Experiencing More of God

What is being a Christian like in actual experience? Just great? Harder than you thought? Confusing?

Experiencing More of God

Postby Paul » Thu Sep 08, 2011 10:43 pm

Ephesians 3:17–21
That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

By an unrelenting faith, move toward being filled with the fullness of God. But how do we do that? As quoted above -- according to the power that works in us .... Then, how do we let that happen? Paul ended this passage by praising God. Is that part of it?

Psalm 63:1–5
O God, you are my God; early will I seek you: my soul thirsts for you, my flesh longs for you in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;
To see your power and your glory, so as I have seen you in the sanctuary.
Because your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise you.
Thus will I bless you while I live: I will lift up my hands in your name.
My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise you with joyful lips:

In the book The Wigglesworth Standard: The Standard for God's End-Time Army, (New Kensington: Whitaker House, 1993), P. J. Madden sets out six principles on how Smith Wigglesworth experienced so much of the power of God in his ministry, according to a review of a selection of his sermons. This book truly deals with the essence of how to know the fullness of God, and a brief summary of these six principles may introduce believers to what is involved in searching for greater spiritual maturity.

A part of the spiritual experience of being a Christian is to thirst for God and to long to see his power and glory, because to experience God is better than life; that is, knowing God is even better than knowing ourselves. Knowing God actually satisfies our souls more than putting ourselves or our needs and desires first.

1. But to be filled with the Spirit, first we have to have room for Him; that is, we have to empty ourselves. We have to count all things as loss, in order to know Christ.

John 3:31–34
He that comes from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaks of the earth: he that comes from heaven is above all. And what he has seen and heard, that he testifies; and no man receives his testimony. He that has received his testimony has set to his seal that God is true. For he whom God has sent speaks the words of God: for God gives not the Spirit by measure unto him.

Philippians 2:5–8
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Philippians 3:7–10
But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.

Colossians 3:2,3
Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For you are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

John 15:5
I am the vine, you are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing.

Luke 14:26
If any man come to me, and hate not...his own life... he cannot be my disciple.

"Only when your life ceases, can his life truly begin in you." You must allow the Holy Spirit to reshape your abilities, ideas, ways, and anything that has become a part of you due to the spirit of the world. You must live in God's thoughts, his ideas, his work, his plans. Set a time each day to turn your mind over to God, to let him take over, and then you will be found in him.

John 3:28–30 (John the Baptist speaking)
You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him. He that has the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease To know God you must be brought into brokeness.

Psalm 51: 16,17
For you desire not sacrifice; else would I give it: you delight not in burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

And to experience the power of God, you must also have the fellowship of his sufferings. You must have God's compassion for the suffering. Only then will you be steadfast in your prayers to the point of victory. You must be conformed to his death.

True spiritual inspiration does not come from a worship service with enthusiastic preaching, a great choir, beautiful singing, theatrical lighting, special effects, etc., but from the Spirit of God. There are too many showmen in the Church. An authentic uplifting by the Holy Spirit leads to spiritual growth, to becoming more Christ like.

2. Make thirsting for God your primary foundation for having a full Christian life. Never be satisfied with your present position in Christ but press on for the fullness of the Spirit. We know from Scripture that the top priority of our journey in faith is to focus on the salvation of souls. And we all should desire to be a part of establishing the Kingdom of God, and actually, everyone of us should aspire to be at the center of what God is doing.

Realize that Satan will constantly try to undermine your thirst for God. Do not seek to possess the Spirit of God, but let the Holy Spirit possess you. Be consumed by God until he controls your thinking, ways, praying, worshiping, and entire life. John 3:30 — He must increase, but I must decrease, (John the Baptist). Most Christians live according to their own knowledge, understanding, plans, "affected by God's Spirit in some aspects of their lives. But few are actually possessed by the Holy Spirit." But I mean a balanced possession, not a mad-man type demonization, but possessed by the beauty of holiness, the image of Christ, consumed from within by his presence, directed by the power of his Spirit, acting as Christ would in every circumstance.

Do not leave first love, like the church of Ephesus did, Revelation 2:4. Continuously live in newness of life, in love, zeal, passion, joy, and excitement about Jesus. Make a decision to be a minister of fire, Hebrews 1:7, burning with first love. But, do not thirst to minister — thirst for God. Always check with God on what you are thirsting for.

3. To know the fullness of God, to let God increase in our lives, we have to surrender to his will. Surrender to the will of God for your life completely. Obey God in everything. People are always telling God what they want; what they want; what they want. But, they say little to him about yielding. "Ask God specifically how you are to obey."

II Corinthians 10:5
...bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

I John 5:3
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments.

"Each time we hear the voice of the Lord and obey him, we are further anointed, empowered, consumed, and possessed by the Spirit of God." We receive power from God as a gift by yielding and obeying.

John 5:30
I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me. Jesus was totally yielded and obedient, and the Spirit was on him without measure, John 3:34.

Power is not speaking in tongues, receiving revelations, or healing the sick. Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me... The Lord upon you, that alone is power. Like the Apostle Paul, ask, Acts 9:6 Lord, what wilt thou have me to do....

"Powerlessness is the result of your not having the resemblance of Jesus in your spirit." James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Does Satan see Jesus in you, or a lack of submission? Acts 19:15 And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you.

Seek only the honor that comes from God, by doing the will of God. John 5:44 How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only? Do not seek to bring honor to yourself, build your reputation, or show your spirituality, which only leads to a form of godliness that denies the power of God, II Timothy 3:5. Jesus made himself of no reputation, Philippians 2:7. He was despised and rejected of men, Isaiah 53:3.

Seek power. Luke 11:9 ...Ask, and it shall be given you ; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. John 14:12 ...He that believeth on me, the works that I do he shall do also; and greater works than these shall he do.... Matthew 13:58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

4. While experiencing the trails of life, thank God you have the opportunity to grow in faith. James 1:2,3 My brethern, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience, (endurance). "The key to finding joy in trails is knowing that God is giving us opportunities to exercise and increase our faith. This increase in faith must become our great delight and joy."

"...what really counts is faith which worketh by love,"
Galatians 5:6. "Perfect love is being possessed by the Spirit of God. When this begins to consume our hearts, we start to overcome the world!" You are molded to the image of God by striving to be a person of great love. Faith in positive thinking manifests counterfeit miracles. It is not faith in God, but natural faith. Faith without love is nothing, I Corinthians 13. Great wonders can be done in the name of Christ, by those not known to him, Matthew 7:22,23.

5. Desire the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. A thirst for God leads to Spirit Baptism, which should move the believer to become a mighty blaze. In the early 1900's the Baptism of the Holy Spirit was more treasured than it is now. Today, people seek the power of God through learning and knowledge, instead of going deeper into the Spirit — praying, speaking in tongues, worshiping, singing and dancing in the Spirit, reading the Bible, and spending time with God.

But it seems there actually are different degrees of the Baptism of the Spirit. A person can become very satisfied with the Baptism and stop thirsting for more of God, which is not being a flame of fire. Hungering for God and surrendering to his will adds fuel to the fire of being baptized in the Spirit. Ephesians 5:18, be filled with the Spirit means to be continually filled."

To be possessed by the Spirit is to be totally consumed with Christ, his life, death, resurrection, position, authority, power, compassion, mind, desire. "An unbreakable link exists between a relationship with the Holy Spirit and knowing Christ." Without this relationship, seeking to know Christ only ends up in confusion. Anyone can have the relationship; Acts 10:34 – ...God is no respecter of persons.

You must prepare a place within yourself for the Spirit. Deny yourself, as well as sin, and be united in heart and mind with God and others. To receive God, you must be like a child, totally dependent, unknowing but desiring to learn, pure, innocent, without conceit, completely trusting the Father. Natural maturity is when we become independent, but spiritual maturity is when we become totally dependent.

6. By an unrelenting faith, move toward being filled with the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:19 ...that ye might be filled with the fullness of God. Some people only want a thimbleful of God. Don’t be satisfied with a thimbleful, cupful, bucketful, tankful, but yearn for a constant flood.

Some people live just with an echo of the relationship with God they once had. They have more exposure to preaching and study materials than what was available at any time in history, and they are dying from a spiritual lack. "Never be satisfied until you possess what you came for!" Hold firm, and refuse to be satisfied with less than God's best, which is the faith that pleases God.

Genesis 32:24,26,28
And Jacob...there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day...And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me...And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and thou hast prevailed.

Matthew 9:20–22
...a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, come behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole.

Hebrews 11:6
But without faith it is impossible to please him... The men and women listed in the hall of faith in the 11th chapter of Hebrews possessed a radical, unrelenting, uncompromising, unretreating faith — a burning desire for God to move.
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