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ALL OF YOU

 

By Dr. Richard Ing

September 6, 2005

 

Last week, I was watching and yet not watching television.  My eyes were looking in the direction of the TV screen, but they were un-seeing.  I was praying in my thoughts, “Oh Lord, please bring revival to Hawaii and the Philippines!”  Suddenly, a thought came across my mind as clear as could be: “I want all of you!”  I was taken aback.  I turned to my wife and said, “I think the Lord just spoke to me.”  It set into motion all kinds of thoughts and questions.

       
In the days that followed, it was as if God was confirming the statement.  I recalled an episode in which Smith Wigglesworth had a house guest.  His friend said, “Smith, you seem pre-occupied.  What’s happening?”  Smith answered solemnly, “The Lord spoke to me last night.  He said, ‘Smith, I’m going to burn you up.  I’m going to burn you up until there is no Smith left and only Jesus.’”  Smith threw his hands up to heaven and exclaimed, “Do it Lord, I want it!”  He had tears in his eyes.

           
I have hundreds of books in my library and I walked over to dig out all the books on Smith Wigglesworth.  I randomly selected three of them.  The very first book I opened contained that story and it took me only a few seconds to find it.

 
Two days later, I had to go downtown while my wife ran some errands.  It would take at least an hour, so I grabbed a paperback on my book shelf in my office.  When I opened it to read in my car later, it was a book written in 1685 by Madame Jeanne Guyon entitled Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ.  This book is one of the most admired tomes of all time among many Christians (next to the Bible).  At the same time, it is one of the most censored books of all time.  The Roman Catholic Church once conducted a campaign to collect as many copies of Guyon’s book and burned them publicly.  Catholics were forbidden to read the book.  The author was labeled a heretic and put into prison for ten years by the Catholic Church.  They derided her emphasis on looking for Jesus within instead of in the Bible and considered her teachings mystical rather than biblical.  Her position that a Christian can be one with the Lord was rejected on ground that we can have the same purpose but not the divine essence of Christ.

           
While there are things in the book that are dangerously close to promoting meditation and establishing a set of prayer rituals, many very famous Christians have claimed that the book changed the course of their life.  Guyon’s book is based on going beyond the human mind and tapping into the inner man.  A certain method of prayer and meditation on the Word of God through spiritual eyes of love and a deep desire to worship him brings you into His presence step by step.  Personally, I do not particularly care for the methodology as much as I like the obvious love for God and desire to draw closer to Him in holiness. 

           
I agree with Guyon that the first step is to believe with all your heart that the kingdom of God is within you.  You need to grasp the reality that God dwells inside of you.  He lives in your spirit and to commune with Him you need to reach down into your inner man.  It is love that opens the door. 

           
I leave the other areas of her book to others to decide on and extract those items that I can identify with.

 
THE INNER REALM WITH GOD

 
There’s a realm in God that very few people have ever attained.  Paul, Peter and other early apostles entered into that realm.  In each century, far too few luminaries have lighted the darkness that covers the earth.  Smith Wigglesworth was one of them and perhaps Maria Woodworth-Etter.  These were not just famous Christians who knew how to milk every ounce of publicity from the gifts that they received from God. These were Christians who walked with God, talked with God and lived in God’s secret places.  The Bible says that the apostle Peter would walk along the streets and people would bring out their sick and lay them on the sidewalks in hopes that Peter’s shadow would touch them and they would be healed.  Ac. 5:15.  Signs and wonders followed their preaching everywhere they went.  Those that heard their messages were convicted by the Holy Ghost and came to repentance.

           
It is said that when Wigglesworth’s shadow touched the sick, they recovered too.  Sometimes he would sit in a train incognito, and people around him would start crying and repenting of their sins.  Once he went to Switzerland in secret, hoping to have a few days of rest.  By the time he reached his destination, the word was out and he received a phone call from the town mayor’s office begging him to come to the town hall.  It was already filled with over 5,000 people waiting for Smith to appear. 

           
Wigglesworth never went to high school.  He was an illiterate and uneducated plumber.  Yet, he appeared before kings and presidents, carrying the word of God.  Later, his wife Polly taught him how to read.  He claimed that the only book he ever read was the Bible.  It is reported that Smith Wigglesworth brought 32 people back to life.  Healing miracles followed him wherever he went.

 
IT’S TIME

 
The Bible is clear that there will be a special people in the end times.  We call them the overcomers, the army of God, the remnant, the Elijah ones, the mature sons of God, and so forth.  Rev. 2,3.  If the end times are close, then it is time for them to come forth.  It’s not as if it is going to happen all at once - poof!  Maturing is a process over time.  It is time for the process to begin.

 
DRY TIMES

 
All Christians go through dry seasons.  This alone is not a stunning or new revelation.  Dry times are ordained by God.  We all have them.  They are designed to test and prove us.  The important thing is how we respond to them.  During such times, God exposes what is in our heart.  He already knows what‘s there; he wants you to know.  Why does God want you to know?  The answer is - He wants you to change.  The harder question is - change what?

           
Dry times are sometimes short and sometimes long.  Moses’ dry season lasted forty years.  Joseph’s dry time lasted perhaps ten years.  Peter’s time was only a week or so but was intense.  Paul’s time was a few days.  It humbled Moses to the point that he was emptied of all self-ambition and desire for recognition.  It matured a once impetuous Joseph and proved his heart of faithfulness and diligence.  He never faltered in his trust in God.  Peter’s dry time changed him from an arrogant fisherman to one so humble that it changed him from a coward to a martyr.  Paul was struck blind.  He didn’t eat or drink for three days.  In the end, he was willing to die for the One he had persecuted.

           
Sometimes, dry periods come right after wonderful spiritual victories.  In one day, Elijah single-handedly killed 450 prophets of Baal and 400 priests that ate off the table of Jezebel.  The very next day, he was fleeing into the desert in fear of Jezebel.  We all have dry times whether we are famous or not and whether we have powerful spiritual gifts.

           
What’s your dry time like?  You may feel spiritually wrung out, exhausted and fatigued.  You have lost the desire to “hang out” with other Christians and have no reason to attend mid-week sessions.  Your morning prayer becomes either sporadic or non-existent and your Bible reading becomes limited to one-liners.  You come late or just in time for services or meetings because you have no real intention of coming early to events that essentially bore you.  Services no longer excite you.  The new converts may be motivated and on fire, but it’s old stuff for you and there is nothing more to learn.  Gone are the days when you could hardly wait to come to church to share or fellowship with the saints.  Church has become a chore.  You haven’t volunteered to do something for the church for months or even years and you haven’t shared the Gospel of Salvation with anyone for years.  Maybe you have been ill for a time or your family is in disarray.  You are unemployed and too old to start over.  You’re just hanging on by your fingernails. 

           
Congratulations!  Join the crowd.  Take a seat among the dry bones.  You’re in the midst of a dry season!

 
REJOICE!

 
The Bible is clear that problems, tests and trials are part of your spiritual training.  You lost your job or you hate it.  Someone close to you just betrayed you.  You just received a bill that you cannot pay.  You just want to stay in bed and never get up. 

           
You are being honored!  The privilege of having trials is being handed to you!  In fact, if you have never hit the wall in your Christian walk, you’re a bastard!

            My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him: for whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and  scourgeth every son whom He receiveth.  If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chaseneth not?  But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards. Heb. 12:6. 

 
Do you know what “scourgeth” means?  It means to be flogged or whipped.  (Strong’s Concordance, Greek Dictionary #3146 and #3148)  Ever been flogged or whipped?  You may not feel like it in the physical, but in the spirit you may feel laid out and flattened and bleeding to death.  You can hardly get up in the morning and certainly not to pray.  You feel dry inside and have no energy.  Your spirit hurts.  You’re dried up like a prune and you have need for meat and drink but don’t have enough energy left to go find it.

 
THE SCOURGING

 
Jesus was flogged and whipped before He walked up Calvary to Golgatha to be nailed to the cross.  He didn’t drink or eat for days.  All of us Christians are being prepared to walk up that same hill to be crucified like He was.  But first, Self has to be flogged and whipped to pieces!  Anyone who refuses to pick himself up and carry his own cross will never make it to the top of the hill where the Savior waits.  The door to God’s inner chamber is the cross.  Romans 6:3-5 says,

            Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death?  Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection. 


Yes, we died with Him on the cross and were baptized into His death.  When we came out of the waters of baptism, we were raised from the dead and therefore, should walk in newness of life, in the likeness of His resurrection.  Then why is it that you’re being pounded to pieces?

           
It is because the provision is different from the possession.  The reality or experience of it was left to each individual saint.  You were inducted as a soldier into God’s army, but you are not yet a finished product.  The provision was made, but the reality has not yet been attained.  Becoming a strong, loyal, disciplined and obedient soldier takes much chastening, scourging and dry periods.  Ask any soldier in the natural who had to go through basic training.  Passing basic training is just the beginning.  Getting into actual combat is the graduation.  As in the natural, knowledge of weapons, battle formations and other military secrets still doesn’t make a good soldier.  It is what is in the heart that counts.  All deserters, cowards and crybabies have the same information and knowledge as the heroes or the great fighters, but they don’t have the heart.

 
WHAT’S YOUR REACTION TO DRYNESS?

 
Trials, problems and spiritual dry seasons are intended to bring you closer to God in your nature or heart.  When dry periods arrive, some Christians try harder by involving in more good works and activities.  In other words, they use self-help.  It doesn’t work.  In the end, they become frustrated and give up.  They stop attending church functions except for those they cannot avoid.  Their enthusiasm level drops like a lead ball.  They are barely alive in Christ.  They are running in the wrong direction.

           
God intends for us to draw closer to Him, to depend on His provisions and grace when problems arise.  Run to the Lord Jesus.  Don’t pull away and stop praying, reading the Bible and going to church.  Instead, seek His face more.  That’s how God draws you closer to Him.  He wants you to find out that He is in total control of everything in your life - the good, the bad and the indifferent.  He wants to convert knowledge into experience and reality.  Sometimes, He wants to teach you how to cry real tears and get a little bit desperate for His presence.  The worse thing you can do is turn your back to Him and go back to the world when things don’t go your way.

           
If you fall into sin, repent!  Don’t hide and make excuses for not attending church.  The worse thing one can do is deny that he has sinned.  God knows everything.  When you discover that the kingdom of God is within you and that the inner man can touch God, you will climb to a higher level of His presence in your life.  Once you know in the inner man that nothing can separate you from the love of God and that He is only a breath away, you will never be the same.  Once you know that you are in God’s hands and that everything in your life is to His glory, you will begin to live in His realm of peace and joy.  If you live, it’s to His glory; if you die, it is to His glory.  Everything you do and say should be to the glory of God.  Then, you will begin to see and live in God’s glory!

 
WHAT IS IN YOUR HEART?

 
The truth will make you free.  Some people don’t want to face the truth.  The truth is that most of us don’t know how to love.  Many of us have no idea what it means to be humble or submissive or obedient.  Most of us have no inkling what it means to be diligent or loyal or truthful.  Do you think that you are filled with love for God and fellow man?  Are you really humble, submissive or obedient?  Ask your friends or family.  Maybe they will tell you the truth if they are brave enough!  Do you think that you are diligent or loyal?  Ask your pastor.  Better yet - ask God!

           
Start off with the proposition that you are blind as to your own qualities of character.  Your opinion of yourself is probably far different from the opinions of others who have nothing to gain by polishing your apple.  Even David had no idea about his own sins until Nathan the prophet pointed it out to him. 

           
You cannot grow into spiritual maturity until you know the truth about yourself.  Many have not yet completely confronted all the sins in their own life and have not yet forgiven everyone who has offended them.  Some are wolves in sheep’s clothing and don’t even know it.  They hover around every new convert or visitor and invite them to private meetings and services at their homes.  They secretly desire to have their own group or following and constantly promote themselves.  Others come to church for years and never ever share the gospel with people.  Some come only to be entertained and will not give the time of day to anyone.  They really think that they are okay with God, but they are rebellious, selfish and lack loyalty, diligence and love.

 
A CROSSROADS

 
I believe that we are at a crossroads in our walk with Jesus.  God wants us to get to a higher level in Him.  Either we respond and move forward, or we remain where we are and stagnate.  Your dry season demands a response.  Will you pull away from God and church or will you draw closer?


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