| Is Christ really your LIFE?|
Do you really know the Presence of God in your heart? If you have known God and if you have experienced His Presence in the past, are you walking closely with Him today? Or have you left your first love, and are now following Him "afar off"?
Is your life characterized by a genuine fellowship of love for God and an experience of His fellowship and His love for you, or is there, as many say, "something missing"? Do you have a relationship with Jesus a real relationship with Jesus - or is your spiritual life made up more of theory and "Christian philosophy" than of reality?
Is your life epitomized by these things: coldness toward God; indulgence toward yourself; the absence of self-giving love toward other men; criticism, jealousy, bitterness, censure, fault-finding and suspicion toward the brethren; a lack of anguish for the lost; little prayer outside of what is seen by others; a worship that is dictated more by the traditions and forms of men than by the out gushings of a heart captivated with Jesus; a greater interest in the things of this world than in the Word of God; a general apathy and boredom toward spiritual things in general?
Are rivers of living water flowing from your heart bringing healing and life to those who come in contact with you? Or is your life better described as "a well without water", or "clouds and wind without rain"? Do you possess life or merely "a name that thou livest"?
Do you see obedience, holiness and faith as privileges of your life or as duties? Are you more concerned that other Christians conform to your list of external religious forms than that they experience the inward substance and power of communion with Jesus?
Does your Christianity consist more in make-believe than in real experience of God? Are you seeking to impress man while ignoring God, earnestly endeavoring to hide your spiritual boredom and to make your life appear exhilarating and successful lest all fail miserably, your grand religious edifice crumbling about your ears, and you exposed to those around you as a pretender?
Is your life being consumed in the exhausting pursuit of religious position, recognition and respectability; while all along neglecting the only One whose approval really matters, the only One who has any legitimate claim to your heart and life, the only One who can really set you free? Are you truly yielding to God from your heart day by day, or are you more preoccupied with outwardly appearing to men as though you do? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now made perfect by the flesh?
Oh, dear Christian, is there religious pretense in your life? If so, aren't you weary of it? Isn't the emptiness and destitution within beginning to disturb you? Isn't the selfishness and conceit of your life beginning to anger you? God's call to you is to be honest. Can you continue to lie about your true spiritual state to yourself, other men or God?
When He has offered you so much, how can you be content with so exceedingly little of God in your life?
Abandon this existence now and throw yourself upon the mercies of God, begging Him to make you real, pleading with Him to deal with your inner heart of hearts, imploring Him to change and enlarge your heart, bringing you to a place of honest and genuine submission to Him without which you can never know Him.
Tell Him you are tired of being a religious phony and that you want to know Him in truth. No longer will you be a man-pleaser and a lover of man's religion. No longer will you obey the orders of self, sin and Satan softly whispering that you serve them while maintaining an external religious facade of serving God. No longer will you deceive yourself that everything is all right when an aching void throbs within.
| 2013/3/21 9:11|
| Re: Is Christ really your LIFE?|
What a blessed reproof. Thank you so much for posting this. It takes very pointed, heart-searching questions such as this to really expose the religious flesh. There is much in this that I need to give prayer and time to, so thank you again.
| 2013/3/21 10:49||Profile|
| Re: Is Christ really your LIFE?|
This is something I personally struggle with.
Quote://Is your life characterized by a genuine fellowship of love for God and an experience of His fellowship and His love for you, or is there, as many say, "something missing"? Do you have a relationship with Jesus a real relationship with Jesus - or is your spiritual life made up more of theory and "Christian philosophy" than of reality?//
I feel this way every day. Although I remember a time when I felt the presence of God in my spirit, it has been many years. Sometimes I wonder if what I had then was emotionalism created by me, since I did have a lot of incorrect doctrine at the time. Yet, those days transformed me and gave me a realization of the requirement of holiness for the first time (even though I did not understand it as such at that time).
I allowed my heart to grow cold. Then I went through a very intense trial where I could not find the presence of God. I felt abandoned, but it was I who had abandoned Him. I have not been able to find this place again.
Quote://Are rivers of living water flowing from your heart bringing healing and life to those who come in contact with you? //
This is also something I do not have.
Quote://Or is your life better described as "a well without water", or "clouds and wind without rain"?//
This describes more what I feel.
I know that something is wrong. I have wept and cried before God to give this to me. I have confessed every sin that I am aware of, asked God to cleanse me from my hidden sins, strive for a life of holiness in the Spirit. I know that my prayer life is not what it could be, I do not read the Word enough. I am striving to change in these areas. I know that I do not love God and it is my desire that He fill me with His love. What can I do to achieve this?
I have no doubt that I am saved, or as Paul says, being saved. But why am I not experiencing this living water?
I do have peace in my heart. I have no doubt that God is good and gracious. I fall upon Him for my every need, since there is nowhere else to turn.
Am I searching for an "experience" or is there something really missing in me?
| 2013/3/21 11:23||Profile|
| Re: This is something I personally struggle with. |
Please remember the the work of the Holy Spirit is always redemptive!!!!!!
What you wrote reminds me of what Hudson Taylor experienced. Here is what he wrote to his Sister Amelia on October, 1869. Please remember that he had been in China since 1855 as a missionary, preaching the gospel.
Please examine what he said and did before his eyes where opened to reality of Christ. The numbers are for reference only. There are NOT steps to be followed.
Please read this with the prayer that the Holy Spirit opens yours eyes to the REALTIY of CHRIST!!!
Here is what he wrote.
1. "Perhaps I shall make myself more clear if I go back a little. Well, Dearie, my mind has been greatly exercised for the past six or eight months, feeling the need personally, and for our Mission, of more holiness, life and power in our souls. But personal need stood first and was the greatest. I felt the ingratitude, the danger, the sin of not living nearer to God. I prayed, agonized, fasted, strove, made resolutions, read the Word more diligently, sought more time for retirement and meditation - but all was without avail. Every day, almost every hour, the consciousness of sin oppressed me."
Here he confessed his sins of lack of holiness, ingratitude and not being close to God. He prayed, agonized, fasted, strove, made resolutions, read the Word more diligently, sought more time for retirement and meditation - but all was without avail. Every day, almost every hour, the consciousness of sin oppressed him.
Then Hudson wrote.
2. "I knew that if I could only abide in Christ all would be well, but I could not. I would begin the day with prayer, determined not to take my eye from Him for a moment, but pressure of duties, sometimes very trying, constant interruptions, often very wearing, would cause me to forget Him. Then one's nerves get so fretted in this climate that temptations to irritability, hard thoughts and sometimes unkind words are all the more difficult to control. Each day brought its register of sin, failure, and lack of power. To will was indeed present with me, but how to perform, I found not."
He was completely determined to abide in Christ but found out that he could not. He found that he could not even control his own thoughts. All he experienced was sin, failure and lack of power.
Next he wrote.
3. "Then came the question, "Is there no rescue? Must it be like this till the end - constant conflict and, instead of victory, too often defeat?" How, too, could I preach with sincerity that to those who receive Jesus, "to them gave He power to become the sons of God, " (i.e. God-like) when it was not so in my experience? Instead of growing stronger, I seemed to be getting weaker and to have less power against sin; and no wonder, for faith and even hope were getting very low. I hated myself; I hated my sin; and yet I gained no strength against it."
So far in all of his attempts he had totally failed to even become nearer and closer to God. Even his hatred for sin did not assist him in the slightest way.
I remember that that in my own experience with sin in the past, the fact that I truly hated and despised my sin accomplished nothing! The truth was, that my hatred for sin only made me more miserable and loathsome.
4. "I felt I was a child of God; His Spirit in my heart would cry, in spite of all, "Abba, Father", but to rise to my privileges as a child, I was utterly powerless. I thought that holiness was to be gradually attained by a diligent use of the means of grace. I felt that there was nothing I so much desired in this world, nothing I so much needed. But the more I pursued and strove after holiness, the more it eluded my grasp, till hope itself almost died out, and I began to think that perhaps to make heaven the sweeter, God would not give it to us in this life."
He had a true desire to be totally holy. He pursued and stove after it with everything that he had but found out that he could not attain it.
5. "I do not think I was striving to attain it in my own strength. I knew I was powerless. I told the Lord so, and asked Him to give me help and strength and sometimes I almost believed He would keep and uphold me. But on looking back in the evening, there was sin and failure to confess and mourn before God."
He asked God daily for help and strength but still had to confess sin and failure over and over again.
6. "I would not give you the impression that this was the daily experience of all those long, weary months, but it tended to be a too frequent state of soul and I almost ended up in despair. And yet, never did Christ seem more precious a Savior who could and would save such a sinner! And sometimes there were seasons not only of peace but of joy in the Lord. But they were fleeting and at best there was a sad lack of power. Oh, how good the Lord has been in bringing this conflict to an end!"
He did experience seasons of peace and joy with Jesus but they only lasted a short while.
7. "All the time I felt assured that there was in Christ all I needed, but the practical question was how to get it out. He was rich, but I was poor; He was strong, but I was weak. I knew full well that there was in the vine, in the root, the stem, abundant fatness; but how to get it into my puny little branch was the question."
He knew that the answer for all his sin, failure and despair was in Christ but he just did not know how to access the power that was in Christ.
8. "As gradually the light dawned on me, I saw that faith was the only prerequisite to laying hold of His fullness and making it my own. But I had not this faith . . . I strove for it, but it would not come; I tried to exercise it, but in vain. Seeing more and more the wondrous supply of grace laid up in Jesus, the fullness of our precious Savior - my helplessness and guilt seemed to increase. Sins committed appeared but as trifles compared with the sin of unbelief which was their cause, which could not or would not take God at His word, but rather made Him a liar! Unbelief was, I felt, the damning sin of the world - yet I indulged in it. I prayed for faith but it did not come. What was I to do? "
Now he was beginning to see that the only requirement of laying hold of Christ and His fullness and accessing it was faith. He found that he did not have that faith in himself and could never somehow even generate it. This knowledge only made him feel more helpless, dirty and guilty.
He saw that his damming sin was his own unbelief. He even knew that this sin of unbelief was the real cause and root for all his other sins. He was calling God a liar. If he only could repent and forsake that sin all would be well. He could not repent or forsake this sin and even when he prayed for faith, nothing happened.
9. "When my agony of soul was at its height, a sentence in a letter from dear McCarthy was used to remove the scales from my eyes, and the Spirit of God revealed the truth of our oneness with Jesus as I had never seen it before. McCarthy, who had been much exercised by the same sense of failure, but saw the light before I did, wrote (I quote from memory): "But how to get faith strengthened? Not by striving after faith, but by resting on the Faithful One."
It is important to understand that the Holy Spirit opened his eyes to the truth as he read what McCarthy had written him. The Spirit of God revealed the truth of his oneness with Jesus to him as he had never seen it before.
10. As I read I saw it all! "If we believe not, He remains faithful." I looked to Jesus and saw (and when I saw, oh, how joy flowed) that He had said, "I will never leave you." "Ah, here is rest!" I thought. "I have striven in vain to rest in Him. I'll strive no more. For has He not promised to abide with me - never to leave me, never to fail me?" And Dearie, He never will!
This is the key and real secret of true repentance. This was not something that Hudson Taylor had done at all. The Holy Spirit opened his eyes to the existing truth that his friend was sharing with him.
When the Holy Spirit opens your eyes to the reality of Christ, His holiness, His perfection, His fullness, His mercy, His Love, His faith and His faithfulness then you will be able to fully repent without any effort.
True repentance is a gift of God and only exists as the Holy Spirit shows you the existing reality of Christ Himself and what God in Christ has already accomplished for you and in you. It is impossible for any true repentance to take place without the Holy Spirit's work in opening your eyes to see Christ.
Now all these facts were true before Hudson Taylor saw them. He was just in the dark concerning these truths.
Look what Hudson had written.
"I do not know how far I may be able to make myself intelligible about it, for there is nothing new or strange or wonderful - and yet, all is new! In a word: 'Whereas I was blind, now I see.'"
Hudson could not open his own eyes. It is The Holy Spirit's job to open your eyes by taking the TRUTH OF CHRIST and then revealing and showing it to you.
John 16:13-15, "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: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you."
Look at all the things Hudson did to repent and failed. As the Holy Spirit opened his eyes to the reality of Christ, repentance came easy.
There is only one true gospel message that contains the power for full and complete salvation. This message is the only message that can transform and conform your life into complete perfection. This is the massage of what God in Christ has already accomplished for you and in you even before the world was created.
The Spirit of God will reveal the truth of your oneness with Jesus to you as you have had never seen it before. That is the main reason I am even writing this article.
Many Christians are completely consumed constantly looking at themselves and their performance. They invest much time, effort, energy and attention on improving their actions and the attempt to repent from sins. Their entire focus is spent on themselves and what they are doing or not doing. Many of them have the same damming sin that Hudson had, the sin of unbelief, which is the real cause and root for all there other sins. They do not believe God. They do not depend on the Life of Christ at all.
There is a real need for repentance. As the Holy Spirit opens your eyes to the reality of God has already accomplished for you and in you, you are given the ability to turn away from the sin of unbelief. You will have the ability to give up on your ability to produce any faith to repent. You will have the ability to turn to Jesus Christ and rest in Him. You will be able to stop relying on your own resources to repent or be holy. You are made free to stop using any self-efforts to improve.
Do not allow your Christian experience to be about your efforts, your sins, your good works, your promises to do better or even you ability to trust in Him. It's not about you! Christianity is all Him, Him, Him!
As the Holy Spirit opens your eyes you are free to turn Him and acknowledge that you never will be able to live up to your own self-righteous standard. Just cast yourself on His grace and love. This is true repentance. Then, and only then, will you find that Christ and Christ alone is your Deliverer. He will free you from being held hostage in a prison of self-perfectionism.
When you have turned away from your efforts to change yourself, you will hear God tell you, "I never intended for you to change yourself. I just want you to rest here in my arms. I will bring about the changes in your life. You just stay here and enjoy me."
| 2013/3/21 12:48|
| Re: |
I have read your post several times. I am not sure that my issue is unbelief, but I will not get caught up in the semantics of it. I am asking the Holy Spirit to reveal to me what is missing in my heart/spirit/mind.
Why do you call it unbelief? I do not think that I strive to be holy in my own strength or to do anything on my own. At lest, I do not feel that I do.
Also, although I understand that I must rest in Him (and I think that I do this) I cannot visualize what this looks like from your post. It may be very difficult to do, but are there any concrete examples that you can give as to what this looks like?
I will tell you that I saw a transformation in my husband about 5 years ago when he saw our life crumbling apart and he knew that he never loved God. He spent all day in the Word, listening to online sermons, and meditating on the Word. It revealed to him the wickedness within him, and I saw him change into an example of holiness and dedication to Christ. He told me it all started when God took away his pride and asked him: "How are you going to use your intelligence to fix this problem." And he couldn't, he had to trust in God to do it and God became all to him. (Funny how when he let go of us and made God his all, he became a much better husband and father.)
My husband led me on this walk, so that I know for certain that all that matters is eternity and Christ. I hesitate to say this is only head knowledge, since this gives me great peace in my heart and I have no one to turn to but Christ, especially now that my husband has passed away. But I still feel very disconnected in my heart and I feel that there is something not there. I know that my appreciation of the cross of Christ is minuscule in comparison to what it should be, and this from one who has been forgiven much.
My belief about this is that if I do as my husband did and immerse and clothe myself in the Word I will get this that I seek.
Thank you for this post.
| 2013/3/22 23:15||Profile|
Heb. "4:10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his."
look what you said. "It revealed to him the wickedness within him, and I saw him change into an example of holiness and dedication to Christ. He told me it all started when God took away his pride and asked him: "How are you going to use your intelligence to fix this problem." And he couldn't, he had to trust in God to do it and God became all to him."
You can NOT fix yourself and I can not fix you either.
Rest is seeing Gods solution in Christ and then the giving up of all self effort knowing that He is your ALL.
Rest is simple trusting in God knowing that He can and you Can not.
You said "My belief about this is that if I do as my husband did and immerse and clothe myself in the Word I will get this that I seek."
NO! you can NOT clothe yourself!!!
Just go to the GREAT physician for He has the only cure.
Matt. 11:28, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
| 2013/3/23 7:31|
| Re: |
Quote: I am asking the Holy Spirit to reveal to me what is missing in my heart/spirit/mind.
Listen to Duncan Campbell's testimony see the link below
And read a book called 'Holiness - the Key to Revival' by Patricia Knowles.
Introduction to the book Holiness - the Key to Revival
If you are hungry and desperate for more of God and His power in your life and the church, and long to see and experience the book of Acts again - this book is for you!
Searching and discovering 'a missing key' for our Christian lives was born twenty years ago out of divine dissatisfaction. My husband David, and I had been Christians for several years, had attended an excellent Bible-based charismatic church and received all-round, sound teaching from many sources. Yet, we saw unreality, hypocrisy and super-spirituality in the church in general, and we wanted reality, and what Jesus said would happen in His church and for our lives.
David asked God to send him old revival books and accounts of great men and women of God so that he could see if there was something common to all of them, and, if that were the case, what was it! So started our 'search'!
This search revealed that saints such as Smith Wigglesworth, and others referred to in this book, experienced the gift of holiness before they received the Baptism with the Holy Ghost and Fire!
Scriptural Holiness is the 'missing key'! It results from experiencing and walking in what John Wesley termed Entire Sanctification - the main name that will be used in this study. Since the doctrine of entire sanctification has been almost forgotten, hidden and not taught or preached in most denominations, it could appear to be something new, though it is not new to Christian theology and experience. We were careful, therefore, with the sharing of our discoveries. We now feel compelled to 'go public' and proclaim 'this jewel' of Scripture. God told us to, 'share this with the King's household' (2 Kings 7:9) - the Church, which we believe its revelation will bring hope and answers to perhaps unspoken questions in the minds of many fellow believers.
It is reported that John Wesley said, 'Only share this with people who are hungry.' We are excited, as we have seen the increased hunger in God's people and many well-known international ministers of God expressing this deep hunger. 'Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled' (Matthew 5:6). I hope that this study book will open the way to show believers how to 'be filled', and offer an antidote for the ailments, sin, sickness and fruitlessness in today's western Church.
Like Joshua and Caleb we press on into the Promised Land in spite of unbelief and doubt in others. True holiness has never been a popular subject; the cost is very high, but the result is New Testament Power and the 'abundant life' Jesus promised! Holiness is the key to:
Victory over sin,
Hearing God's voice,
Holiness and Sanctification,
A Clean Heart,
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit and Fire,
Readiness for the Lord's Return.
Satan is a liar and a robber. For half a century and even longer, he has bred and fostered many misinterpretations, misconceptions, and fed half-truths to God's people.
So when we share this message, we always ask people to:
Pray and be like the Bereans and search the Scriptures - '
whether these things were so' Acts 17:11,
Please be patient and see the whole picture before you accept or reject this,
Please be open-minded since you may hear things new to your perhaps long held theology, and
Please read this book at least twice!
This book is an exposure of some lies of Satan that millions of sincere, lovely Christians have believed - because of wrong teaching.
I am not a clever scholar but the contents of this book are based on God's Word and proven testimonies. My personal observations were confirmed by the Holy Spirit. The content could well be controversial in places but I trust the Lord to be the judge. My intent is not to be arrogant or critical, but discerning through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
From the moment I was saved over thirty years ago, I asked the Holy Spirit to 'lead me into all truth', and to never let me go astray or follow a wrong doctrine. I believe He has led David and me along this path and we pray that it will lead to the ancient path - the highway of holiness - and that you too will walk with us along that road. (Isaiah 35:8 and Jer. 6:16)
David believed the Lord put into his mind the phrase, 'It takes one match to start a forest fire'! Charles Finney, John Wesley and Jeremiah Lanphier were such men in their day. Who will be 'a match' in our generation to start a Fire of Revival again?
My thanks to the few of our 'holiness group', who, over the years, have witnessed to this hidden truth, and encouraged and supported us. Special thanks also to my 'computer literate' brothers - Robert Allison, Ron Hemes, Paul Perry and especially Nigel Smeeth - without whom you'd never be reading this, and to David, my husband, who is one with me in all I share here. I must also thank John Campbell who has helped with web marketing of this book, and to Rev. Paul Gardiner who directed us to The Church of God International Pentecostal denomination who believe in this Wesleyan doctrine of entire sanctification.
Grateful and appreciative thanks must go to Dr Hollis Gause for his dedicated and detailed work of theologically editing my book on behalf of The Church of God, International. Thank you for 'reading' and affirming my heart.
May this book bring hope, renewed vision to the people of God and revival to today's church. Revival will enable 'the Bride to have made herself ready for the marriage of the Lamb'. The hour is late and we must be ready as '...the glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but, that it should be holy and without blemish' - ready to escape from the wrath of the Great Tribulation soon to come and, be in a fit state to warn and lead others to Christ.
God bless you and may the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, lead us ALL into ALL truth for His glory.
| 2013/3/23 7:57||Profile|