Do You Have an Altar’ed Moment?

This past weekend was really special.  On Sunday morning I was ministering from God’s Word in a local church here in Texas. About halfway through my message I and everyone in the building experienced an “altar’ed” moment.

 

The Presence of the Holy Spirit poured into the auditorium. Without effort, the message I was preaching came flowing out from my heart and mouth like an unstoppable flood. The people began raising their hands and expressing themselves, each giving glory to God. The atmosphere changed in a matter of moments causing tears to flow and lives to be changed. For over an hour we embraced, enjoyed and experienced His glorious Presence.

 

A few hours later the Holy Spirit nudged me. Everyone had gone home and I was on my way home to Austin. That’s when the Spirit began reminding me of similar times and experiences. He reminded me of a time when I was a teenager. My family had moved because my dad had found a new job. Because of the move, I had to change school districts between my sophomore and junior year. Changing high schools can be hard. Making new friends, learning new teaching styles, adjusting to new teachers and new surroundings for some teens can be really difficult and the changes were taking their toll on me.

 

Then a few months into the school term I had an “altar’ed” moment. It happened during the praise and worship time of a Sunday night church service. We were not singing anything special or new. In fact, we were singing an old chorus, when all of a sudden the Presence of God began filling the room. Without invitation people began leaving their seats and moving toward the front and gathering at the altar.

 

A local ministry team/singing group called The King’s Witnesses (they were was based out of our church) went to the platform and began ministering in song. The pastor and the elders began praying for people. In a matter of minutes heaven filled the place. It was as though we were in the throne room of the Most High. You could almost hear angels singing. The Shekinah was so thick it felt awkward to breathe.

 

I was kneeling at the end of the altar when I looked up and saw my name written on the front of one of the guitars that belonged to a member of the King’s Witnesses. At that moment my life was altar’ed. I don’t know why me seeing my name on that guitar did anything. I just remember that at that moment…the Lord touched me and did the work. I don’t remember asking the Lord to act on my behalf, heal me or deliver me. I just know that at that moment, I was altar’ed and the struggle I had been experiencing was over.

 

Peace flooded my heart and soul like the storm surge that invades the coast when a hurricane comes onshore. I knew at that moment everything was going to be ok. I knew…that I knew…that I knew…the Lord would not leave or forsake me. I knew that He had the whole world AND ME in His hands! After that night the school seemed different. The teachers were not the same. The other students were changed. Even I was different. What had really happened? I can say with confidence, I had been altar’ed by being in the Presence of the Lord.

 

I have been reminded of that night many times since. It has become a “touch point” of faith for me. Whenever I face difficult circumstances or a situation to which I have no answer, I am reminded of that night. I am reminded that the Lord knows where I am, He knows who I am and He knows what I have need of before I even ask. The time spent that night at the altar…truly altered my life.

 

Would you like to share one of your “altar’ed” moments? If so, email me today at info@altarofhispresence.com. I will read your story and rejoice with you concerning the goodness of our Lord Jesus Christ. The bible says that we are to rejoice with those who rejoice and I want to rejoice with you. Let me know if I have your permission to share it with our readers. I know that there are many who are reading today that would love to hear the story of your life being altar’ed.

 

One more thing, if you are carrying a heavy burden or if you are ill, hurting or need an answer from the Lord, email me. Susan and I will pray for you. We will ask and agree with you for the Holy Spirit to provide an answer to your prayer. We will pray that He will give you an altar’ed moment! Soon you will be healed, delivered and rejoicing over what the Lord has done for you! Either way, write to me today and share your heart!

 

I look forward to hearing from you…Robert.

Serve Today. Be His Hands Extended.

I am continuing my thoughts on the ministry of the Holy Spirit.  It has become more and more evident that the modern Christ-follower understands little about the purpose of the Holy Spirit other than to bring about a person’s salvation.  In the last chapters of John, Jesus shared with His disciples that the Holy Spirit’s ministry would be to take of the things (words, will, and ways) of Christ and reveal them to, in and then through the believer.

Such revelation (by both information and installation) enables the believer to follow, live for and then minister not only “for” the Lord Christ Jesus, but “as” Him. Paul used the term “ambassador” to convey the same idea in 2 Corinthians 5. The Lord Jesus Christ desires to shine from and through every Christ follower by the Holy Spirit. But, the Holy Spirit can only do this as the Christ follower submits to the Holy Spirit. The Spirit’s expression is limited by our level of our surrender, knowledge, understanding, fears, experiences, etc. 

The Holy Spirit seeks to do more than to remind us of the words written in our Bibles. He seeks to make the Word of God experientially known to, in, and through us. His full expression can be prevented and/or limited by many different things. These things include, pride, unconfessed sin, lack of faith, fear of men, lack of spiritual understanding or by our lack of understanding concerning God’s Word.

Why is this so important to understand? It is because the Lord Jesus Christ will not glorify Himself by His own self-expression. The expression of Who the Lord Jesus Christ “is” was given to the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the Holy Spirit must not be prevented or limited in the very purpose for which He was given to us. Max I. Reich put this beautifully when he said, “If we make room for the Holy Spirit, He will make room for the Lord Jesus.” The converse is also true, that if we do not make room for the Holy Spirit, He cannot make room for the Lord Jesus.4

The Galatian Christ-followers had deviated from the gospel by accepting the teaching of the Judaizers. The Judaizers were Jews who were saved by grace but believed that to be “completely saved or completed in their faith” a believer had to follow the Law of Moses (including all of the fence laws created by the Pharisees and Sadducees). They taught that a Christ follower was not completely saved by grace, but was completed by keeping the Law. In response to them Paul wrote, “Are ye so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” (Galatians 3:3)

Paul is asking them a rhetorical question as to their belief of being justified by grace and then sanctified or completed through keeping the law. Paul presses the point in Galatians chapter five, verse four, by saying, “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.” (Galatians 5:4 KJV)

And while Paul does not seem to be telling them they have fallen from grace to the point of losing their salvation. Their salvation (which was a spiritual and legal matter) should and would have been producing a sanctified life—if they were making room for the Holy Spirit to fill and manifest in and through their lives.  

So while Paul does not seem to be addressing their salvation, he is directly addressing the spiritual development of the Galatians. He is telling them that it is impossible to start out in the Spirit and finish in the flesh. It wasn’t that Jesus (their Savior) had become of no use to them. It was that their spiritual development in Christ (the Anointed One and His anointing revealed in and by the Holy Spirit) had become of no effect or use to them. They had drifted away from the original gospel. They saw themselves as being saved without the need to become what God has intended—Christ Ambassadors that were full of the Spirit.

Paul’s solution for the Galatians was for them to stop trying to live the Christian life in their own strength and to experience the victorious Christian life through the Holy Spirit. They had been saved. Their lives had changed. But, they had only experienced a limited amount of victory over sin. But as far their lives radiating the glorious presence of the Lord Jesus, there was very little of that. Why? The Lord Jesus has given that ministry over to the Holy Spirit5 and they were unwilling to recognize and embrace the Holy Spirit’s purpose for their lives.

I want to encourage each of us to come to the following revelation, which is, if the Holy Spirit is not recognized and depended upon for the work of completing and developing our spiritual lives, He simply cannot perform it. We see this same pattern of thought in Paul’s exhortation to the Thessalonians, “Quench not the Sprit” (1 Thessalonians 5:19). We must stop “trying” and start “being.” Our being in Christ produces a becoming that is inspired and conducted by the Holy Spirit. The more we give of ourselves to Him, the more He will develop and reveal Christ in and through our lives.

Take the step. Declare that you are in the state of becoming totally dependent upon the Holy Spirit. Ask the Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus to help you make room for the Holy Spirit. Pray to experience Him. Seek to depend upon Him. Walk and live in Him. I promise your life will never be the same. Why? You will become Christ’s hands extended to the hurting and the hopeless. Your hands will be His hands—open, loving and conveying the love of God to everyone around  you.

God bless you.

Robert

 

 

 

There is a River that Flows from Deep Within

It is so important, with all that is happening in our world, for every follower of Jesus Christ to make room for the Holy Spirit’s ministry. His ministry empowered the Lord Jesus Who “went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with Him (Acts 10:38).” Following after the example of our Lord and Savior the Holy Spirit desires to flow through our lives for the sake of bringing healing and deliverance to the hurting, helpless and hopeless of our world.

Metaphorically, the Holy Spirit flows as like a river. Rivers are channels or conduits to places where the refreshing of water is needed. Jesus pinpoints that the work of the Spirit as rivers or streams of living water was to flow from the believer’s life after Jesus’ ascension (John 7:37-39). The Holy Spirit manifested as a flowing river brings refreshing from within the believer outwardly making the believer an overflowing tributary of His Holy Spirit’s fullness, life, and love.

Ezekiel 47:1-9 says, “The man brought me back to the entrance of the temple, and I saw water coming out from under the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was coming down from under the south side of the temple, south of the altar. He then brought me out through the north gate and led me around the outside to the outer gate facing east, and the water was flowing from the south side. As the man went eastward with a measuring line in his hand, he measured off a thousand cubits and then led me through water that was ankle-deep. He measured off another thousand cubits and led me through water that was knee-deep. He measured off another thousand and led me through water that was up to the waist. He measured off another thousand, but now it was a river that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in – a river that no one could cross. He asked me, “Son of man, do you see this?” Then he led me back to the bank of the river. When I arrived there, I saw a great number of trees on each side of the river. He said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, where it enters the Sea. When it empties into the Sea, the water there becomes fresh. Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live.”

Look at these truths about Ezekiel’s river:

1)  Water came out from within.

2)  Water was flowing.

3)  The river sought the path of least resistance.

4)  The farther the river flowed the deeper the river became.

5)  The river can be measured as to its expression and effectiveness.

6)  Everywhere the river flows, it brings life.

7)  Salty water become fresh and blessing is found wherever the river is flooding or flowing.

The River in Ezekiel 47 describes:

•  Water to the ankles: changing our direction.

•  Water to the knees: changing our praying.

•  Water to the Loins: changing our witnessing.

•  Water to Swim in: changing our lives.

Spiritual Expression given through us by the Person of the Holy Spirit it is important. We must remember to:

•  Pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to teach us.

•  Submit to the Scriptures as our only rule of faith and practice.

•  Believe that Holy Spirit intends for us to fully understand Who He Is and His expression.

 •  Desire to grow emotionally, intellectually and spiritually as we learn.

I encourage you to ask the Lord Jesus to help you make room for the Holy Spirit’s manifest presence to flow in, through and from your life today. There are both adults and children who are in your life who need His touch, His encouragement and His blessing. Open your heart to Him and then open your heart to others with the expectation of Him flowing from your heart, your voice and your touch. You will witness first-hand His goodness, His grace and His glory.

Have a blessed day.

Robert

 

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