Home Church Help

One of the very first Christian meetings I’d ever attended during the 1980’s was with a room full of people literally crying out to the Lord to bring “revival”. “Oh God, PLEASE send your Spirit”, they said. “Lord, if you would only fill us with your Spirit!” I distinctly remember one brother saying, “Oh God, we are BEGGING you to PLEASE send your Spirit upon us!” And they were really begging. Truly begging. Some were desperately yelling at the top of their lungs for God to do something in their midst.

About six months prior to this meeting I attended, something happened to me. I was alone at an elementary school playground on New Year’s Eve night. In the dark, all by myself, I sat on the monkey bars as I talked to the Almighty. Keep in mind, I had zero knowledge of the scripture at this point. I was not raised in church. I had no Christian friends. In fact, that particular night, all of my friends went to a fabulous New Year’s Eve party that I really wanted to go to. But I stayed back. I told all of them that I was not going and everyone was disappointed.  I had just given my life to Jesus a few weeks before and I had given up all partying. Yet my heart was so empty. So that night I just had to have a really big talk with God. That night in the park, I told Jesus that I wanted to live for Him, but I also wanted to go to the party with my friends. I told the Lord that I wanted to be a Christian, but my heart was still very empty. I told the Lord that if I was going to do this Christian thing, that He would have to satisfy my heart with something greater than the things I was currently craving, because I knew I couldn’t hold out and not give in to the temptations I was feeling, if He didn’t do something soon. I looked up at the black sky that night and I looked at God square in His face, and I said to Him, “You can do it, you can fill my heart, You are God!

The next thing that happened was quite an amazing thing. I did something. I did something that no one had taught me to do. I did something that changed my life forever, and set me on a course for the rest of my life. Without any knowledge, without any understanding, the thing I did next set in motion the very path for my life.

I gave myself to Him.

I said to the Lord out loud with my voice and I said to Him in my heart. “Here I am Lord, TAKE ME”. Take all of me, and do with me whatever you want! What happened next was absolutely supernatural. The Spirit of the risen Christ surrounded me, filled me, and overtook me with His Spirit. It was not my emotions, it was Spirit and it was Life. From that moment at the playground thirty years ago, I knew the Christian life was possible. My heart was met. I was filled with spiritual elation. Joy is too small a word. It was satisfaction and happiness that was so intensely rich, it cannot be described. It was Jesus.

“Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship”. (Rom 12:1)

I didn’t know at the time that I was doing what the verse above is saying, but that’s exactly what I was doing, and the Lord met me.

When I experienced God that night at the playground, it began a quest in me to live and experience Christ that same way every day. But at the time, I didn’t know why that happened to me, nor how to walk in it consistently.

Now, let’s revisit the meeting I described earlier, where people were begging God to touch them. Why were those sincere and hungry brothers and sisters begging God to fill them and meet them? Much like me at the playground, their hearts were empty and they were not being satisfied. But it was almost like they were putting the responsibility on the Lord to do something. They were begging, yelling, and trying to twist the arm of God to move upon them. But they were not doing the one simple thing that the scripture tells us we are to do.

Trust.

The scripture tells us over and over and over again “to believe”. But we’ve lost the meaning of the word “believe”. We think to “believe” means to acknowledge mentally. But to believe, means to trust.

Oh, how we want God to zap us in a moment and change our lives. But we don’t want to trust. We long for the Lord to deliver us instantly from our sin, but we don’t want to trust. We want to do mighty works for God and be used by Him. We want to be on the cutting edge of what God is doing. We want to be deeply inspired and motivated by an emotional preacher. And we are willing to sacrifice all for Jesus and put forth every amount of self-effort that it takes to live righteously and please God.

But we do not want to walk in trusting God daily from the depths of our heart. Too simple. Too elusive.

I’ve known plenty of hungry, good intentioned, sincere brothers and sisters who constantly seek out the next biggest thing: Another push, another emphasis, another focus, another pep-rally meeting, another conference, another book, another “word from the Lord”, yet they are unwilling (or more likely unware), of the foundational spiritual dynamics that bring consistency, intimacy, and a stable life that is built on a foundation of love.

Trust is the only thing that works.

Far too many have become shipwrecked and disappointed in their faith after years and years of hope with no real results. “We will gear up again! Another push! Another diet! Another word! Another deliverance! Another man!” Another disappointment.

“Now having been questioned by the Pharisees as to when the kingdom of God was coming, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.”

And He said to the disciples, “The days will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. They will say to you, ‘Look there! Look here!’ Do not go away, and do not run after them.” (Luke 17:20-23).

When we do anything other than trust Jesus Christ from the heart on a daily basis, we leave the commandment of simple devotion to Christ.

“But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.” (2Co 11:3).

After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. (Gen 15:1).

The Prophecy of Joel

“It will come about after this That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions. (Joel 2:28). God also said He would pour His Spirit out upon His people in Ezekiel 36:28-29 and Isiah 32:15. The prophecy of Joel was fulfilled in the book of Acts chapter 2, as Peter states the prophecy was fulfilled at Pentecost. God’s pouring His Spirit out in the old covenant was almost totally restricted to the Jewish nation. When the new covenant came into effect, God poured His Spirit out on all of mankind, anyone who will call on the name of the Lord will now be saved.

In the same chapter in Acts 2 we read what Peter says again, “Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Act 2:38). What an amazing promise! When we repent and trust Jesus for the forgiveness of sins, we receive the Holy Spirit. Have you done this? Then you have the Spirit of God living inside you.

We do not have to beg God for His Spirit. We need to learn to walk in His Spirit. We do not have to plead with God and twist His arm to change our lives, we only need to learn to walk after His Spirit, which has already been given, and our lives will be changed.

“Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,” (Col 2:6).

Learning to walk in Christ or walk after His life Who is in us, is much about trusting and presenting ourselves to Him, saying “here I am Lord, take all of me!”

If you have consistent patterns of sin in your life, you will only overcome it by the Spirit (Rom. 8:13).

If your life is empty and meaningless, you will find purpose and fulfillment by the Spirit (Eph. 3:20).

If you are needing healing in your marriage or relationships, it will only be accomplished by the Spirit (Phil 1:8).

If you need love, gentleness, peace, joy in your heart – is all obtained from the Spirit (Gal. 5:22).

The Spirit of God is in you, you simply need to learn to walk after His life, nothing more and nothing less (Rom. 8:4).

The Spirit of Christ who is in us is most satisfying. He fills our hearts to such a point, that we do not long for anything else. But if we do not learn to walk in Him with a daily trust, if we do not learn to truly encounter Him in a real way, everyday – we are going to start looking for something else to satisfy our wandering hearts.

 

 

 

 

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