I am a passionate person, I don't know of anyone who knows me who would disagree. I am hot or cold, I am extreme, intense. I'm not saying I can't be relaxed because more and more I'm just peaceful and relaxed. But when I believe something, I really believe it! Funnily enough this can lead me to get discouraged and doubt I mean doubt everything. When I don't see healing, or financial provision, or changes in people/relationships, or whatever, I get angry sometimes. I start thinking that maybe this God stuff is all my imagination, that maybe none of it is real. Like I said, I'm either hot or cold!
But generally my extreme doubts, anger, discouragement, even depression all add up to one thing--hunger. I am starving for intimacy, a fresh experience, a fresh conversation, with Jesus. I just miss him. Do you know what I mean? I think my Christian experience has been pretty broad, non-charismatic and charismatic, arminian and calvinist, etc... But every church I've ever been part of has had legalism as a common denominator.
Some mixed in a little law, some alot. Some were honest about it, some called it 'grace'. But even if the methods or doctrines about getting God to show up or do something were different, they all had methods. Some believed that prayer was the key (yeah, I've read Ravenhill and God knows how many others), some believe if you really want something (revival anyone?) than add fasting to that. Some say confessions of sin and repentance is key, actually, many claim this on both arminian and calvinist sides. We must consecrate the temple, purify it, clean it out or the Holy Spirit will not fill the temple (this leans very heavily on OT imagery obviously). I'm pretty sure there's a bunch of people who believe that faith and the word of faith (speaking things out) is the key to getting whatever it is that you need.
I believe that faith and prayer are great, but they are the fruit of the answer, not the answer. There is no method for receiving any of God's blessings, the greatest of which is his constant presence. I'm tired of begging God for what I need or want, especially begging for him to reveal himself, manifest himself to me.
You see, when I first started listening to Rob Rufus, getting my first real glimpse of the glorious gospel of grace, I would be caught up in a crazy swirl of joy and love, it was euphoric and it would last for hours sometimes. I would wake up in the night and God's presence was so real! His voice was so clear! It was beautiful and wonderful. At any moment in the day I could say "God, you there?" and he would be there in this tangible powerful way. I was so caught up in his love!
But then something really weird happened, which I don't think I've shared with anyone but Aaron. One night after listening to some grace preaching I was lying in bed still caught up in God's glorious presence and I must have drifted off to sleep. I was woken up by such an evil presence that was paralyzing me so that I could not speak without a pronounced effort. Finally I said "Jesus" and the evil presence left.
Now, things like this had happened to me lots of times before, but for some reason this experience had a horrible effect on me. Because I fell asleep in God's presence and woke up in fear, in my mind God's presence just kind of turned on me so to speak. It's really strange, but especially at first I could not experience God's presence anymore the way I had been because every time he came I became afraid, I instinctively withdrew. Very very strange, since in general I'm not afraid of demons (apart from the initial reaction when you're first caught off guard or you're having a dream) Over time the effects have been dulled and of course I've experienced God's presence many times, but it has never been the same.
I know this is a very weird story but I guess I don't care what people think of me so much. I don't really know why I'm sharing it in relation to this post but I think I'll just leave it for whatever it's worth.
Anyway, I don't appreciate worship songs that are begging for God to come or whatever. I think they ignore the fact that he has come, Jesus has come and made a way for us to enter into the holy of holies! There is a new a living way, not a dead ritualistic way that sends in the holiest guy you can find with a rope tied around his leg hoping he can please God enough to get everyone safely through another year.
Now we have a great high priest who has entered the holy place with his own blood. Did God strike him down? Or is the blood of Jesus so superior to the blood of bulls and goats that God had to strike down the whole system? The curtain was torn from top to bottom because for any other sacrifice to be offered after the blood of Jesus had been sprinkled would have been blasphemy. Think about that!
We are not beggars, we are sons! We live in our father's kingdom, we carry out his word, his work, with authority. There is no power on earth that can stop us from victory! There is no power on earth that can keep us from our father and his love.
I'm putting up another song that I love. I love it because it doesn't say "will you come" it says "you will come". Now yes, he is already here, but he also promised to come! He said where two or three were gathered he'd be there, he also said "I will never leave you". So both are true, but in either case, there's no place for begging unless you are under the law and still a slave. But I am not!