus.I immediately received the right to become a son of God. I received the indwelling guide to the unseen, the Holy Spirit. I was guaranteed eternal life. I was given Jesus’ power. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead came to dwell in me. I was instantly forgiven of all sins; past, present and future, once and forever. I received the mind of Jesus. The mystery of the ages was solved and given me. I was given freely the keys to the Kingdom of God. Jesus had reached into hell, found a slimy mess and washed me white as snow with His blood.
I became a new creation in Jesus. Old things passed away and everything was new and was of God. The old Allen was crucified with Jesus. It is no longer I who lives, but Jesus lives in me; and the life I now live in the body, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. I try my best to live constantly in this present moment, which is God’s address. I have joyful expectation of the things that Jesus has promised, even and especially when I do not see them immediately or in the flesh.
Therefore I do not treat God’s gracious gift as something of minor importance and defeat it’s very purpose. I do not set aside and invalidate the grace of God. For if justification comes through observing laws or performance Jesus died groundlessly and to no purpose and in vain. I simply do the only thing that God requires of all of us; I believe on THE ONE WHOM HE HATH SENT.
Just as AA promised, God has returned everything that the evil one and my sickness took from me. God collapsed time so that even though it took a lot of work and faith and years; It happened instantly in God’s time, which is my time as well. I am grateful and happy for every moment.
I have seen how my sickness has benefited many others. And I was amazed before I was halfway through the process. I do Know Peace. Since that time, God hired me to teach His un-compromised Gospel to people all over the world. Throne of Grace has ministered to at least 1,000,000 people since it’s inception and it all started that day when I asked my Father to show me the way and he ROLLED AWAY THE STONE. I was no less dead and buried than Lazarus, when Jesus resurrected me.
No matter how dark the tomb you are in, no matter how deep , no matter how hopeless you believe things are, If you ask Jesus to be your King and trust Him, He will ROLL AWAY YOUR STONE. He understands because He was once trapped in hell/hades Himself. That is why He can state that He was tempted AT ALL POINTS, yet was without sin.
“For we do not have a High Priest Who is unable to understand and sympathize and have a shared feeling with our weaknesses and infirmities and liability to the assaults of temptation, but One Who has been tempted in every respect as we are, yet did not sin.”
My joyful expectation is that this teaching has blessed you and that you have passed it to others who are being blessed also. We invite you to visit our website: KNOWJESUSKNOWGRACE.COM where you will find hundreds of teachings like this. The teachings are in written, audio and video formats.
The mission of Throne of Grace Ministries, is to teach all people the un-compromised Gospel of Jesus. Our primary method is to Pastor and Counsel Business and Community leaders so that they may lead others by the example of their lives. We also minister in Hospitals, Nursing Homes, Veterans facilities, Recovery Groups, Homes, Businesses, Churches, Bible Study Groups and to whomever and wherever the Holy Spirit guides us. We minister by our website which has been visited by hundreds of thousands of folk in more than 100 countries around the world and here at home. We minister in person, by phone. by internet and by social media.
Our prayer blanket ministry has produced and delivered more than 300 prayer blankets to critically ill and needy folk all over this country.
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Throne of Grace Ministries, is a 501c3 tax exempt ministry. We are not affiliated with any church, group, denomination or other organization. We are entirely funded by the generosity of our Donor Partners. Wont you join us in our vital mission by becoming a Donor Partner? If so, you can make your checks payable to Throne of Grace and send them to our address below, or make a safe and secure on line offering at our website above.
Pastor Allen Fleming
Throne of Grace
Marietta, Georgia 30066