Category: The quest to walk with God


Don’t we all wish to do the work of God.  I imagine the day I come up to Heaven and wonder if I will be greeted like Jesus’ parables for the faithful servants.  Will I come and find that I have done well for Him or not.  Personally I think if we’re not sure, we should fix that, but that’s not the point of this post.  No, I want to focus upon the work of God itself.  What works are pleasing to Him.  What deeds should I be doing to know that I am doing well.

I’ve been in church a long time.  I know the answers.  Go on mission trips, lead a small group or Bible study, volunteer with the children’s classes.  Summer camps, committees, witnessing, giving.  There is so much to be done and much that the church needs.  In fact we were given a book to help us here.  I am a Church Member.  An interesting book with a lot of good points and suggestions.  You can pretty much narrow it down to that same concept as the famous line from John Kennedy “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country”.

Yet through all this, something is still wrong.  Then guess what I ran across a couple days back.  I am still amazed I can find verses like these in scriptures I have read many times.  In John 6 Jesus was speaking of working for the bread that endures.  Then He just comes right out there with it.

Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”‭ – John‬ ‭6:29‬ ‭

Well, there it is.  The work of God is not ministry, service and giving.  Those are all great and fit into it, but that’s not where you start.  You start by believing.  Not just believing in a God that has saved, but in this Jesus whom you know.  All the work is done in believing in Him.  When you believe, you change your life.  When you believe in His love, you declare it to others.  When you believe in His power, you introduce it to the world.  When you really believe in Jesus, you escort Him into your life to change you, and the world around you.

Believe.  That is the work you need to do.  When that belief is rooted in you, it will overflow out of your life.

 

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him! – Matthew 7:7-11

Too often we look at scripture and match it up to our experience.  In this case it says that “whoever asks receives”.  Well I know I’ve asked God to heal someone and they weren’t, so my experience says there must be more to that verse.  This intrinsically leads me to not believe in this verse until I can wrap my mind around what makes it not happen.  I don’t understand it, so I don’t believe it.

Yet, the Bible says it.  Something I started catching onto a couple years back is that it doesn’t matter what our experience tells us.  We don’t take the Word and run it through our experience to understand it.  We’re just human.  We don’t have the experience and knowledge to do that.  It’s great when I can understand it fully and know exactly how it works, but even there I must be careful.  When I take a set of verses and say I know how something works, I’m looking more at a formula and less at a person.  So what the Spirit brought again to my mind today is to forget what I know(or more accurately what I think I know).  Forget it.  If the Bible says it and I don’t understand, so what.  Believe.  As I believe something, then I can start understanding.

Now, let’s apply this to my journey.

  • I’m asking to hear and see God in a more intimate way.
  • I’m seeking after a closer walk with Him, to see Him face to face.
  • I’m knocking upon the doors of heaven that I may enter and know my family and my home.

how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him”

I am asking to know my Father who loves me.  Basically, I’m asking for eternal life.  I know that’s His will, I know that is what is good for me.  Jesus said those who ask receive.  That means I will get my wish, find what I seek, and the door will be opened.  It’s not a question anymore, just a timing.  What does that mean?  That means I pray differently.  I seek different.  I pray with confidence in God’s word.  I seek expecting it to happen.  All I’m doing it aligning my life with God to speed up this process that I may know Him better.

God will answer, He’s promised.

 

It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” – ‭‭Jude‬ ‭1:14-15‬ ‭NASB‬‬

Have you caught on that I like lists?

1. Enoch prophesied – this is our first indication that Enoch was more than just someone who pleased God. Not sure if I’d say he is a prophet, but he prophesied of the end times, and it’s important enough to show up in scripture.  I personally don’t think he was called as a prophet(not immediately).  In one of those verse on spiritual gifts you get the 5-fold offices, prophet, apostle, evangelist, etc.  I don’t think he was necessarily one of those.  I think he walked close to God and as you do that, God begins to manifest out of you. Was it not 1 Corinthians 13 that told us that love is better than all the spiritual gifts?  Because love is God, and the spirit will move in that, not just in gifts but in the spirit itself.

2.  Where did this quote come from?  Ever wonder about that?  Well, there’s a book of Enoch. We know from history this was one of the important books to Jews in Jesus time but it was lost for a long time and only popped back up in the last 100 years or less.   This is a quote directly from that book which in my eyes gives it a lot of credibility. It’s not the Bible, but neither are a lot of other books we read.

Ok, short list.  But this is the direction I am heading next.  The Book of Enoch.  I’ve already started reading it ( I read part of it before ).  Unfortunately this will take time for me to go slowly and think about it all.  I’m mainly looking for hints on His walk.  Not much there in the first couple chapters.

 

So next I want to go into the book of Enoch for a while. You can find it ——.

By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; AND HE WAS NOT FOUND BECAUSE GOD TOOK HIM UP; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God. And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. ‭‭- Hebrews‬ ‭11:5-6‬ ‭NASB‬‬

This was the next passage about Enoch ( except for genealogies that just mentioned him in passing ).  Let’s go over the parts of this I found interesting.

1. By faith – This wasn’t an all God thing.  Of course God took Him up, but it was done by faith, Enoch’s faith.  His faith was such that the Lord could take Him up.  Why does that stick out to me, because this wasn’t God’s plan that was just going to happen.  Enoch enabled this by His faith.  If not just Enoch, why not others?

2. Death is not the best choice – His faith qualified him to go and not have to face death. I point this out because death is a result of sin. We weren’t created to die, in fact our spirit cannot, but because of sin this body can.  Go look at God’s words to Adam when he sinned.  He would die.  That means had he not, I believe he wouldn’t have.  So we weren’t made to die, which means that wasn’t God’s original plan.  This makes me think that death is a result of sin, but isn’t actually necessary.

Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he will never see death. – John 8:51

3. God took him – Might be obvious, but this is not something we do.  Our faith can enable it, but God is the one who does the work, we just allow it.

4. Pleased God – Why else should it mention it except that being pleasing to God was the main contributor as to why he was brought up.  Before he was taken up, this was his “witness”.  It was evident in His life that He pleased God so much.  To me, this implies that He pleased God so much, God decided to draw Him so near that he just left the earth.

Whether you are willing to accept it or not, there’s a section of The Final Quest by Rick Joyner that discussed the life of this beggar.  I cannot remember his name, and don’t want to go skimming the book to find it right now.  If you want to read it all, go get the book, but I’ll do a quick recap.  This man lived in poverty, had nothing to his name.  God said this man only had “one portion” of His love.  One day he ran across a cat and started to kick it, but mustered up all the love he had and just shoved it out of the way.  The Lord was moved enough he doubled the love.  This lead to something a little better, then he increased it again.  One day he ran across a tract and got saved.  That increased his love.  So he gave everything he could to buy tracts and share Jesus with others.  This continued on and on, up to a point that God said something like “all of heaven was entreating me to bring Him home”, so he let him die as a martyr trying to save someone in the cold and he came up to heaven.

The reason I brought this up, was that this man exhibited so much of love in his faith, that the heavens themselves wanted him to go home.

5. Must believe – “believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”  This is something the Spirit keeps bringing to my attention. We really must believe that He is(seems obvious but do you always live that way?) but also that he rewards those who seek him. Not those who serve a lot, or those who give a lot, or those who are ministers or teachers. No, He rewards those who seek him. We can all do this. It must be ingrained in your heart that the reward is in seeking and finding God. Part of that(and faith) is to do all He asks, but it’s more. It’s your heart, desires and attention that must become more and more focused upon him.

I felt like the Spirit was telling me that I should spend some time on Enoch.  More specifically, that I should take some time looking at his life and help others to understand.  I don’t necessarily think it was for you guys on here, but you get to be the trial run.  We’ll work our way through scripture and then move on to other references.  To start, let’s just go over the main scripture for Enoch.

Enoch lived sixty-five years, and became the father of Methuselah. Then Enoch walked with God three hundred years after he became the father of Methuselah, and he had other sons and daughters. So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him. – ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭5:21-24‬ ‭NASB‬‬

 To start, let’s just go over the main scripture for Enoch.  Enoch gets me excited.  I don’t remember hearing many messages preached on him, just that he walked with God and was taken away.  We didn’t know much more to say about that than this.  What do you preach to other Christians about how to apply this?I felt like the Spirit was telling me that I should spend some time on Enoch.  More specifically, that I should take some time looking at his life and help others to understand.  I don’t necessarily think it was for you guys on here, but you get to be the trial run.  We’ll work our way through scripture and then move on to other references.  To start, let’s just go over the main scripture for Enoch.

Point #1 – Walking with God

So what did it mean that he “walked with God”?  That is much of the mystery.  I believe it’ll be more clear as we go along, but I fall back to some of Sadhu’s teaching on walking with God.   To me, it means to walk along side, to know, to talk, to see, and to know each other intimately.  Sadhu had his definition for it that I can’t remember. I know it’s in that series about walking with God.  My definition is probably based off of his, so close enough.  I just think how I’ve seen others walk, or even think of the Bible.  God talks to them.  They see visions, dreams, angels.  The Lord works closely with them.  Think of Adam in the garden, God would walk along side and explain things.  True friendship where there is two way communication.  Working together where the spirit is leading and guiding as you work.  Trust.  Basically, all things that are so far above our typical walk.

Point #2 – We can do this.

Growing up, this was just another one of those scriptures that was one of “those” people in the Bible that were special.  We couldn’t expect to be treated like this, could we?   Of course we could.
So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality. – Acts 10:34
We have to stop thinking that we can’t do things that God has shown can be done.  If Enoch could do this, why couldn’t we.  One thing he had going for him was that when he was born, Adam was still alive.  Imagine hearing the stories of Adam walking in the Garden with God.  However, we have Christ, and the Spirit.  I can’t imagine how he could find such a walk without Jesus revealed.  He must have found that revelation, and reached forward to it.  It’s like David, who had a heart after God but without Jesus was still walking under a harder covenant.

Point #3 – He was just a man

Think about it, he wasn’t even like many of the figures in the Bible.  He had, what, 10 scriptures written total with him mentioned?  I like to think that he wasn’t even a big “pivotal” figure in the Bible, as it wasn’t planned for him to lead Israel, walk with Jesus, etc, and yet he found a way.  He wasn’t a big prophet or apostle, and yet, how many people can say they walked so close to God, that God just took them home.  Enoch, Elijah, maybe Moses.  Were there more?  I can tell you yes, though I can’t give you proofs.  This still happens.  People who are so close to God that He just brings them up as they don’t need to die.  Those who overcome death itself.  That’s the plan for the end-time army, but Enoch got ahead.  I think he just drew some close to God in a relationship that he was there for that very purpose.

Point #4 – Normal family man

Notice, he didn’t walk with God until his first child was born.  After than, he had more sons and daughters.  That means he did this as a husband and father.  He took care of his family but still walked with God.  That says he’s not much different than me.  He wasn’t like Paul who said it’s better to not be married and focused on God, he found the way in that.  I personally find that encouraging.

 

How do we do this?  I hope to find more exciting things as we keep looking at Enoch to help encourage me but also to explain to me how Enoch was able to.  Relationship should be our goal, not results.

As I was waiting on the Lord today, I was reminded of something Neville Johnson said in his series, Laying Proper Foundations, and basically what he said is that God cannot bring you into the Spirit world while you have certain.. we’ll say wounds.  I can’t really think of the word, but unrepentant sins, areas in your life your susceptible to the enemy, things that haven’t been worked out.  To do so is dangerous because you can so easily be decieved.  After hearing this again, I had to go back before the Lord and lay some things down.  There are some attitudes that I have held lately that are not healthy or Godly.  I had to give those up.  You know, it’s really hard to give things up when you are convinced you’ve been wronged.  You want it to be made right, not to let it go.

But I did.

I think. 🙂

So I was reminded of that again today.  How there’s a certain level of holiness required to get closer to God.  You don’t have to be sinless to know Him, to be used by Him, but there is only so much He can do when you are serving two masters.  I believe Paul Keith Davis liked to call this the Thrones of our Soul.

Do you have an area that you are currently in sin, or fall to easily into sin in?  Are you living with attitudes of the enemy.  Bitterness, regret, envy, lust.

Give them up.  Unless you can come clean, you can’t come far.

Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? – Luke 14:28

This is actually a response to a question from another post, but figured it’d be good to get out there and say my thoughts here.  The original question was when I’m trying to wait on God, do I clear my mind or focus upon the Word.

How I see it, those are two things.

First there’s meditating upon the Word.  In this instance you probably want to spend time in prayer and worship to get yourself “in the spirit”, basically to where you feel the presence of the Lord, and get focused more upon Him.  Then you take some scripture, and just spend time on it.  What you’ll see I often do is use time when I’m doing something like mowing the yard ( doesn’t take much thought ) or driving to just mull over scriptures.  Repeat it, say it out loud, think through each part of it, etc.  I still think that’s just part of it, and that there’s a much deeper part I haven’t gotten to you.  This is mainly from Sadhu Sundar Selvaraj’s teachings on meditating on the Word.  He says you get in that quiet place, and then just go over and over it.  When you do this, you have different levels of revelation.  The first level is where I typically get to, the Holy Spirit speaking to you, other levels are angels coming to make things clear, the Lord speaking directly to you, Jesus coming, or even going into the Word to experience it.  Neville Johnson also speaks about this some in His teachings.  Both are similar enough in that you get into that quiet place where you are in His presence, and then just focus upon the Word and stay there.  Keep reading, speaking, thinking.  Preferably until something happens.

I don’t do enough of that.

Since I don’t get as much time along and quiet, I tend to try for the other thing, waiting on God.  I’m actually going to sort of take this 3 ways here…

  1. Watching with you eyes, from Praying Medic – From his books ( focused more upon seeing in the Spirit ), he starts with getting in the dark, praising the Lord quietly, and just watching.  Basically try to keep a blank “visual” image and see what shows up.  Keep practicing this to start seeing with your Spiritual eyes.
  2. Visualization.  Neville talks more about visualize.  So in this case, you focus upon the Lord.  Again, very similar to above, first spend time in prayer, praise and worship.  Clear everything else out, find that place of feeling God’s presence, and then just sit and soak.  Picture Jesus in your mind, and stay there.  If need be, speak in tongues quietly or have some music(without words) in the background.  Try to keep your mind clear but focus upon the Lord.  Something I’ll just very quietly praise Jesus or even just say His name to stay focused.
  3. Stillness.  This is Sadhu.  He doesn’t talk about visualizing ( though he doesn’t say anything against that).  Basically he’s big things are desiring the Lord and staying very still and quiet.  This is perhaps the hardest as your mind will just go and go.   I think that’s the case in all of these.  There was one series where he discussed when he first started doing this.  He would come into complete stillness ( no other thoughts, just complete quiet in his mind ) as long as he could.  After a while he got up to going 30 minutes at a time, then suddenly the Lord spoke to him audibly.  If you want to know this, I can probably track down the right one, I know I’ve mentioned it before.

 

In any of the cases, the really big things I’d say are:

  1. Desire – You must come in love for the Lord and yearning for Him.
  2. Expectation – Expect Him to show up, it makes it more real.
  3. Stillness – Try to stop any thought of yours.  It will be hard and takes practice, but that’s what practice is for.  This is something you have to train yourself, but if you can’t be still, you’ll have trouble hearing.

 

In my cases, I think I tend to try to just visualize the Lord and stay quiet ( sort of a combination ).  What I haven’t done is continue to do this day after day and make sure I start building up that endurance to stay there.  Like with so many of these things, I do it for a while, then fall off and I’m not as earnest.

Hope this helps.

These past couple months ( years? ) I feel like I lost sight of something.  I’ve looked at books, I’ve focused on spiritual sight.  I’ve spent more time on the Word.  I’ve gotten bogged down in family and work.  I’ve been pulled away in sin.  I’ve just plain looked for comfort from other places.

What I came to realize today is I feel like I lost sight of my main goal.  I want back to the “My Mission” statement and it still fairly well sums it up.  I want intimacy.  I want to know God in such a way that I experience Him.  When we become close enough with the Lord, he opens up to us.  He brings us to see His home, He introduces us to His friends.  He reveals the things that are going on and also just sits and talks with us.

In all the methods and principles and struggling and work, I strayed off the only path I know to be true.  Knowing God.  What does that look like?  More commitment every day than the one before.  It looks like finding free time to just sit with Him. It looks like waiting upon Him for Him to speak.  It looks like opening my eyes to see Him moving. I just can’t find the words.  I have a “ministry” for now, something the Lord has led me to do, and I’m working on that, but even that I feel must fall secondary.  The primary goal must always be to draw closer to Him.  If I don’t ever stick with it, I won’t break through to that intimacy.

Jesus, name above all names, beautiful savior, glorious Lord.

My heart cries out for you.  Only you.

Now when Daniel knew that the document was signed, he entered his house (now in his roof chamber he had windows open toward Jerusalem); and he continued kneeling on his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his God, as he had been doing previously. – Daniel 6:10

I think I finally get it.  I’ve read those scriptures that Daniel set aside 3 times a day to pray, and I always took it as, oh that’s some good thing he set up to do, and not something for myself.  Why?  Isn’t Daniel perhaps one of the men most to be respected.  Personally, I think it was Daniel that spoke with John in Revelation, who revealed the end times.  He said he was one of the prophets didn’t he?  I have no revelation on that, it just fits.

Anyway, so it hits me today.  Daniel was smart enough to realize that he needed to stop everything he did several times in a day to come back to God.  To walk in the presence of the Lord, to keep his focus upon Him, to line up his life with Him.  You can’t just go through your whole day without it.  Unlike me, he had the brains to realize that it wouldn’t just happen unless he made it happen.  That seems to be the key right.  In all these things, you plan to succeed.  What’s that saying, “if you fail to plan then you plan to fail”.  Do not trust that you can keep your mind on God all day.  Do not trust that time will just magically come.  If you need to, go to bed early.  Or stay up late.  Set aside some lunches, perhaps a schedule meeting in the morning.  Do what it takes to make sure you are coming back to God.  Always back to Him.

 

 

Sorry for the title, but it’s a reuse of one of my favorite lines from the show “Fringe”.  Fun show, not really that edifying, just fun.

I want to just make a short and honest post.

I get bitter.

There can be several reasons, some recurring, some new ones.  It’s a sneaky little devil.  One day I’m doing great, then my mind runs off onto one of these topics, and poof, 10 minutes later bitterness has poisoned my attitude.  And poison it is.  Bitterness allowed to fester will ruin your soul.  Seriously.  I suspect most of you have someone close to you where you’ve seen this happen.

Well today’s story was with my wife.  I’m going to leave things vague, as there’s no need for particulars.  But today was one of the reoccurring topics.  I was having a bit of a rough morning, she made some comments, I commented back, couple “barely” heated words, then I go off mumbling.  I mumbling because I feel like I am not being treated as I deserve ( strike one ), and that she does this a lot ( strike two ), and I think back about those other times she’s done stuff like this ( strike three, I’m out. ).

So the holy spirit managed to sneak a word in ( I’m pretty impressed in fact, because I didn’t want to listen ), and got me to stop and think about how Jesus would handle that.  Well, you know what happens when you’re grump and bitter.

“Well, Jesus picked out people that would listen to him”

“Jesus was respected for who He was”

and the best one:

“Jesus never had a wife to deal with”.

Obviously, this is the brutally honest part of the quote.  I did not say this out, in fact, this is the type of thing I wouldn’t ever repeat to someone as it exposes just how stupid I can be.  Honey, if you happen to read this, you are amazing.  I suspect you’ve already learned to not listen to me, just keep at it.

At this point God had enough, and pointed out that we are the bride of Christ.  Oops.  Guess Jesus does have to deal with “that”.  In fact, what really came to mind was that God chose Israel, and how horrible of a “spouse” they were.  Remember the life of Hosea who was led to marry a harlot as a testimony of Israel.  Ouch.

Needless to say, I started rearranging my thoughts after this.  When my wife got back ( she had gone to run ) I apologized.  Was I right in what I said at first?  It doesn’t matter.  if I got bigger I’m wrong.  If I got angry, I’m wrong.  I care much less for the actually truth than how I handle the situation.

So, the reason for this post.  I guess humility.  I want anyone reading to see other do ( or think ) their own stupid and silly things, and to encourage you to not give in to bitterness.  Instead, suck it up, set it aside, and make Jesus all you need.