A friend of mine once had an appointment with the President of an African nation. He was trying to bring Christian educational materials and a Bible school to the people of the nation, and the request went up the chain of command until the President decided he would hear these plans himself.
Their conversation was polite, but concluded with no indication he would receive permission. The President rose, indicating the meeting was over, but paused at the door, asking: "Would you like to take pictures with me now? I know American ministers use pictures like this to help their ministry raise money."
My friend responded: "No, thank you Mr. President. I will never use our relationship for gain, nor will I publicize our meeting today. I honor you and thank you for taking time from your schedule to visit with me. Please let me know when you've made your decision." or words to that effect.
The President was astounded. He paused to consider the integrity of my friend, then turned to an aide and told him to give my friend whatever he needed to help him in his work. He had an open door to the nation for years after, and the knowledge of God and His ways spread to tens of thousands of people as a result.
My friend respected and honored both the office of President and the man, and because of that he had the integrity to refuse to boast of his meeting or use the President for personal or ministry gain.
180 degree difference
This story illustrates the stark differences in the body of Christ concerning my subject today - we see some use God for personal gain or playing with the gifts of the Spirit like kids playing with presents at Christmas because they don't respect and honor the Father and Lord Jesus as God.
They don't have a revelation that God is God and the things of the kingdom are not toys. God's gifts are given to bring abundant life to mankind, transforming us into all God intends, which results in Christ-like character and holy lives. He wants to walk with us along a highway of holiness. Do we want to walk with Him?
We see pastors taking the influence God gave them to build up the body of Christ, used instead to manipulate congregations to join him in multi-level marketing ventures or business investments to pile up earthly riches for themselves, even manipulating by their influence, the vulnerable into illicit affairs.
Others so love and honor and respect the Father and Lord Jesus and the things of the Spirit, they only want to be more like Him and serve others, seeking only to be known of God, not of man. They want to be in meetings where the Spirit flows until the Holy Spirit brings it to an end. They truly love Him and long to be in His presence! They wouldn't dream of using God for personal gain, for theirs is a pure love based on a revelation of what they've been saved from, and who He is. What a stark contrast between the two sets of populations in the body of Christ!
Paul said, "We have this treasure (Christ in us) in earthen vessels." Treasures are highly valued, protected, given a safe place, and provide a sure foundation for life. How many today value Christ in us as a treasure?
Cherish what we have
I remember when the Lord appeared to me in February of 2001 during a worship service just before I was to speak. My eyes were open, but suddenly I was in the Spirit, able to see Him as well as everything around me, though when looking into those eyes all else faded from view. He walked over to me and He said;
"See what I see: People running to and fro to this meeting and that, looking for the spectacular, thinking
THAT is supernatural; While they miss the supernatural work in their midst, even in their heart, for the process of discipleship IS supernatural...As it was in the beginning, so it must be now: I am moving in relationships."
This is why we have our web site as www.supernaturalhousechurch.org - The 'supernatural' part has nothing to do with the many miracles we've seen in healings and lives changed, it is about the process of discipleship being supernatural, and healings and wholeness are simply the result of making disciples.
This is what stayed with me
His opening words have stayed with me: "See what I see." I understand "See what I see" as an ongoing command and way of life, not a suggestion for a one time visitation. I've purposed to see what He sees, as He sees it, ever since. He said, 'I only do what I see the Father doing' in John 5:19 - I want to be like that!
In Acts, they saw life as Jesus saw it, which means they chose the culture of the kingdom rather than the culture of the Empire. "See what I see" first means making a choice in the heart to see what Jesus sees, which is based on revelation from the Father.
Once a person does "See what I see", it means making a break from the Institutional Church (IC) that affirms a person by outward senses like sight and sound. It means making a decision not to be impressed by the 'big name' speaker, the 'worship team', the marble floor, the coffee bar in the outer hall. It means making a decision in the heart to reject the 'Hollywood Jesus' culture that has exchanged meetings for relationships and emotion for anointing.
It means an honest assessment
We must make an honest assessment of life and culture around us, in comparison to the Father's life and culture within us. Then we must act on what we discover. (My series 'I've Been Ruined' covers 10 differences between Christ-in-us culture versus present day church culture)
He is the same yesterday, today, and forever, so it means looking for Him in the same places He was found in the gospels. Thus, 'See what I see' can be discovered by Jesus' life in the gospels.
He turned water into wine at a wedding then deflected glory from Himself and allowed the credit to go to the host. He healed people and then told them not to tell anyone. He 'went about doing good'. He said He is meek and lowly in heart, and we are to yoked with Him in that, so we may learn from Him.
How many today, and how much of the Institutional Church culture today, seek meekness and lowliness, seek to give a cup of water to a child, to visit the sick and imprisoned, to care for widows and orphans who have no other means of support? "See what I see." Can we lay aside natural senses to become focused on, no, overwhelmed and humbled by, seeing what He sees, as He sees life?
The whole kingdom works by...
The people said Jesus was reincarnated John the Baptist or Jeremiah. Peter saw through the natural
happenings like a man with x-ray vision, because he had received revelation from the Father. Revelation from the Father causes us to see what is really happening, what is really important, to see what Jesus sees.
Peter exclaimed; "You are the Christ! The Son of the living God!" in Matthew 16:17 because the Father had revealed that to him. Jesus then said upon that rock of revelation He would build His gathering of believers so they may conduct the business of the kingdom.
My friend had a revelation about the importance of meeting the President of that nation. He did not allow himself to be caught up in the luxury of Presidential office, the armed guards at the door, the high officials waiting to the side - he saw through all that which allowed him to retain that sense of honor and respect throughout their meeting. Because of that he would not use the President nor share the details of the conversation for personal gain. He treasured the privilege of time with the President.
Living in revelation from and of the Father, walking with Him through life, keeps us humble, knowing Who we are dealing with, and causes us to see as He sees...and those who walk with Him hold what they have as a treasure in their earthen vessel.
The reason much of church culture uses God for personal gain or plays with Him like children at Christmas, is they have no revelation of Him nor from Him. They have notebooks about Him, they read about Him, but they don't know Him, for to know Him is to receive revelation from Him, and be in humble awe that God now lives inside of earthen vessels.
More next week...Until then, blessings,
www.cwowi.org and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org