Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Glory Chaser vs. Glory Indwelled

I’ve had several things kicking around within me over the last couple of weeks, so I was torn as to what to write about while I’ve finally taken the time to sit down and address them. I’ve also got several articles, in varying stages, that are just about ready to wrap up, but I really wanted to address a matter that seems to be at the forefront right now.

Let me preface this post with this: I believe in, and have experienced, the supernatural. I know with all of my being that God is working miracles, signs and wonders in the here and now and I desire to be a part of what He is doing on the earth in this hour. I believe that lame are being made to walk, blinded eyes are being opened and that many signs will become even more and more evident. As the Word tells us, He will “pour out His spirit upon all flesh”. My concern is regarding the “flesh” part and how it seems to play such a major roll in many meetings and “movements”. It’s my desire to step back and look at our role in it all and how we should handle with great respect, care and awe, the presence of our Lord. In other words, how can we allow Him to move in and through us with the least amount of “us” necessary?

Most everyone that reads this will likely have now heard of the events taking place in Lakeland, Florida. There is much buzz about the healings and miracles taking place in that area and many from all over the country and beyond are beginning to pack up their bags and head down to check it out. Now in no way whatsoever am I doubting or discrediting what the Lord might be doing down there, OK? OK. My concern is with the droves that are posting online about “heading down to Lakeland to get blasted by the glory!” I’ve never been into hype or glory meetings, despite my love for intimacy and touches from my Father and for that I’m thankful. There is absolutely nothing better than being so deeply touched by His holy presence that you cannot even move, let alone stand (which, by the way, only ever happens to me here at my house without any “assistance” from others).

To summarize a bit what I’m referring to, here are some bits and pieces from an online post I read recently from a random person heading down to the now officially labeled, “Lakeland outpouring”.

“The world has been set ablaze by what started as a few meetings in Lakeland, FL. Tonight was the strongest yet as (the evangelist) stopped the service to declare that our living Lord was on the platform. I was on the phone with (my husband) at the time, and the entire atmosphere changed. A heavy, totally intoxicating weight of the Lord's presence descended upon my sister-in-law and I as we sat in my car. We had just gotten out of a (healing and impartation ministry) meeting, and were already blitzed from that, when a whole new level of intoxication occurred. (I actually was so blitzed on the way home and so lost in the glory, that I forgot where I was going and ended up taking an extremely long way home!) Every kind of miracle and deliverance is taking place. God is doing some mighty things, and with each passing day, it gets stronger, bigger, better, and more blissfully intoxicating. It looks like after (my husband) returns from Lakeland tomorrow, we'll be going back on Thursday or Friday. Mommy's gotta get hers too!!!”

I want to be clear that I’m not trying to denounce the Lakeland meetings WHATSOEVER. I’ve not been there and I do not doubt that God is moving mightily there. I’m simply using it as a reference because it is so predominant right now. What I’m concerned about is the terminology and goal of so many Believers today. There is a quickly growing movement right now of “glory chasers”. They walk down streets attempting to “blast” people with “Holy Spirit fire” and gather to “take glory shots” together in between. I see videos of “evangelists” getting so worked up and doing everything but tackling people in order that they get “impaled by the glory”. Now I may be wrong, but I just can’t envision Jesus walking up to the blind man, making mud in His hand with the dirt and spittle, slapping the guy’s face as He shouts “Fire! Fire! Fire!” as He shakes and convulses “under the power of the glory”. Can you? The power has nothing to do with us people! Let me put it like this, are the cables that run all over your house, channeling power into your home laboring and straining to carry that power to your appliances and electronics? Of course not. They are merely the conduit, the transfer mechanism – no effort is necessary. They don’t create the power, they simply deliver and distribute it. Likewise, we simply need to be connected to the power, Jesus Christ. The power and glory of Jesus was so incredible because He was so grounded in it, He was as connected as one could ever be – He exuded power and authority. Power is not power if it needs worked up and executed with any of my fleshly assistance. In John 9, Jesus wasn’t even around after the blind man washed in Siloam and when He healed the deaf man in Mark 7, “He took him aside from the multitude by himself”. Jesus needed no pomp and show to “release the glory” – it was simply who He was.

After watching a video of some prominent “glory evangelists” pass a “Jesus bong” inviting others to “get some glory” I was infuriated, then saddened. In seemingly more and more places, the glory of our Heavenly Father is being mocked and made to look like some flippant experience. The presence and glory of God is to be enjoyed yes, but we must never make light of it and allow it to lose its holiness and awe. The day God’s manifested glory and power becomes routine and light-hearted is, in my opinion, a sad day. Thankfully, God is patient and slow to anger. He will use our childlike faith and carry out His ultimate plan upon this earth, despite our inadequacies and foolishness. But that cannot be an excuse – we must be sure He gets all glory and that He alone is the focal point of every last detail.

So what is it that you’re running to? Do you need meetings and conferences to keep your spiritual motors running? Do you think that God is not moving in your area so you need to up and move off to find a revival somewhere? I’d encourage you to take your time to get with Him. Seek Him while He may be found right where you are. If He tells you to go here or there, by all means, go! But let’s not be glory chasers where spiritual immaturity leads us to believe that God is more concerned with our being “blasted” by His glory than intimately knowing Him. His radiant glory indwells me - it envelopes me! I am hidden with Christ therefore I needn't run to find what is already within me. Let us be a people that seek His face, not His hand. Glory encounters wear off, evangelists leave town, emotions wane and revivals end – the reality of Jesus indwelling you will always remain. Seek you first His Kingdom and His kingdom alone.


jerrygoff said...

Joel great thots! I think there are times where we look to different wells to drink from. We just need to remember the one with Living Water! Bless you!

Anonymous said...

I loved your blog and I feel you made some very clear and sobering points.

My husband and I minister and travel within this prophetic circle and day by day we have grown more and more uncomfortable and have experienced righteous indignation over what we see as a dishonoring and misuse of God's precious glory or weightiness. It's become such a "me, me give me more" movement, yet the Lord calls us to die to ourselves, serve and love others. When the Lord baptized me with His spirit I didn't receive "spirit light" He gave me ALL of His spirit and the word says we have ALL things pertaining to LIFE AND GODLINESS IN Christ Jesus and we have ALL POWER IN THE NAME of JESUS. Like you we experience the power and sense His pleasure and presence everytime I worship him or spend time with him. His spirit dwells within me and I have his mind too which means I can do ALL things through Him and I can walk in His power. As we are alive in Christ we carry revival in us so that we can minister and touch a dead world and bring living water and life to them. We live here in Fl. and I went to 1 meeting and got so grieved I couldn't go back. My husband played on the worship team for a few days but after seeing and feeling what he did he couldn't go back.

We're believing for a much greater revival of love that will overwhelm the world. It will come by way of the hidden remnant (a nameless and faceless tribe) who are revolutionaries and refuse to "follow the masses" or signs that sparkle, shine and glow. We have chosen to gaze upon His beauty and humble ourselves before our precious saviour recognizing that it's His love that touches, heals, delivers and imparts and it's never for us - it's for the lost. I've been unnerved by all the talk of angelic activity (healing angels, angels bringing balls of fire, angels going home with people from Lakeland - an angelic impartation etc.) The church has become consumed and obsessed with signs, wonders and miracles, gold and glory yet the Word warns us not to go after these things, for if we do, even the elect would be deceived. If signs and wonders, goose bumps and drunkeness is all someone needs to declare God's presence then how easy it will be for the Anti-christ to fool the masses. All he has to do is declare angelic intervention, do some parlour tricks, produce some signs and wonders and people would blindly follow.

Thank you for being sober, awake and watchful. God is revealing the deep things to you - keep listening. I'm encouraged to know that there are more young men/women, a hidden remnant that are watchers and will be used to bring a reformation and revolution that will lead the church into the true "winds of change great harvest revival". Blessings to you!


Anonymous said...

So well written Joel, thank you. We live in a 'hungry' nation, used to quick fixes. It is for us to spend time alone with God each day. How grateful we are for the moments of ecstasy that Father gives to us in our ever developing relationship with Him. Most of the time, we walk on, as nomads in the desert. Less of me, and more of you. In our daily life and relationship with our Father, we let go of the world, for we are not of it. He Is the Glory, and ever present. By the Grace of God, what we may offer in prayer to His glory, is the greatest intercession of love we may give to one another, as we pray for one another... and for those and all that all may know that He IS; not for an 'electric moment', but Forever.

These things will fall by the wayside, but even here the Holy Spirit is at work. We determine in Trust of God alone to be good farmers, to be humble and diligent, to till well the soil and plant seed, just as our Lord and Master Jesus Christ taught us.

The Glorious Holy Spirit makes silk purses from sows ears, in Florida, elsewhere, as he does with each of us.

Much is coming, and in God we do and must always Trust.

Joel Spencer said...

Thanks for the input and remarks jerry and anonymous (x 2). Your responses are some of the best that have ever graced these cyber pages. Thanks for sharing.

Justin said...

A timely observation. Our God is so gracious, true & sovereign. Christ is the most beautiful, captivating & decisive Man; His reign is forevermore. It breaks my heart to know how often I reject this One, this Consuming Fire--but there is nothing like His love when He calls me as a son unto obedience. O, what a mighty God we SERVE. He is Life.

Our local body is small in number, & has swelled (quite modest swells, mind you) up & down over the last few years with souls who want an ethereal, "spontaneous" & flippant deity--& are dumbfounded at the suggestion of community & perseverance. Repentance is a dirty word & the fear of the Lord is harsh & "legalistic," or "your God is mean." These are not unbelievers or spiritual daytrippers--they are worship leaders & pillars in their peer groups. To myself, raised in the emotion & "passionate" experiences of Charismaticism, those concepts were violently foreign as well. But the successful Christian I was then had no relationship, fellowship, dependence or knowledge of Jesus. I was corrupted by whims & opinions, very much thrown about by the winds of my own doctrine & had a famished diet of the scripture. I had no authority & was buoyantly defiant about the suggestion of leadership influencing me. & to the vast majority I looked perfect. I was a standard amongst friends & family. I was so short of anything like a wife to Jesus it still shocks me.

My flesh still hates those things. Abhors them. I'd love to chalk everything up to a magical, "hey, I'm not going to box" God. My heart is impulsive, undisciplined & full of wrath. I'm nothing. I bring nothing to the table. He provides the feast. He first loved, He is JESUS. I'm capable of each & every of the blackest debaucheries God allows. But I'm chosen. It's just absent from the Holy Spirit to forget the humility & response afforded to us.

The Lord has grown such fruit from the gardens of IHOP, Lakeland, Brownsville & such--but if Christ is not given His absolute due, those seeking "glory" will find another delusion, another vapor of life & never come to a knowledge of the truth. The location is in hearts. It is the sacrifice of every square inch of ourselves that yields our salvation. It's daily repentance granted by a loving Husband who knows our devout need of Himself. It's un-American & decidedly not post-modern--which is so masterful: finally we have something obvious to die to. We have the standard of Christ, who learned obedience through suffering. It's either the Jesus of the Word or it's something else.

"Give unto the LORD, O you mighty ones, Give unto the LORD glory and strength. Give unto the LORD the glory due to His name; Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness."

Sorry, you caught a couple of blogs in my heart. I think it's shameful to post a link on here, so I dumped on you.

Bueno, bro. Keep after Jesus.

Joel Spencer said...

Justin - Thanks for sharing your personal experiences and viewpoints. I too was all about "breaking the mold" but, looking back, I now see that I didn't even know why. We must make it ALL about Jesus and remove ourselves out of the picture. Great comment!

Anonymous said...

I am more challenged to realize the urgency of our King's coming. I am challenged to realize that there is only ONE who will come again and I want to know the ONE who will come... not the things of HIM. Great post Joel and great comments. -kori-