There is a poem written by an aviator named John Gillespie Magee entitled “High Flight”. He was a WW2 Royal Canadian fighter pilot who took his Spitfire Mark 1 to an altitude of over 33,000 feet (quite an accomplishment for such an aircraft of that time period). The next day, he wrote this poem which, in part, says:
“Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
of sun-split clouds,—and done a hundred things …
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark nor ever eagle flew—
And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod
The high un-trespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.”
It’s become a beloved poem and quoted by many, most notably by President Ronald Reagan on the occasion of the space shuttle Challenger disaster on January 28, 1986.
Pilot Officer Magee must have had quite an experience to be inspired to write such a poem. One can only imagine the glorious feelings he had while beholding the sights and sensations around him at that height. And still, I doubt that his words completely encapsulated what he wanted to communicate. The best he could say is that he “touched the face of God”!
It’s an interesting fact about “touching” anything in this life. Physicists have come to the conclusion that, on an atomic level, no two objects actually “touch” each other. There is too much SPACE between individual atoms. When we feel the touch of a breeze upon our cheeks, it is only our nervous system picking up the atomic vibrations or energy levels of those particular atoms coming within close proximity of each other. Even two steel balls banging into one another do not actually touch because the energy levels of those atoms are repelling each other.
What does this have to do with “touching the face of God”?
Well, because Christians are the only creatures on Earth who can actually TOUCH one another.
And, in so doing, they “touch” God!
It’s called the “anointing”!
And every truly born again (baptized in the Holy Ghost) Christian has received this “anointing”.
“But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.” (1John 2:27)
You see, Christ IS the anointing! In the Hebrew scriptures, the word Messiah means the “Anointed One”. So, when the Messiah enters your heart, so does the anointing … it comes with car!
How does this apply to us as followers of Christ?
“That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” (1John 1:3)
“…if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” (1John 1:7)
Only Christians are able to have true fellowship with one another in the anointing of God. In fact, when two or more Christians are gathered together in His name and are fellowshipping in the Spirit (and not in the flesh), it is a very POWERFUL thing!
“It is like the precious ointment (i.e. the anointing oil) upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments … for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.” (Psalms 133: 2-3)
When true fellowship occurs between Christians who are anointed of God, a BLESSING occurs which is “LIFE FOR EVERMORE”! And the Spirit of that eternal life extends inwardly to the deepest parts of the heart … and externally to the farthest regions of the Universe!
It is the ONLY time on an atomic level of this life that two objects actually touch each other. Because, in all truth, the spirits of those individuals having fellowship one with another become ONE (united in perfect harmony) in the Holy Ghost.
And, in so doing, “touch the face of God”!
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