If we are going to fully understand the relationship between the spiritual environment we live in and the advancement or lack thereof of personal growth, we need to look at nature. Such an observation was made by a man who makes his living by diving for exotic fish. The fish he catches are used to fill large aquariums. According to him, one of the most popular aquarium fish is the shark. The reason for this is that sharks adapt easily to their environment. The size a shark becomes is determined by the environment it lives in. If you catch a small shark and confine it, it will stay a size proportionate to the aquarium in which it lives. Sharks can be six inches long and yet fully mature. But turn them loose in the ocean and they will grow to their normal size.
The same is true of most people. Some people live in a spiritual environment that causes their opportunity to “become” small. This is generally due to them living in a spiritual setting that is filled with disagreement, fear, doubt or unbelief. This type of spiritual atmosphere continues to focus on what God cannot or will not do. Rather than experiencing growth, their lives suffer spiritually causing them to remain small and underdeveloped. While we cannot always control the environment around us, we can choose to stay or leave. Each of us can decide to be open to new theology, new spiritual experiences and to experience new horizons.
One of the reasons I wrote, The Altar of His Presence, was to help people move into a new spiritual environment. Such movement usually requires people experiencing the glory of God on a new and intimate level. Such experiences inspire the kind of spiritual growth that transforms the heart and renews the mind. Romans 12:1-2 says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God– this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is– his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
How can The Altar of His Presence assist you in becoming all that God has planned for you to become? Reading, embracing and experiencing this kind of devotional material will help you to examine your own desires. Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desire of your heart.”
Desires can be changed. Sometimes they change because of something we have experienced. Desires can wane or grow. The desires that are in our heart can be ignited by reading a new book, hearing a new message or having a new spiritual experience. And, while it is true that that many people generally do what people see, each of us must decide to go beyond what we have previously known or seen and to be open to new experiences and ideas.
It has been my experience that desires change greatly for those who truly delight themselves in the Lord. When we delight ourselves in the Lord, have new and divine experiences in the Holy Spirit, we are given opportunity to respond positively or negatively to the Lord’s Manifest Presence. I encourage you to respond in a positive manner. Why? Because, the Holy Spirit would like nothing more than for each of us to have intimate and experiential knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul said he considered everything a loss in comparison to “knowing” Christ Jesus his Lord (see Phil. 3:8). Such “knowing” can only happen when as we experience Him in spirit and in truth.
I encourage you to decide today to contend for the experiential knowledge of the Holy Spirit. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you hear the Voice of the Lord. I encourage you to do so by purchasing your copy of The Altar of His Presence and by choosing to act on that which you read. Take the time to meditate on, digest, respond and reflect. I believe such action will cause you to be delighted in the Lord on a whole new level, cause you to fully desire to know Him and become all that you can be in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Have a blessed day.