We’ve learned a lot from movies and TV haven’t we?
- Anyone can land an airplane as long as someone in the Control Tower is talking them down.
- When the hero knows martial arts and is surrounded by 10 guys, they will take turns fighting the hero rather than all attacking him at once.
- A woman’s hair, make up and lip stick always stay in place through the night, rain, bomb blasts and childbirth.
- Sheets are cut in such as way that on her side of the bed it comes up to her armpits but on his side it only comes to his waist.
- If a strange sound is coming from downstairs at night, a baseball bat will always be in the hall to grab.
- All bombs have large red numbers counting down the time.
- If you are being chased, go to a train station and run across and behind trains as you’ll always lose your pursuers that way.
We’ve learned a lot from church and Christian conferences haven’t we?
- God requires 3 ‘excited’ songs and 4 ‘slow worship’ songs before He will grant a single prophecy to the congregation. Which means…
- God knows when His turn comes to speak: Just as the last worship song ends and the worship becomes almost inaudible. After He speaks once He knows it is time for announcements.
- You will experience breakthrough by putting money at the feet of the speaker on the platform.
- If you shout and scream and yell at the top of your lungs God hears you much better.
- If the speaker thinks a demon is present, praying in tongues as loud as possible is required (and if you stretch forth your hands while doing so you will REALLY scare it).
- The proper expression of humility before a guest minister is to fall down backwards when he or she touches or pushes you on the forehead. If you can flop and throw yourself backwards for dramatic effect it will bring just that much more ‘anointing’.
- The number of people carrying a minister’s jacket, Bible, and spare bottle of water is directly proportional to that minister’s ‘anointing’, popularity, status, and wealth.
In the same way real life isn’t accurately portrayed on TV, how to enter into His presence and receive from Him isn’t always accurately portrayed in church either. This series is about actual scripture and my life experience showing you how to experience His presence.
The Father is a Spirit
Jesus said in John 4:24 that His Father is a Spirit, and in John 3:5-8 that we are ‘born by the Spirit’, what we call ‘born again’, meaning the Father’s Spirit has re-created our human spirit. It is in our spirit that we have God’s presence, and to sense Him, we must learn how to turn our attention to our spirit man.
When we are first re-created in our spirit through faith in Jesus Christ, it is similar to being a new-born baby. Peter said ‘As new born babies, desire pure spiritual milk by which you may grow.’ (I Peter 2:2)
In Galatians 4:19 Paul said ‘My little children of whom I am again in birth pains for you, until Christ is formed in you.”
We may be many years or decades old when we make that step to believe in Jesus, but in our spirit-man at the moment of belief, we are as a new born baby. As we grow in the Lord it is like Paul described above, similar to childbirth, with stops and starts, contractions and times of rest, but that process of discipleship is Christ being formed in us.
The word ‘formed’ above is ‘morphoo’ which means ‘the form or feature of a person’. Paul was in childbirth again – not for their new birth but for their discipleship – praying that the fullness of the form or feature of Christ would grow in them. Even though our spirit man occupies the same amount of space as our body does, in innocence and ignorance we are born again like an adult sized baby and must mature.
Consider that a new born baby has all the required body parts to drive a car, but it will be many years before his or her body grows to be able to fit in the driver’s seat, and also have the mental ability to handle the driving of a car. But they are born with all the right parts, they just haven’t grown into their ability. This is similar to being born again in our spirit, having all the right ‘parts’ so to speak, but not yet mature in Christ.
What your spirit feels like
In Luke 24:32 the two men on the road to Emmaus who walked along with Jesus for what would have been about 5 miles or 8 km, said this: “Didn’t our hearts burn inside us while He talked with us as we were walking along the road and explained the scriptures to us?”
These men were newly born again, having believed that Jesus is Lord and has risen from the dead. They were experiencing for the first time their born-again spirit, which was bearing witness to the things Jesus was teaching them.
The word ‘burn’ above means ‘to set fire to, to light’. Notice that their minds noticed the burning as they walked, which would have been for an hour or so most likely, but they didn’t realize who and what was going on until AFTER the Lord had gone.
My experience has been that people who are very cerebral or are busy thinking while in worship often have trouble turning their mind to what is happening inside their spirit. By cerebral I’m not talking smart, rather those who are so used to thinking, to processing things mentally rather than by what they ‘feel’ inside, the act of sensing what is happening in their spirit is new to them. Some are many years old in the Lord but still clueless on the moving of the Spirit in their heart or in a meeting, or how to experience His presence.
But to be able to experience His presence, to be ‘in the Spirit’ to feel and sense what is going on spiritually, a person must be willing to turn their attention to their inside, and look for that ‘burning’ or presence in their spirit.
Stop and notice
That means when we first sense that burning as the two above did, we have to stop and take notice of it. When I was a teen I worked long and hard, having experienced that burning or presence in my spirit in one of our teen prayer meetings, to find that ‘wavelength’ again.
It was like an old radio (which wasn’t old when I was a teenager) where to find the radio station and that clearest reception of the signal, I’d slowly move the dial back and forth, listening for the station I wanted, and then once found, fine tune the signal by just the slightest touch of the dial left or right.
I’d think to what song we were singing, what I was thinking, when I felt His presence inside me. I’d work to get back to that ‘wavelength’, mentally putting myself back in the same context I felt Him. And then I would feel His presence flow up out of my spirit…yes feel, sense, become aware of His presence again inside.
I’d be driving along and thinking on the things of the Lord when a great revelation would come to me. Wow, I thought, that is so good I’ll never forget it, so I’ll write it down later. When ‘later’ came, I couldn’t remember what that revelation was. It made my heart burn within me, I saw how that revelation connected to other things in scripture and life, it was amazing….but that evening I couldn’t remember a thing.
The reason is that revelation from God is in the spirit man, and unless you write it down or talk it out – do something to involve your mind and body which will record it, that revelation will be lost because it never made it into your mind. It stayed in your spirit.
To get it back you have to mentally and spiritually place yourself back in that same context. OK, I was driving along on that road at that place, I was thinking about…hmmm…listening to a Christian worship song…thinking on…and I’d go back there mentally, spiritually, finding that wavelength…praying in tongues as I did so…then that flow of revelation would start all over again, just as it had earlier in the day…it was finding the ‘wavelength’ which unlocked some door in my mind which allowed the flow of Life in my spirit to wash into my mind.
But…Since those years I’ve always kept a pen and paper in any vehicle I drive, truck, car, rental…always. Because I don’t want a revelation to stay in my spirit, I want to commit it to memory, and to do that I have to involve my mind and body, thus the pen and paper.
He is ‘real’
God is a Spirit and we are born again in our spirit, so if you want to experience His presence you will have to learn about your spirit and His Spirit. He is very humble, ‘real’, doesn’t get freaked out at our human frailties and imperfections, and is committed to us.
And living inside us, you don’t have to yell and scream to get His attention. He is as close as thought…start looking inside for that ‘burning’, that presence, that peace…find that ‘wavelength’ again down inside you, not between your ears…for down inside is your spirit and that is where we find communion with Him…more next week, blessings,