Back to Course

Spiritual Life

0% Complete
0/105 Steps

Section 1

Lesson 24 of 105
In Progress

Do You Hear God?


Spiritual Life #23

The Spiritual Man #1

Sermon Transcript by Rev. Ernest O’Neill

We should be fairly open to the Holy Spirit just leading us to pray loved ones, if he wants to do that. So, will you be aware of that? And, I’m just going to listen to him so I’ll start speaking anyway and we’ll go as long as he wants us to. But, what I sense tonight is, what are the words of man? What most of us need tonight are the words of God directly to our own hearts. I sense too that a lot of us don’t wait on God. We don’t wait on God and that’s why we don’t hear him and that’s why often our lives are as empty as those who don’t proclaim to know anything about God. Because, we talk about the emptiness that they feel or the emptiness that we felt before we ever knew Jesus but many of us just have the same sense of discontent today. And really it’s a bit like the junk food that we talk about — we go from junk food to junk food and we go meeting-to-meeting and service-to-service, from preacher-to-preacher, and book-to-book and really what we need to do is wait upon the Lord in our own quiet times at home.

Now, I don’t know how many of you really get through to the Lord; really get a hold of God. I don’t know how many of you do. How many of us get a hold of God, or how many of us do that morning prayer time to satisfy ourselves and our conscience and to make us feel that we can wave the banner and trust the Lord for the rest of the day? But, we don’t really wait upon God and we don’t really therefore, hear what he is saying to us. So we’re not really living the lives of spiritual men and women; we’re actually living the lives of at least soulish men and woman and possibly even unregenerate men and women in that we’re just living off each other.

And you remember, that’s what we said the greater part of the world is doing, it’s living off each other really. And that’s how we all live. We live off each other and each other’s feelings, and each other’s comments and somebody says something nice to us and we feel happy, and somebody says something unkind to us and we’re all cast down. And many of us live that way even now. We lived that way before we came to know God and we live that way now and yet we do say we’re born of God. Of course, a spiritual man or a spiritual woman is not simply one who’s spirit has come alive and who has had some contact with God, but a spiritual man or a spiritual woman is one who lives dependent on God’s messages to them and God’s opinion of them day in and day out.

And I don’t know how many of us live from thrill-to-thrill, or how many of us live by what we have to look forward to this evening. I don’t know how many of you are thinking, “Now, what do I do after service? And, it’s going to be good because I have so and so to see after service.” Or, “It’s going to be good because I can go home and see that program on television that I was interested in seeing. That little thing to look forward to before I go to bed.” Or, “I’ll just change the bed clothes and I’ll look forward to getting into clean sheets tonight.” Or, “I have tomorrow morning to look forward.” Or, “I haven’t tomorrow morning to look forward to.”

But I wonder how many of us live by those little thrills and those little kicks, and how many of us are still really living like the children of this world. Because, dear love them, that’s all they have to look forward to. They have to care about what their boss thinks of them, or what their friends think of them in order to have any sense of self worth at all. And I wonder how many of us live that way from thrill-to-thrill, or from kick-to-kick, or from little adventure to little adventure. And of course, I don’t know if you see it, but that’s what makes us so parasitical upon

each other. We’re parasites, we live off of each other. That’s what makes us incapable of giving life or love to others.

I don’t know if you’ve met a person and they’ve seemed to make you feel better somehow. You somehow feel stronger, or you feel more loved after you’ve met them and you have a sense that they’re stable, steady, at rest, and they have time for you, and they actually do love you and they are giving to you, and you’ve sensed that about them. And yet, you yourself do not act like that. You’re pretty restless, pretty half contented, and usually trying to get something; a little more of something from somebody, or from tomorrow, or from the car ride home, or from something else. But, you’re not at rest, you’re not content, you’re not at peace, and so you’re not a source of life — you’re actually a source of emptiness. And because you’re always looking for something from other people they sense that you’re kind of draining to them and they don’t go away from you built up. They go away from you thinking, “That’s another person who wants something the way I want something.”

Now loved ones, it is possible to come to such a place of dependence on God alone for your friendship and for your love that you can be at rest and at peace. And when people meet you they can say, “That’s a contented woman. That’s a man at peace.” They sense that. They sense that person is satisfied. Not because they have all the money that they want, not because they have a great job, but they have a heart at peace. “That person is at rest. That’s nice. I’d like to be like that.” And that comes you know, from at last dying. There’s no other way, there’s no other way. It’s at last dying to meeting Mary and having tea at her and Martha’s house. It’s dying to even the little bit of excitement and thrill that that might give. It’s dying to hoping that they’ll respect your teaching, or they’ll respect you, or they’ll follow you, or they’ll even simply refuse to hurt you. It’s dying to that. It’s dying to any thought of a little more comfort than you have — just a stone to lay your head on, maybe a little pillow — but it’s dying even to the hope of anything softer for your head. It’s dying to that kind of thing.

And for most of us here it’s dying to things that really we all think are very legitimate to have and they are to the eyes of the world, you know. It’s legitimate in the eyes of the world to look forward to having your own girl or your own guy. The mistake of course is laid there for most of us after we do marry because we all have the idea that that girl or that guy will give us the comfort and the sense of approval and the sense of recognition we need. Of course, you find that everybody’s the same and human beings, even the very best of them are unreliable. And she doesn’t always give you that sense when you think she should give you it, or he doesn’t always give you that sense when you think he should give you it. Of course, many marriages just settle for kind of a standoff compromise at that point.

But, it’s interesting, they’re still looking to each other for it. They’re still looking to each other and so there’s little rest in each heart, there’s still in a sense demanding from each other. And really the spiritual man or the spiritual woman is the one who gets all that from God. And I know that’s a killer, and honestly I have tried to fiddle it every way, to say it some other way that is less harsh or less hard — but the victory is either complete or it’s not at all. And if you’re looking for a little comfort from God and a little from your roommate you may as well look for it all from your roommate. And if you look for a little recognition from your peers and your colleagues at work, and a little recognition from God, you may as well forget God completely.

It seems that that is what Jesus was trying to get over to us. “Look, if you’re united with me in a death like mine, you’ll be united with me in a resurrection like mine. And you’ll experience the

fullness of my Father’s glory and my Father’s love upon your head, and you’ll experience all the joy that I have at this moment in his presence. You’ll experience it completely if you’ll be united with me in a death like mine. If you’ll stop looking to other people and other things.” That’s what a spiritual man or a spiritual woman is.

It’s a person who receives everything they need from God through their spirits and then that works out through them. And of course, most of us are not living that life, we’re living a life with a big emptiness inside because we live our life from people and from circumstances, and from events. And we’re trying to fill that big circle in the middle with security, and happiness, and significance, and you just can’t get it filled. It somehow doesn’t fill completely and you always feel an emptiness and a discontent because of that. And yet, you’re always grabbing for more of it from everybody else.

Loved ones, I would just share with you tonight what we shared last Sunday — that coming into a relationship with God is having your spirit made alive and the Spirit of God dwelling in your spirit. I would just share with you tonight a spiritual man or a spiritual woman is not one who just has that Spirit of God dwelling in their spirit. A spiritual man or a spiritual woman is one who has that spirit of God flowing through their spirits out through their minds and emotions and out through their bodies to the world. And that’s what a spiritual person is who has everything they need and who are continually giving out what they have received from God.

And this isn’t the sermon I was going to preach at all but, that’s why I started this evening by sharing with you that it seems to me that the heart of our problem is that many of us have come into some relationship with God’s Spirit. You wouldn’t even be here unless you had sensed God’s Spirit giving you a hunger for him. But loved ones, I think, where we’re falling short many of us, is we’re not spending time with his Spirit alone. You’re just not spending time in prayer with him. And so you’re not really getting satisfaction from him.

And I’m not talking about thrills and emotional highs, I’m just talking about a love relationship where you sense God loves you and where you sense he knows you. And that can only come if you’re willing to wait upon him. Now, I just know in my own heart and life that I’m an entirely different person when I’ve waited upon God. I don’t go to my wife wanting something more from her, or to you all wanting more from you; I go content and satisfied. I don’t care if anybody gives me anything, I’m content and satisfied. I don’t care if you think I’m good or think I’m bad. I don’t care if people criticize me or what they do. I’m just satisfied. I don’t care whether the money is going well or badly, the job well or badly, there’s just contentment and a rest.

Now loved ones, that’s God’s will for every one of us in this room and until you have that the Christian life is really what Mark was hinting at — a terrible burden, just a terrible burden — because you’re trying to be like Jesus but you don’t feel like him inside. And oh, I just feel tonight that the message God wants me to share with you is that the very basis of being a spiritual man or a spiritual woman is that you spend time with your dear Father and you get from him what you need.

If you say to me, “Well brother, that is my problem. I get all cast down when somebody criticizes me, I do. I do care about what people think of me. Well, what should I do about that?” And I know some of you have said to me, “Maybe I need a little healing in my emotions.” Loved ones, I don’t care if you quote me and say, “What a rotten one track creature he is.” You’ve got to die. That’s it. You’ve got to die.

I was the same, you know. I was the same. I think Irish and Americans have that very much in common that we are very impressed by what people think of us. There’s a great immediacy. Maybe that’s why, I think, I enjoy being in America — and because Jesus wants me here. But, I can see that very often we have that in common. We’re very aware of what people think of us and we want people to think well of us. And that’s way, maybe, so many Irish and Americans are comedians, because you have to sense the way the audience is responding and you play to the audience.

And loved ones, I was just as caught up in that as anybody in this room. And if you say, “Oh, but brother if you knew how sensitive I am to people’s opinions. If you knew how I find myself unconsciously playing to the gallery. If you knew how many things I do because I think other people would approve.” Loved ones, that is what I was like. And then I saw the whole message that I could never rise into the freedom of caring only for God’s opinion unless I was willing to die to what men thought of me.

And I don’t know what it is for all of you. I can tell you some of the things. I came to the States, it must have been about 15 years ago, and you know the way your parents want you to do well. My dad was with Jesus, but I knew my dear mum was back there wanting me to do well, as every mother does. And I remember that was one big thing I had to die to and Jesus made it very clear to me. “Look, my mum was standing in front of me as I was crucified on this cross and to her eyes, her son was an absolute failure. Now, that’s what I died to and that’s what I took you to the death of also.”

Now, are you willing to die to what your mother thinks of you? Are you willing to die to whether your parents and then your friends think you’re an absolute failure? Loved ones, that’s a question of the will. That’s a question of the will. You can decide that once and for all in your will, you can. And what I said was, “Lord, I want to know absolutely what this will mean to me– so will you show me it in every color of the rainbow?” And the Holy Spirit was so good and showed me all the people who thought you were a golden boy, or thought you were a golden girl and wanted you to do well. And then of course, eventually it comes down to the huge, massive, swelling self. It’s not the parents at all; we use them as an excuse. It’s not the parents or the friends, it’s us, — what do we think of ourselves. And actually, we think we’re worth a lot, and we think we should succeed and we have a right to succeed.

And envy really is not any feeling that the other person is better than you. Envy is being annoyed because the other person thinks they’re better than you. You’re absolutely sure that you’re really better than them. And it’s the swelling self inside that makes for envy and jealousy and it’s the swelling self’s opinion of itself. And loved ones, that’s really what Jesus calls us to die to. And really, we wouldn’t be worried at all what anybody thinks of us if we accepted once and for all that what God said is true in Romans 8:7, “There is no good thing in us.” No good thing in us. And when you at last accept that, that there is no good thing in us and that anything in us that is to be good must come from the Spirit of Jesus coming into us, then there’s peace in regard to what people think of you.

But loved ones, I would share with you that real freedom and rest comes from at last dying to all that input that we receive from each other. And oh, there’s such a freedom and a liberty — there is. I don’t know how many dear wives are under the pressure of wanting to please their husbands. It’s good to love your husband but it’s a shame to be in that position where you wonder, “Does he think I’m good in this way, or good in that way?” Or, “Am I up to what I should be?” It’s such a

freedom to accept, “I’m useless, I’m hopeless. Lord Jesus, whatever you want to do through me, that will be satisfactory. And if it isn’t satisfactory to other people, Lord, it’s satisfactory to you — and I accept what you want to do in me.”

And loved ones, a great freedom and deliverance comes when you’re satisfied with your God. Now, I don’t know how many people you’re looking to for satisfaction beside your dear Creator but some brother prayed over here earlier in the service that there will come a time that you will be just alone with your dear Father and so will I. And all of us won’t be here. I saw a lovely BMW in the car park this morning and there won’t be BMW motorcycles, and there won’t be cars, and there won’t be Baskin Robbins Ice Cream, and there won’t be even a smile of our little baby, and there won’t be fall leaves. There won’t, because all those are just shadows of what our dear Father is. And he’s crying to you this evening, “Will you get to know me? You’ve seen the colors of the rainbow;, they’re nothing compared with the colors in my eyes if you will just spend time with me and get to know me.” And he says, “You know the most loving touch your mum ever gave you when you were a little child? It’s nothing compared to the tenderness of my love towards you if you’d stay with me for a little while. If you’d just get to know me and wait upon me. Will you wait upon me?”

And loved ones, I feel that that’s where we’re falling short. Do you know how long it takes you to run down after you’ve closed your eyes and closed your ears? Sometimes it takes us about an hour or two hours to run down. Really, because all the little emotions are whirling around there and the little mind is whirling around and we can keep that thing churning for hours and it takes time to let that run down and to set our minds upon God. And oh, if you’d only do that in prayer time you’d begin to put your first foot on the way to being a spiritual man or spiritual woman.

But I just sense tonight that it’s silly for me to talk about other advanced stuff when really many of us here have little experience of God as our total satisfaction. And I think the real tragedy is that many of you say in response to me when I say that, “Well, that’s because I can’t get that feeling in my prayer times. I can’t get it. I’ve tried but I can’t get it.” But loved ones, we’re all in the same boat, we’re in the same boat. It’s simply dying in your will to getting it from anybody else and looking to God and saying, “Lord if I can’t get it from you I want it from no one else.” It’s regarding yourself as dead as far as everybody else is concerned and then it’s spending time with God. It is, it really is.

And if you say to me, “Well, can we do anything through the day to help?” Well yes, I think almost immediately after you get up from your seat this moment, there are a hundred thousand little reflex responses, that come into you to please the person besides you, or to look out and see if that person is looking at you. There are almost a hundred thousand little responses that come because we’ve programmed ourselves for years to that. And so yes, as soon as the Holy Spirit says, “Stop it” then stop it, stop it. That won’t solve the whole depth of the self that is looking out for other people’s love but it will begin to move into obedience.

Or, tomorrow morning when you have a little anxiety as you begin to think of getting up out of bed in the morning — trace it down, see if it’s connected at all with what your professor will think of you when he has read that assignment and is about to give it back to you. See if it’s anything to do with, “What will this person think of the piece of work I did last week?” Or, see if it’s at all connected with, “How is so and so going to treat me today?”

And as soon as you are conscious of it say, “Holy Spirit, I can see it. I can see that I’m a slave to what other people think of me. Holy Spirit, will you show me in what way I have to be willing to

die and face the consequences of my death with Jesus in regard to these people.” Very often, in connection with office people, it’s are you willing for them to think you’re a fool? Really. Are you willing for them to think you’re a fool or to think you’re incompetent, or can’t do your job? Are you really willing for them to think that?

Very often at school it’s connected with the grading system — are you willing to be thought dumb? Are you willing to be thought not one of the brightest ones, not one of the most sophisticated ones? Often those of us who have trouble in our homes with our relatives’ attitudes, our husbands or our wives, God is saying, “Are you willing to be thought not so great by them? Are you willing to be thought maybe rather a failure by them?”

It’s a matter of coming to a place where you say, “Lord Jesus, I’d rather die with you, I’d rather be alone with you and have only your approval than the approval of the whole world. So Lord Jesus, as far as I’m concerned the world is crucified to me and I am crucified to the world, and I’m dead, and I don’t care what they think of me. Lord, only your approval counts.” And then, loved ones, to spend time with him, you see. Because, there’s no use coming to a place where you’re willing to die with Jesus and then not receiving from him his love. Then your last state is worse than the first. But, you’ll rise into his resurrection if you turn from other people and their approval and you turn to Jesus only.

And if you pushed me and said, “Brother do you mean that there’s no place for being hurt?” Well I’ve tried every way to twist and contort myself and keep my salvation and say there is a place for being hurt, but there is no place for being hurt. And if you say, “But brother, isn’t it human to be hurt?” It’s fallen human and carnal human to be hurt. It’s not spiritually human to be hurt. And if you say to me, “Now brother, are you ever hurt?” I say, “If I ever see anything that looks like hurt I say, ‘Lord Jesus I thank you that this fellow Ernest O’Neill was crucified with you. Lord thank you, thank you that it is not for me to register what you alone are to feel and it’s you, Lord that can’t — it’s not me.”

Loved ones, there is no place for hurt. I know there are 200 little hearts here who are pleading, “Please let me be hurt a little, please.” Loved ones, it isn’t so and I know hundreds of you say, “But don’t you think we need to be healed a little from a hurt?” No, no, no, a dead body can’t be hurt. You need to accept that you were crucified with your dear Savior and that you have been raised and are now part of that dear family sitting at the Father’s dining room table eating his food and seeing his smile upon you and so what does it matter what all the little flies rolling along the floor think of you? You’re up there sitting at his dining room table with the candles lit, his Son on the right hand side, the Holy Spirit on the left and they’re shining their love upon you and what does it matter what these little flies around your feet are saying?

That’s it and there’s no place for, “Oh that fly is nibbling at my toe. He’s hurting me.” No, it isn’t so. And it’s possible — if you will see that a spiritual man or spiritual woman is one who lives from the inside out from what they get from God and not from what they get from people. And there are only two ways actually, to come to that. One, you die physically and then you’re free completely — they can’t do anything to you. Or the best way is to die spiritually with Jesus and die to what other people think of you. And then God begins to make you a spiritual man or spiritual woman, a person with some content in their life, some peace and rest.

Do you want to question me at all? Permission for a little hurt, brother?

Question from Audience: If there’s no place for hurt why does it say, “Jesus wept.”?

If you’ll forgive me brother I’d love to hit us all on this. We are so preoccupied with ourselves that we immediately think, “There’s no reason for crying unless it is something to do with ourselves.” And that’s a wee bit why we ask that question, you know. And we have so little freedom from ourselves to weep with those that weep — and that’s the whole heart of it — that Jesus wept with Mary and Martha because of just the sense of emptiness that they felt in the world now that Lazarus had gone. And there’s always a place it seems, for weeping for others. And I don’t know about you, but I did that funeral last week of my dear friend whom I’ve known for 15 years, and he died of cancer and I think there’s a place for tears of joy, you know. I certainly shed tears for him, and have shed tears for others who have died.

You shed tears of joy that they’re in the presence of the Father and tears of awe that God is here and that he has done this mighty act of transforming him from this place into a place that is filled with light and glory. A thousand reasons brother, a thousand reasons why you would weep. But certainly, we are to weep with those that weep, and rejoice with those that rejoice.

Question from Audience:

Isn’t there a normal weeping from physical pain? And isn’t emotional hurt also a kind of pain that God intended?

Boy Ross, I think it’s vital to keep the old language clear and it’s vital not to take a word like hurt and say, hurt is weeping is pain and the whole are all one ball of wax. I think there’s pain but I think it’s the response – I think what we’re talking about is the hurt in the heart that a person nurtures and accepts. It’s not the pain that causes that. I think any of us who have had a dad or mum die, boy we know that there’s pain there but it’s what attitude you take to that. Do you nurture it and say, “This is something that I should feel?”

I remember when my dad died, in Ireland they come to you and those of you who are Irish in your background, they look at you with a sad, sad face and say, “I’m sorry for your trouble.” And that’s their consolation. And their consolation is almost harder to bear than the going to sleep of your dear one who you know is alive. But I remember at that time that there can be either a nourishing of the pain and a weeping over it, and a glorifying off it, and almost a gluttonous attitude towards it — or there can be an attitude, “Lord I thank you that this dear one is alive with you.” There can be an immediate turning from pain.

And brother I’m sure that it’s possible to go to one extreme but I feel we as a people go to the extreme of self pity rather than to the other extreme. And I’m all against stoicism. I think Jesus was filled with that weeping sympathy of others and that ready sense of what other people were feeling but boy, I think we as a people go so readily to self pity and to lick our wounds. It seems to me that’s it: what is your response? There’s pain there’s no question, cut your hand and there’s pain and it serves a purpose but what’s your response to what you feel?

And of course, what I’m suggesting is it’s possible to come to the place where you virtually miss the pain altogether. It’s possible to come to a place where you don’t think of cuts, or bruises as pain at all. Oh, I remember that was one of the beauties of the Holy Spirit. They talk about the

Holy Spirit and finding a type [representation] in the oil of the Old Testament and you remember that calamus was one of the ingredients of the oil in the Old Testament and calamus is for taking the pain out of bruises. And when the Holy Spirit fills you with himself, suddenly you’re not aware of bruises and it’s an indifferent thing. And somebody says, “Oh, isn’t that a terrible thing they said about you?” No, you don’t feel it. “Oh, they said that not about me. I see, they said that about that fella in the past, who’s now dead. Sure, yeah, yeah. That was a terrible thing.”

But, you’re at last free from this taking it to yourself. You’re free from that taking it to yourself. We’re our own worst enemies; they can’t actually do anything to us. They can’t do anything to us that we won’t accept or reject ourselves and so yes, I think it is possible,

Question from Audience:

Prayer itself is obedience and yet to really pray you have to have your life obedient. So what happens to a person who isn’t obedient in their life and yet wants to come before God and yet in a sense to obey they need the help of prayer?

I’m sure that somehow you struggle into God’s presence but it does seem that that verse is very clear, “Who shall ascend unto the hill of the Lord? He that has clean hands and a pure heart.” And it does seem that virtually immediately you get into God’s presence the Holy Spirit will convict you of what is disobedient in your life and you do have to immediately be willing to deal with that. And I don’t know Greg, I can just testify to my own experience, that prayer as far as seeking God’s presence and his contact with me, is absolutely hopeless if I am aware of any disobedience in my life. It seems to me many of us have had to actually put the disobedient thing right before we could get anywhere in prayer.

It parallels that story of the man who was coming to the altar to pray, you remember, and God said, “Leave your offering here and put whatever is wrong in your life right and then come back and offer the sacrifice on the altar.” And it seems that’s the situation with prayer. That you either have to be willing to put it right or you have to actually go and put it right and then come back to prayer. But, that’s why Greg, I would urge us to see that the will is something you can exercise. I think we have been wooed and weaned away from the realization that you can exercise your will. Tiny Tim’s “if it feels good do it” — that whole (we call it existential but it’s really hedonistic) approach to ethics has got hold of many of our dear hearts and our minds and we think only if a thing gives me pleasure can I have the will to do it.

Well loved ones, actually the truth about your will is that you can exercise it in the most hideous circumstances. And I’d just give you an instance of the fire in the house and the dad runs out and the mum runs out and they just manage to get out and they’re just out by the skin of their teeth and the flames are flying up round and then they count the children and there’s one still in. And so the dad goes back in and wills himself back in against all kinds of opposition. The will is able to be exercised in the most hideous circumstances and I would urge you to see that that is why God puts obedience in such an important place. And that’s why Greg I think no, a person can exercise their will for God even if they’re in the most hideous situation spiritually and it’s possible to do it.

God won’t ask you to exercise your will in something you can’t. He’ll always make it something that you’re able to do so that’s a good thing to remember. If the Holy Spirit convicts you of something, realize that he’s giving you the grace to do it — otherwise he wouldn’t convict you. God is not cruel. God does not say, “Obey me and I will be your God.” and know right well in his heart that

you can’t obey him. He doesn’t say, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all your heart, and soul, and strengthen, and mind” and then know that you can’t do it.

God is not cruel. God is kind and generous. You can see the signs of that all around us. No, loved ones I think we can obey what God tells us to obey. And you know it in your own heart. You know how many things we’ve struggled over for years and at last we’ve seen it go when you went “cold turkey”. You just will it, you exercise your will and you do it and finally you have to. And many people have not been able to stop smoking but when they saw those x-rays they at last did it. Everybody can do it eventually if they have to do it.

Question from Audience:

Are feelings subject to moral judgment by God or is it a gross response to our feelings?

Brother, I’m glad you touched on it because it seems to me it’s a response to our feelings because I think the feelings, the emotional feelings can be prompted by all kinds of things. Could I do a commercial here? I don’t know how all of you are with physical exercise but I think a lot of you are going to be suffering an awful lot of pain and an awful lot of trouble with feelings simply because you don’t exercise your bodies. Really. I don’t know if you’ve ever thought of that. Some of you who may be either kind of nervous, or very anxious, or not able to sleep at night, or all that kind of thing, often you’re not taking care of the temple of the Holy Spirit. And your body of course, influences your feelings tremendously as your feelings influence your body. You feel embarrassed and you blush because it releases the blood in certain areas of your body. And it’s the same with all the emotions, they are very intimately connected with the body.

So yes, I think brother that your feelings can be influenced by all kinds of things but the spiritual man or spiritual woman is the one who knows in their spirit what is a real response in this situation and then exercises their will to bring their thoughts in line with that and then your feelings follow your thoughts.

Question from Audience:

Is it possible to use prayer time selfishly, knowing all the good and the comfort you can get from God?

What is love, what is real love? Well all of us that have any experience of love know that it’s lust when you’re looking for what you can get from the other person either physically or emotionally. It’s lust, it’s nothing to do with love at all. But love is where you’re almost unaware of yourself, you lose even a consciousness of yourself; you’re so taken up with the other person and pleasing them, and loving them, and expressing your love to them. And it seems to me that the clearest expression of love like that is Thomas standing before Jesus when he shows them the holes in his hands and his sides and saying, “My Lord and my God.” Just awestruck and just beyond any words. And it seems that that is what God wants from us, that kind of love. And if we’re going for good feelings, or for all the things that we should get from other people we won’t get anything at all. It has to be “thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and soul, and strength, and mind.”

It’s the same mistake many of us make in Christianity. We come to Jesus because he’ll lift your anxiety, he’ll take away your worry, he’ll make you happy and it’s just hedonism, it’s just plan

hedonism — it’s not Christianity at all. But to go to God because he is truth, because, “Lord you’re our creator and we want to thank you for all you’ve given us.” When you begin that kind of a prayer time preoccupied with him then the other comes incidentally.

Well loved ones, I’m sure we should go home. So will you think about how much time you’re spending waiting on God. Here’s a truth, I sympathize deeply with you when I say, “You shouldn’t be hurt.” And you say, “Oh, I should be hurt.” I really feel for you and I feel for the brother who asked, “Oh, what about Jesus weeping?” And for Ross when he says, “Well isn’t that pain?” And I feel and I want to say, “I’m sure in some real way you’re right. You know, I’m sure the language is so pitiful and I’m such a poor person at explaining that I’m sure you’re right. I’m sure in some way there is something.” But I only know this, that we’ll all see it the same way when we’re spending time before God. You will, you’ll see it.

We won’t even be able to explain it maybe to each other but we’ll know it. And we’ll know it, “Yeah, yeah, I wouldn’t put it in just your words but yes, that’s right.” And you’ll know it when you spend time with God, you will. And I’m not pleading, “You’ll all explain it.” No, I think you’re right to question me, I’m not saying we’ll all explain it the same way. I think you should correct me and try to get me to see the thing rightly. But, we’ll all know in our heart of hearts, we’ll know in our spirits, we’ll say, “Yeah, yeah, that’s right. I know what that is.” And so the key is, will you wait upon God this week? Will you spend time with Jesus alone? That’s the first step to being a spiritual man or a spiritual woman.

Let us pray. Lord Jesus, we know we see through a glass darkly and yet we know we can see in a sense face-to-face when we’re with you. And Lord we see that it is possible to spend enough time with you to be quiet in our own hearts and to begin to receive messages from you. Lord we see it was not in the storm, or the fire, or the earthquake but it was in that sound of gentle stillness that allowed Elijah to hear your voice. And Lord we would wait upon you until the earthquake of our emotions, and the fire of our minds goes out and we begin to rest in you and hear you speak to us. Lord thank you that that is the privilege of every one of us here in this room. And I pray for each mind of my brothers and sisters, that they will experience it this week so that we may begin to live from the inside instead of from the outside for your glory. The grace of our Lord Jesus, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with each one of us now and throughout this coming week. Amen.

Responses

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *