Friday, September 09, 2005

Have You Been Robbed of the Power of The Holy Spirit In Your Life?

"And afterward, I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. Even upon the menservants and maidservants in those days I will pour out My Spirit" (Joel 2:28-29).

The infilling of the Holy Spirit is different from anything else we may experience. Through the Spirit of God we are enabled to be what we are supposed to be in God, and then to do what we are called to do for God.

Many Christians try to do something before they have something. This produces a type of Christianity that is dry and boring, dull and lifeless. Many preachers discourage members of the church and many others from seeking the baptism of the Holy Spirit because they have not experienced the it themselves.

We should not tell people that something does not exist just because our experience says it does not. Instead, we should turn to the Word of God and expierence the multitudes who have gone before us and who have been baptized in the Holy Spirit and have spoken with other tongues, those who have witnessed miracles of healing and seen demons cast out. We should talk to those who have seen lives radically transformed by the power of God. The primary purpose of the Holy Spirit is not to empower us to speak in tongues, heal the sick, or even prophesy to others. The primary pupose of the Holy Spirit is to lead us to the heart of Jesus in the true knowledge of God.

There is a lack of firsthand encounter with the man Christ Jesus, and as a result, pastors are powerless, churches are sick, society is deteriorating, and our hearts are filled with the lies and deceit of the enemy. We have bought in to the lies of who God is without even really noticing it. Most of us find God to be angry or sad-- happy only when we live in perfect righteousness. We also think prayer is boring, and church to be just a social gathering of people. AW Tozer writes, "Christians don't tell lies. They just go to church and sing them." Why am I saying all of this? I am merely trying to show you that our lack of revelation and wisdom comes from a lack of encountering Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit. Most of us go to conferences, experience a "spiritual high" and then just immediately slide back into our old habits, weaknesses, and thought patterns. It is a shame to throw water on fire. The reason we do not maintain "passion" for Jesus is because we're not contending for the Spirit of God to awaken deep within us after we leave a meeting or retreat. If we desire a change in our walk with God, we must make a change in lifestyle. Make a conscious decision to be set apart. By the grace of God, cut yourself off from any compromise. If you cannot overcome pornography, lift it up to God in prayer. If it takes throwing away your computer, so be it. If you spend your life wasted on television, then disconnect it. You guys get the idea. Be extreme in your desire to holiness and devotion to uncompromising love. Do not let your time (seeking God) revolve around sports or other activities. Re-prioritize your life around spending time with God, and I promise--You will have a deep encounter with God. "Seek first the kingdom of God, and then all shall be added unto you." In Leviticus, the Lord says: "The fire on the altar shall never go out." The hour is urgent, and we are being called forth, in such a time as this, to labor in the secret place.

Some people just go to church and park there, and that is the beginning and end of their spiritual experience. I found out a long time ago that if I wanted to get anywhere, I had to take the car out of the parking lot. It is absolutely impossible to drive a car stuck in the parking lot. We need to take our life out of the lot and put God in the driver's seat. If we do this, we will be in for the ride of our lives. Ask God to do a new thing in your life. Don't insist that He fit inside the boundaries of your particular religious doctrine or other type of "box." According to the Bible, the power of God is shut down by the doctrines of men:

"For [although] they hold a form of piety, they deny and reject and are strangers to the power of it. Avoid all such people" (2 Timothy 3:5).
"If then you have died with Christ to material ways of looking at things and have escaped from the world's crude and elemental notions and teachings of externalism, why do you live as if you still belong to the world? Do not handle [this], Do not taste [that], Do not even touch [them], referring to things all of which perish with being used. To do this is to follow human precepts and doctrines. Such [practices] have indeed the outward appearance [that popularly passes] for wisdom, in promoting self-imposed rigor of devotion and delight in self-humiliation and secerity of desicipline of the body, but they are of no value in checking the indulgence of the flesh (the lower nature). Instead they do not honor God but serve only to indulge the flesh" (Colossians 2:20-23).

Man-made doctrines have robbed multiple thousands of believers of the power of the Holy Spirit in their lives. God is not interested in our man-made doctrines; He is only interested in what His word says, and what our response will be to the fullness of His invitation. The first time I experienced the tangible presence of God was when I asked for the Holy Spirit. My life (literally) was transformed, just by meeting with God for the first time. Most Christian friends did not approve, and simultaneously, I lost all my so-called friends. It was a difficult time in my life, but through it, I learned how Satan attemps to use the pain of rejection to try to keep people from going foward with God. I was, of course, tempted to forget the whole thing and just go back to being a "normal" Christian, but I knew that God had done something wonderful and real in my life. I knew it my heart "there must be more than this." I had never felt complete before, and I made the decision that even if I never had any friends, I could not go back to what I used to be and have. As a friend of mine once said, "Once you've tasted wine, how can you go back to water?" I purused so many different worldly things, yet I came up dry every time. I was never satisfied then, and I knew after the encounter, that I would never be. Since then, I've given my life to pursuing Jesus--knowing Him in the secret place, and from there, making Him known. He has made my sacrifice nothing. There is no loss, there is no cost--because He is our inheritance.

I simply had to go on with God no matter what I had to leave behind. I pray that we would all be awakened to a "one thing" (Ps. 27:4) desire. The only reason I am writing this is to stir up a hunger in those who love God but need more of the Holy Spirit in their life. If you are one of those people, I pray you will open every room in your life and let God take control. We must remember that Jesus did not die for us so we could be religious but so we could have a deep, intimate, personal relationship with God, and that through Him we would be able to know the joy of being filled with His presence.

Sitting in church does not make one a Christian any more than sitting in a garage makes one a car (I didn't want to use the McDonalds analogy). Our experience with God is to go far beyond church attendance. It always grives me when I ask people if they are Christian, and they tell me what church they go to--it usually means they go to church but don't really know the Lord in a personal way.

"Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and listens to and heeds my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him" (Revelation 3:20).

If you have read everything, I congratulate you. I know it's quite long.


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