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