There are some experiences in life that you never forget. Their impact is such that you know immediately that this is significant, even if there aren’t any special effects to go with it. What Nolan and I refer to as our “Threshold Experience” is one of those times.
Nolan and I have always studied. Like a lot of Christians, we desire to know God, love Him, serve Him and not to limit His working in our lives. For those reasons we continue to read and learn all that we can while praying for guidance and understanding. It was in that context that we borrowed a set of video tapes from a relative done by an evangelist working in Mexico.
The man’s story was fascinating and his work even more so. He told stories of the power of fasting and prayer against the work of Satan and the many miracles he’d seen God do as a result. Some of what he talked about seemed a little “out there”, such as seeing people actually raised from the dead, but he challenged his listeners to consider that Jesus had said His followers would do those things through His power. The only problem, for me, was that I am not at all “into” that kind of charismatic/pentecostal kind of worship and ministry. Over the years I’ve seen a lot of damage done by those who claimed speaking in tongues was necessary and being slain in the spirit a good thing. Call me suspicious, ’cause that’s what I am! However, I also do not across-the-board disclaim it either. I do believe in these manifestations of the Spirit’s power; I just want to be sure it’s the Holy Spirit and not some other kind.
It took several nights to watch all these videos and Nolan and I didn’t really talk a whole lot about them. I sort of sniffed at first, but as I watched them was really challenged to not limit God’s power to work such miracles. However, that didn’t make me anymore comfortable with them.
On the night we finished the videos Nolan headed up to bed while I went to take my shower. My mind was working pretty heavily on the evangelist’s challenge not to discount God’s power. As I was showering, I all of a sudden got an overwhelming sense that Nolan and I were standing at a threshold–y’know, a doorway of some kind–yet it was clear that the term was “threshold.” I sensed that whatever this threshold was, it was something that once we crossed, we couldn’t go back.
I leaned my head against the shower wall and groaned. “But, God, I don’t get into this kind of stuff!” After a moment I sighed, “But, if that’s the direction You want us to go, we don’t want to do anything else. All we’ve ever wanted to do was Your will. What’s the point of living if we’re not going to obey Your will?” With that in mind, I finished up, got ready for bed and headed upstairs.
Nolan was already in bed when I walked into the bedroom. I said, “Hon, I just had the strangest thing happen in the shower. I got the sense that we’re standing at a threshold of some kind.” He looked at me with a startled look and said, “That’s just what I’ve been laying here thinking! That we’re at a threshold!” “Well,” I said, “whatever it is, once we cross it we can never go back and most of our friends aren’t going to understand, but it’ll be the greatest adventure we’ve ever been on.” The last part of that just came out of my mouth. I hadn’t thought about it before, it just came. Nolan said, “Yeah, I think you’re right.” We went to bed wondering what it was God had in mind for us; excited, yet nervous.
I assumed it would be something related to what we’d seen in those videos. A few years later when Nolan and talked about this experience, he gave me a puzzled look. “No, I knew that wasn’t it. I never considered that as the direction.” However, neither one of us had any clue of what it turned out to be!