Note 12 – Part 2 (continued from same day) (Navigation forward and backward to other notes at bottom of screen)
(continuation of Worshiping God in Spirit and Truth)
(After reading the things shared in part 1) I was immediately reminded of a lengthy conversation Jesse recently had (at the time of originally writing this) with someone we’d just met. Though from the outset this man seemed to be “all about Jesus,” the further the conversation progressed the more we realized he was not speaking of the Jesus revealed in God’s Word. He seemed to be in relationship with the Jesus of lawlessness, but flirting with the Jesus of universalism. Having rejected the divine inspiration of God’s Word, he no longer held the Plumb Line he desperately needed in order to test the many spirits who were speaking to him in his passionate pursuit of spiritual experience. His only plumb line had become what sounded or seemed right, good, and true to him in his own heart/mind. Yet the heart, being deceitful above all things, was leading him toward darkness and death. He had already embraced doctrines of deceiving/seducing spirits and when he shared the most recent sources through which he was seeking answers, it was clear his search was leading him into even greater deception. He confessed that during his search, the Lord had given him some of the very same passages which were among the central texts He gave us in 2010-2011 as we cried out to know the truth about certain teachings we were hearing at the time (similar to the teachings he had embraced). Although he believed that God had told him through Matthew 7 that he was in danger of being among those turned away in the end who believed they knew Jesus, but would discover too late that they truly didn’t, this warning didn’t change his course. Tragically, he confessed that this revelation only angered and frustrated him, causing him to impugn the character of God instead of causing him to humble himself and cry out to know the Lord in Spirit and Truth. We were grieved to hear the current condition of his heart/faith, but were also thankful to hear how the Lord had been faithfully trying to communicate this challenging truth to him. We pray he will eventually be able to receive what the Lord is trying to reveal to him.
This past Friday, as I reread this account, I realized how timely it was to see this again. We had just encountered a similar situation of someone who had created a false version of God and His Word to justify what he wanted to do. As we grieved over this person/situation the night before and prayed for wisdom, the Lord brought many of the same Scriptures back to our hearts/minds that He’d initially given us in 2010-2011. I believe He was showing us that the love of sin causes people to hate Truth (II Thessalonians 2:10-12, John 3:19-21). Instead of desiring to avoid deception and know the Truth at all costs, those who love sin/darkness often fall prey to the temptation Paul describes in II Timothy 4:3 of seeking out and surrounding themselves with those who will tell them what they want to hear, instead of what they need to hear ~ the truth that could set them free. But, likewise, a love of Truth (the One who is Truth and His Word) will cause people to hate sin ~ to be willing to turn away from it in order to know and follow Truth and walk in His Light. (Proverbs 8:13, Romans 12:9, I Corinthians 13, to name a few). So we felt impressed to begin interceding for this person and for all to receive a supernatural impartation of a “love of the Truth” by the power of the Holy Spirit. I felt the Lord was showing us that this is what will cause people to be willing to sincerely pursue Truth (the One who is Truth and His Word), even when this revelation may be contrary to what they believe (and what they want to believe) ~ and even when facing Truth may result in being confronted with decisions that come with a high price.
God wants us to abide in Him/His Word and He/His Word to abide in us to the degree that we are walking in unity with Him/His Word and He/His Word become part of us. This also ties back to the message in note 8 of God desiring Truth in the innermost parts, and how His Word can help us make sure that the light within us is not truly “darkness” (counterfeit light/illumination).
Now it occurred that as He was saying these things, a certain woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, Blessed (happy and to be envied) is the womb that bore You and the breasts that You sucked! But He said, Blessed (happy and to be envied) rather are those who hear the Word of God and obey and practice it! Now as the crowds were [increasingly] thronging Him, He began to say, This present generation is a wicked one; it seeks and demands a sign (miracle), but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of Jonah [the prophet]. For [just] as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so will also the Son of Man be [a sign] to this age and generation. The queen of the South will arise in the judgment with the people of this age and generation and condemn them; for she came from the ends of the [inhabited] earth to listen to the wisdom of Solomon, and notice, here is more than Solomon. The men of Nineveh will appear as witnesses at the judgment with this generation and will condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, here is more than Jonah. No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or crypt or under a bushel measure, but on a lampstand, that those who are coming in may see the light. Your eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye (your conscience) is sound and fulfilling its office, your whole body is full of light; but when it is not sound and is not fulfilling its office, your body is full of darkness. Be careful, therefore, that the light that is in you is not darkness. If then your entire body is illuminated, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright [with light], as when a lamp with its bright rays gives you light. Luke 11:27-36
Though the Amplified suggests that the “eye” here symbolizes “the conscience,” I believe we can also apply the meaning of “spiritual vision and perception.” Jesus often referred to the need to have eyes that see and ears that hear even when speaking to many who had eyes and ears which functioned in the natural realm. We understand that He was speaking of the need for eyes that can see and ears that can hear beyond the natural, to see what His Spirit is showing us and to hear what His Spirit is saying.
In my reading/study this year, because of certain things I’ve been praying/seeking about, it has struck me over and over how often Jesus spoke things plainly and directly to people, yet they still did not understand, grasp, or comprehend the true meaning of what He was saying. Even though Jesus spoke something audibly and explicitly, people (including His disciples) would still turn to one another and begin to debate, argue about, and question the meaning of what He had just said. Sometimes they asked Him for further explanation; other times they were afraid to ask or simply didn’t. One night as Jesse and I were discussing the meaning of some words the Lord had recently given us, yet at the same time very aware of His Presence with us, we laughingly realized that He is still witnessing those same kinds of scenes we read about in the gospels every single day. For more than 2000 years He’s been present, standing by, listening to His disciples discuss and debate amongst ourselves, trying to understand the things He’s spoken/or is speaking. The Lord often rebuked those who heard Him for being dull of perception, sluggish of mind, and slow of heart to believe. Other times the Word says people did not understand because the meaning was hidden from them (as one of our former pastors used to say – “put that in your theological pipe and smoke it.”) At times God will hide the meaning of His Word like treasure to be sought out by the humble and hungry. Though one may initially be in a state of dull spiritual perception when the word of the Lord first comes to them, lack of understanding should serve as an invitation to draw in closer to seek Him until He makes things clear.
We see an illustration of one who heard but did not comprehend in the story above. Though the Lord was faithfully communicating the precise truth to this man we met that the “Jesus” he knew was not the real Jesus and was warning him of the final outcome if he didn’t come to know the truth, he was not yet able to accurately and fully understand and grasp what He was saying. But instead of humbling himself and hungering and crying out for understanding, he had rejected and dismissed God’s attempts to correct him (which is another discussion for later).
We have also witnessed this process over the past several years in the life of another whom we love. Even when we can tell beyond the shadow of a doubt that the Lord is faithfully speaking to him regarding the things we’ve been interceding about, and have been certain that this time he surely must have understood, the full implications and application of the revelation has always just seemed to elude him ~ not yet penetrating the stronghold of misperception to bring about the breakthrough we cry out for.
Observing this phenomenon in others ~ of the potential to hear the Lord, yet still not hear Him (understand Him) ~ causes a heightened reverential fear in our own lives. Seeing the stealthy and stubborn nature of strongholds which have imprisoned others, provokes us all the more to cry out not to be deceived and blinded in our own lives, but to be able to face every truth we need to face and to clearly and accurately perceive, receive, and apply ALL the wisdom, revelation, knowledge, understanding, counsel, correction, direction, instruction, and insight God is faithfully trying to give.
This underscores the vital importance that we all not only diligently seek the Lord, but that we also continually pray that our eyes, ears, hearts, and minds be opened to accurately see, hear, perceive, and understand all the answers He generously and faithfully pours out for us in response – and that we be willing to go to extraordinary lengths, doing whatever we can on our part, to continue to sensitize ourselves to Him and desensitize ourselves to the flesh, soul, enemy, and every other voice.
to be continued… (see part 3 here)
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