Jacob knew not the barren and rocky land through which he traveled to Padan–Aram, in his flight from Esau, was to become his Beth-el. The place of revelation and the first act of personal worship.
“And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the Lord is in this place, and I knew it not.”
Worship and service unto God is the consequence of a free and willing heart captivated in the seeing of Him. There is something spontaneous and free that arises out of our touching of Him.
“And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it” Genesis 28:18
In the Book of Acts, we see a hardened religious man filled with self-righteous rage for any and all who confessed the Name of Jesus. His murderous ways, his vehement anger spewed forth in zeal and indignation. Yet he too would have an encounter with the ONE he knew not. Within an instant he was apprehended, he was captivated by the piercing light of Jesus and the response was immediate and irresistible.
Two questions from the blinded Saul…
“And he said, Who art thou, Lord?”
The supremacy of Christ was instantly made known. Though not yet revealed by name his submission confessed. The Lordship of this shinning One complete and that Lordship implied servitude…
“Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?”
Lordship implies service. Lordship communicates a temper of heart, it denotes His supremacy and our submission. The greater our seeing of Him the more complete our surrender to Him. Love conquers all and fills all. Love is the spring from which obedience arises.
Beth-el is the place of revelation, it is wherever and however, God takes the initiative to make Himself known to us personally. It is the place of His unveiling and our worship.
“Surely the Lord is in this place, and I knew it not… …And he called the name of that place Beth–el”
“Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present Truth.”
(2 Peter 1:12)
Whenever the Spirit of God is speaking to you He is speaking the whole truth concerning you. He is ever seeking to bring you into the place of a connection and a living truth that you might be in the “present” Truth. In the Greek, the “present truth” is, in essence, “the truth of THE presence”that you might be equipped and prepared to walk in a living and consistent walk, in sync with what He is doing on the earth.
Jesus said, “the words I speak they are spirit and they are LIFE!” and as you develop that personal relationship with Jesus there is an unfolding, and a familiarity, that grows within your life of Him speaking to you on a very personal level, where the word of the Lord isn’t the word of Elijah or the word of Ezekiel, but it’s the Word of the Lord to you and through you!
The whole purpose of ministry is to bring you into the place where you begin to speak the voice of The Lord in that particular wonder of His revelation to you. In the hearing of Him, we begin to walk in the present truth of His ministration to this generation and to the church in which we live.
I love the “ing” of God! He is ever in the present tense, creating, moving, influencing His nature upon our own. He has come and more importantly IS come, to work within the recesses of our hearts the wonder of our becoming new.
Resurrection life can only be known by those who have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus. He breathes into our being His “newness” through the creative power of His Son.
“All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made”
The “ing” speaks to us of an on-going process; our lives interacting with His through the agency of relationship. The living ONE imparts grace and glory into that which is lost and dying. Regardless of our situation in life, there remains a consistent offer to come, drink, rest, and fellowship with Him. In our “becoming” we reveal the truth and authenticity of our relationship in Him.
“In Him was life; and the life was the light of men”
The LIFE of Him within is the verity of our light; not a thing learned, studied, or discussed. Rather it is this Life that imparts His light and power of being into the lostness of our own. By the power of this relationship, He is “making all things new”.
“And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent”
The author and sustainer of eternal life defines it in terms of a relationship. The Greek word used here is one of experiential knowledge, a knowledge afforded us by a living relationship with Him.
“And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life”
1 John 5:20
The truth of Him can only be imparted to us by the sheer wonder of our abiding in Him. The newness He offers (through a mercy we can never comprehend) is available to all who come to Him by the living faith as He moves within our hearts.
God’s Word to His Own is:
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock: If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will enter to him, and I will dine with him, and he with Me.
He is ever knocking, ever calling, and ever seeking the wonder of a relationship by which He is making all things new. May we hear and respond to His call every morning to the renewing power of His presence by prayer and communion with Him.
“O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto Thee, and will look up”
“God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to usin His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world” (Heb 1:1-2)
In times past God spoke through men, but now in these last days, He is speaking by His Son, in and through YOU! The five-fold ministry is to bring YOU into your unique ministry, to develop and add YOUR voice to THE VOICE of many waters that YOU should become HIS VOICE to others.
God has already apportioned to each of us a mighty deposit of His Spirit, but we don’t enter into it by prayer, but by obedience. God has already given you the land, but now says, “My land is not to be talked about, My land is to be walked about!”
“And I looked, and behold, a windstorm came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire flashing itself, and a brightness to it all around. And out of its midst, like the color of polished bronze, it came, out of the midst of the fire. Also from its midst came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was how they looked: they had the likeness of a man, and four faces were to each, and four wings to each of them,and their feet were straight feet and the sole of their feet like the sole of a calf’s foot. And they sparkled like the color of burnished bronze.And the hands of a man extended from under their wings on their four sides. And their faces and their wings were to the four of them,joining each one to the other by their wings. They did not turn in their going, each one went toward the front of their face.And the likeness of their faces: the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side to the four of them; and the face of an ox on the left to the four of them, and the face of an eagle to the four of them.So their faces were. And their wings were spread upward, to each, the two wings were joined, and two wings of each covering their bodies.And each went toward the front of their faces. To where the spirit was to go, there they went; they did not turn in their going.And the likeness of the living creatures: they appeared like coals of burning fire, like the appearance of torches; it was continually circling among the living creatures. And the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning.And the living creatures kept running and returning, like the appearance of a flash of lightning Ezekiel 1:4-14
“For as in Adam all die, even so, in Christ shall all be made alive”
1 Corinthians 15:22
The key for life, any life, is to be in Christ. There are no formulas, teachings, or concepts that can replace the pulse, the purpose, and the indomitable press of Him. Jesus is the Life and the secret to His vitality is found as we abide in Him.
“He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life”
1 John 5:12
There is something so essential in the LIFE of His own, simple and yet so powerful. The Holy Spirit has been given for this reason: to lead us into this growing relationship.
“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me…”
The Life of Christ is the sum of all truth; not just an addition or influence. He is the fountain of doing and reasoning. It is this Presence that transforms life from a series of unrelated events to an adventure full of purpose.
“When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory”
The quest for an ever-deepening relationship with Him is the joy and purpose of life. There is no point of arrival; His depths are eternal and blessed are those who are captivated by His sheer beauty. This pursuit is fueled by the mystery that unfolds within the common course of life. No wonder the Psalmist cries out with joy:
“O taste and see that the Lord is good…”
“For too long, we’ve called unbelievers to “invite Jesus into your life.” Jesus doesn’t want to be in your life. Your life is a wreck. Jesus calls you into his life. And his life isn’t boring or purposeless or static. It’s wild and exhilarating and unpredictable”.
Russell D. Moore
“And he said, WHO art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, WHAT wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.” (Acts 9:5-6)
Prayer is the means to discovering the “Go” of God’s Will. It is in our time with Him that He communicates and empowers. In the enormity of Jesus facing Calvary’s wretched death, He who knew no sin about to become the sin-bearer of the world, He drew near unto His Father for strength and grace to walk out the Will of the Father. So it must be for us. Through the intimacy of prayer, we hear Him speak and have the privilege of participating in His Will in the earth.
“…making known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself”
– Ephesians 1:9
The KJV of this verse speaks of something past tense: “having made known to us the mystery of His will”. There is something amiss in this past-tense translation which is not at all expressed in the original Greek. The Will of God is a daily thing. It is a mystery which unfolds as we commune with Him and allow His Lordship to speak into our hearts His purposes for the now of life. The true Christian Life is an adventure which can only be experienced through the medium of Obedience. Paul, writing to the Church at Ephesus, used the Greek participle concerning God “making known unto us the mystery of HIS will”. How blessed we are to discover fresh opportunities of Faith to walk in His purposes!
The more we obey the impulse of the Spirit the more we discover confidence; a growing boldness, a dynamic which arises out of our own experience with God. It is here the depth of our prayer life is revealed and established. Prayer without the communication of the Will of God to us should be disconcerting, for prayer is simply the participation of our heart with His. Obedience and prayer are harmonious. I know from my own personal experience the wrestling and struggles to obey that which He has given me to DO in my time alone with Him. Knowing and discovering His Will is a mystery which is only solved when I personally step into it. I can have a word or an impression of God to go, but until that step is taken His Will lingers, unfulfilled.
“Go ye therefore…”
“Go” is the impulse of God; “Go” is God’s heart to His Own. It is the word of God for us to explore, venture and invest ourselves in His purposes to make His salvation known to this world. What does that “Go” look like to you? Where does that “Go” personally take you? That is the exciting thing about the glory of prayer!The Go of God is bound up in us first coming in prayer, the secret place of communion (co-union) with Him.
“Come now therefore, and I will send thee…”
Unless we come to Him with a heart alive and burning with a desire to do His Will there will never be a “sending”. His Will is waiting for you to take His deliverance, His word of life and His love to heal the broken and lost of humanity. His House is filled with many who need His touch in their lives. Do we not hear the “Go” of God within our own hearts to be involved in making Him known?
It is the “lukewarm” who say, “I am rich, and I am made rich, and I have need of nothing”. They are content and feel no need to venture into the world around them nor expend themselves in making Him known. Those who need nothing will see nothing concerning the will of God. The soil which at one time received the seed of life with gladness has now become infested with the cares and comforts of this life and the life is choked with the thorns and thistles of their own sowing.
It is needful that we draw away from lukewarm living, carelessness and deception. Let us discover afresh the secret chambers of prayer and communion with Him. It is in this holy place that we feel the Fire of His Being igniting the altar of our hearts.
“Come now therefore, and I will send thee…”
God has a very simple and powerful remedy for us all: Prayer. The kind where we meet with Him and spend time alone in the holy atmosphere of His majesty. Not prayers asking Him for things, but prayers of communion where we learn to simply wait, child-like, without any other need but HIM. It is as we thus wait upon Him that we will find a renewing of our strength and a rising up to the honour of doing His Will. Prayer to the true child of God is not optional; it is the essential element of a fruitful life in Christ!
Eternal destinies are bound within our faithfulness to the talents He has graciously given us. The slothful, disobedient and the careless reap the disregard they show to the deposits of His gifts to us.
“And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine…”
To which Jesus declares:
“And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth”
“It is not the incorrect that the Lord despises but the proud; it is not the hot or the cold that the Lord spews out of his mouth but the lukewarm. When we are standing still out of fear of being wrong, we will certainly be regarded by him as ‘wicked and slothful’ not cautiously prudent.”
– Eric Foley