Category Archives: The Fullness Of The Spirit

~ Bobblehead Christiany ~

So … What is a bobble head Christian? Oh you know a few! The ones with the
head so filled with knowledge about the things of God, the power of God, the
fullness of the Spirit. They know what the word says about virtually any
subject you bring up … yet they have no fruit of it in their life. The have
not walked ANY of it out. Their head is swelled with knowledge yet their
 spiritual feet are small and underdeveloped from not walking in what they know. Big ole head .. Itty bitty feet. BOBBLE HEAD! (Work with me here, I am trying to paint a picture)

Learning is important, knowledge is important, but what is MORE important is that we believe what we have learned enough to step out and walk in it. Not
 just cram our noggins so full of knowledge that our head grows so big we become unbalanced.

When our heads are puffed up with knowledge and we try to take a step on
those tiny atrophied feet … we fall. Then we realize that we are immobilized
by our lopsided development. Some of us are just going to have to step out at
the risk of falling on our face just to get our WALK developed.

We live in the information age. Google any subject you want and you will
find countless “experts” on any given topic. Folks in general don’t know the difference between true revelation and mere head knowledge. when YOU experience God unveiling a truth to YOU personally, THAT is TRUE revelation. Getting true revelation for yourself will empower you to walk in it. We must not confine the demonstration of the Holy Spirit to mere intellect. That is RESISTING the Holy Spirit. We must submit ourselves to Jesus command.

Matthew 10:8 ~ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead,  cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.

God wants to show up BIG right where we are! We need to be willing to let the Spirit lead us, even into situations that we don’t understand and trust Him to back our play. Have the courage to step out and actually DO what you believe to be true.

~ The Man Who Talks To Trees ~

Mark 11:12-14 ~ And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry: 13And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet. 14And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it.

 In today’s society people who talk to trees run the risk of being put in a straight jacket and labeled a lunatic. In fact, there were many that thought Jesus was a lunatic so this shouldn’t surprise anyone.

The Bible records Jesus speaking to many things throughout the New Testament. In every case, the things He spoke to obeyed Him. What most people don’t realize is that He did this as a man, not as God. Jesus walked this earth and ministered as a man anointed and filled with the Holy Spirit.

Jesus was born of the incorruptible seed of God. That seed was placed in His virgin mother and He was born a man, completely void of any heavenly powers or privileges.

Philippians 2:6-8 ~ Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross! ~NIV~

 What we must grasp is that the same incorruptible seed that was in Christ is now in us if Jesus is our Lord. This understanding is essential if we are to function in the authority and power that Jesus did when He was on the earth. When Jesus spoke to things and exercised His Kingdom authority He was not doing it to show off, He was setting an example for His Church to follow. He was demonstrating what could be done as a man so that we would know who we were in Him.

Knowing who you are IN Christ is one of the most important revelations in your Christian walk.

Lets look at another instance of Jesus exercising His authority.

Mark 4:38-40 ~ And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? 39And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?

Now this one really freaked the disciples out! They were fighting for their life while Jesus slept. I wonder how long this went on. I can see the disciples bailing water, tieing down everything that was loose, fighting with the rudder and the rope rigging. All the while, stealing glances at Jesus every few minutes thinking “when is He gonna get up and DO something?” Keep in mind that some of these guys were professional sailors and fishermen, they had been in bad storms before, so this must have been a real doosey!

As bad as it must have been, the truth is, they didn’t need to wake Jesus up. They should have been able to take care of it themselves. In fact Jesus rebuked them for being afraid and having no faith.

Mark 4:40 ~ And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?

 If Jesus expected them to exercise that kind of faith and authority BEFORE he went to the cross, how much more does He expect it from us as born again believers? The real question is why don’t WE expect to operate like that? Although the disciples had the power to do just what Jesus did, they were waiting on Jesus to do something.

Many prayers seemingly go unanswered because God has already done everything that He is going to do about the situation. He has given you the authority and power to do something about it yourself so stop waiting on Jesus to wake up and calm your storm, begin speaking to it!

What else did Jesus talk to? We have the account of Peter’s mother in law being healed of a fever. Notice what Jesus does.

Luke 4:38-40 ~ And he arose out of the synagogue, and entered into Simon’s house. And Simon’s wife’s mother was taken with a great fever; and they besought him for her. 39And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and immediately she arose and ministered unto them. 40Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them.

Notice that Jesus did not pray for Peter’s mother in law, He spoke directly to the fever and rebuked it! He exercised His kingdom authority over the fever and the fever had no choice but to obey. Many times Christians are praying when they should have been SAYING.

 You have the same Kingdom Authority to speak to things and get results!

When you get sick do you first run to the medicine cabinet, or the doctor, or do you use words of faith to take authority over the sickness? Don’t get me wrong, I am not knocking medicine. In fact, you will find it easier to stand in faith if you are not fighting as many symptoms. If medicine can calm the symptoms and make it easier to stand in faith, I say go for it! But let the sickness know who is boss and don’t let medicine and doctors be you first recourse.

Here is an interesting account of Jesus speaking to a dead person.

 John 11:42-44 ~ And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. 43And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. 44And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with grave-clothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.

This is an amazing account of Jesus demonstrating His kingdom authority and the power of the spoken word. There have been many confirmed, recorded accounts of people being raised from the dead in Jesus name. 14 accounts in the life of  Smith Wigglesworth alone. This is available to YOU … TODAY!

So we see that He spoke to trees, to the elements, to sickness, and even to dead people. So ask your self this;

“Can a tree, a fever, a storm, or even a dead person hear?” Obviously they can because they obeyed His voice!

These were just some of the mountains that Jesus had to move in His earthly ministry. What mountains are you facing in your life? If you don’t have faith enough to move your mouth, you will never have faith enough to move your mountain.

Your Mountain Should Be Hearing Your Voice!

Mark 11:23 ~ For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.

Summary:

Jesus was a man born of incorruptible seed and filled with the Spirit. Because of that He shook the world and performed amazing miracles. Signs and wonders were a way of life for Him after the Holy Spirit came upon Him. If you are Christ’s, then you are born of the same incorruptible seed.

1 Peter 1:23 ~ Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

The signs and wonders that followed Jesus should be following us if we truly believe.

Mark 16 ~ And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

The truth is we should be seeing greater works than Jesus did. That is what He told us in His Word.

John 14:12 ~ Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

The Bible is called the “Cannon” of scripture. Cannon means ruler, or measuring stick. We must judge our own lives and experience by the measuring stick of God’s written Word. If our experience does not measure up to what we see in scripture then we need to make adjustments and pray for God to help us elevate our experience to match His Word, not water down God’s Word to match our lack of experience.

Are We Really The New Testament Church?

Are We
REALLY The New Testament Church?

If we look at the Model of the New Testament Church in the book of Acts and the epistles, we see a big discrepancy in what we see in scripture and what we are experiencing today. Why is that? Have you ever wondered? Are you satisfied with this huge discrepancy?

I for one am NOT satisfied. I can see the model. I can see the possibilities and I know that the Lord Jesus Christ had a different idea of how HIS BODY should function. That may be the key word, “function.” The body of Christ for the most part is in dysfunction. Most Christians that would read this would agree, yet at the same time they would deny that this applies to them, and therein lies the problem.

You see, we live in an age where virtually anything you need to know is just a few mouse clicks away. So we fill our heads up with knowledge until we are able to talk intelligently on any given subject in the bible and we equate that with us gaining revelation, experiencing spiritual growth, and developing in maturity. IT IS A LIE!

Revelation only comes by the anointing. Spiritual growth comes by you functioning in the anointing for a period of time. Maturity only comes by being a doer of the word of God and continued pursuit of Gods purpose and His will for your life.

There are two types of people to consider. The first are Christians that can talk, expound and teach on any given subject in the bible. They can teach you about the gifts of the Spirit, how to be led by the Spirit, how to pray and how faith works and why it isn’t working for you. The problem is: they have no experience in the things that they “know” so in reality all they have is a theory on Christianity. These are the people who think they know what it is to be a
mature Christian, they are SURE they know and will even lay down their life for it.

This is the difference between mental apprehension of things IN the Word and a REVELATION OF THE WORD, Jesus Christ. Until you experience some of the wonderful, amazing things that we read about in the early church you are seriously lacking in spiritual development and understanding. I am talking about laying hands on the sick and seeing them recover, seeing miracles, seeing people delivered from demons, and yes, raising people from the dead. Supernatural signs and wonders, the demonstration of the Spirit that confirms God’s word, and lets not forget good old fashion repentance. According to Hebrews 6 these are foundational doctrines.

Hebrews 6:1-3 ~ 1Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, 2Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3And this will we do, if God permit.

If  these are foundational doctrine, why don’t we see more of it in the church? Is it because we have built the church on little or no foundation? We should be modeling what we see in the New Testament … ALL OF IT!

The thing is, we only know what WE know. The goal is to know what HE knows and until we “function” as HIS body, operating in the gifts of the Spirit, healing the sick, working miracles, raising the dead etc. We just don’t know much. We surely don’t know HIM as He wants to be known. It will take some faith in Him to really know Him. We are HIS body, we should be doing the same things He did as He walked this earth AS A MAN! Which brings me to the second type of person.

The second type of person you can read about in the Gospels. His Name is Jesus Christ and THAT, my friends, IS OUR MODEL. All we have to do … is believe on HIM.

John 14:12 ~  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these
shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

~Dying To Live, The Mystery of Christ~

dying-to-live

The Lord has been leading me on an amazing journey these last several years. For the most part it has been a journey of self-discovery, finding the truth of who I am in Christ, while also seeing the weaknesses and inadequacies in myself. As one revelation grows, so does the other.

Through this growth and discovery process I felt this constant need for MORE. More love, more faith, more power. As I asked questions of God and searched the scriptures for some kind of answer to my feelings of inadequacy, I found some shocking truths that have changed my entire perspective. Not to mention how I experience God on a daily basis.

To start with, my thought was that God should improve me. I prayed constantly for God to make me a better man, a better husband and father, a better minister, a better servant. I thought He should just download some love and power in my heart, some faith and holiness – and improve me.

Then it hit me: Self-improvement is NOT the answer, and God
will NOT improve your “self”. He has asked you to DIE to “self”.

i-die-daily-

Colossians 3:3 ~ 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

I had spent years of effort trying to improve a dead man, when all along I should have been focusing on putting on the NEW MAN!

Ephesians 4:24 ~ and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

Colossians 3:9-11 ~ 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, 11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.

Christ is the NEW MAN! Instead of focusing on the dead man, we should be focusing on the new man. It is Satan who wants to resurrect the old man who is full of sin and death. He knows he can’t conquer the new man in Christ, so he distracts us from developing in the new man by keeping our attention on the old dead one. Pretty slick.

Romans 13:13-14 ~ 13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.

Galatians 3:26-28  ~ 26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.   For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

We are made to be containers of God, carriers of Christ, allowing God to live through us, to express His love and power to a lost and dying world. This can only be accomplished by taking our place “IN HIM”. This is the mystery that eludes most Christians, that keeps them from walking in the fullness of God. To walk in the demonstration and power of God on this earth we must have a revelation of our identity IN Christ.

Colossians 1:27 ~ To them God has chosen to make known among the
Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

COLOSSIANS_MYSTERY_Web-2

Although it is a mystery, God is not hiding it from those who seek to walk in the fullness of Christ.

Galatians 2:20 ~ I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

~ Are We Making Jesus An Invalid? ~

While praying in the spirit one morning this phrase came out: “I thank you Lord for the body of Christ that validates you to the world.”

That was a new thought to me, however it makes perfect sense. He is the head. We are the body. Without His body, He is incomplete. As I thought on this and asked the Lord what He was trying to show me, I thought of a person that was an “invalid,” with no use of his limbs, paralyzed. Then I thought of the word “invalid”. NOT VALID!

I realized that this is a picture of the present day body of Christ. Without power. Not valid in the worlds eyes.

The body does not have the understanding, nor the power, to carry the Head to a lost and dying world.

We MUST become the body of Christ that we were designed to be. We must walk in the fullness of the Spirit. We must stop thinking and acting independent of the Head.

If I want a drink of water, My head tells my hand to pick up the water bottle and put it to my mouth. If Jesus (the head) wants to heal someone and he tells you (the hand) to go and minister to that person and raise them up by His power  … and you don’t do it … You have just made Him an invalid, and to the world, you have just made Christianity “NOT VALID.”

Jesus is very clear on what He wants us to do:

Matthew 10:8 ~ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.

Do you really have the guts to walk that out? Do you have the faith to take Him at his word and believe that He will back you up? I am not pointing fingers, I am asking myself. You ask yourself.

JC.

~ The Man Who Talks To Trees ~

Mark 11:12-14 ~ 12And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry: 13And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet. 14And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it.

 In today’s society people who talk to trees run the risk of being put in a straight jacket and labeled a lunatic. In fact, there were many that thought Jesus was a lunatic so this shouldn’t surprise anyone.

The Bible records Jesus speaking to many things throughout the New Testament. In every case, the things He spoke to obeyed Him. What most people don’t realize is that He did this as a man, not as God. Jesus walked this earth and ministered as a man anointed and filled with the Holy Spirit.

Jesus was born of the incorruptible seed of God. That seed was placed in His virgin mother and He was born a man, completely void of any heavenly powers or privileges.

Philippians 2:6-8 ~ 6Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross! ~NIV~

 What we must grasp is that the same incorruptible seed that was in Christ is now in us if Jesus is our Lord. This understanding is essential if we are to function in the authority and power that Jesus did when He was on the earth. When Jesus spoke to things and exercised His Kingdom authority He was not doing it to show off, He was setting an example for His Church to follow. He was demonstrating what could be done as a man so that we would know who we were in Him.

Knowing who you are IN Christ is one of the most important revelations in your Christian walk.

Lets look at another instance of Jesus exercising His authority.

Mark 4:38-40 ~ 38And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? 39And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?

Now this one really freaked the disciples out! They were fighting for their life while Jesus slept. I wonder how long this went on. I can see the disciples bailing water, tieing down everything that was loose, fighting with the rudder and the rope rigging. All the while, stealing glances at Jesus every few minutes thinking “when is He gonna get up and DO something?” Keep in mind that some of these guys were professional sailors and fishermen, they had been in bad storms before, so this must have been a real doosey!

As bad as it must have been, the truth is, they didn’t need to wake Jesus up. They should have been able to take care of it themselves. In fact Jesus rebuked them for being afraid and having no faith.

Mark 4:40 ~ And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?

 If Jesus expected them to exercise that kind of faith and authority BEFORE he went to the cross, how much more does He expect it from us as born again believers? The real question is; why don’t WE expect to operate like that? Although the disciples had the power to do just what Jesus did, they were waiting on Jesus to do something.

Many prayers seemingly go unanswered because God has already done everything that He is going to do about the situation. He has given you the authority and power to do something about it yourself so stop waiting on Jesus to wake up and calm your storm, begin speaking to it!

What else did Jesus talk to? We have the account of Peter’s mother in law being healed of a fever. Notice what Jesus does.

Luke 4:38-40 ~ 38And he arose out of the synagogue, and entered into Simon’s house. And Simon’s wife’s mother was taken with a great fever; and they besought him for her. 39And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and immediately she arose and ministered unto them. 40Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them.

Notice that Jesus did not pray for Peter’s mother in law, He spoke directly to the fever and rebuked it! He exercised His kingdom authority over the fever and the fever had no choice but to obey. Many times Christians are praying when they should have been SAYING.

 You Have The Same Kingdom Authority to speak to things and get results!

When you get sick do you first run to the medicine cabinet, or the doctor, or do you use words of faith to take authority over the sickness? Don’t get me wrong, I am not knocking medicine. In fact, you will find it easier to stand in faith if you are not fighting as many symptoms. If medicine can calm the symptoms and make it easier to stand in faith, I say go for it! But let the sickness know who is boss and don’t let medicine and doctors be you first recourse.

Here is an interesting account of Jesus speaking to a dead person.

 John 11:42-44 ~ 42And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. 43And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. 44And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with grave-clothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.

This is an amazing account of Jesus demonstrating His kingdom authority and the power of the spoken word. There have been many confirmed, recorded accounts of people being raised from the dead in Jesus name. 14 accounts in the life of  Smith Wigglesworth alone. This is available to YOU … TODAY!

So we see that He spoke to trees, to the elements, to sickness, and even to dead people. So ask your self this;

“Can a tree, a fever, a storm, or even a dead person hear?” Obviously THEY CAN!

These were just some of the mountains that Jesus had to move in His earthly ministry. What mountains are you facing in your life? If you don’t have faith enough to move your mouth, you will never have faith enough to move your mountain.

Your Mountain Should Be Hearing Your Voice!

Mark 11:23 ~ For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.

Summary:

Jesus was a man born of incorruptible seed and filled with the Spirit. Because of that He shook the world and performed amazing miracles. Signs and wonders were a way of life for Him after the Holy Spirit came upon Him. If you are Christ’s, then you are born of the same incorruptible seed.

1 Peter 1:23 ~ Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

The signs and wonders that followed Jesus should be following us if we truly believe.

Mark 1617And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

The truth is we should be seeing greater works than Jesus did. That is what He told us in His Word.

John 14:12 ~ Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

The Bible is called the “Cannon” of scripture. Cannon means ruler, or measuring stick. We must judge our own lives and experience by the measuring stick of God’s written Word. If our experience does not measure up to what we see in scripture then we need to make adjustments and pray for God to help us elevate our experience to match His Word, not water down God’s Word to match our lack of experience.

~ Walk Like You Were Sent ~

Do you approach your day like you were sent? When you show up for work, are you ”just there,” another one of the crowd? Do you go to the grocery store to get what you need and get out as quick as you can? As a parent, do you see yourself as someone just trying to raise their kids the best they can? Or do approach life as if God sent you?

John 20:21 ~ Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as
my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

Be aware that God wants to show up at your job, at the park, at school, and in the grocery store. Know that God has picked YOU to raise those children and that HE wants to show up BIG in you, wherever you are, whatever you are doing.

Walk through this life as if God has a purpose for you, because He does. Accept your identity as a sent one. Be aware of who you represent and be available to be used by the one who sent you. If you walked around with an awareness, that at any moment God could use you to heal the sick, give a word of knowledge, or perform a miracle, you would see it happen more often.

It is not about ability, it’s about availability

When you walk as one who is sent, you are always available to be used by God and you position yourself to see more of the demonstration of the Holy Spirit. You will experience more of the supernatural power of God. Being led by the Spirit becomes a way of life and your relationship with the Lord is enriched and perfected.

This is not about perfect performance, rather perfection of relationship. A relationship that allows Christ to live BIG in you, manifesting HIS life and faith through you. Galatians puts it all in perspective.

Galatians 2:20 ~ I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Notice it says “the faith OF the Son of God” not IN the Son of God. That is a HUGE difference!

~ To Love God ? ~ So… What Does That Look Like? ~

I was in a time of worship and prayer. I had one of my favorite worship tapes playing and I had been singing to the Lord for about an hour. My devotional time had changed over the last couple of weeks from prayer and reading the Bible to just worshipping Him. Every day God honored me with His presence, and every day that went by, my life seemed to get clearer and less complicated. I began to see everything differently, God, people, myself.

There is something about worship that purifies you and puts life into its proper perspective. It’s like getting into a vehicle that takes you into the presence of the Almighty God. In His presence there is a wonderful exchange that takes place, and we always get the better of that exchange. You honor God with your love and devotion, and He transforms you, and you become more like Him. What a powerful thing worship is. Worship is also anther vital life connection which we will discuss in a later chapter.

As I was enjoying the sweetness of His presence the tape had ended and I just sat there in a holy silence. The joy that I felt was overwhelming. You can’t worship God for more than a few minutes without it bringing some kind of joy in your life.

I wasn’t sure what to do, I really didn’t want to move but I wanted to bless Him, so I said “Lord I love you SO MUCH!” Then I heard this still small voice on the inside, “Jack, how much do you love me?”  Without thinking I burst out with my reply, a phrase that we all have used or at least heard. I said “Lord I love you with all of my heart!”  The Lord then replied in that same small voice “That’s not enough”. With those words I became very still.

The entire atmosphere in that room had just changed. I was very aware that God had just asked me a question and I gave Him the wrong answer. I also realized that the Lord doesn’t ask us questions because He is looking for information. I could still sense His presence, but it was the presence of a Father bringing correction and instruction to His child in a loving and tender way. He was trying to teach me something and I was intently listening on the inside. He immediately brought to my remembrance this scripture:

 Mark 12:30 ~ And you shall  love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’  This is the first commandment.

It didn’t take my little brain long to do the math on that one. Loving God with all your heart is only one-fourth of what we are commanded to do. 25%! I thought to myself, “that’s pretty weak”.

I began to meditate on what it meant to love God with your soul, to love Him with your mind, and to love Him with strength. I had to admit that I really didn’t know what that meant. I was intrigued by this new line of thought, and at the same time, I was appalled to think that those three major areas were either weak or non-existent in my walk with God.

I was doing my best to show the Lord how much I loved Him, but my best is only my best until I can do better, I saw areas of my life that I could improve on. God was showing me that I could do better and I realized that I should have been looking for ways to do better all along.

From that point I began to take a long hard look at my life and my relationship with God. A relationship that I thought was pretty strong. I knew God was about to redefine my definition of “strong relationship”. The first thing I did was ask God to teach me about His love. He was obviously trying to show me something and I wanted to get everything He was trying to give me.

The second thing I did was get a concordance and look up the meaning for the Greek word Love. I thought I knew what it meant but after that kind of correction from God I did not want to take any thing for granted. To know how to love I first needed to make sure that I knew exactly what love was. The word for love that is used in Mark 12:30  is the Greek verb agapeo.

Now, I knew that “agape” was the Greek noun for the God kind of love and I had read 1 Corinthians 13 more times than I could count, but this word was new to me. It was far more powerful in its explanation. The definition in short is simply this:

agapeo = Love,  a verb.  “the commitment of devotion that is directed by the will…and can be commanded as a duty”.

It has been said that love can only be known by the actions that it prompts. In other words, love gives of itself and expresses itself in action or it is not love. Love is as love does. It’s not enough to just say you love someone, love is active and  alive, an aggressive force, to love is to give. In fact love is the highest and most honorable form of giving, while giving is the chief expression of love.

Look at the language that is used in the definition, words like commitment and devotion. If you have ever been committed or devoted to something or someone, you know full well that it takes some effort and some work.

Love is tied to your will. We must make a choice to love. By choosing love we have automatically chosen to give something of ourselves. Love is an act of your will, without action it is not love.

I come from a faith background and I knew that faith without works is dead according to James 2:26, but I just found out that love without works is dead also. That made perfect sense to me because Faith works by Love according to Galatians 5:6 . I began to see why my faith was not working at the level I knew it could.

We have all heard the old phrase “I’m falling in love” but you can’t fall in love, that is just infatuation. To fall into something indicates a mistake or something accidental. Love is far more purposeful than that. It takes concentrated effort and focus.

Love is not defined until you have worked at it for a while and invested something in it.

There are a lot of Christians today that are merely infatuated with God and they think that they really love Him. In fact if you told these folks that they really don’t love God they would be ready to fight you to defend their position.

Those that are infatuated with God are the folks like this: They go to church on Sunday (most of the time) because they don’t want to make the spouse mad or they don‘t want to feel guilty. These people know in their heart that God is real and they may even believe that God has great things for them. Unfortunately they don’t serve Him in the church, they don’t give of their finances and they don’t get involved with supporting the vision of the local church body, not even in prayer. Their bibles are dusty and all they do is play church. They always have an excuse why they can’t get involved in serving somewhere in the church and they will drop a few bucks in the offering plate as it goes by so it looks like they are givers and “doing their part” to those around them. These are the people who haven’t committed or devoted themselves to God.

Don’t be discouraged if I have just summarized your Christian life and walk with God. The good news is that it is very easy to move from being infatuated with God to truly loving Him. I have seen many people in my church make this transition as their faith develops. It is a glorious thing to see.

It is easy to tell if someone is really in love with God. You can see it in their expressions, their actions, and even the tone of their voice when they mention “The Lord”.

As a church in these last days we must make this transition into truly loving God with everything that is in us. No more half-hearted, part-time, milky toast Christianity. There is a world out there that is desperate to see this level of sold out commitment. The greatest witness that we have is our love for God and people. A lot of folks are searching for this and don’t even know it. The saved and lost alike.

I have asked the Lord to show me how to Love with the soul, mind and strength and have found that this is revelation that our entire Christian life is built on. Knowing what each aspect of this command looks like can make a huge difference in your life and ministry.