This world is nothing compared to the next

About 5 years ago I was in a dead end job with dead end relationships with men for quite some time. I was a single woman living in LA, was a Christian and believed in Christ, but I wasn't practicing my faith. I was in my early 30's, I had a Masters degree and I was going nowhere in life. For some reason, women who were practicing Christians kept entering my life; they would befriend me and try to give me advice about how my life was going. I just could not get away from them. It's not that I didn't like God or have time for him, it's just that I was too concerned with the things I wanted to do; I only wanted to live for myself.

One of these Christian women told me that I had to stop having sex with guys. She told me that at one time she was having sex with guys while not being married and that now she obeyed the Lord. She also told me that there was no more time for me. I remember thinking to myself "how in heck can she possibly know who I am having sex with?" I think God used her as an instrument of communication towards me. I was just brushing it off; but she was right, I wasn't living like a Christian. I was having sex with guys. But I didn't listen to her. I kept living my own life the way I wanted to live it.

A few months later I began to realize that God indeed no longer wanted me to have sex with whoever I wanted to without being married. Life for me would no longer be "Sex in the City". I also think that the reason why I wasn't getting promotions at my job was because I wasn't practing my faith. I was doing all of this to myself, so  I had no one to blame but myself. That one Christian girl who confronted me kept confronting me with it; she was so annoying that I began to think she was just another fanatic. But suddenly, all within one month, I started to feel a strong presence of God. I knew then that he would no longer let me live my life the way I wanted to live it. I was having sex with guys and wouldn't stop.

I figured God loved me no matter what I did. I was right about the fact that he loved; I was wrong about the notion that God was going to let me do whatever I wanted. During that month I suddenly started feeling the presence of Christ nearby. I knew God was very near and I knew I was in danger of meeting Christ face to face if I didn't change my ways. I suddenly started going to church; I kept feeling like the light of Jesus was surrounding me. I didn't see the light, but I knew this light was getting brighter and brighter from within me. I knew somehow that it was on my face. I went to Church that weekend and this was a big Church. I arrived before the serviced started and I went by myself. As I sat down I saw the Paster at the front of the pews talking to some of his church-goers, that is when he suddenly looked up at me - then he looked at me again. He did a "double take". He KNEW. He knew, somehow, that a light was shinning on my face; he saw but nobody else could. Maybe he didn't know what it was, but he did a "double take" for a reason. He knew he saw something, even if he couldn't put his finger on it.

The days passed and this feeling of being surrounded by the light of Christ was still there. While I was driving home from work one night, I kept having the feeling that God was going to prevent me from sleeping with another guy who lived in apartment building of mine. I knew then that my life was not my own; I didn't have the freedom to do whatever I wanted and sin whenever I wanted. This happened to me while I was driving: I heard - I suddenly heard music from heaven and things from heaven. It wasn't music from outside of my ears, but from inside of me. I knew it was from heaven because I had an inner feeling that heaven was very close to me now and that if I didn't stop what I was doing then I would be in heaven really soon. In fact, heaven was getting closer and closer to me. I heard this music and it was splendid music. I also heard people in heaven who were saved; I knew they were people who had passed on before me. But they sounded like children; for some reason, God was giving them pleasure and they were laughing and making sounds like children; but they weren't even children, this was not a visual experience, but an audio experience of heaven. These people who were in heaven who had passed on before I did were experiencing bliss; they were not in control of themselves, but God was giving them so much spiritual pleasure that they could not contain their unusual blissful noises of laughter. I remember when I was a kid my mother tickling me and me not being able to laugh because the tickling hurt in a good way, and I made these noises that was like laughter but was a laughing of joy that you cannot control. This was how people sounded in heaven. I was very shaken up from that experience, so I laid off my personal relationships with men entirely. In fact, I started reading the Bible and would turn on the Gospel channel on my cable TV and listen to it. I knew that if I didn't shape up, I'd end up in heaven standing right in front of Jesus for my sinful conduct in life. I sensed he wasn't mad at me, he was totally for me. I knew Christ was thinking that the reason why I was sinning was because I just needed to see heaven. I needed to know what heaven was like so that I would be willing to give up the good things in this life. I remained celibate for a few months.

So few months went by, and I must of thought everything was ok now. So I slipped and fell back into that same old hum drum. I started having sex with a guy again, outside of marriage. It took a few weeks -- and then one day I suddenly felt the presence of Christ. I didn't see him, but I heard the sounds heaven again but without the music. I heard the people making noises like little children, knowing they weren't children but only people who were in heaven. I knew Jesus was very close to me in spirit, even if I couldn't see him. I don't know how I knew it was him, it was just as if my spirit already knew him and when he was near, my spirit would just naturally respond and I knew it was him. I think everyone knows who Jesus is, just we are worlds apart. So that is when I heard Christ himself speak into my very own body. He told me straight out, "Do you want to see it?" I remember being afraid for my mental health because I felt like I wasn't ready to see heaven yet, not mentally. I knew that if I did see it before I died then that would change my life forever, my perceptions and quite possibly confuse me. So I spoke back to him and said, "No, I'm not ready for that yet." To my surprise, Jesus didn't push the issue. I remember also thinking, "well let me get a camera and take pictures of it...how many people get to go to heaven before they die and then come back." But I knew I wasn't ready. He only let me know that he was going to take up to heaven so that I could see it unless I stayed obedient. He would show me heaven so that I could see how small this world was in comparison to the next world. I keep that experience close to my heart to this day. And more and more I am beginning to realize that this world is nothing compared to the next. The suffering we endure in this world is nothing compared to the next world. Sometimes when I feel unhappy I think to myself, "Maybe I should go to heaven, everyone seemed so happy there." Jesus was kind to me and I knew he loved me when I was in his presence, even if I didn't see him. But the more I sinned, the closer he got to me. He was preventing me from committing sinful acts against God. Now I have been celibate for an entire year and the more I seek God the more I realize that celibacy is nothing compared to the next world; it is a small thing to give up compared to heaven. It's nothing compared to being close to Christ in mind and spirit. So I haven't seen heaven yet, but I heard it. And I know one day when I am ready to die I will see it. Still I wonder, what could it be like? 

Sometimes when I am walking about doing everyday things I can sense Jesus and I can sense that he is smiling at me. I can feel when he is smiling; don't ask me how, I just know when he is smiling at me. He watches everything I do. 

I have enrolled into this online Bible Studies degree program and sometimes when I am working on it I can sense Christ smiling at me... just think, I make God smile when I do the right things in life! I am like a smile junkie now. I know how to make God smile...you just seek him, think about him and put your mind on him and it makes him smile. I was playing with my little dog one day on the bed, giving her kisses; giving her lots of love and I sensed Jesus smile at me at that moment. It comes at random, but when I am not sinning he smiles.

Rennie


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