From Facts to Face
In a recent post I talked about the difference between exposure to the Father and truly experiencing the Father. I observed that many people are exposed to God through preaching and Bible study but they never actually experience God’s power, joy, or glory in their lives. The question I asked was “are you different because of your exposure to God?”
The Bible is very clear that you will be different, in fact, you will be a new creation (2 Cor 5:17) and Gal 6:15 tells us that the new creation is all that counts!
So, the next question is, how do you get from exposure to experience? I believe the answer is to move from the facts about Jesus to the face of Jesus. Hear me loud and clear, Biblical knowledge is the starting point of the new creation, but experiencing the Father is only found in and through the face of Jesus.
Knowing that God loves you (John 3:16) and living it are two different things.
Knowing that you are a sinner saved by faith in God’s grace (Eph 2:8-9) and living it are two different things.
Knowing that Christ is in you and that you are in Christ (1 Cor 1:30, 1 Cor 3:16, 6:19) and living it are two different things.
Knowing that God is jealous for His glory (Ex 34:14) and living it are two different things.
See what I mean? Having the facts in your mind is not the same as experiencing the reality of those facts in your life. So how do we move from facts to face? The same way we move from faith to faith (Rom 1:17 KJV); by trusting in what you know and living like it is so.
If you know that God loves you, live your life understanding that you are loved unconditionally and eternally.
If you know that you are a sinner saved by faith in God’s grace, live your life free from Satan’s condemnations.
If you know that prior to salvation you were dead, and after salvation you are alive, live like someone who was dead and is now alive.
If you know that God is jealous for His glory, be jealous for His glory too.
This is easier said than done IF we attempt it in our own strength. But, if we allow the power of the Holy Spirit to change us and to work through us, then this life style is much easier. In fact, allowing the Spirit to change us is the only way this can happen. Paul tells us in Rom 12:1-2 to live a live that is holy and pleasing to God but, he also tells us that this only happens AFTER our minds are transformed by the Spirit.
Dear friend, Father desires that you experience Him the way He wants you to experience Him. And, since everything about the Father revolves around His glory, the best way for us to experience Him is to focus our attention on His glory and to be satisfied by it.
The starting point for finding God’s glory is in the face of Jesus. Once you see (I mean really see) Jesus, you have seen the Father(2 Cor 4:6). Once you see the Father, you can’t help but experience Him.
Moving from exposure to experience requires moving from facts to the face of Jesus. Only when you move from the facts about Jesus to the face of Jesus, will you understand that God loves His glory more than He loves us, and this is the foundation of His love for us (Piper).
Understanding this is to truly experience God.
May you be blessed by reading this.
Periodic update on our status:
The house: Three consecutive weekends were spent cleaning/clearing/throwing away stuff from the different rooms in the house. We are on schedule for August 1-2 yard sale but we realized that we will have more stuff than we will have tables/benches to display it in for the yard sale. What to do…?
The routine: We took a break. Jo, Taylor and I drove to Florida for a break from the daily routine. We spend two nights at Fernadina Beach on Amelia Island (highly recommend it), then 3 nights in Clewiston (Taylor’s beau lives there), then 2 nights in St. Augustine; quite possibly our last trip with Taylor for a while. !
The support raising: The first wave of cards and Facebook messages have been sent out informing folks of what we are doing and how they can join us. Now comes the part of following up on all of them. I did have one very good meeting last week and we hope for many more. So far we have raised 17% of our monthly amount and 8.5% of the start-up funds.
The faith: I (Dave) recently realized that when we sell the house and move, we will no longer have a “permanent address”. What happens if we are home on furlough and get pulled over by the police? I can hear it now…
Officer: Mr McKissick there is no address on this license.
Me: Yes sir.
Officer: Why not?
Me: Well sir, we don’t really have an address any more.
Officer: What do you mean? You can’t “not have an address”!!! Are you some kind of wise guy? I’m taking you in…
Headline: Missionary arrested for not having a permanent address, wife disavows knowing him.
I know this is a minor item, but the idea of not having a “permanent address” is somewhat unnerving to me; and it addresses (no pun intended) one of the uncertainties we are facing. This is where I must go back to the beginning of this adventure. One of the first things I told Jo when we were originally considering this move was “I don’t want to make a decision based on circumstances. I want to make the decision based on whether or not we believe this is what God is leading us to do.” Well, I absolutely believe this is God’s leading (because we would have NEVER done this ourselves) and therefore I must also believe that God will take care of the details, all the way down to our “permanent address.”
Thanks for reading, more to come…
Exposure or Experience; which have you had with the Father?
Exposure: the condition of being presented to view or made known
Experience: 1:… state of having … gained knowledge through direct observation or participation (Merriam-Webster.com)
According to the definitions above, exposure means you are aware of something or that you have knowledge of it. In today’s news you could read about the crisis in Syria or the World Cup in Brazil. This means you have been exposed to these events, but you don’t have any personal experiences from the exposure. Any change that happens in your life because of this exposure is probably temporary at best.
People who have actually been to the refugee camps in the countries surrounding Syria, or who have seen the cities destroyed by the war have more than just exposure to the situation. They have seen, heard, and smelled the destruction and they have experienced Syria.
Those who were in the streets and stadiums in Brazil have experienced the World Cup.
Exposure to something does not necessarily mean you are changed by it. But experiencing something does cause you to be different because of it.
The same is true of God. You can be exposed to God and never be changed. But once you experience God, you will never be the same.
Exposure to God can happen in many ways. You can attend church, read the Bible, and do all the things that Believers do, but this exposure does not necessarily mean you have been changed because of it. All it means is that you are aware of and that you have knowledge of Godly things.
But, to experience God implies that you have been changed by that experience. Once you come face to face with the Creator of the universe, you cannot help but be changed. That change is as drastic and as noticeable as going from dead to alive; because that is exactly what happens.
The book of Ephesians (2:1,5) tells us that before we experience Jesus, we are dead. But, if we allow Him to, He will make us alive! This is more than just exposure to God, this is a personal interaction with the Father; an experience that will change your life forever (eternally).
My question for you is this: are you different now than you were before you experienced God? I mean really different. Like from dead to alive different?
Paul desired that the Ephesian church would truly experience God through their exposure to His word. That is why he prayed Eph 1:17-19 and 3:16-20. These prayers are still applicable to us today and Father desires that we experience Him to the fullest extent possible. The only way for that to happen is for us to allow our exposure to God to turn into experiences with God.
Dear friends, this live is full of wonderful experiences. But nothing could ever match the life-giving experience of fully experiencing the Father through Jesus Christ.
Are you willing to be willing to allow exposure to turn into experience?
Psalms 37:4 Delight yourself in the LORD…
According to my journal, I have been meditating on these 5 words for over 3 ½ months. Here are some of my thoughts…
You have probably read or even quoted this verse many times. But do you know what it really means?
Far be it from me to interpret or explain early Hebrew, but this is what the Father has revealed to me about this verse…
Delight: find extreme pleasure in, be overwhelmed by, experience joy in.
Yourself: it is my responsibility to make sure this happens, no one else can do this for me.
In: not around, or close to, but inside of; surrounded by…
The LORD: not in anything else but only in the self-EXISTANT one, the Creator of the universe.
This is a commandment! Father expects me to do this, He desires me to do this, and He is glorified when I do this.
This caused me to ask myself, do I delight myself in the LORD? Mostly the answer is no. I cheat myself by finding delight in things other than the LORD. Now, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t other things that can give us delight. But when we choose the delight of anything over the delight that comes from the LORD, that is sin.
I encourage you to determine the sources of your delight. If they are anything other than the Father, you are missing God’s best that He has for you. You are settling for less than the Creator of the universe wants you to have…
When I started sorting through the sources of my delights, I came up with this question:
Father, what do you want me to have, and how do I get it?
To be continued…