Encounter with jesus

by Barbara Payne

I had only known Jesus a few short weeks and was very excited that God could love me, wash away my sin and give me a new life, I certainly needed it. On the outside I must have appeared very happy with two lovely boys and a handsome husband but no one knew the real me, not even my family. I had dark hidden secrets that had shaped my emotions, attitudes and way of life well into my thirties.

I will never forget the night I surrendered my life to Jesus, He instantly became real to me even though I did not understand the full implication of what I had done or why I had to do it. It was in Radcliffe Tabernacle Lancashire and Dennis (my husband) and I had come on the invitation of his brother Mervyn. As a child I had been in the local choir in my hometown of Chesterton, Newcastle-Under- Lyme in the Church of England, but I had never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ like this before. It was such a warm, happy and vibrant church and everyone seemed so full of joy. They sang about Jesus like they knew Him and the preacher, Jim Sweet, even cried when he talked about Jesus on the cross. This was all new to me. Even though I knew nothing of the bible I just knew everything he was saying about Jesus was true…there was an 'inner witness' that I later realised was the Holy Spirit witnessing to my spirit. I was enthralled but it was when Jim finally said 'Jesus put two arms up for you, can't you put one up for Him'? Well my arm shot in the air as if I had been pierced through and to my delight so had my husband's. We became 'Born Again' the very same second.

Well that was our first encounter with Jesus…fantastic, and I just knew that I knew that something special had happened to me. I also had an immediate assurance that I was heaven bound. All my past seemed to rush in front of me and I started to cry as I realised God's love had reached out to even me. I was thirty two years old. This must be the greatest mysterious miracle that happens to all who will believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and His atoning work upon the cross.

Anyway we began to meet regularly at the Tabernacle even though it was fifteen miles away from where we lived at the time. We just loved the music,the word and listening to what God had done in peoples lives. During this time I began having dreadful pain in my face to the point that I could not eat properly and it was even painful to smile. After attending my doctors he pointed out that I had an arthritic jaw. Arthritis is rife in my family so it did not come as any surprise but I thought it might have been later in life. I was quite distraught about it as my job was in sales and marketing and smiling was a great part of the job. While in church one Sunday night Jim stopped the meeting as he 'felt' the Holy Spirit wanted to heal sick bodies, I had not witnessed this before and was in no way confident enough to go forward to the front for prayer. Anyway, a lady called Doris knew about my jaw and encouraged me to go out for prayer. I had read in the bible that Jesus healed people and I knew He was still alive having risen from the tomb but still there was that unworthiness in me that said I was not good enough for Jesus to do that for me, loving me would be more than enough. I did go forward and along with a few others I stood shaking with fear at what might happen. Jim anointed me with oil according to the word of God and I returned to my seat having felt embarrassed at having to walk back down the aisle with everyone looking at me, or so I thought. I really did not expect anything from God…WOW what a surprise I had in store.

On the Wednesday Dennis asked me if I would like to have a ride out with him to Cheshire as he had some business to conduct. I love Cheshire and jumped at the opportunity. As with every good day out I needed some confectionery for the journey, I was very partial to a Mars Bar but had been unable to eat them since having arthritis in my jaw. I really fancied one this day so I thought to myself I'll just suck the chocolate and it will probably last me through to Cheshire. I asked Dennis to stop at the shop and by this time I was really craving for the Mars Bar.

As soon as I got it I opened it and it tasted delicious as I gently tried to suck it. Well after we drove a few minutes down the road I let out such a shriek that it startled my husband to the point of him slamming his brakes on. He asked what was wrong and I just stared him in the face whilst slapping my own face and blurting out 'It's gone its gone'. I had naturally started to bite and chew the Mars Bar without thinking and realised all the pain from my jaw had disappeared………………. Praise the Lord. I couldn't wait to get to bible study to tell Jim. When I arrived at the bible study the following Wednesday I ran up to Jim, also slapping my face, exclaiming that Jesus had healed me, there was no other explanation in my mind and I give Jesus all the glory.

As a young Christian this was a mighty act of God that caused my own faith to rise because not only did God love me but He had shown that love towards me as I dared to believe that He is alive and that He could. God met my faith. Oh by the way it never did return because in this and future healing testimonies I have come to know that WHEN GOD HEALS HE HEALS, you don't have to hang on to it or be afraid of losing it or keep making positive affirmations. God said He would, He did, and that settles it. The testimonies, at bible study, that Wednesday night were from all who had responded to the call for prayer on the Sunday and we had all received healing from the Lord. There was great rejoicing.

The lesson: • Jim heard the Holy Spirit speak to him to stop the meeting and ask those who were sick to come out for prayer. • He moved in faith • When we heard the call from God through his servant we OBEYED in faith. • Follow the leading of the Holy Spirit at ALL times and see miracles happen Where faith lives there is no room for doubt.

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