The Scriptures point us to the reality that is to be lived and experienced, and not merely memorized as a doctrine or quoted. Jesus is a living person who wants to communicate with us, the kingdom is vibrant and ever-present, and it’s up to us to break into this reality. More often than not, it’s a progress, and it may take a while to get there. It’s a mirror principle – we get close to God, he gets close to us. It’s like a dance – God only makes the steps which will keep him in sync with where we are.
We can’t just quote Scriptures, punctuating them with victorious amens, and then moving on to life as usual. As if merely quoting the Scripture will bring anyone any closer the reality that it points to. Case in point: “It’s no longer I, but Christ who lives in me”. I have heard this verse quoted dozens of times by people claiming it to be their reality, but I have met less than 10 people in my 22 years of being with Christ who reflected that in their everyday life. Actually, the number is closer to 5. I am not one of those people, either. I love this Scripture, it’s a wonderful summit to climb, but I am still on the way.
True, in Christ we are everything and we have everything, but not all those things are manifestly present in our lives. Acknowledging that all those things are ours in Christ is only the first step. It’s a quantum reality of the possible that’s waiting to be made actual. They are like a treasure, stored in heaven, waiting to be claimed and put to use. It’s there in the heavenly realms, but until it’s believed in and acted upon it’s unexpressed and unmanifested. Intellectual acknowledgement comes first, but it should then be allowed to culminate into a wide-ranging perspective shift, which will express itself into rebuilding our belief system around those unseen realities. It takes courage, dedication, and determination. But it can be done.
I have been excited about God-things since about 2001. However, my progress had been painfully slow until about 2.5 years ago. Over the past two and a half years, I broke away from being a pew-warmer with a wallet. I began to pursue God beyond the four walls of the brick-and-mortar church (there wasn’t one around where I was to teach me what I needed to know), and I began to aggressively push for more territory with God. I have learned a few things that really work.
I have prayed for several hundred people, and have personally seen hundreds of healings from bronchitis to bulging disks to arthritis to paralysis to terminal cancer. I have seen a dead person move his limbs 4-5 inches on command when I was praying for him to be resurrected. I have listened to God’s heart for a message to give to people, and gave messages to folks that I have never met before which connected as far as even some rather particular details that I couldn’t have possibly known.
When I really wanted to break into a new area, God would connect me with the right resources, and the right people, and it was then up to me how fast I wanted to make progress. There’s a lot that I don’t yet know, but I am picking up pace as I go.
A few of lessons I’ve learned since then:
- One, stop waiting on other people to get you where you need to go. Do your part. People may point you to the right path, and some are much better at it than others, but you are the one who has to walk it.
- Two, stop indiscriminately putting all the money earmarked for God into an offering basket simply because everyone else does it, too. Make sure that you invest your attendance, time, and money into places that grow, produce, and replicate. And don’t forget to invest into your own growth. You and your family should be your most important investment venue as far as you are concerned.
- Three, stop listening to people who talk the talk but who don’t walk the walk. Don’t listen to word, watch people’s actions. If the sermons aren’t lived out by the orators in their everyday life, or their life is shielded and inaccessible (especially true for smaller churches where relational barriers are lower) – then you could be putting faith in something that doesn’t work. Just because people reference God doesn’t automatically mean that they know him, or that God approves of their ministry and / or their methods.
- And finally, the most important one of these – learn to listen to God, and sensitize yourself to his voice and his presence. That’s what it’s all about, anyway. Without it, everything else becomes a spectator sport, a hobby, a pastime. If you don’t hear and follow God for yourself – how do you even know that he’s real?