Sunday, 21 November 2010

What are you waiting for (part 2)?

Many Christians are waiting for God to touch their lives. They either seek His touch in prayer or they attend meetings where they hope to be touched by God in the meeting or through somebody. God certainly wants His people to seek His face but I believe that many believers don't have a clear idea of exactly what they are looking for and what they will do once they have found it. Whether we call it "a touch from God" or "a move of God" or "revival" I think we need to have a clear understanding of what that looks like and what it will mean for our lives, once we've experienced it.

I believe we need to honestly ask ourselves why we want to experience God. Here are a few common reasons:

I want to know for sure that God exists
I want to know personally, that God loves me
I want to experience God's power so that I receive His power to do His work
I believe I need an experience to know that I have been filled (baptised) with the Holy Spirit

Unfortunately these reasons are derived from wrong teaching, our interpretation of others' experience, unbelief and a lack of knowledge of God and His Word. Let's have a look these reasons more carefully.

I want to know for sure that God exists

God expects His creation to believe in Him even though we don't see Him in the physical. Creation is evidence enough of His existence.

"The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse." Rom. 1:18-20

"Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." Heb. 11:1

"And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." Heb. 11:6

"We fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen." 2 Cor. 4:18

"Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.." 1 Peter 1:8

"Jesus told him, 'Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.'" John 20:29

"For we live by faith, not by sight." 2 Cor. 5:7

Clearly then, seeking a touch from God for proof of His existence is simply unbelief and doesn't please God.

I want to know personally, that God loves me

Many of us have been in meetings where some people are clearly touched by God in a glorious way and we wonder why God doesn't give us the same experience. Consequently we leave disappointed and left out. However, that kind of thinking is based on the assumption that an experience like that is proof of God's love. It isn't!

God has already proven His love for us in giving us His Son. He demonstrated His love for us when He lay down His life for us.

"God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Rom. 5:8

If we seek an experience from God for proof of His love for us, we are again walking in unbelief. God has already demonstrated His love for us. Why do we need more proof? Was John lying when he wrote,

"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are." 1 John 3:1

Either we believe or we don't.

I want to experience God's power so that I receive His power to do His work.

Somewhere along the line many of us have come to believe that the believer needs a "second blessing" or needs to be "baptised in the Holy Spirit" before he can do the works Jesus did. Let me ask you, "Can you receive God without His wisdom?" Then why do some of us believe we can receive God without His power? Jesus said that the believer will receive power when he receives the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8) - we cannot receive the Holy Spirit without His power. Either we believe we have received the Holy Spirit and are therefore able to do the work of Jesus or not. Paul reprimands the Galatians for thinking that they had to earn God's power.

"Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?....Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard?" Gal. 3:2-5

Seeking God for something you have already received is unbelief. We have received the fullness of God through faith in Jesus Christ.

" have been given fullness in Christ.." Col. 2:10

The believer is united to Christ and has therefore received every spiritual blessing in Christ, including His power (see Eph. 1:3; 1 Cor. 1:24; 1 John 4:15; 2 Peter 1:3 etc).

Believe you have received!

I believe I need an experience to know that I have been filled (baptised) with the Holy Spirit.

This is a similar reason to the one just discussed. Jesus baptises the believer into His Spirit - into God! The Christian does not still need more of God but needs to learn to manifest the fullness of God by faith. The believer's life is about "..attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ" (Eph. 4:13) and not receiving more of God as though God gives Himself in bits and pieces.

Through faith in Jesus we are joined to Him and immersed into His fullness. Believe you have received!

So we can see that many of us may have the wrong reasons for wanting a "touch from God!" God wants us to seek His face and He wants us to experience Him because we believe in Him and have received His fullness and not in order to believe in Him and in order to receive more from Him.

I want to encourage you to begin thanking God for what you have received and trusting Him to use you as you step out in faith, believing you have received.

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