When Christ came into my life, He gave me a passion to know Him intimately. I would meet with friends early in the morning and seek the face of God and read the Scriptures. Those were days of immense joy in my life. The aroma of those prayer meetings still lingers in my heart, even though it’s been decades since those early seasons of prayer.
Several months after coming to know Christ, I left Louisiana State University to study at a Christian school. I desired to know more of the Bible and longed to be used of God. The new school where I studied had a rule concerning cheating on exams. If someone was caught cheating, he could be placed out of the school. Before I came to Christ, I had often cheated on my exams. However, that ceased to be a problem since I had found a new life in Christ.
While studying at the Christian school, I had many wonderful times in prayer. I often met with God in special seasons of prayer. But one day, I had a biology exam. I studied much for the test. But when I took the examination, there was one answer to a question that I couldn’t recall. I knew the answer, but it seemed to escape my memory. A friend saw my dilemma. He quietly turned his paper so that I could see his answer. When I saw what he had written, I quickly wrote down the answer. I rationalized what I had done by saying that I had studied and that I really knew the answer any way. It didn’t really matter, I thought.
However, when I returned to my secret place of prayer, it seemed as though God was nowhere to be found. I had lost the joy and intimacy of my prayer life. I wrestled with God over what I had done. He seemed to be saying to my heart, “If you want intimacy with Me, then you’re going to have to confess to your professor that you cheated on your examination.”
I argued with God, “You don’t seem to understand. This is a Christian school. I could be put out of this school if I confess this.” The heavens were silent and God’s presence appeared to be far away. Finally, I couldn’t stand it any longer. I wanted God more than I wanted a good name. I wanted to know Him more than I wanted to study at that school. I wanted intimacy with the Father more than anything in life. I decided to go to the professor and confess what I had done.
After I told the professor what had happened, he said, “I knew that. I saw you. But I’m going to give you a second chance.” I went back to my dorm room rejoicing. I knew the forgiveness and cleansing of the Savior. When I returned to that secret place of prayer, I rediscovered the wonderful blessing of God’s manifest presence.