When Jesus Draws Near

When Jesus Draws NearAmazing things happen when the power of Christ shows up. Are you available to be His vessel for miracles?

For at least 20 years, a driving force within me has been the conviction that I owe people an encounter with God. I believe I owe them more than just a message filled with truth. Whatever I do for people must contain the opportunity for them to have a divine encounter. If I am full of the Holy Spirit, then I will be more likely to bring people into such an encounter.

In part, that is what the apostle Paul meant when he stated: “And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power” (1 Cor. 2:4, NKJV). People don’t need to be convinced of our insights or ability to convey truth. People need God.

God cannot be properly or even accurately represented without power. Miracles are absolutely necessary for people to see Him clearly because encountering His power is encountering Him.

Our greatest treasure is God Himself. Our greatest privilege is to manifest Him. The people of God around the world are crying out for Him to show up in a more significant way. It’s a healthy cry.

Tragically, history is filled with those who prayed that prayer for years without ever seeing a true visitation of God. Many of the respected books on revival were written by people who never took part in one.

Is it that hard to get God to show up? Jesus was born in a manger—He’s not that picky. The absence of His manifested presence has been attributed to His sovereignty. I think it’s unfair to sweep unfulfilled promises under “God’s sovereignty” and blame God or His “mysterious ways” for any lack we experience.

The only time the disciples couldn’t bring deliverance, they weren’t content with the absence of a miracle (see Matt. 17:14-21). They believed God’s sovereign will was for a miracle. And so, they asked Jesus.

He demonstrated how and then told them why, and the tormented child was set free. The lack is always on our end of the equation, not the Father’s. His covenant is complete and effective for all.

God will allow us to carry as much of Jesus’ presence as we’re willing to jealously guard. Has it ever crossed our minds how much is available to us now? I think it hasn’t.

Moses, who was not even “born again”—because Jesus had not yet died for our sins—carried a measure of Jesus’ presence that is unusual for today. That shouldn’t be. Inferior covenants should not provide superior blessings. The blood of Jesus gives us access to a far greater glory than was ever experienced by Moses (see 2 Cor. 3:7-11).

Knowing God

Our greatest responsibility as Jesus’ church on earth is both to know Him and to make Him known. Knowing Him will be unfulfilled unless we embrace. four mandates from heaven, priorities that affect thoughts, prayers and pursuits. They are both fruits and gifts—results of being in right standing with God and attainments received only through obedience.

Love. Though faith is what’s required to please God (see Heb. 11:6), it is love that remains the greatest of all virtues (see 1 Cor. 13). Love never fails. It is perfect, totally unselfish to the point of the ultimate sacrifice. Jesus loved the world so much that He gave. Faith that works through love. So they remain the two absolutes that are the evidence of being a true believer.

Purity. The tragedy of sinfulness in the church has caused a domino effect outside the church. Holiness is the absolute evidence of the gospel’s effect on a life. Without it, our good intentions collapse under the weight of God’s purposes. He shakes whatever has faulty foundations. And sin is the weakest foundation. The call to disciple nations requires holiness.

Power. It is impossible to represent God without power. He is not an idea, a philosophy or creed. He is all-powerful God. And we have been selected as agents of His power, to confront and destroy the works of darkness in the same way Jesus did. Jesus is the clearest revelation of God on the earth. The Father wants that representation multiplied through us.

Glory. This is the manifested presence of Jesus—what radiates from the Father (see Heb. 1:3). When His glory comes into a room, there is little else one can do but worship. We must long for these times, pursue them and treasure them as they are available to us in increasing measures. Why is the glory so important? It is the realm of God we were created to live in.

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