Obedience with out relationship is merely religiosity.
Thy word I have hidden in my heart (119:11). This implies we can all get the Scriptures, the Living Word in our hearts. Memorization only puts the word in our mind. As helpful as study is, we also need personal revelation by the Holy Spirit. It’s not our inheriatance to have a relationship with a bible, there is a living person inside us called the Holy Spirit and the Word is anointed for Holy Spirit activity in our inner man or ’soul.’
Praying the Word in a form of meditation that is dialouging the Scripture with God.
In this we let the written word take us into the presence of the Living Word.
Take a verse and take it to the Lord, saying it slowly, turning it into prayer.
A verse is usually something to obey or something to seek revelation on.
-Meditation on Singing it saying it praying it
-as for empowerment
-make Holy Resolutions to obey
-Meditate on; Singing it, saying it and praying it
-as for revelation
“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you…”(Jn. 15:9)
“Lord reveal to me by your Spirit the depth of this love you have for me, This love that is as great as the Love of the Father for you, open my heart to recieve it etc.”
Looking at Eph 5:18-19, singing the Word to the Lord is the most powerful way to get more on fire for God. The more you do it, the greater your ability to be moved by it grows, so give it a serious month of trying it, you won’t be dissapointed and you won’t stop.
A prayer life is what makes your Christianity authentic.
Okay that’s my main point, now I’d like to explore the implications of it, but if you take nothing else away, let the above give you footing in the mountain climb of a deeper and more powerful prayer life!
But we all, with open face beholding (dimly) the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the LORD. (2Cor 3:18).
A. The “beholding and becoming” principle – whatever we behold (meditation unto revelation) in God’s heart towards us becomes awakened in our heart back to God (transformation).
- Bible study is crucial, but so is beholding. Renewing our minds happens by agreement with the Word. But transformation happens by beholding prayer. By beholding we will change our emotional chemistry. Long and loving mediation on the Word and Dialouge with the Spirit, are values being emphasized with the new wine/wineskin. As in the wedding of Cana, so in the generation the Lord returns, He has saved the best wine for last, the revelation of intimate prayer and communion.
- Men who have done greater revival works such as David Brainerd and Bernard of Claireveau, have testified to the transformative power of beholding prayer.
- The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all (2 Cor 13:14). (communion of the Spirit -nkjv)
ESTABLISHING A VISION FOR DEEP PRAYER ACCORDING TO Eph 3:19 FULLNESS OF GOD
That he would grant you… to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man… that all of you might be filled with all the fullness of God (Eph 3:16-19).
Key to the ‘new wineskin’ of bridegroom fasting(Mat 9:14-17) is the value of Contemplative Prayer, or ‘Long and loving Meditation/Dialouge with the Holy Spirit). And secondly ‘key’ to contemplative prayer is establishing and sustaining a corporate vision to go after the ‘fullness of God’ (Eph 3:19). We set a vision to be filled with the Spirit in greater capacities. Faith arises as we increase expectation.
- “I’ve never seen a church sustain a fire for prayer, without prophetic preaching of a vision for going after the fullness of God in the innerman. We need the regular, clear proclamation of what God has in His heart for the heart of the people.” –Mike Bickle
- The absolute definition of fullness is that we will progressively pursue it continually, but the relative definition of fullness relates to overwhelming experiences of God’s presence and revelation filling our capacity and understanding. Some define ‘going after the fullness,’ as being hungry for God. Illustrating the ‘fullness’ highlights the difference between what we are walking in naturally, and the ‘fullness’ He is offering.
- Eph 3 is one of the highest points of revelation of what God will give the human heart. Paul starts the prayer ‘for this reason,.. I labor in prayer; that you experience the love of God and are filled with all the fullness of God. Many say ‘I don’t feel loved.’ As they shouldn’t, it is the supernatural divine power of the Holy Spirit moving on us to experience this. You don’t have because you don’t ask, knock on the door and it shall be opened to you. Each Scripture relating to the love of God is a door to be knocked on.
- God has invited each of us to experience the deep things of His heart. He has opened Himself up for us to understand and feel His emotions, desires and affections. This is foundational to what Paul prayed for the Church when he asked that we would be able to comprehend the depth of God’s love (Eph. 3:18-19). But God has revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yea, the deep things of God..Now we have received.. the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. (1 Cor 2:10-12)
John 5:39-40 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. 40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.
- We want to let the written word take us to the Living Word. –Jeanne Guyon. Communion with the Holy Spirit (2 Cor 13:14) is our goal in this model. We see here the principle of ‘coming to Him’ using the Scriptures that testify of Him. Each verse we can: 1. Thank Him for and 2. Ask for either revelation or power to obey.
- So with a verse like 26 The Holy Spirit…will teach you all things… (Jn. 14:26) We would pray, Thank you Holy Spirit that you teach me, I ask for revelation on what it truly means for you to teach me, and help me to understand you leadings. Or John 15:9 As the Father has loved Me, I love you. We would pray, Jesus thank you for this love, strengthen me with might (Eph 3:16) to experience this love. I ask for greater revelation of this love. And we would worship and journal revelation.
- Scriptures will impact us most when we pray them directly, not just thinking about them or studying them. We when meet with Jesus, the Scriptures are our anointed conversation material. So depending on the verse, we can thank God for the truth in it, and then ask for revelation on the verse, or ask for power to obey them. The Scriptures are living and active (Heb 4:2) and are so powerful to transform us and renew our mind as we pray them. They rewrite the code of our inner man enabling us to abide in God so that Christ can more fully manifest within us (Eph 3;16-19).
- The Gen 1 principle is that the Holy Spirit hovers and waits to move in power wherever the Word is spoken by those in covenant with the Father. Therefore we value the Scripture in prayer, though He speaks many ways and hears all our words. The Spirit lives to reveal Jesus, and impart His love to us.
- The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. 3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good… (Gen. 1:2-4)
- Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me (Rev 3:20). We are seeking to behold and experience, we want to not just ‘read the menu, but eat the meal’. If a man love me, he will keep my words(written on our heart): and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. (Jon 14).
- Continually asking for revelation is so powerful, we grow in revelation. Each Scripture is like a door we knock on, as God is inviting us into encounter, in the Knowledge of God. The Holy Spirit is with us to teach us, like Jesus taught His disciples. We must lean not on our own understanding, but seek God. It helps to ask for the Eph 1:17 Spirit of wisdom and revelation and enlightening of the spiritual eyes.
26 The Holy Spirit…will teach you all things… (Jn. 14:26) 13 The Spirit of truth…will guide you into all truth; He will tell you things to come. (Jn. 16:13) 27 The anointing…abides in you, ..as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things… (1 Jn. 2:27)
- David calmed and quieted his soul (ps 131:2). We need to dial down or just take our foot off the gas pedal and listen (without stirring our souls up to fervor). An over-active soul keeps us out of sync with the subtle movements of the Spirit. We quiet our soul to connect with the Spirit’s whisper in our heart (the still small voice (1 Kings 19:11-13)). We quiet the turbulent activity of our soul in our clamoring for attention, pleasure, a restless anxious spirit that naturally active.
- To fellowship with the Holy Spirit means we talk often to Him as we give our heart to Him. It means we hear back from Him in a two way dialogue. The Holy Spirit honors our part in the relationship by not forcing us to dialogue with Him, if we do not want it. He does not force conversation or friendship with anyone who is not desperate——click to >or hungry for it. Love requires a voluntary response. He waits beckoning us to a deeper and more continual conversation. It takes a while to get in sync with this (few months). The discipline of waiting on the Lord, is invaluable.
- 6 Set Me (Jesus) as a seal upon your heart…its flames are flames of fire. (Song 8:6) We set Jesus as a seal on our heart by fellowshipping with the Spirit as God’s light, fire or river in us. The Holy Spirit ministers in us a bright light that drives darkness out and overpowers the darkness of confusion, accusation and rejection (Jn. 1:5); a consuming fire that devours everything that gets in the way like bitterness and addictions: a flowing river that connects our heart with the spontaneous movement of God’s heart (Jn. 7:37-39).
- As we linger in His presence, speak affectionately (intermittently saying to God, “I love You”) speak slowly (not rapid fire), softly (not shouting at the indwelling Spirit), briefly (short phrases not paragraphs, even reducing phrases to one word) and minimally (listen twice as much as talking by limiting our speaking to one third) with many pauses, praying with our spirit (1 Cor. 14:2) along with gently sighing (Rom. 8:26) with gazing in silence for few seconds or minutes. “Less is more” in terms of amount and volume of speaking. Journal: take time to record thoughts and prayers so as to capture the truths He gives us.
A. And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. 31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. 32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures? (Luke 24)
B. The Holy Spirit will reveal Jesus to us and cause our hearts to burn with holy passion. He was a burning and a shining light: and all of you were willing for a season to rejoice in his light (Jn 5:35). I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burns (Is 62:1).
C. Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it beholds him not, neither knows him: but all of you know him; for he dwells with you, and shall be in you (Jn 14:17). How do we behold the Spirit? Not by analyitical observation of a healing. It is intimate fellowship, communion. Deep friendship and partnership with the person of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit might say “where do you experience me and know me?” In our innerman. There is a world of reality to be experienced inside each of us. In this we behold the glory of God, the beauty of God in this way. He will bring us into deep communion with God’s heart.
But we all, with open face beholding (dimly) the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the LORD. (2Cor 3:18).
D. The Spirit of the Tabernacle of David was Psalm 27:4 This one thing I have sought all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord. The prayer movement through IHOP was prophetically established according to the tabernalcle of David. David led the nation and oversaw the military, but He had an intense fire burning in His heart to behold the Lord.
E. Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. 42 But one thing is necessary: and Mary has chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. Mary still did household chores, and served, but she desired to drink from the well of living waters, no lesser pursuits drove her.
F. This one thing I do… reaching forth unto those things which are before, and I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings). (Phil 3:13). Spiritual boredom is the enemies best weapon against us. A vision for pursuing knowing Him is our weapon against this. We can do great works like Paul but without a burning heart it is nothing.
G. For some learning to be like David and keep their heart engaged, while hands are working, is difficult, because of the nature of their work. Dialing down our life so that having a burning heart is a priority is an offensive message. The Lord is calling forth a people of ‘one thing,’ we must ask for wisdom how to align our schedule with our priorities. Time is the essence of life and the primary thing we will account for. He will not ask how big did our ministry or bank account get, but how big did our hearts get.
III. PRINCIPLES OF THE INNERMAN
- Most Christians think they have the fullness of the Holy Spirit all the time. This is only partly true, we need to pursue the fullness, we do not have it without pursuing God for it.
- In John 5 Jesus choose a feast to speak of living water flowing from people from their innermost man. I think He did it at the feast because the context was fitting to illustrate the contrast between feasting on food and feasting on Jesus. We see in John 6:27 Labor not for the food which perishes, but for that food which endures unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you. 35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that comes to me shall never hunger; and he that believes on me shall never thirst.
- So why would we labor for the food if we have the indwelling Spirit and therefore we shall never hunger?
- When Jesus says in John 7:38 that ‘out of our belly shall flow living water’ the word belly is qereb, which is inward parts or innermost man. Now interestingly Paul prayed in Eph 3:16 for the believers at Ephesus that they be strengthened with might in the innerman the greek forinnerman is ‘eso,’ not qereb, not innermost man. He prayed for this so that the Eph 3:17 Spirit of Christ would dwell in their hearts and so they would “Eph 3:19 experience (epigos) the love of God, and be filled with the fullness of the (Spirit of) God.”
- The Holy Spirit lives in our innermost man, we experience Him in the innerman.
- So we pray for our innerman to be strengthened so we can experience the innermost-man-dwelling Holy Spirit more, in the inner man.
IV. STRENGTH MADE PERFECT IN VOLUNTARY WEAKNESS
- 2 Cor 12:9 gives a spiriutal principle that God’s strength is made perfect in voluntary and involuntary weakness. In 1 Cor 1 Paul talks about strength and in that chapter, Paul seems to refer to the cross that we as disciples must all pick up and follow. Luke 14:27 And whosoever does not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. Paul says this cross is foolishness to the world, and we know it is not a literal cross for us unless we are percecuted. Paul is referring to the weakness of the lifestyle disciples must live (2 Cor 5:15). These values of the ‘fasted lifestyle,’ are the expressions of restrain such as prayer, giving/tithing, serving, and cheek-turning/blessing/meekness.
- God has chosen weak things like fasting as a way into more of God. 1 Cor 1:27 God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty. God has chosen fasting as a weak thing, an expression of the cross that we are to embrace. It seems likely Paul referenced Isa 58: “Is this not the fast I have chosen” here.
- He’s chosen the weak thing of fasting as one way into the 1 Cor 1:23 power of God and the wisdom of God. For 2 Cor 12:9 God’s strength is made perfect in weakness. If we want more spiritual strength, we must at times embrace weakness. When He Eph 3:16 strengthens us with might in the innerman, that might is to increase our ability/capacity to contain the Spirit of God, even eventually unto the fullness of God.
- We can experience answered prayer and the Spirit without fasting. Fasting is an intensifier, an accelerater, and is and expression of humility, desire and discipline. The person who fasts understands the gap between what God wants to give them and what they are actually experiencing.
- Fasting does not ‘earn’ us more of God. It does increace our capacity to experience the Holy Spirit, and accelerate the process of communing prayer. I have found fasting on water, 1 day a week, to be unparelled in terms of its impact on my experiencing of God. Ihop-kc calls believers to fast at least one day a week. The benefits are tremendous in fasting two days a week, but let desire for God drive your fasting, not commands or religious spirit.
- This depth of fasting is well within the reach of most people. But we desperately need more revelation of Jesus as our Bridegroom who has burning desire for us and fiery affections toward us. As we live in the truth of the bridal paradigm, we fast because we long for Jesus. Jesus told the Pharisees the day would come when the Bridegroom would be taken away from the disciples, and then they would fast out of longing for Him (Matt. 9:15). When Jesus ascended to Heaven after His death and resurrection, He was taken away in the sense indicated in this Scripture. The Bride of Christ is meant to long for His return, His Second Coming, and fasting is one way we express this longing.
L. By knowing Jesus as our Bridegroom and seeing ourselves as His Bride, we will become energized with a spirit of prayer and filled with courage to live lives abandoned to God in holiness. Only then will fasting seem appropriate, reasonable or even wise.
M. Spiritual disciplines (prayer, fasting, meditation, etc.) are ordained by God as a necessary way to posture our heart to freely receive more grace and they give us opportunity to show how much we value our relationship with Jesus.
N. Many of us are continually battling renoucing inferior pleasures. The Lord is offering might in the innerman to experience superior pleasures, thereby equipping us to resist that which does not satify or profit. Then we can love Him with all our heart soul and strength, also defined as wholeheartness. The breakthrough of anointing often comes in giving up the 1% that was keeping us from 100% wholeheartedness -MB. But it takes time to get to that place, step by step.
G. Analogy: We put our cold heart before the bonfire of God’s presence by seeking Him in the Word and prayer. We change our mind, then God changes our hearts. We change our mind(understanding about God), then God changes our emotions (unlocks our hearts). These activitiesdo not earn us God’s favor. The power is in the “bonfire of God’s presence” not in our coldhearts that are positioned before it.
H. God gives to our heart on the basis of how much we hunger for relationship with Him not on how much He loves us (Mt. 5:6). God honors the value we put on the relationship by giving us more according to our spiritual hunger but He does not love us more. Jesus discloses Himself to us based on our responses of love and desire for Him (Jn. 14:21-23).
I. First, in the initial stages, He romances us, lets us feel His love stir within us. Though this brings a certain satisfaction to our souls, it also awakens a deeper longing and hunger for more. Once we taste just a little of God’s presence, we cannot live without more of Him. This is the way God planned it. Hunger begets hunger and deep calls unto deep (Ps. 42:7). In every satisfaction God brings to us, we are left with an even greater hunger for more of Him. It is by our hunger that He leads us into the fullness of love. We fast in response to the groan in our hearts for more of God.
J. It takes focus and effort to go deep in God. There is a captivity of activity in working for God without acquiring the ‘oil of intimacy.’ The battle in the natural and in the Spirit is for oil. In the natural, we must drill for oil and mine for gold and diamonds because they do not usually lay on the ground. It is the same in the Spirit, we must drill for the ‘oil of intimacy’ and dig for gold.
- SPIRITUAL GROUND
- There is no neutral ground in the Spirit, we are either gaining ground or losing ground, in stagnation each day. We are getting more oil in our ‘lamps’ or we are burning it, we are getting closer to God or farther away. Walking in the Spirit by talking with the Spirit helps sustain our oil. Talking about/praying Scripture is anointed for this.
- “Take care what you heed, for whoever has, to him more shall be given; and whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.” Mark 4:25. This is a Spiritual law is yet another reason we must be resolute in scheduling time each day to grow our hearts in love for God. There is so much temptation with media and such to spend our time so many other ways, but the reward of choosing to build our relationship with God, and experience more of the Holy Spirit is so worth it. It’s like doing 50 pushups everyday, you may not notice the impact the first day, but three months later and there’s a marked difference. Mike Bickle says not to give up on this experience unless you have tried it for a few months. I have found that the deeper experiences of the Spirit have happened after a period of regular focused seeking.
26 I (Jesus) have declared to them Your name (Father’s), and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them. (Jn. 17:26)
1. Pray: “I thank You for Your commitment to declare (reveal) the Father’s heart to me, release more.
2. Pray: “I thank You for imparting Your love to my heart, please release more.
B. God promises to show His power to those who are loyal to Him. Pray: “I thank You for committing to show Yourself strong in me, release it. I set my heart to be loyal to the Spirit’s leadership in all that I do with my speech, eyes, actions, time and money. Help me to walk this out.”
9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. (2 Chr. 16:9)
C. Jesus promises to manifest His presence to those who obey His commandments.
21 He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him… (Jn. 14:21)
1. Pray: “I thank You for committing to manifest Your presence to my heart, release it more. I set my heart to keep (obey) Your Word in my speech, time, money, etc. Holy Spirit, help me to do this.”
2. Note: the Father loves everyone in the sense of valuing, caring for and pursuing them. However, He only loves the lifestyle, choices, sacrifices and fruit of those who pursue 100-fold obedience.
D. We are called to obey the Holy Spirit’s leadership in what we look at. Pray: I set my heart to not look on anything that quenches the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit, help me to do this with consistency.
1 I have made a covenant with my eyes; why should I look upon a young woman? (Job 31:1)
3 I will set nothing wicked before my eyes… (Ps. 101:3)
E. We are called to obey the Holy Spirit’s leadership in our speech. God promises that our whole body (our human passions) will be bridled as we obey the Spirit in our speech. Pray: “I set my heart to keep (obey) Your Word in my speech. Holy Spirit, help me to do this with consistency.”
3 Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips. (Ps. 141:3)
29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. 30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit…. (Eph. 4:29-30)
2 If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body (human passions)…6. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. (Jas 3:2-6)
14 Let the words of my mouth…meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight (Ps. 19:14)
14 Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may be blameless. (Phil. 2:14)
18 In everything give thanks…19 Do not quench the Spirit. (1 Thes. 5:18-19)
F. God promises to save or deliver those who lay aside filthiness as they meditate on His Word. Pray: “I thank You for desiring to deliver my soul from filthiness in me, please release it. I set my heart to lay aside all filthiness and to implant your Word in my heart with meditation and meekness. Please help me to do this with consistency.”
21 Lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save (liberate, deliver) your souls. (Jas 1:21)
G. God promised that we are a new creation based on giving us the gift of God’s righteousness. Pray: “I thank You and declaration my trust that you have given me the righteousness of God, please reveal it to me more by the spirit of revelation. I declare, that all things are new and the old things of my guilt has passed away in Your sight.”
If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new…21 For He (Father) made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Cor. 5:17-21)