At our men's group meeting tonight, after some fun at the pool table, our host and leader spoke about the prayers of Jesus at the time before his betrayal and eventually the execution.
During Jesus intense time of prayer he stops as recorded in the gospels, once, twice and then a third time according to Mark.
He speaks to his friends about watching and praying that they not succumb to temptation.
i began to think about some other thoughts, some of them i shared there tonight. This is what i thought about.
He knew what he was about to give himself to, but also he knew that there with him were the men who were going to carry the next events with them and how this was going to change the history of God's intervention with man for all time. Not only was he becoming the sacrificial lamb for the world, not only was he carrying all our sin and guilt with him, not only was he demonstrating the enormous love of the Father to all mankind, but he was to be betrayed by a friend and killed by the very people he had come to demonstrate the love of God to. Who only hours before he had been teaching and healing and casting out the demonic from those who were bound.
He foretold this event in the story of the vineyard and the workers who killed the son of the vineyard owner, speaking of himself and those who had been entrusted with the keys of the kingdom.
Here were a group of people, his friends who knew nothing of what the next hours were going to unfold, and who knew nothing of how they were going to react and run away and even deny knowing him.
These were the same people who would be used by God through Holy Spirit to change the course of history, beginning with a small speck of a nation and for the next few thousand years would impact the entire earth with a radical message of good news through the death of one man for all for all time.
The wisdom and at the same time seemingly foolishness of God to trust men with so phenomenal a task. He had to trust the fickle heartedness of mankind to carry out something so important, that had they known what they were doing and the ramifications... ripples in the stream of time, of what this was going to do in changing the divine order of the religious world as was known at the time. They may have failed completely had they seen the whole picture as was thought out in God's heart for what he was going to accomplish.
These men had a choice to wait it out for the next 50 days, together in a room or go back to what they were doing before and forget about it all. This was their moment of temptation. Do they really believe that Jesus was all and everything he had said, and that there was another encounter to behold in Holy Spirit?
i mean, what did they know of Holy Spirit? Where was there some evidence that this was going to happen and who or what was Jesus talking about?
They could have walked away.
God as a trusting Father allowed his hands to be free from any coercion. There was no mind games, no control, no changing the rules of free will. They could have stopped at any time and the plan of God could have fallen flat.
But it didn't and there was no failure, because God knew what was in the heart of each chosen individual, each as different as they come. He knew they could be entrusted with the greatest event this world has ever seen and will ever know until the return of Jesus in our very near future.
God's choice in creation was easy compared to these next days as he watched his only son walk down a pathway into the arms of hatred. His people, his heart, his passion for life and giving to mankind would be rejected and his heart in Father, Son and Holy Spirit would be broken and all his love thwarted for a time. Until mankind would see what really happened here and turn and repent and be welcomed back.
He still awaits his first love of the Jews to have their eyes and hearts opened.
i cannot speculate on what i might have done during those horrendous next few days to come. i was not there. i was destined for such a time as now. i was chosen to receive his gift of love to me at a specific time in my life. i had a choice to make and i said "yes to Jesus, i will follow you!"
That was over 34 years ago.
i like millions of others have been given a gift of Holy Spirit... the comforter, teacher, the one who directs and leads us into the truth and love of God the Father and glorifies the Son, Jesus of Nazareth.
i like these other men, Jesus original followers, was not coerced, controlled, manipulated, threatened, violated, pushed, nor demanded by religiosity to do what i chose to do. i chose to change my lifestyle and have a relationship with God as my heavenly Father because i wanted to. To be filled with Holy Spirit and have him join with my spirit and to love Jesus was also my choice. To walk in the spirit and be led daily by Holy Spirit, and to love God and others is my choice.
God writes the notes of the symphony, but we decide what we want to play.
He still entrusts life onto the hands and hearts of men.
i choose to trust my hands and heart to him.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Experience and the Upper room.
The gauge to divine experience and the now of God, when nothing remotely close comes from heaven and stops at our door and we wonder why?
What are the vast differences?
The timing of history and the planting of the first Jesus followers assembly and a witness to the Jewish nation about a God who was changing the parameters of their box and burning the books of man made laws and the slavery it was putting His people into.
So of course there was a necessity of a shaking and tongues of fire and the first display of heavenly power since Jesus had now removed Himself from the stage and reappears in the other personality of the God head... Holy Spirit Himself is dropped onto a group of misfits and a mishmash of nobodies. Who by the way were in complete unison waiting for the next 50 days. There was a definitive statement to be made by God that He was going to do things His way... as Jesus said "I am the way, the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father except by me", through Holy Spirit, who would draw all men unto Him and point them to the truth.
They would have power to be His witnesses, and they were going to need it!
The next few centuries would prove that.
But still the continuation of refusal of the Jews to welcome this Messiah and His timing would become and still is their stumbling block to this day.
The next step was for a bona fide hard nosed young Jewish scholar to meet with an unusual experience one day as he was going about his business killing the followers of Jesus. Saul meets Jesus head on in a heavenly vision and is remarkably changed forever and suddenly the hardhearted Jews are passed over and God now turns His heart and grace on to the Gentile nations. Saul's name is changed to Paul, because once you have encountered Jesus there is no returning to the old you.
This was all foretold in old testament prophecy as God's grace is poured out upon all mankind.
The next incidents of power from on high touching the lives of Gentiles is seen and the experience is almost as strong as the first encounter. They too would need this power in their lives to assist them in seeing more of the world impacted by the gospel of Good News.
Paul himself taking this Good News to many nations and experiencing the personality of Holy Spirit in his life and through demonstrations of that power into the lives of others. Healing, deliverance, dead raised and so forth. This was all necessary for the gospel to impact their lives.
We are looking back on 2000 years of Christ's impartation of Holy Spirit. Throughout the centuries the Christian Church has experienced a diversity of architectural, structural, doctrinal differences, shapes, sounds, dressed up and dressed down. Everything imaginable has been built around, beside, over, and on top of the foundation carefully laid by Christ. He remains the cornerstone that cannot be shaken and everything that is attached to Him and His name will be shaken and tried by fire to see what will remain.
We consider the experiences of our faithful forerunners and we seemingly expect a similar rendition of the first symphony and that all the notes should align themselves to the order of our day. We played the tune but you did not dance?
I am reminded that these experiences were a surprise to those who found themselves in the midst of them at the time.
I do not believe that we need a carbon copy of something that was not designed for us and for the particular circumstances we are presently in. We need a NOW experience of God for the NOW we are in.
We are not building the Christian faith as they were. We are living it, if we are presently walking in and being led by Holy Spirit. The question is what are we doing with all that we do have in this present moment?
i have to ask myself; would an upper room experience really change anything about me? i have a relationship with God, i love Jesus and the word and i'm open to being led by the Spirit and to walk in the Spirit.
Do i need supernatural experiences? You betcha!!! i long for them always.
Do i receive them? i have had some powerful and awesome moments of His presence touching me, blessing me, loving on me, speaking to me, directing me, healing me, chastening me and times of Him asking me to be still.
If i look within myself for something from inside of me to empower me, that is other than Holy Spirit generated i will become disappointed and disillusioned. But if i remain steadfast in my faith and my security in Jesus work on the cross and Holy Spirit's careful direction for my life, i will feel the wind of His presence blowing, i will feel the shaking of all the things within me that are not part of Him, and i will experience the tongues of fire burning deep within my heart and the continued renewing process burning through my mind. In this i am content that He can empower me to meet the now for my life and i will have the boldness to continue being His witness in my world of influence.
So what does our world need most of all from us?
Our devotion of love to and for one another is the most powerful resource we have at our disposal and our willingness to soar like an eagle with prayer and intercession into the heart of God. Humbly standing in the gap for another and being the bridge of life for them to cross over.
Some men find God, some men know God, but Moses KNEW the WAYS of God and was called a friend. One of the greatest intercessors next to Jesus.
That is my goal, and to experience daily a waiting on Holy Spirit in my upper room.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Spirit: To Have NewLife>New Directive>New Personality>Connected
Disigned to abide in the vine, and receive revelation
Able to Comunicate with Holy Spirit
Raised to the life of our New Creation
Soul: Existing Character>Personality
Designed to become a unique individual
With a willingness to follow divine truth,
accepting the revelation of our spirit
For we are formed in Their image
Designed to hold the Life Giving Fullness of God
A living witness empowered to enact the very essence
of the Godhead, in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control
Set apart from and rising above any binding law
A House of Prayer, A House of Blessing
An ever flowing River of Life
HE IS/I AM
Father: The Total embodyment of all creation/Everything>Omneity>
All Encompassing/Panoptical>All Inclusive
Son: Jesus>The Soul Complete Character of God come in the Flesh, for us
because of His Enormous Love
One and Only able to fulfill the Father's purpose
Holy Spirit: Fullness of the three>Breath of Life> Creator>Lover>Teacher>Fulfiller of the Father's Plans>Gift and Mercy Bearer>Who brings all this into us>that we might be like Him!
Given to us as a gift of grace set apart from laws
Mandated to fill the earth with like minded unique personalities
predestined to draw all mankind unto the Father,
through Jesus the Son
Making Sons and Daughters
of Intimate and Infinite proportion
unravelling the web
and bring coherent
to a slippery
surface of dew drops
hanging before me
the presence of God
i lift my head
caressing my ears
of calming morning mist
i am drenched
in this love
saturated in a second
time has no meaning
my heart dances
through a kaleidoscope of colour
overwhelmed with joy
touches my hand
we dance through the mist
until we both
revelation and dream
dream and revelation
melt into one
in the depth of love