Find Your Spiritual Trysting Place

In my book, The Altar of His Presence, we studied some of the geographical places where altars were built and graced with the Lord’s manifested Presence to those of precious faith. These hallowed sites are known either because of the divine revelations or angelic appearances that supplemented the building of an altar. Mostly for sacrificing, sometimes only as a memorial, altars were named.

 

Moses named his Jehovah Nissi, and Gideon named his the Lord is Peace. Others, like the one built by the leaders of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh, were not for burnt offering, nor sacrifice, but as a witness and testimony (see Josh. 22:26-27). Altars were made only of earth or unhewn stone on which no iron tool was used and without steps going up to them (see Exod. 20:24-26). With each of them there was neither spectacle nor decoration allowed. The altar was to be plain and simple, for it was the meeting place between God and man and therefore a place of shedding of blood without which there is no remission of sin (see Lev. 17:11; Heb. 9:22). The altar is a place of interaction with the Lord for us only through the offering of an innocent life.

 

From our solar system’s blazing hot sun to the tiniest moon in Jupiter’s orbit and everything in between, God has places. An altar is a place of purpose that conveys this truth—the Lord wants to meet with us. What could be the purpose of human beings having a meeting place with God? For what purpose would God choose the altar as His place to meet with man? Perhaps you have similar questions about the possible alien visitations or odd manifestations found at Stonehenge or Easter Island.

 

Apparently, the early patriarchs found the real answer. Surviving worldwide flood, generations-destroying famine, and the loss of mankind’s righteousness for sin, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, and Elijah all built altars. Upon these altars these men of faith offered sacrifices to the Lord as an offering of thanksgiving and praise for the Lord’s guidance, protection, sustenance, strength, or blessing. Each one found the altar’ed life as promised in Exodus 30:6.

 

Each altar had one ultimate purpose. That purpose was to create a meeting place with the Lord God Almighty. The Hebrew mind viewed the altar as a place where men and women came to worship. It was the place where the passion for and the movement toward the Lord came together. At an altar, Abel offered his finest lamb, while Noah’s provided a sweet aroma that rose to the Lord. Where Abraham’s altar saw the salvation of a promised son; Joshua’s celebrated the entrance into the Promised Land. Gideon’s altar saw deliverance, and Elijah’s changed a nation.

 

Through the day where is the place that you meet with the Lord? Can you sense the sweet stirrings of the Holy Spirit there? Are you tired of living without passion or unfulfilled purpose? Does your heart still thirst for the living water of the Spirit as the deer pants for a cool mountain stream?

 

If you haven’t found a trysting place, do so now. Find an uncommon place, either in space or time, to get together with the Lord and His people. Meet regularly. Wait patiently. Call expectantly. Pray unceasingly. At the altar, the Lord will meet you. Every meeting you have with Him will alter your life toward the divine plan and purpose given to you by the Lord.

 

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DEVELOPING YOUR INNER LIFE

When we pray and meditate consistently on God’s Word there is emotional and spiritual space created in our hearts.  The Holy Spirit fills this space (OUR INNER LIFE) for the purpose of creating a greater level communion with us. He seeks inward fellowship with us.

 

I was encouraged early in my ministry to read The Art of Prayer (Faber & Faber). The Art of Prayer is concerned in particular with the most frequently used and best loved of all Orthodox prayers – the Lord’s Prayer. It deals also with the general question ‘What is Prayer?’, with the different degrees of prayer from ordinary oral prayer to unceasing prayer of the heart, with the dangers of illusion and discouragement, and the need for seclusion and inner peace.

 

(See https://www.faber.co.uk/9780571191659-the-art-of-prayer.html)

 

There is an excerpt that describes the holy need for developing our inner life through prayer and meditation. The excerpt reads, “There are many among you who have no knowledge of the inner work required of the man who would hold God in remembrance. Nor do such people even understand what remembrance of God means, or know anything about spiritual prayer, for they imagine that the only right way of praying is to use such prayers as are to be found in Church books. As for secret communion with God in the heart, they know nothing of this, nor of the profit that comes from it, nor do they ever taste its spiritual sweetness. Those who only hear about spiritual meditation and prayer and have no direct knowledge of it are like men blind from birth, who hear about the sunshine without ever knowing what it really is. Through this ignorance they lose many spiritual blessings, and are slow in arriving at the virtues which make for the fulfillment of God’s good pleasure.”

 

To develop inwardly and walk the path of spiritual growth, we must first be willing to grow in our devotional, relational and personal commitment to worship, prayer, study of the Word of God and to our relationship with the Holy Spirit. The initial steps to such growth happen naturally as we seek to be continually filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) and stay committed to our own personal growth.

 

For we who want to go deeper in our personal growth need spiritual guidance from the Holy Spirit. He truly desires to lead us into an intimate and exciting realm of spiritual learning. Like attending any school, be it elementary or college, it is best to set a fixed time each day to worship, pray and study. It is best that during this time we allow no interruptions. If we remain committed and consistent in such disciplines, our spiritual life will become deeper and more glorious. The result will be a new found awareness of God’s Presence and power.

 

I encourage you to start with three mornings a week and then add a morning each week until every morning begins with Him. There are many of testimonies of people who chose to meet with the Lord each morning. This practice has resulted in the majority of them (from St. Francis to John Wesley to Billy Graham) experiencing marvelous spiritual experiences, including victories, miracles and great joy.

 

In my own life, I have found the continual development of my inner life to be encouraging, exhilarating, and very satisfying. I am reminded even now of the words to an old hymn. These words are the theme to the development of my own inner life. They are the goal to all I desire to become and I hope they inspire you as well.

 

“To be like Jesus, to be like Jesus. All I ask is to be like Him. All through life’s journey, from earth to glory, all I ask…to be like Him.”

 

 

Will You Be 1 of 300?

The Altar of His Presence. My new book will be available online and in bookstores on July 17 (next Monday). For thousands of years altars have played a significant role in the spiritual lives of God’s people. From the first mention of the word in Genesis Chapter Eight, the altar has been a “meeting place” between the Lord and His people.

Inside the Tabernacle of Moses there were two altars. The first, in the Outer Court, was named, the Brazen Altar. Built out of brass the Brazen Altar was the place where animal’s blood was shed and “covered” the sins of an individual. This “covering” enabled them to be “seen as righteous” in the sight of God. The second altar was placed in front of the large and imposing curtain that separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place. It was called the Altar of Incense. This altar “uncovered” the heart of the true worshipper. Morning and evening the High Priest offered incense “up” to the LORD. The rising aroma of the incense was an ongoing offering of praise and worship given by the Priest and God’s people.

 

The altar is no longer about shedding the blood of animals or offering incense. It doesn’t have to happen at a tabernacle, sanctuary or cathedral. It is not about us making an attempt to get God’s attention or to stay His wrath. Coming to the altar is about us humbly calling upon the Name of the Lord. Those who call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved. But salvation is much more than entrance into heaven. Salvation is about wholeness. Wholeness comes through relationship. Such a relationship is based on the Lord’s promise to meet with us, live in us and minister through us. His Word declares that if we will come to Him, He will deliver, heal, and create in us a new heart and mind.

I urge you to make plans to purchase your own copy of The Altar of His Presence. I encourage you to read it slowly. As you read, respond to the nudging of the Holy Spirit. Experience Him in ways never experienced before. He desires to put Himself on display to, in and through you. He wants to show the world and all who are in it how gracious, great and glorious He really is.

Here’s where I need your help.

 

You can help us spread this much needed message to America and the world.

 

Next week the book will be sold in stores for $16.99 per copy. But, I believe the Lord has given me a plan to get a copy of this new book into the hands of thousands of Christian leaders before the end of the summer. How is that possible?

 

In Judges 6 the Lord called Gideon to lead a small contingent of Israelite volunteers (300 to be exact) to one of the greatest victories that has ever occurred on the earth. Like Gideon, I need 300 people to stand with us and give a $100 donation to our ministry before July 31st.  Every person who gives $100 will be given a signed copy to keep for themselves and 7 copies to give away to the leaders in their church, their friends and/or their family. This donation will also enable us to give another 8 books away to pastors, civic leaders, business people and to those who hold political office in our country.

The Lord has assured me that by giving away 5000 copies of our book, tens of thousands of people will hear the message of directly as well as in discussions, sermons and songs. We believe millions more will want to purchase their own copy of this powerful book.

Will you be 1 of 300? Would you go online or send your check today? Are you ready to receive your copies and give them away? You can do so by either emailing us at info@altarofhispresence.com (we will send you a link to give your $100 online) or by going to our bookstore at: http://www.thealtarofhispresence.com.

 

Now is the time for the world to hear this message. Our staff is standing by to send a first edition signed copy for you and the people in your life.

 

Don’t delay!

There’s Power in Praying the Scripture

There are passages in the Bible that describe the special privileges and advantages to those who are born again and continue to grow up “in Christ.” The Scripture tells us that by being born again, we are given the privilege to become sons or the offspring of God (John 1:12). The Apostle Paul said that maturing sons are those who put to death the misdeeds of the body, who have received the spirit of adoption, who know in their spirit that they are God’s children and are led by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:13-16).

 

Such people understand that as sons of God, they have been made to be kings and priests unto God our Father (Revelation 1:5-6). And, as kings and priests, we have been given the right to come boldly to the throne of grace. Hebrews 4 tells us that we should come boldly because God’s Word is alive and powerful within us. It is sharper than any two-edged sword. Therefore, when we (as kings and priests) declare, agree with and pray the Scriptures, we come into agreement with God, and His power is released to answer our prayers.

 

Not only does He hear our prayers, but He also promises to answer them when we pray in line with His will (1 John 5:14). He will give us the desire of our heart when our delight is Him and His Word (Psalm 37:1-5). That which the Lord has declared (His Word), He hastens to perform it (Jeremiah 1:12). That is why praying and declaring the Scripture is so powerful. When we pray the Scripture we are putting ourselves into that which the Lord has declared. This kind of praying causes His power to be released into our lives and circumstances.

 

The greatest purpose of such prayer is to help guide us in our relationship with the Lord. Praying the Scripture helps us to be better acquainted with our heavenly Father, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit and the Scripture (we cannot separate God from His Word!). Prayer is fellowship with God. Prayer combined with Praise is key if we want to abide in His Presence. For in that place we have constant communication with Him. This supernatural communication is vital to our spiritual health. The Bible says in 1 Peter 3:12 that He is actually watching us, anticipating our call and looking to hear what we have to tell Him, because He wants to be with us and answer us when we call.

 

Here are some more benefits of Praying the Scriptures.

 

·        Your praying becomes the overcoming “word of your testimony” (Revelation 12:11).

 

·        Your soul “believes” what it hears (Romans 10:17).

 

·        You “agree” with what God says about you and your life (Matthew 18:19).

 

·        God’s Word will not return empty, but will perform its intended purpose (Isaiah 55:10-11).

 

·        Your praying will assist you in memorizing Scripture and knowing the Word of God (Psalm 119:11).

 

Praying the Scriptures will cause you to learn what God says about certain situations, and by praying His Word you will see His results. His ways are higher than our ways. His thoughts greater than our thoughts. Praying the Scriptures brings interaction with the purpose, power and Presence of the Holy Spirit.

 

I encourage you to make a commitment to pray the Scriptures out loud every day in June. I promise if you will pray this way for a month, you will find yourself aligned with the powerful force of God’s Word and you will find yourself living in His Word, His Will and His Way. The result will be victory in your life, in your home, and be able to handle situations as easily as the Lord Jesus would handle them.

 

If you can’t wait until June 1st, start today! Start with Psalm 23 or 91, Joshua 1 or Romans 8. You will be glad you did!  I love you and bless you in Jesus’ Name!   

Listen to What People Are Saying…

The Altar of His Presence will be available through our bookstore after June 20th. You can view it and my other books at http://www.thealtarofhispresence.com.

Here is a sampling of what people are saying about this dynamic new book…

Rev. Doyle Fulkes, Superintendent of the Southern Idaho Ministry Network of the Assemblies of God in Nampa, Idaho said, “Prayer is the power that sustains change, drives commitment, and creates the Christ-likeness for every Christian. Robert Stone has laid out the process, potential, and practice of prayer for the believer using systematic and biblically based principles in a devotional form. Follow these principles through study and reflection in each chapter and find a whole new way to experience Christ and the dynamic of the Holy Spirit with life changing results.”

Charles Patterson, Pastor Emeritus of Church of the Hills and Founder of Charles Patterson Ministries (in Austin, Texas) said, “Many people today are often intimidated by the idea of developing a personal and intimate relationship with the Lord. A relationship within which one can actually experience His Presence and recognize His voice as He speaks in many different ways. Robert Stone skillfully opens Scripture to reveal that this idea is actually God’s. Furthermore, as God’s invitation to us becomes our priority we discover God’s purpose, pattern, and path-way to know and experience Him in a new and very intimate way. I highly recommend this book both as a study guide and a daily devotion to discover the beauty of God’s Presence more fully. It will truly alter your life.”

Jeff Knebel from Cedar Park, Texas said, “Robert Stone is a revolutionary. In his new book, The Altar of His Presence, Robert gives insight to mankind’s ability to commune with God on a personal and unprecedented level. Robert can take the most difficult biblical concepts, particularly involving the wonderful intervening Presence of the Holy Spirit, and make them seem extraordinarily simple for the average Christian. Robert’s teaching that each of us can experience the manifest Presence of God through a loving relationship with our Lord is truly life-altering. I encourage everyone to join the Lord at the altar of His Presence (the meeting place of our heart). Thank you, Robert, for another “altar’ed” work. Your message has forever changed my view of the Holy Spirit and His work in my life.”

Mike Valiton, Pastor of Finance and Operations, Lake Hills Church in Austin, Texas said, “The Altar of His Presence is a powerful, passionate, and uplifting read that inspires the reader to come experience the manifest Presence of God. This book is rich with spiritual guidance, biblical truth, and practical application. Robert leads us through a journey into the proper order of God and His will for our lives. The book details God’s promise to meet us, deliver us, heal us, and create in us a new heart and mind. All we have to do is believe!  Author Robert Stone uses Scripture, stories, and vivid word pictures to wonderfully illustrate how much God loves us and wants to bless us with a personal relationship with Him. This book is motivating, captivating, encouraging, and invigorating. Finally, The Altar of His Presence reminds us that through God’s grace we not only have a place, a person, and a people to meet the Lord, but most importantly we have God in us, and that is where God ultimately wants to meet. There’s no better time than now!”

Finally, Ministry Partner Dwight Karm from The Woodlands, Texas said, “The Altar of His Presence is one of the best books I have read. The book is full of insight born out of Robert’s research. He presents it in a very understandable way. The information about the materials and manner of how the people in the Bible built historical altars fascinated me. I was inspired to learn how God blessed every one of His people who came to the altar and that He gave many of them a special ability to communicate with Him and other believers. The book also reminds the reader that an altar can be built anywhere and at any time. The promise of God is true. If we will come to the altar, the Lord will always meet us there.”

To Order Your Copy of The Altar of His Presence click here or go to www.thealtarofhispresence.com.

I had an “altar’ed moment” last night.

I had a very special “altar’ed moment” last night. The Presence and Glory of God was so thick that I fully expected to visibly see the glory cloud of shekinah at any moment. For several hours I watched people of every race and color being saved, healed and delivered. On four different occasions a supernatural sound filled the auditorium. The only words I have are awesome, wonderful and glorious!  Where did this “altar’ed moment” take place?

My family and I experienced this tremendous move of the Holy Spirit during Tye Tribbett’s “Bloody Win” tour stop at Grant A.M.E. church here in Austin. The praise and worship was dynamic. The music was the best I have ever heard. In response to the glory of God that poured into the room hundreds of people celebrated the victorious and ascended Lord Jesus Christ. We literally stood in awe for hours.

It is evident that Tye Tribbett is an anointed young man and songwriter. He has considerable spiritual depth and insight. I first met him years ago. And, he continues to be a spirit-filled vocalist who knows how to get worshippers rejoicing. Tye has a  passion for the gospel that infuses everything he does. I like what he recently said, “things in the world can come against us so aggressively. Whether it’s bills or health or personal struggles, it can get harsh, but hold on! Hold on! We’ve got to sing louder for the God who is stronger!”

Several times this morning I have felt impressed to pray for Tye and the ministry God has given him. I truly believe that the Holy Spirit is giving him a “sound” that will reach this generation. The “sound” is more than his music, Tye spoke powerfully last night about the solutions that this generation must embrace to experience true spiritual revival.

His message reminded me of similar words given to me by the Holy Spirit. In my upcoming book, The Altar of His Presence, I wrote, “We often wonder why God has not done anything to change many of the issues in the world. We wonder why God hasn’t brought peace to war, overturned abortion laws, stopped the violence in our cities, or brought revival to our land. Many of us are waiting for God to take action when in fact God is waiting for us. God is waiting for His people to call upon Him. He is waiting for His followers to genuinely repent of lives that have become too busy, too focused on success, and too measured by how much money we make. He is waiting for us to humble ourselves and return to the altar of His Presence.”

We must remember that ALL the promises of God are Yes and Amen in Christ Jesus. Just as the Lord promised Jeremiah that He would answer his prayer and tell him of great and unsearchable things (see Jeremiah 29:12-13), He has declared the same to us. If we will ask, it will be given to us. If we will knock, the door will be opened. If we will seek, we will find.

The Lord wants to have a meeting with us. His will is not that we seek Him out only on Sundays or when we are having problems. He loves for us to be in His Presence. He loves to cover us with His wings. If we will draw near to Him, He has promised to honor us with His Presence, glory and power.  If we will come with a pure heart, call to Him and seek His face, He will listen to us and answer us in wonderful dimensions of goodness, grace and glory.

Pray for Tye. Pray for his ministry team. Pray that the Lord will use him to speak to and reach this generation with the gospel.

Pray for me. Pray for my new book. Pray that tens of thousands of copies will fill the earth with the message of meeting with the Lord. Pray that people all over the world will be inspired to experience intimate encounters with the glory of God…every day…and every hour.

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I love you!

Robert.

 

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.

Rise and Shine!

When an old pair of jeans becomes really worn around the knees, holes develop in the material exposing the skin beneath. The holes cause the skin to “show through.” In a similar way, as we are filled continually with the Holy Spirit, bring our lives into alignment with God’s Word and become like Jesus, His life becomes our way of life. What follows is both dynamic and exciting. The inward life given to us by the Holy Spirit will begin to show out. What things begin to shine? The fruit of the Spirit.

The fruit of the Spirit being manifested in, through and from our lives is the way the Lord Jesus Christ has chosen to reveal the grace, the goodness and the glory of God to others. He doesn’t write a big fiery sign in the sky with His finger. He doesn’t dispatch a host of angelic beings to evangelize the lost and dying. He simply reveals Himself by shining His light through us.

There are two instances of the actual light of God shining out and through in the Scriptures. The first happened with Moses. Exodus 34:28-30 says, “Moses was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights without eating bread or drinking water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant—the Ten Commandments. When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD. When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him.”

This is an amazing story. For the light was not shining “on” Moses, but rather, the light was shining “from” him. His body and clothes were irradiated as like a proverbial light bulb. Dim light would not have caused the Israelites to be amazed and frightened. I believe the light of God’s manifested Presence was brighter than the sun and illuminated everything and everyone around him.

There is an even greater manifestation in Matthew 17. The ministry of Jesus had reached critical mass. Jesus and His disciples had spent almost three years traveling throughout the countryside. His glorious power manifested by healing the sick, raising the dead and setting the captive free. But as Jesus climbed the mountain with His three confidants a change was in the air. His eyes were focused and His jaw set. He knew the time had come for Him to focus on His destiny. 

The coming months would move Him to alter the direction of the human race. A faceoff was coming. Darkness and light. Good and evil. Sin and righteousness. Offering Himself on the cross would pay the price for sin. His resurrection would enable those who would come to believe in His Name to be free from the penalty, power and presence of sin and be enabled to live in respect to righteousness.

As He took His last steps to the top of the mountain, Jesus became fully and completely given to prayer. Suddenly, a cloud (similar to the one in Exodus) manifested filling the atmosphere with glorious light. Holy gladness and celestial radiance exploded from Him and then blazed in every direction around Jesus and His disciples. At that moment, Moses and Elijah appeared and began speaking with Him about the coming events.

According to the Gospel writers, the manifestation of the cloud of glory caused His countenance to be altered and His clothes to both shine as bright as the noon day sun and glisten as freshly fallen snow. The light was not being shone upon Him, but from Him. The glorious light of God exploded out of Him from within. He was completely irradiated. His Person blazed in celestial glory. What a contrast to that which would come in a few months. Isaiah had seen what was coming and declared prophetically that at the Cross, “his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness (Isaiah 52:14).”

I believe the Lord’s transfiguration was an expansion of Moses’ experience on Mt. Sinai and a precursor to His own resurrection. It was also a forerunner to what happens to us spiritual when we come to the saving knowledge of His grace, repent and confess Jesus as our Lord. Paul told the Corinthians that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory, transitory though it was. He tells us that the glory, which Moses and Israel experienced, has no comparison with the surpassing glory that we experience. And if what was fading away came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts!

The glory of which Paul and I speak was spoken by Jesus in John 15.

Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:4-5) 

What was Jesus saying? He said that as we abide, dwell and live in His Presence we are constantly being filled fully (controlled and changed from glory to glory) with the Holy Spirit. Fruit, His fruit, the fruit of the Spirit will  then be manifested in, through and from our lives.  In other words, if we could “see” into the realm of the Spirit, we would “see” God’s light shining out from us just as the skin is shows out from a tear in a pair of jeans.

This same light is shining in a literal manifestation for others to see. It is being manifested as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).  We who live and walk in the Spirit have been given a manifestation of the Spirit of the Lord and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty to produce His fruit. It is then up to us as to whether we will open our lives to the Spirit’s manifestation of His fruit.

If we do…a glorious shining begins to take place…in, through and from our lives. In the coming weeks my blog will explain how the fruit of the Spirit is manifested and how His fruit will change our lives as well as the lives of those around us. Matthew 5:16 says, “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”

I love you!

Robert

 

Standing on Holy Ground

When the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush, and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.”  Then He said, “Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” He said also, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Exodus 3:5 NASB

 

There is a spiritual principle that we must come to understand and embrace. The principle is this, “Whatever is connected with the worship of the holy LORD is itself holy. Nothing is holy in itself, but anything (and anyone) becomes holy by being connected and consecrated to Him.” Therefore, any place where He manifests His Presence is holy ground (Exodus 3:5). The tabernacle or temple in which His glory is revealed is a holy building (Exodus 28:29); and all its sacrifices (Exodus 29:33), ceremonial materials (30:25) and utensils (1 Kings 8:4) are also holy. The Sabbath is holy because it is the Sabbath of the Lord (Exodus 20:8-11).

 

Holiness, in short, is expressive. Like fashionable clothes, holiness is always noticed. We who have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ for our eternal salvation have been chosen and set apart unto God. Therefore, like the Tabernacle or Temple in the Old Testament, we have become the dwelling place of God, hence, we are holy. Because our bodies have been made from the dust of the earth, we are standing on and in holy ground. That is why we are admonished throughout the Scripture to remove any garments of sin and decay and to put on the garments (the character) that reveals the holiness of God.

 

What does holiness worn by a believer look like? Isaiah prophesied it would be like wearing a garment of praise instead of a spirit of heaviness. When Paul told the Church in Rome to put on (wear as a garment) the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul was telling the Church that holiness would show forth the goodness, the grace and the glory that God has shown to us and exchanged for our sin and decay.

 

Holiness can also be described as wholeness. It has been said that, “if a half-a-man marries half-a-woman to get half-a-marriage.” To have a whole marriage we must be whole people who marry others who are whole as well. To be whole or holy means that as people who are filled with the Presence of God, we are to be kind, considerate and helpful. We are to have a spirit of humility where we take the low road of modesty instead of the high road or arrogance. We put on the Lord’s meekness, patience, and love. Being “holy ground” means that we are patient with others while becoming able to persevere through difficult times. We should seek to focus on forbearance so that we can bear the weakness, flaws and irritations of others. Let us offer forgiveness to everyone we meet so that we purposely pardon and release those who have wronged us (just as Christ readily forgave us of all our sins).

 

The Lord has chosen to manifest His Holy Presence in and through our lives. Thus, we are His Holy Ground. Our lives should no longer be viewed as common, but dedicated to the will and purposes of our Lord and Savior. The injunction, “Be ye holy; for I am holy” (Leviticus 11:44; 19:2), plainly implies an ethical conception. In ourselves, we cannot resemble God in His divine attributes. But, by the Presence, purpose and power of the Holy Spirit, we can shine His likeness along the lines of those moral qualities of righteousness and love in which true holiness consists. In the Psalmists and Prophets, the Divine holiness becomes, above all, an ethical reality convicting men of sin (Isaiah:3:1) and demanding of those who would stand in His Presence to have clean hands and a pure heart (Psalm 24:3).

 

The Holy Presence of the Lord within us makes us holy ground. Being led by Spirit in the paths of righteousness, for His Name’s sake, should cause His light, life and love to shine through us. The Bible tends to say that rocks can talk and trees can clap their hands. Perhaps we should think more like the burning bush that Moses ran into. Perhaps we should ask the Lord to cause others to see, hear and come in contact with Him through us.

I am reminded of these words written by the great song writer, Bill Gaither:

We are standing on holy ground
For I know that there are angels all around
Let us praise Jesus now
For we are standing in His Presence on holy ground


Verse 2
In His Presence I know there is joy beyond all measure
And at His feet sweet peace of mind can still be found
For when we have a need He is still the answer
Reach out and claim it for we are standing on holy ground


(chorus)
We are standing on holy ground
For I know that there are angels all around
Let us praise Jesus now
For we are standing in His Presence on holy ground.

(Bill Gaither, We Are Standing On Holy Ground© 2017 Gaither Music)

 

 

Choose to Be a Blessing, Not a Burden

Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please. From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that will I do. Isaiah 46:9-11 NIV

 

These words are very comforting to me. The God of the Universe chose to bless me. His choice was declared long ago. These verses say that His plans will not be thwarted by anyone or anything. He is resolute, diligent and trustworthy concerning that which He has chosen. If He promised it, He will perform it. Hebrews tells us that the man sent to fulfill the Father’s plan and purpose was and is the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

All of the Gospels tell of Jesus living out God’s plan of redemption and reconciliation. Everywhere Jesus traveled they watched Him beckon, bless, minister, teach, heal and guide. Even when they speak of Him chastising or disciplining His disciples, it was done with an eye on His divine purpose.

Everyone coming in contact with Him is called to embrace to the working of His redemptive purpose. That purpose is to see the blessing of God rest in, on and through every man, woman, boy and girl on the planet. The very essence of that purpose was declared and was perhaps best described by the Apostle Peter in a sermon to the household of Cornelius.

 

You know what has happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached– how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him. Acts 10:37-38

 

Peter declared the purpose of the Lord’s ministry was to break the power of darkness, to invoke the power of light and to bring all people, both Jew and Gentile, into complete union with the Son. This purpose was accomplished as Jesus was anointed by God with the Holy Spirit and power.

 

After the resurrection and ascension, the union of believer with the Lord Jesus is described by the Apostle Paul as the believer being “in Christ” and at the same time having, “Christ in us.” Sadly, many in the Church today seen to miss the focus of or fully embrace the richness of this statement. While many may say that their true loyalty is to Christ Jesus, in the lives of most modern believers, it is the traditions they have grown up with or the theologies they have learned that have become more important than the purposes of Christ Himself.

 

His purpose is to transform us into the image of God’s dear Son, by and through the same anointing He was anointed with. He wants to reconcile us to our original purpose, which is, to embrace and enjoy union and fellowship with the  Heavenly Father, Him and with each other. Only then can we really know Him. When we embrace and enjoy “Christ in others” a revelation occurs. The Holy Spirit opens our spiritual understanding and we begin to see the opportunity that has been afforded each of us. That opportunity is to “become the blessing.” Such can only occur as we choose to give that which we have been given. We must open ourselves and allow the Holy Spirit to flow from us as a stream or channel. Then, as other do the same, we will be joined to other streams (believers) for the purpose of eventually flowing together with all believers into the great river of God, which is the Holy Spirit, and purposed to bless all humanity.

 

The manifest Presence of the Holy Spirit was upon Jesus to heal the sick and set the captive free. The same should be expected by us all as we worship together, pray together and be together in His Name. It is in that place that all who are under the power of the devil are healed and delivered. In that place is fullness of joy, even life evermore. In His Presence the blind see, the deaf hear and the cripple walk. Let us lay aside any weight that besets us, keeping us from embracing and enjoying Christ in us—the Hope of Glory.

 

I encourage you to pray concerning this with me today. I believe we are standing in front of an awesome opportunity. But, we will have to choose. We will need to choose to be like the Lord Jesus. We will need to pray for His ultimate purpose to fill our thoughts and to become a blessing to Him and to all we meet. It is His desire that we come together in one accord and purpose. It is His will for the Holy Spirit to fill us to overflowing and flow from each of us. The flow of His Manifest Presence will “water the earth” where we live and minister. This water of life will bring forth the purposes of blessing and bud into the fruit of the Spirit. Let us ask for the Holy Spirit to help us learn to pour out the glorious life He has blessed us with so that others may be healed and blessed. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.