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french fries

So young and so cynical

I came to know Jesus Christ in my early teens at a Baptist Bible summer camp. Like many young people, I was very troubled and cynical. I remember at the last altar call that I was the only one who would not come forward to give my life to Jesus Christ. Part of me really wanted to believe, but out of pride, I didn’t want to do it just because everyone else was. The minister eventually became tired of asking, “Is there anyone else who would like to give their heart to Jesus?” and closed the meeting. However, later that evening, when everything was quiet in my cabin, I asked Jesus to forgive me of my sins and to come into my heart.

Forgiven on my bunk bed

I felt a great weight physically lift off of me and I knew that Jesus was real. For the next week, I literally felt His presence surround me. I had been so turned off to religion because I had seen the hypocrisy of those who professed to follow God, but this was real and personal. I attended a Baptist church for a while, but I found that I still hungered for more. When I heard that God wanted me to be filled with His Holy Spirit, I was eager to receive more of Jesus. A brother in the Lord offered to give me a Bible study on the subject. We prayed and asked God to fill me. I thought that speaking in other tongues would be difficult, but it was so easy, I doubted if the new language I spoke was real.

French fries and God

On the way home, I stopped by a fast-food restaurant to have a bite to eat. As I sat eating french fries, my eyes fixed on a man sitting across the dining room. A voice said, “Tell him about Me.” This was strange! I had never had this happen before! Again, the voice spoke, and this time it was as if two invisible hands gently, but firmly shoved me in the man’s direction. Still, I hesitated. The man stood up and started to leave. I told myself if I didn’t obey I would never know if what I was hearing was real.

Catching up with him just as he was getting into his car I said, “This might sound strange, but God asked me to talk to you about Jesus.” With a surprised look, he replied, “I have just been thinking about giving my heart to the Lord.” Wow! I was excited. This was real! I had been shown the verses that promised that we would receive power to be His witnesses when I was told about the baptism of the Holy Spirit and I had just experienced that awesome power!

Scriptures morning, noon, and night

Later, when I was about twenty, I felt God saying to me that I needed to learn His Word. For the next five years I studied the Scriptures at a theological college. During that time I fell into the trap of believing that Knowledge of God would fulfill my hunger, but I found that Bible knowledge was not enough.

It was a strange thing. The more I began to know about the scriptures the further away from God I felt. I studied the Greek and Hebrew and came to be very “knowledgeable” about all the things that I shouldn’t do in order to live a “Holy” life. All the principles and all the “balanced views” that I had been taught only served to condemn me for I could never seem to get everything just right and be worthy (in my mind) of God’s love.

God shows up

Fortunately, the church that I was attending at the time had a visitation of God’s Spirit. I found out God was not nearly as legalistic about things as I had become. Instead of just following a set of rules, I was again actually experiencing Jesus. By now I knew that following the letter of the law had almost killed me, so I determined I was going to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit from then on no matter what the costs.

It was a wonderful move of Gods Spirit. I seemed that every day and week something fresh and new was happening in my life and in the lives of those around me. People started to experience the manifestation (or revealing) of the sons of God. At times, when someone spoke to you, it would be as if Jesus was speaking to you through him or her. When someone touched you, it was as if the Lord had touched you. The love that we all felt for each other was beyond anything I had ever experienced before. At that time I realized that I was seeing part of the end time, perfected church emerge before my eyes.

Wow, we did not expect that!

The way in which Jesus had chosen to come to that church stumbled many because this heavenly love did not fit their preconceived ideas. Many people I knew left the church during that time.  However, it seemed they were replaced quickly by those drawn to this new agape experience. To me, it mattered little what form or diverse manner Jesus chose to take.  All I wanted was the substance of Christ.  I knew, that I knew, that I knew, from the depths of my innermost person, that this was God.

Since that time, God has put me in the “School of the Holy Spirit”.  The Spirit of Truth (i.e. the Holy Spirit) leads and guides me.  God reveals His intent and purpose in these last days of the gentile church age.

God speaks to me

At the time of the intense outpouring of the Holy Spirit in that church God began to talk to me personally.  Though unbelieving at first,  I gradually came to trust my Fathers voice.   By doing what God spoke, I learned how to be led by His Holy Spirit. Now, I can talk to God anytime I wish and He will answer me. I feel like I have a daily relationship with Him and that He is present with me all the time. In reality, God wishes to talk personally with anyone who will listen to Him and this should be the normative (or common) experience of every Christian.

Unfortunately, people have been taught that they “shouldn’t” expect this. Moreover some Christians even accuse other Christians of being prideful if they claim personal conversations with God actually take place. However, I believe without an intimate relationship with God, growing into the fullness and stature of Christ is impossible.

God speaks to you too

I want to encourage you that Jesus desires to lead and guide you through His Holy Spirit every day. It is a great adventure to learn to recognize His voice and obey His Spirit. Stop trusting your natural mind. Learn to open up to revelation from God and direct communication with Him. Truly, God is more concerned with a relationship with you than He is with you being perfect. In fact, perfection can only come through having a relationship with Him.  Allow a deep and intimate relationship to develop between yourself and God. Experience who our Creator really is.

This is utter and unfettered intimacy.

Behold the Bride Of Christ.

Speak To Me by Kari Jobe