The Keeping Power of God
It was not obvious to me, growing up in a very small town in west Texas, that I was under the constant, watchful care of the Divine Shepherd. I only knew that at the age of seven, He constrained me to trust Him for forgiveness of my sins. To my realization, little of spiritual significance happened to me until my sixteenth year. It was then, without much knowledge of the truth, that I answered the inward call of a good conscience to be baptized. To look for the second appearing of Christ became my new and living pursuit.
In the pages of the New Testament I found Christ to be, not a harsh God on a throne of judgment, but a Christ who was a real Man. He loved, He hated, He rejoiced, He wept, He could be touched, and He was moved by peoples’ conditions. During this period an almost insignificant comment was made to me. It came from a young Bible school graduate who possessed more books than I had ever seen. One day when I was at his home, he asked if I had ever heard of Watchman Nee. I don’t believe he recommended any specific book to me but I do remember being touched that this writer had been imprisoned in my lifetime for the sake of the Lord’s testimony. Also, at that time contemporary books on “the end times”, various Christian gatherings, even current events in the press all pointed toward the signs of Christ’s second coming. I felt certain that the Lord would come back before I turned seventeen.
As my seventeenth and eighteenth birthdays passed the inward cry became more defined, “Lord, I want You to come back.” This voice became so strong in me that I felt there was little time to waste on pointless studies. So I chose an education in the trades and prayed the most significant prayer of my life: “Lord, I will go to this college according to Your leading, but you must prepare me for Your return.” I moved to Dallas to attend DeVry Institute and within two weeks saw a sign posted with an invitation to a Christian meeting. At that meeting of the local church in Dallas someone asked how I had come to know the Lord. In answering that question, it was as if “scales” dropped from my eyes and I say clearly how the Lord had charted my course, saved me, preserved me and drawn me, step-by-step, to that very meeting. Afterwards, a brother gave me a little booklet, The Keeping Power of God, by Watchman Nee.
The Lord, Whom I had sought for my own interest, had mercifully taken great care to bring me to see that when He obtains what He is after, the builded church as His Bride, He will return. Now I have a sixteen-year-old daughter and I am as sure as ever that my path, and all my children’s paths, are under God’s keeping power because He will get what He desires on the earth.