I consider myself to be one of the most blessed persons in the world because of how the Lord has surrounded me with so many loyal and faithful friends, especially those who are my brothers and sisters of the faith. Perhaps it is because of our faithfulness in seeking His face and trying not to lean upon our understanding of things.
It appears the more I reduce my reliance upon my logic and understanding of things… the more the Lord teaches me things His way according to His will. This has been a long process of learning how to make me less so the Spirit in me can become larger. Although I am not where I think I should be at this stage, I can see a huge change from where I started. It is because of the people the Lord has positioned in my life that help me remain anchored in my faith.
I have been a member of several Bible study groups and fellowship groups as well. These are people that I study the bible with, discuss what we read, and even argue our points so we can come to a better understanding of the scriptures. Since we are individual members of the body of God, He treats us as individuals rather than a group. We simply allow His Spirit to flow between us as one body. We have learned to allow the Holy Spirit to be the one in control despite our private interpretations of what we read. When we do so the Holy Spirit always has the final word. He is the Word, and we accept Him as so.
Over the past 40 years or so I have studied with a few groups, two in particular. We gained a few new members and lost a few. Some we lost due to moving away from the area. Some we lost due to death. The good news is that their soul remains with us even when the body is no longer with us. Their personalities were so stitched in us that they are a part of our souls. We can remember their chosen phrases of statements. I personally have felt their presence for years after they departed.
To this day I still feel our departed members. Something this significant could only have been done at the heavenly level, by the Spirit of the Lord Himself. He was the one that drew us near to each other to be each other’s comrades and counselors. We feel the connection. What God joins together never departs. We are certain in the final end we will be together again in the kingdom of heaven.
About ten years ago I was introduced to my brother Ricky. His real name is Eric Taylor, but no one calls him by that name. To us he is Ricky. Ricky has this inquisitive spirit that wants to get a clear understanding of the scriptures. He will not let it go until he understands what it means. The Lord tells us to seek, and you shall find… to ask and it will be answered… And to knock and the doors will be opened for you. Once we understood Rickey’s character, we would turn back to him for his opinion, understanding, or lack thereof. Earlier he was a bit quiet because he never felt that he knew enough to bother us. That was not true.
Any time someone expresses an interest in understanding the word of God there were always plenty more mature members that could share a clear understanding of the passages. It helps more when there are nearly a dozen people in the group. That means there are many souls present with the Holy Spirit present in them that crosses over what our mortal beings have been through.
God is the same throughout time and space. His Spirit overshadows all who come to Him with an open heart. Once you are interested in the Lord, He is interested in you. The scriptural passage states, “If you abide in me I will abide in you.” The more you desire God the more He is available to us. In the later years, Ricky became a magnet for godly knowledge, wisdom, and a clear understanding of the Word.
We may never know the impact we make on others. They may never know the impact we make on them in return. However, God knows both ways because more than likely it was He that put the union together for each other’s sake. We realize that we are members of God’s body. Each member serves the entire body. Each has a function in His body and does what it was created to achieve, which is our divine mission from heaven. I sense that we were intended to meet here on the earth and be here for aid and comfort for each other. Could we be related as souls from the heavenly abode? It feels as though that could be true.
No matter what, Ricky was a dear friend and brother in Christ. All the members of our group will dearly miss him… his boldness… his humor… his one and only personality… and his ability to demand our attention whenever he desired it. As unique as Ricky was, can you believe that each of the members of our group is just as unique in their own way? No two of us are even remotely close to likeness in our personalities. Only God could put together a group of souls like this one. Imagine, He did this long before we were hand-placed in our mother’s womb.
May the Lord receive our brother Eric “Ricky” Taylor who is now on the stairway to heaven. As we know our brother is probably telling the angels to hold on a minute as he “hallows” at his brothers before he enters the pearly gates of the kingdom of heaven. May our heavenly Father rest your soul our dear brother… until we meet again, Selah!