“Oh Lord You have visited me in the night. In righteousness will I gaze upon Your Face, I shall be satisfied when I awake with your likeness. Now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, then I shall know just as I am known. They shall see His Face, God Himself will be with them. I will lie down in peace & sleep. Jesus: I Am coming quickly” Ps.17:3,15; 4:8; 1 Cor.13:12; Rev.21:3, 22:4,20
I want to share some of my life experiences that took place at night. All my life I have found a special kind of calmness at night in my walk and conversations with Jesus. First I will share about me and then we will take a look at what the Gospels share about Jesus and the nighttime.
All of the following significant experiences happened to me at night.
At night I was saved at seven years old in a car parking lot; called to preach at fifteen in bed at home, filled with the Holy Spirit at 21 in my dorm room in college, Jesus came to me at Lake Tahoe when I was about twenty two, Jesus called me into full time evangelism on a mountain top in Nevada, called to carry the cross in a hotel room in Texas, I was taken before a firing squad to be shot in Nicaragua, I saw the Glory of the coming of the Lord by the Amazon River in Peru and Jesus told me to give up my dreams in Basel, Switzerland. He called me to carry the cross in every nation before the year 2,000 at night in Germany. Jesus called me to carry the cross in every major island group in the world while in China. Jesus called me to carry the cross at night into the early dawn in Zanzibar, Africa thus completing every nation and island group in the world.
From about midnight to dawn in the past months as I at the age of 79 I have been having totally awesome visits and talks with Jesus as He is teaching me the Bible and the Kingdom of God and opening my understanding of the Almighty God. He has taken me through my life and showed me the story behind so many things that I went through and what the reasons were and how they taught me and the things I learned from them. Things so holy I could never share them. What a blessing. Jesus is revealing Himself to me and taking me from Glory to Glory and Grace to Grace.
I have carried the cross many nights on the road especially in the desert countries due to the heat of the day. I’ve lay in my sleeping bag in the middle of wars and shelling with fighting all around me. Many nights I have lay in the jungles with snakes and wild animals all about as I talked with Jesus. I have prepared hundreds of sermons at night preaching them to Jesus and having Him make changes and telling me what to say. Many nights my wife Denise and I have spent with God not knowing if we would live to see the dawn as we have been in many places of wars and great dangers. I’ve spent many nights with my body aching in pain and itching from mosquito bites. Oh, the wonderful glory and splendor of heavenly conversations that I have had with God through the long nights.
Now let’s take a Holy look at Jesus and some of the events in His life that took place at night.
The angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream (must have been at night) telling him about marrying Mary and about Jesus. Matthew 1:20,24.
Jesus was born at night at Bethlehem.
Jesus was born at night as shepherds were in the fields by night when the Glory of the Lord shone around them and an angel spoke and the heavens were open and the heavenly Host were praising God. Luke 2:1-20.
The wise men followed a star to find Jesus. They must have seen the star at night.
They were also warned in a dream not to return to Herod but leave another way. Matthew 2:1-13
The angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream (must have been at night) to take Jesus and Mary and flee to Egypt. Matthew 2:13.
Mary, Jesus and Joseph departed in the nigh for Egypt. Matthew 2:14
It was in a dream that Joseph was told by an angel to return to Israel. Once there he was warned in another dream to go to Galilee.
Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil for forty days and forty nights. Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12-13; Luke 4:1-13
Nicodemus came to Jesus by night. John 3:2 and from that visit we get the famous John 3:16…”God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
In Capernaum in Galilee “when the sun was setting Jesus healed the sick and cast out demons. Luke 4:40 Surely this went on into the night.
After a night of prayer Jesus chose His twelve Disciples. “Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.” Luke 6:12
When Jesus heard of the killing of John the Baptist He withdrew from there by boat to a remote place alone. ‘come away by yourselves to a remote place and rest for a while. Matthew 14:13; Mark 6:31-32. Surely this included at least one or more nights.
When Jesus was walking on the water it was night. Matthew 14:22-25; Mark 6:48; John 6:16-17.
Jesus was on the Mt. of Transfiguration at night. Mark 9:2-8; Luke 9:28-36.
When in Jerusalem, often Jesus went to the Mount of Olives for the night. John 7:1-2, During the day, He was teaching in the temple complex, but in the evening He would go out and spend the night on the Mount of Olives. Then all the people would come early in the morning to hear Him in the Temple. Luke 21:37-38.
Following Jesus entry and welcome while riding on a donkey on what we call Palm Sunday Jesus left and went out of the city to Bethany and spent the night. Matthew 21:17
The Lords Supper or Holy Communion where He announced the New Covenant was at night. Matthew 26:20, 26:31-34; Mark 14:17, 30; John13:30;
After the Lord’s Supper Jesus and the disciples went that night to the Mount of Olives. Matthew 36:34-46 Mark 14:26-42, John 18:2-11.
Note that the disciples slept while Jesus was praying and His sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground.
During that night Jesus was arrested and taken to Annas for a trial. John 18:12-14
Then He was taken before Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin. This was also the same night. Matthew 26: 57-68; Mark 14:53-65; Luke 22:54-65; John 18:24.
As Jesus was on the cross it was dark, ‘from noon to three in the afternoon darkness came over the whole land’. Matthew 27:45-50; Mark 15:33-37; Luke 23:44-46
Jesus body was buried in a nearby tomb with a sealed over the stone at the entrance. John 19:31-41; Matthew 27:57-60; Mark 15:42-46; Luke 23:50-54. So His body was in the tomb at night.
Jesus Resurrection. “on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early while it was still dark. She was that the stone had been removed from the tomb. John 20:1; Mark 16:2-8; Luke 24:1-8
“In the evening of that first day of the week, the disciples were gathered together with the doors locked because of fear of the Jews. Then Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace to you’. John 20:19-25; Luke 24:36-43; Mark 16:14. This was at night.
Why am I sharing this? Jesus was not afraid of the darkness of night. Remember “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was mad that was made.” John 1:2 Over and over in the Gospels we read where Jesus said that He only did what He saw the Father do or say what the Father said to Him. Often Jesus was in the company of some of His followers or in crowds of people with great needs. Nights were mostly quiet and He could spend uninterrupted time with the Father. For Jesus this was what He desired. Jesus was the Word that became Flesh in order that we could be saved through His shed Blood on the cross.
I have experienced the glory of the Lord in the day as well as the night but I must say that I adore the nighttime visits with God so very much. I always have since I was a child. Often at night I would climb into our front yard oak tree and visit with Jesus all night. My mother would call out from time to time to make sure I was ok.
At night I love the silence and awe of the sound of silence. Many people need to have music or the TV on or computer. But for me much of that is just noise. When I’m out carrying the cross I love the sounds of traffic and of my shoes crunching the rocks or roads or trails. In the night things change and you hear the sounds of wild nightlife animals, birds, insects etc. It’s a different kind of silence. However in the desert often there is no sound at all from anywhere. I love the Voice of Jesus in my heart speaking and teaching and loving me.
I encourage you to listen and Jesus will speak. Jesus said “My sheep hear me. They know My Voice!” Embrace the times when you awake and can’t sleep. That could be the best time of your day or night. Spend it in God’s Word and hearing Him and sharing with Jesus.
For those who are reading this and do not know Jesus as your Savior and Lord. Whatever time it is where you are it is the right time to pray and receive Jesus. Welcome Jesus in your heart and put your faith in Him. Repent of your sins and turn to Jesus. Start following Jesus as you keep your eyes on Him and your heart and mind open for Him to speak and lead you in His Glorious Ways.
I pray this is a blessing in your life.
Pilgrim followers of Jesus, Arthur and Denise Blessitt, Luke 18:1