Sowing Small Seeds into Your Book of Life
By Eric Vogen
I was once acquainted with a retired pastor, musician, and former teacher. He seemed to be a great guy. A few months after meeting him, I heard a story concerning his past. Back in the 1980s, he was accused of some inappropriate acts involving children; however, he didn’t go to jail. This event occurred in a conservative town in the South and the community was angry. His church kicked him out, his denomination excommunicated him, and he was cast out by others. His wife stayed married to him legally, but they lived separately.
He was living a quiet, lonely life. He had made his church, and Christians, “look bad.”
One day, many years later, I was driving on the highway and something reminded me about this ex-pastor. What came to me was an impression that the man was going through a very difficult time and his soul was in jeopardy of being lost for good. I had a strong feeling that God still loved this man, and I was prompted to pray for this cast-out Christian. I thought, this is what many of us do to God every day. We proclaim to believe in God and to be followers of Christ … but then we do things that make God “look bad.” Fortunately, God is a lot bigger than anything we do, in spite of our actions, he still loves us.
So, I started sowing a small mustard seed. Something I would never see the results of during my lifetime. I moved forward by faith – one simple prayer for this man. In other cases, the Lord has prompted me to do much more such as reach out to individuals or provide assistance. But prayer was important that day.
I started praying. Then I started crying and weeping for him. It was so powerful I had to pull off the road. I began a kind of intercessory prayer for him. I felt like this prayer was real and that the Holy Spirit was moving in my heart and in the ex-pastor’s heart. I felt like there was a dangerous battle for his soul going on in the spiritual world. I yelled and screamed out and then all of a sudden I felt a snap – a powerful release and an unshackling of a prisoner. Then I felt something break in the spiritual world. The initial breakthrough was complete.
Just as I felt a strong peace in my heart that the ex-pastor’s spirit was somehow free, I was then hit with a flash of doubt. It was in the form of evil saying, “You have no proof anything has changed, and, besides, this guy isn’t worth saving. It doesn’t make any logical sense that his heart would change just because you were praying for him. It doesn’t make any sense that anything could change just because of your prayers!” This wave of doubt momentarily knocked me down. But I exclaimed, “No, this man is worth saving!” And the evil departed.
Quickly, a new wave came over me. I felt like this one was much more powerful and intense. I felt as if the Holy Spirit giving me a gift. It was a vision of a book. I saw the pages flipping much like the small books with the progressive pictures that turn into a cartoon if you flip the pages at just the right speed. Somehow I knew that I was receiving a glimpse into what I now call my “Book of Life.”
I only saw about 40 pages quite rapidly over the course of just a few seconds; however, each page pictured a person’s face I instantly recognized. Moreover, I could remember and feel what I did to help each one, and I could see the exponential result of my help in the present and in the future. My actions were powerful ripples emanating from each person. Thus, each page represented an exponentially growing series of infinite and eternal positive results from my little act. Kind of like how the universe keeps growing. It was absolutely overwhelming!
I could only handle seeing a few pages, but I knew that there were a million more pages for me to see and even more blank ones yet to be written upon. I sensed that even small but important actions made it into my book. They may have seemed small to me, but they were cast for someone else at the right time and at the right place, which led to a fruitful, eternal impact.
And there was more good news with this gift. My “Book of Life” would be one of the first things I would see when I go to heaven. It would be an ever-growing living document that would be beautiful and exciting to watch. With each of the millions of my entries to the book, compounded by multiple degrees, this would lead to billions or even trillions of total entries. One of these entries I trust, by faith, will be the story of my prayer for the cast-out pastor.
For me, this vision of the Book of Life has been life changing. It has become a way to motivate me to focus on daily, simple, and small acts with potentially eternal consequences in the hearts of others. I have also been prompted to journal each day to try to capture actions that might have a chance to be recorded in my book.
I believe that each person is writing their own Book of Life each day. I pray that God inspires you and empowers you to add small seeds to your book each day. This vision and story is an excerpt from The Vision Wheel book. To learn more, please visit www.soalive.org, or contact me at [email protected]