November 10, 2020
And he said, ‘The God of our fathers has appointed you to know His will and to see the Righteous One and to hear an utterance from His mouth. For you will be a witness for Him to all men of what you have seen and heard. (Acts 22:14-15)
What is the truly Christian life? What is the experience of the Christ follower? And what is their purpose?
As Paul is giving the account of his conversion before an angry crowd in Jerusalem, he relates what Ananias told him at his conversion. It describes what Paul was to experience. Notice, that all of these things are not merely intellectual, but practical and experiential.
A true Christian is called to ...
KNOW GOD'S WILL
As believers, we have the astounding privilege of knowing something others will never know. We are able to know the mind and heart of God! We can know what He wants and desires and cooperate with Him to see this accomplished in our lives and the lives of those around us.
This is a supernatural understanding and can only be accessed by spiritual experiences. We know this not merely by head knowledge, but through the Spirit of God making us to know things through the Word of God and prayer. (See Paul's explanation of this in 1 Corinthians, Chapter 2).
SEE THE RIGHTEOUS ONE
Made possible by supernatural spiritual senses, we are able to see Christ. Not in a physical sense, but spiritually. We observe His movement and activity. He is near to us as we draw near to Him.
Our spiritual senses are so enlightened that we see Him daily in creation (Psalm 19) and His presence in the lives of other believers. We watch His activity in the church and know what is of Him and what is not. We are able, by God's grace and Spirit, to observe Him in our lives, the lives of others, in this world, and—in a marvelous sense—in the next.
Paul would later tell us to "Set our minds on things above where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God" (Colossians 3). We can observe this with eyes of Spirit-led faith in ways that no natural man can observe.
HEAR AN UTTERANCE FROM HIS MOUTH
One of the most thrilling components of spiritual life is spiritual hearing. What a privilege to be able to genuinely, experientially commune with God! We can hear what He is saying to us in such ways that we are able to know what He desires for us to do. We feel His promptings to give to others, to speak, to be "still and know that He is God," and on and on.
As we read His word, it is not merely an intellectual exercise, but we are hearing with spiritual ears (if we are attuned and listening). Divine Spirit to human spirit, we are dialed to a frequency unheard by mere humanity.
WE WILL BE A WITNESS FOR HIM TO ALL MEN OF WHAT WE HAVE SEEN AND HEARD
This is the glorious outcome. Our experience, like Paul's and Peter's is so glorious that we "cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard" (Acts 4:20).
And this is God's design for the spread of His kingdom. Our experience is so contagious that it affects everyone we encounter. Some, who love their current lifestyle, will try to avoid this Light. But others, who are prepared by God and longing for a new life, will listen and believe!
What a glorious privilege! What a glorious life! What a glorious God!
Father, thank You for lifting me from a mundane, humanistic life! Thank You that my life is now centered on You and that I life for eternal purposes. Help me fulfill my destiny fully and give me grace so that as many possible can hear of Your beauty and greatness through me.
October 13, 2021
October 12, 2021
It could not be worse. God is gracious in His offering of forgiveness through Jesus Christ to all who believe. Those who come to know God and obey Him will experience the best in this life and the life to come.
But what of all those who ignore God? Who will not trust Him? Who never follow and obey the one true God? The Bible leaves no ambiguity about this, and its clarity should sober us.
October 07, 2021
My son, who is planting a church in a Northern Colorado city, intentionally took me for a walk through a sculpture garden recently that is located in a prominent spot in his large city. It was beautiful, convenient, and filled with people.
To my amazement, at every 30 yards or so, there was a stone statue. The whole garden was a prayer garden, and each statue was named. The farther we walked, the more I realized it was a garden designed to help you pray to ancestral spirits. This religion is called animism and is no different from the false religions we read of in the Scripture. Paul encountered this in Athens.