I got a newsletter by email today and want to share it because it’s timely. But it’s also eternal, touching as it does on a too-often overlooked aspect of the simple gospel.
Jesus went to the cross and rose from the dead not just to get us into heaven after we die, but also to get heaven into us while we live in this world. And one aspect of heaven is God’s glory.
I was in a prophetic worship conference a few years ago. Lamar Boschman, a spiritual pioneer who had long called the church to arise in prophetic worship, was the featured speaker. I had been asked to play and sing as he closed his message.
Suddenly a prophetic song began to flow, and the words shook me so terribly that I was crying my eyes out as I sang. Here is the essence of the word that challenged me.
About two thousand years ago, God had opened the heavens.. in Revelation 4, John heard the call to come up, and he saw an open door.
The door has been open for two thousand years, and God was disappointed that so few had noticed or even shown any interest in the open door.
Did anybody care?
Many of us felt too unspiritual to go anywhere near the door. Others thought it was impractical, and we would be better advised to spend our energies elsewhere.
As for me, I began to sense that God was holding me responsible to go to the door whenever I worship. Enter in, or if nothing else, at the very least, peek inside and look around.
I always reach into the heavens when we worship. Sometimes I connect and sometimes I don’t, but I dare not insult the God of glory by failing to reach for Him.
As I have reached towards God, the God of grace has reached for me. I have had many encounters with Him, and often I have been amazed that God would allow someone as brutish as I am to experience Him so richly.
I can’t escape the conviction that these things are happening to me not because I am unusually spiritual – I’m not. Instead, I am simply a sample of what the glorified Christ can do with an ordinary man.
More than once, I’ve stood by Jacob’s ladder and felt a breeze come down from heaven and change the anointing level in a meeting. I’ve climbed the spiral staircase several times, walking through the layer of mist, even though I couldn’t see the stairs and there was no handrail to hang onto. It was scary at first as I felt my way with my feet, step by step. But then I learned that if I worship as I go, the way gets easier.
Who am I to experience such things? Just an ordinary believer, who died when Christ died and rose from dfeath with Him when He arose. Why else was I baptized in water, but to bury the dead man and to let the new man come up in resurrection life.
If Christ lives in us, how can we live an earthbound existence and not experience glorious things?
This is why I’m sharing the link to the Gills’ Newsletter. Papa Gill and Mom Joyce have been dear friends to JoAnn and me for years and we have experienced the glory of God with them at many of their Mountaintop encounters over the years.
Something in a man dies when he sees the glory of God. But something else comes alive in the glory. We need this. The church needs men and women who will let things die that need to die, and let things come alive that need to come alive. These processes happen only when we encounter His glory.
Stan Smith :: © 2011, GospelSmith :: http://www.GospelSmith.com