I was a Jewish kid. My parents were Jewish, and my family lineage goes back generations of Jewish people. One day, when I was five years old, I was playing outside with my friend Bobby. Suddenly, a summer thunderstorm began, and Bobby got frightened. He said, ‘I have to go home.’ Confused, I asked him why, and he replied, ‘It’s lightning. It could kill you.’ I reassured him, saying, ‘Bobby, lightning won’t hurt you.’ He insisted, ‘Yes, it could.’ He started running home, and his mother, Mrs. Perigee, came out and urged him to hurry. I told her, ‘Bobby says lightning could kill you.’ She replied, ‘It can kill you too. You better go home right now.’ Then she slammed the door.
Shortly after, a lightning bolt struck just 15 feet away from me. Terrified, I ran into my house as fast as I could. My agnostic Jewish sister found me in my room, frightened and hysterical. She comforted me, saying, ‘What’s wrong, Warren?’ I exclaimed, ‘It’s lightning. It can kill me.’ She reassured me, ‘Lightning can’t touch you. It can’t hurt you. God will protect you.’ I asked, ‘God? Who’s God?’ She explained, ‘Well, you can’t see Him. He’s invisible, but He lives in a place called heaven, and yet He is everywhere, even in your room at night when it’s dark.’ That notion frightened me more than the lightning and thunder. Later that night, as I lay in my dark room, I felt an overwhelming fear. I fell asleep and found myself in a dream-like vision of heaven, filled with thunder and lightning.
In the distance, I saw clouds parting in a circular fashion, revealing a beautiful golden light. I later learned it was the glory, the shekinah glory of God the Father. I felt myself being drawn towards the source of the light, surrounded by colorful beams that created a pathway. I experienced a profound sense of shalom, peace, and completeness. It was an indescribable high, similar to what drug addicts seek. However, this was the highest of highs. Then I heard a voice, like none I had ever heard before, within me and all around me. The voice said, ‘Warren, do not be afraid. I am your friend. I will never hurt you.’ Overwhelmed by this dream, I woke up and immediately went downstairs to tell my mother and father.
I told my mother, ‘Mom, I saw God.’ She exclaimed, ‘You saw what? God!’ I clarified, ‘In my dream.’ Then my father, an agnostic Jew, came down, and I said, ‘Dad, I saw God.’ He responded with surprise, ‘What?’ My mother assured him, ‘Don’t worry, Charlie.
He saw Him in his dream.’ In an attempt to convey my experience, I drew a picture of God in kindergarten using a yellow crayon. I still have that picture today. It was my way of expressing to people what I couldn’t articulate with words—a visual representation of who God was to me. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. That picture was something that God placed within me. It’s fascinating because even before the foundations of the world, He foreknew us and had a purpose for us, as mentioned in the book of Ephesians. He instilled in me a desire to depict the revelation of God in picture form.
My mother took me to see the movie “Ten Commandments.” I was awestruck because there I witnessed the God of Israel in action. He performed the ten plagues against the enemies of Israel, parted the Red Sea, and revealed the same glory that I had seen in heaven. I could feel that incredible high once again.
My life became a pursuit of God. I attended the Jewish temple with my mother on a weekly basis, but I couldn’t sense His presence there. I wondered, “God, where are you? I need you to reveal yourself to me like you did to Moses, set a fiery chair ablaze.” Yet, when I visited churches with my friends, I still couldn’t feel the power and glory of God. It reminded me of a scripture in 2 Timothy that talks about people having a form of godliness but denying its power. It seemed that religion and traditions alone were lacking what I needed to truly experience God’s glory and power.
In the midst of all this, I encountered various temptations and influences. While studying film at the School of Visual Arts, I found myself surrounded by people using drugs like LSD, hash, speed, cocaine, and marijuana. I succumbed to the notion that these substances could open the pathway to God. I got caught up in the drug scene while pursuing my filmmaking career on Madison Avenue. However, it only led to misery. The devil was trying to steal from me, just as he tries to steal from many others.
Perhaps you, too, have experienced the turmoil in the world today. Maybe you have even accepted Jesus as your Messiah and Lord, witnessing the enemy’s actions through worldwide plagues like COVID, increasing crime rates, and unpredictable weather patterns. These are signs of the end times. Sadly, I’ve seen many people who were once on fire for God lose their faith.
But I want to tell you that there is another level—an opportunity to experience heaven on earth. Jesus taught us to pray, “Let your kingdom come, God, on Earth as it is in Heaven.” Personally, I pray it this way: “Let your kingdom come in me as it is in heaven, pouring out and impacting those around me.” I reached a point where I realized there must be more to life than what I had experienced. Sitting in my apartment, smoking marijuana, I cried out to the God of Israel, yearning for something greater. I had heard about Jesus and read books containing His prophecies. He declared, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’
So, in that moment, I earnestly prayed, ‘God of Israel, help me. If Jesus is truly who these Christians claim Him to be—the promised Jewish Messiah, the Son of the living God—then I want Him in my heart. But if He is not, I don’t want to do anything that would offend You.’ Suddenly, the same glory I felt in heaven descended into my room. To this day, I continue to experience it. I immediately relinquished the marijuana and flushed it down the toilet. I poured alcohol down the sink and removed books from my shelf that didn’t align with my newfound faith. I didn’t need anyone to preach to me or tell me these things were wrong; I could feel it deeply within me because of my communion with God
I want you to understand that there is a prayer that can truly transform your life. Allow me to pray it over you now. Heavenly Father, I humbly ask for forgiveness for all the sins I have committed against You and others, whether knowingly or unknowingly. I open my heart to receive Yeshua, Jesus, as my Messiah and Lord. Fill me with Your glory and presence. I desire more of You and less of myself. I long to walk in the fullness of Your glory, experiencing the supernatural power of God within me and flowing out from me. Draw me closer to You, and help me never to give up on seeking Your presence and walking in the destiny and purpose You envisioned for me before the foundation of the world. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.
Now, I encourage you to continue pursuing God. Don’t stop seeking Him, even after this moment. Spend time in His presence, continually asking for more of Him. Remember, He wants you to experience His glory on earth and walk in His power. Stay steadfast in your faith and never give up. Trust that He will guide you and reveal His plans for your life. Embrace the journey ahead, knowing that God has a beautiful destiny and purpose in store for you.
May you be filled with the peace, joy, and fulfillment that come from a deep and intimate relationship with God. May His presence surround you and empower you to impact the lives of those around you. Keep pressing on, for He is with you every step of the way.