Category: The quest to walk with God


Sometimes all it takes is just 10 minutes during your workout where you set your eyes upon the Lord, still your heart, and be open, and you get a “download” as Paul Keith Davis likes to say.  That’s what happened last night.  I get the impression that the Lord is just bubbling over with things to tell me, only waiting that I’m still and humble enough to receive them.

I carry burdens, lots of them.  I suspect we all do.  It takes so little.

  • Spouse
  • Children
  • Job
  • Mortgage
  • Friends
  • Parents

Expectations are placed upon us by things around us.  Usually people, sometimes just ourselves.  There’s actually a Marriage devotional we went through called iMarriage that I’m reminded of.  According to them, the expectations we bring into the marriage are often the things that drives it apart.  Your spouse will most likely not live up to your expectations.  It’s ok to dream, but to expect is to place a burden.  When I expect my wife to make dinner sometimes and I continue to find myself making dinner, where do I go.  I go into my expectation, wondering why she can’t handle such a small thing.  What did I do that I have to do this.  Whine, whine whine.  Now I’m bitter.  That bitterness will just spread until it finds other reasons to reinforce itself.

Back to the point.  I can focus on the expectations.  My work expects me to keep everything going(that was super bad for a while), my wife expects me to do all sorts of things and remember stuff(oh boy), my child expects me to play all the time, I expect myself to work on my writing, and fix the house, and rake the leaves, and so on.  God expects me to do my quiet time and find time to wait quietly, and pray, and intercession.  Don’t forget worship.

In the end, I fail it all.

But Jesus…. my beloved Jesus.

Come to me, all who are weary and heavy ladened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your soul.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. – Matthew 11:28-30

We need to change how we live.  I need to, so I don’t get buried under the pressure.  What was Jesus yoke?  Easy.

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ – Matthew 22:36-39

Love God, love others.

I can do it, sometimes.  When I am able to set myself aside.  I have to drop all my expectations, my fleshly desires, and my priorities.  Then I come to God empty.  Live small.  Make yourself small before the Lord.  Some days it took me a few minutes in the shower, another day a minute on my knees, another day 30 minutes of worship in the car.  Whatever way.  Come to God and bow before Him.  Get everything of yourself out of the way and Know Him.  When you get that mindset right, all the other stuff becomes so easy.  You come home and immediately clean up the dishes, clear the mess, and start some laundry because it’ll bless your wife to do it.  When you find a moment in the car, you praise the Lord because it’s pleasing to Him.  When sin comes, you answer as Joseph “How can I do such a thing and sin against my God!”

Set yourself aside.  Live small, so that He may be big.

 

Advertisements

The Spirit gave me this little nugget while raking leaves today.  I was thinking how I’ve often heard the response from people who don’t believe you can see God ( while living at least ) that “you can’t see God and live”.  The verse they’re referencing is from Exodus.

But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.” – Exodus 33:20

There’s a lot of arguments I’ve heard to go against this, but I had an interesting new one today.  As I had that thought, the Spirit said to me, “Doesn’t that sound familiar”.  I thought so too.  It sounded similar to the tree of knowledge.

But you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” – Genesis 2:17

But wait, Adam and Eve didn’t actually die when they ate from the tree.  Yet that’s what God said.  We realize that the death was more spiritual.  Their physical boides continue on.

So what’s to keep us from applying the same principle.  When they ate the fruit, a part of them ( spiritual ) died.  So when we see God, a part of us ( old man ) can no longer live.  When you come face to face with God, something will die.  It could be you, but it could also be the flesh in you that dies and gives way to something greater.

Ok, so I’ve had it for a bit, but finally started reading Gazing into Glory by Bruce Allen.  I knew of Bruce from the Lancaster prophetic conferences that he did with Sadhu Sundar Selvaraj and Neville Johnson for years, but never really listened much to him.  So I went back to look at the intro and realized this book was very relevant for my quest, so I started working through it slowly.  And slowly it was.  Like most good books, I could only go for about 10-15 minutes at a time before I had to stop and chew on things a while.  I actually haven’t finished, but I think I’m past the relevant parts for this post.

Guess what most of the book was about.  Seeing God, moving into the Spirit, working with God.  You know, all the stuff I’ve been pursuing.  Here’s some basic notes I took along the way.

  • First key – Passion.  Search with all your heart
  • Second key – Pure in heart shall see God
  • Third key – Obedience
  • A lot of talk about sanctifying our imagination.  Watch what you put into your mind, focus on Jesus.  ( Take every thought captive )
  • “Imagination is reality according to God”
  • “You’re as close to God as you want to be”
  • “Jesus is no respecter of persons”
  • Begin to practice His presence, focusing upon an image of Jesus in your imagination.  When you read the Bible, picture it.  When you’re longing for something from God, imagine it occurring.
  • Passion, passion, passion.

So if you’ve read much of my stuff, basically all the same stuff I’ve been taking from others.   Same things I’ve been trying to work toward.  This was a nice affirmation that I’m on the right track.  Almost everything he was saying, I could “nod” my head at as something I knew that I should be doing.  Sometimes it’s just nice to get another person’s input and realize you aren’t so far off.

The other encouraging thing was his story.  He worked his way into this.  He didn’t start with some big supernatural encounter as many others I’ve read.   He didn’t have a voice speak out to start talking.  No, he heard some of these truths and began to apply them in his life until he broke through.

It was a bit different than Neville or Sadhu, so that was good.  Followed more along the lines of Neville.  Use your imagination, sanctify it, focus it upon God.  If you’re passionate enough and stick with it, God will use that.

For me what I’ve taken is I’m falling short on two things here.  First the passion.  I get it for a couple weeks here or there, but don’t keep it strong like I should until I break through.  Second, focusing upon Jesus.  I’ll do it for a couple days, but it’s tough.  It’s tough to leave so much else out of your mind and focus to keep it upon the Lord.  Strange thing is when I do it, it continues to be more and more real.  Often I’ll stop and focus upon the Lord for a couple minutes and having this wave of love and peace flow through me, as if He’s right there ( which of course He is ).  It’s like each time I come back to these things, they’re a little more real.  If I can just hold firm this time.

 

 

 

 

I was bitter.

I find this happening a little too often.  Bitterness is a disease, but even more.  It’s like a cancer that spreads.  When you let it in, it tries to grow and grow.  It will consume you if you don’t cut it off.  I’ve seen it in too many others around me.  Yick.

That’s not my post for today, I just started bitter.  Some was directed at my wife (sorry honey).  You know how we all have expectations.  Well, my expectations weren’t being met.  As part of this, I was wondering why I would continue to do all the things I do.  You see, the Lord had taught me to love her and sacrifice for her especially in the times I don’t think she would deserve it.  That’s a different story for another day.  So here I am wondering why I keep doing that, and the Lord suddenly gave me 1 Peter 4:8

Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.

I had always looked at this verse like that of God’s love.  He loves us so much it can cover over our sins.  Basically grace.  But that’s not what it’s tell me.  It’s telling me to love because that covers sin.  In the moment, the meaning was clear to me.  My actions of love for my wife would cover over results of my sins and keep the consequences of those.  You see, I have my own problems as well.  I wonder sometimes ( as I think we all should ) how our marriage goes so well when the two of us ( especially me ) have so many issues.

What I learned is that my love for here and the actions I take ( especially when I don’t feel it ), covers over many of my own shortcomings and has kept out marriage in the shape it is in.

So what is this telling me going forward.  It’s telling me just how important love is.  I am not perfect and don’t expect to be anytime soon ( I have hopes ).  I will sin, and that sin has consequences even though I am forgiven.  In the Spirit God sees me as sinless, but if I were to kill someone for example, I would still end up in jail.  Sin has a result, even forgiven sin.  Yet there’s another way.  Love.  An abundance of love will cover over the sins and make them like they didn’t exist.  So when I am so desperate for the Lord but know that I will still fall into sin, I should love Him even more.  Show love most especially in those times where it doesn’t make sense.

Why, because love covers my sin.  Covering my sin helps make me holy again.  Holiness is relationship.

 

Let’s get real.

I was listening to Bobby Conner yesterday

 

Gotta love Bobby Conner.  I actually met him once and he prophesied over me.  That an event would happen, but not so much what it means or what will occur because of it. Still waiting on that to see.  Anyway, I’m listening to him and he brings up a scripture I know well.

Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. – Jeremiah 29:12-13

Nothing big and new here, but just re-emphasizing this for me.  If you want to find the Lord, then you must seek with ALL your heart.  There’s no half-hearted effort to be had here.  All or nothing.  This was just one of like 5 times I had to stop the video in just the first 30 minutes or so.  So many good little nuggets.  Anyway, it just hit me again how important this is.  I’m getting more desperate and focused, which is good, but I need to push deeper.

Not sure if you saw this video I posted a while back:

https://wordpress.com/post/waitwithme.wordpress.com/630

Looks like the video link doesn’t work anymore, I probably have it saved somewhere if you need it.  It was Neville Johnson’s son(Mark) talking about how his eyes were opened.  Basically he got determined enough and he knew one of the keys to God was sacrifice.  So he took a show he watched with his dad often, and put that time aside to spend with the Lord.  This came to mind recently as I was thinking about the Old Testament.  There are all these sacrifices and offerings they give which are representations of spiritual sacrifices, yet only one of them was Jesus.  The Sin or Trespass(forgive me, don’t want to go digging right now).  But there were others.

God is big on sacrifice.

I’m ready for something new.  I’m ready to stop flopping around in the same area and listening to all these things but seeing so few of them.  Let’s take Mark’s approach here.  We will find God when we search with all our heart.  So let’s pick out something in our heart that isn’t necessary.  Not family or job ( well, maybe job ), but something not required.  TV show, books, hobbies, etc.  I am not saying to cut it all out ( at least not right now ), but pick out something big and important to you.  Something you desire.  A good example for me is audiobooks.  I love to listen to them as I mentioned.  I’ll go little periods without, but always fall back.  Pick out a thing or two and commit it to God.  I’m not saying forever, just long enough.  I would suggest picking something that frees up time, because you need to put that time into God.  Praise, worship, prayer, and especially just waiting upon Him.  I’ve actually got a couple things in mind, one which is not exactly a sin, but close enough it doesn’t count as the type of sacrifice I’m meaning.  But others do.

Now take that sacrifice, stand before the Lord, and tell Him you will set that aside until He moves.  How long?  As long as it takes.

I can’t stand living like this much longer.

You in?

 

That was fun.  I had heard about him and ended up meeting him through some friends.  Pretty down to earth guy, sort of country small town guy.  You wouldn’t expect much from him to look at or talk to (at first).  He isn’t a pastor, or even a normal “minister”.  He doesn’t have a big ministry or anything even known.  Yet God has touched him.  Wow.

I just heard him telling stories.  One of them he was brought over to a country in Africa to be one of a couple speakers for a conference of several thousand pastors.  He speaks at churches in the area, but mostly just goes where he’s led.

He says he doesn’t go minister somewhere unless God tells him.  So he hasn’t set up a ministry or church, even though enough people would follow him it could have.  He has seen healings, deliverances, and so on.  The best story was the beginning one though.

He was part of a small church and stuck on a committee ( of one ) to look for the new pastor.  It was going badly, divided church, no one could agree.  So he began a nightly prayer meeting.  Every night him and his wife would go to the church and pray.  This kept on for about 5 months or so I think.  Finally God told him it was time to leave.  He had grown up in this church, so a big deal for a little country church.  Well that leads down a couple paths to this period where God baptized him in the spirit and he had a period where he couldn’t talk normally for days.  God would lead people in and he could minister to them, but otherwise, nothing intelligible would come out of his mouth.  One was a woman who came that morning to see him.  Her and her husband had troubles and were on the verge of getting divorced.  During the drive to his office, she was praying to God about it.  Well when she got there, suddenly this man started talking.  Now in this case, he had no idea what he said, it was like God said it in his ear and it just came out.  Well he repeated this woman’s prayer from on the way word for word.  She ended up in tears on the floor.  Her words on the way out were “our marriage will be fine”.

There were so many other stories he gave of what God had done.

This is the kind of ministry that touches my heart.  The type where God steps in and does something none of us could do.  And it all began when he started praying to God for an answer and wouldn’t give up.  That’s the sort of dedication I’m seeing across many of these ministers.  Same thing Neville talks about, you keep doing and doing it until you break through.

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.