Spiritual Discernment for Spiritual Transformation – Part 2

On the day that I got saved – O happy day! – about four men laid their hands on me in the living room of our house. (These men are still alive today and serving God. May God bless them dearly, I remember them with much affection.)

As these men were praying over me, suddenly I had the clear impression that there was a mighty wind rushing about in the room and that the earth beneath me was shaking. I recall that I was even tempted to open my eyes to witness these incredible events.

Actually, there was no such thing happening – in the natural, at least. After the men had prayed over me, I looked around in the room, and everything was just as it had been. Not even a stool had moved.

But, unknown to me, in the spirit world, things had happened exactly as I had witnessed them in my ‘vision’. The minute I accepted Jesus into my life, God had moved mightily in my life. He effected such a change in me that I immediately became a new creation – literally. Physically, I was the same old guy; but on the inside, I was changed.

I got saved at 4:30 p.m., and by evening I had scrapped all my plans. Anybody who called on me I just told them I was now saved, and that they, too, needed to get saved.

In those days people feared saved people more than the police, so the minute I told them I was saved, no one remained around to hear anything more. I didn’t even need to see anyone off. They bolted out like they had met their worst nightmare!

I had become a truly changed man.

I have used this example to show what God expects and effects in our lives. It is a work in our hearts. Way down deep in our hearts. It is not anything physical.

Where is God? God’s people are looking for Him all over. They are looking for Him in the miracles, the healings, and in every ‘power’ that occurs in church. And this has opened the door for every kind of deception to invade the Body of Christ.

Today you have people screaming “Power!!” in church, but they are wading waist-high in sin and spiritual defeat.

But I can tell you exactly where God is. God is way deep in our hearts, working. That is where God is.

It is like you go to a gold-shaft and you are looking for someone on the surface, you won’t find them. They are hundreds of feet way down in the mine, digging. That’s where you will find God.

Had Elijah been one of our modern ‘prophets’ – the kind of guy who wakes up one day and declares to the world that God has instructed him to purchase a 63-million dollar private jet – he wouldn’t have had the vaguest idea which direction God would appear from up there on that mountain!

In fact, it is not just that this modern ‘Elijah’ would not have known where God was, but in all certainty he would have assumed God would be either in the wind, the earthquake, or the fire. Nothing would have convinced him to look elsewhere – or to wait.

The tragic outcome of such a scenario is that Elijah would not have met God, and God would not have spoken to him! That’s a real tragedy, and it is happening right now all over churchdom.

Today, God’s people are scrambling into all these churches that have these ‘fireworks’ – miracles, healings, signs and wonders, charismatic preachers, prosperity; etc. believing they are meeting God.

But Elijah wouldn’t have been moved by any of the things you find in today’s charismatic churches. Actually, Elijah saw much more of God’s power than any of us can claim to have seen – but he didn’t move an inch. As wave after wave of the power of God passed by on that mountain, Elijah stayed put. That is the mark of a man who has spiritual discernment.

The Bible gives us the reason Elijah wasn’t moved by these earth-shaking shows of God’s power: it was simply because “the LORD was not” in them! To the natural man, it is unthinkable that God was not in these things whereas He had initiated them Himself. But if the Bible says God was not in them, then He was not in them. Elijah discerned this, and he waited.

When the thing he was waiting for finally presented itself, Elijah acknowledged it: “… after the fire a still small voice. And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave.”

Elijah waited for “a still small voice” – and it finally arrived.

What was this “still small voice”?

In 1 Corinthians 1:22-25 the Apostle Paul writes: 22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: 23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”

The “still small voice” is the quiet work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. It is an unseen work and it occurs way down deep in our hearts. That is why the cross is foolishness to the man who does not walk in the revelation of God.

Many times we want to believe that we know God or that we have met God; but let me tell you that knowing or meeting God is not an easy thing. It is not something we can talk of lightly.

It is not even a vision, even of Jesus Himself. It is not even visiting heaven. Nor is it a healing. All these are good and desirable. But God is not in them!!

God is in that quiet voice of the Holy Spirit, effecting a change in the inner man of the spirit.

Before dying on the cross, we see Jesus doing many miracles. But the life – His life, the resurrection life – was not in the miracles. The life came when He died on the cross.

God’s presence in our lives is revealed in the quiet undercurrent of His power working and transforming us from the inside as we accept that work.

That is why, after a time, we can say of someone, “That man has changed!”

Such a statement is much more powerful than, “That man has been healed (of a physical ailment)”, although the latter is also of God.

Lastly, let me point out that it is also good to do things under the influence of the Holy Spirit – things like dancing, shouting, and such. Even prophecy is good. But it is important to note that these things won’t change you. You could have all the prophets in the world prophecy over you, but that won’t bring any change in your heart.

What will bring a change in your life is a revelation of the cross – a work of God upon your heart.

God’s mighty works are all right and needful; but God is not there. If you are the kind of believer who is always running after emotional experiences – things like miracles, healings, the lure of the prosperity gospel – you will never experience the true transformation needed to make you are mature son or daughter of God in the Spirit.

God’s final “wave” is the cross, where we daily die to self through the working of the Holy Spirit in us – the “still small voice” – in order that the life of Christ might be found in us.

[Below: This bold star never waits for night to fall!]

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One thought on “Spiritual Discernment for Spiritual Transformation – Part 2

  1. Discernment, the deliberate and conscious focus upon God that excludes culture, personal understanding or religious teaching, is a life or death need. When our small group opted to “study” a false teaching on prosperity, our discernment and warning were trumped by their “understanding”. We have not been able to return. Our call to the group was for a journey, but when they veered off course it became a calling of a task, to alert them to the deception. Now that they have made their stand, we have no place on their journey. You are so right on this, and I affirm it. God may be in anything, however loud or noisy, but discernment leaves us open to hear God, not the voices around us nor the tempter. We have made this a repeated warning over the last year, but discernment is work and “understanding” feeds the ego. How tragic that ego trumps God, and the tempter makes it sound like ego IS God. (Shades of Garden of Eden all over again!)
    Peace

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