FRIENDSHIP WITH JESUS EVIDENT THROUGH TRUST
As a minister of The Gospel of Jesus Christ there is a longing within my spirit that no human can satisfy, that being a close personal friendship with God. Perhaps you have the same sincere spiritual hunger within you. Like you, I have studied The Word of God and sought the face of The Lord and as yet it would seem that this incredible hunger and yearning is not satisfied and quenched. It is like a fire within me that cannot be extinguished.
Like so many of God’s servants this continual longing and unquenchable desire can only be quenched by God. Just what is it that causes me and so many of God’s ministers and children of God to cry out consistently to God for? I have listened to many renowned televangelists who openly speak of having this unique experience. The alarming fact is that instead of their so called experience being a blessing and a motivation to me, their so-called experience had filled my spirit with jealousy and resentment. This alarming reaction motivated me to ask God for forgiveness and praise God our Father was true to His Word. I was forgiven and consoled, however not only consoled because of repenting of my sin of jealousy, but commended and consoled for not approving of the disclosure of the televangelists personal experience. Just what am I alluding unto?
I am of the persuasion that all called of God Gospel ministers long and hunger for intimacy with God that defies the norm. Moses cried out to God for this unique intimacy and graciously Jehovah gave him but a glimpse of His person. This is the fervent desire of all true Gospel ministers; the yearning, the spiritual desire that God in His glory might appear unto them and speak to them personally.
God spoke FACE TO FACE with Moses. Will God speak face to face with you and I? No doubt, this is a very difficult pertinent question to answer. Searching The Word of God I am of the persuasion this is more than possible, however if it does ever happen to you and I, then we have not to be like these televangelists (and I am not being disrespectful to them) and disclose it to the Church and the world.
There is a belief among scholars and theologians that the Apostle Paul had an unique experience with God. He was caught up into Heaven and there in the very immediate presence of THE MOST HIGH GOD HE RECEIVED REVELATIONS FROM GOD THAT WAS NOT BENEFICIAL TO OUR SPIRITUAL WELL BEING:
“It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities. For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me. And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure (2Co 12:1-7).”
What was seen and heard could not be communicated. This should be a lesson for all these televangelists and ourselves. Our personal experiences with God is personal and not for the ears of The Body of Christ and more so not for the world.
I have through this experience of this men and women of God still hunger and yearn for intimacy with God, however I have taken my lesson from 2 Co 12:1-7 and that what I experience is not for disclosure to The Body of Christ and the world. God has placed within my spirit the understanding that there is more than enough in His Word that is able to make mankind wise unto salvation. Man needs no more REVELATIONS FROM GOD. In fact these Revelations just bring confusion and as in my case it moved me to jealousy and thank God by His grace I repented thereof.
My yearnings for God has not ceased in anyway, in fact they have intensified, however these yearnings and longings after God are now conditioned and controlled by THE WORD OF GOD. I would still like personal encounters with God, when God speaks to me and His presence overwhelms me and yet I am content to have Moses’, Job’s and Abraham’s experiences and what The Word of God declares in The Gospel of John 15:12-15:
“This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.”
My cries to God of late are to have A TESTIMONY FROM GOD that shows forth His confidence and trust in me. For too long many of us were endeavouring to please our congregations and our communities and sadly we missed God in the process. Job’s testimony was outstanding. God revered and respected His servant Job and no wonder God proudly and joyously proclaimed:
“And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil (Job 1:8).”
How authentic are The Holy Scriptures: “THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.” Though this is so true concerning FAITH, however let me throw my tickey in the plate: IT IS ONE TRUE FACT TO HAVE FAITH IN GOD BUT IT IS ANOTHER TRUE FACT FOR GOD TO HAVE FAITH IN YOU AND I. Job had an awesome Testimony with God.
It was not so much that Job believed in God; rather it was God believing in Job. Let our cry be likened unto Job’s TESTIMONY with The Lord. Let us as ministers of The Gospel of Jesus Christ cry to God for this unique spiritual experience. IT IS ONE THING WHEN MAN SPEAKS WELL OF YOU AND I, BUT IT IS ANOTHER THING WHEN GOD SPEAKS WELL OF YOU AND I.
I am of the persuasion that God treated Job as His personal FRIEND. I must concur that The Word of God does not disclose this; however my spiritual reasoning is that would God speak so highly of Job if He was not esteemed as a FRIEND.
Throughout Scripture God only reveals one man as a FRIEND:
“And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God (Jas 2:23).” Throughout The Old and New Testaments ministers of His Word are referred unto as SERVANTS OF GOD.
My cry and I believe your cry as well, oh mighty men of God, is that we progress from the role of SERVANT-HOOD TO FRIENDSHIP WITH OUR GOD. Is it possible that we may have this FRIENDSHIP experience with ALMIGHTY GOD? What does The Word of God say about this? Praise God it is more than possible. With God all things are possible; it is only for us to meet the criterion:
The criterion is simply defined in John 15:12-15:
WE MUST LOVE OUR FELLOW MAN (AND THAT EVEN OUR ENEMIES),
WE MUST LOVE OUR FELLOW MAN THE WAY GOD LOVES US,
WE LIVE OUR LIFE AS A SACRIFICE FOR OTHERS (JESUS BEING OUR EXAMPLE),
AS SERVANTS OF GOD WE LIKE JESUS MUST DELIGHT TO DO THE WILL OF GOD AND
WE MUST REALISE THAT AS SERVANTS WE WILL NEVER EVER KNOW THE FULL MIND OF GOD. WE MUST CONSTANTLY YEARN THAT OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD WILL TRANSCEND FROM SERVANTHOOD TO THAT OF FRIENDSHIP WITH JESUS, FELLOWSHIP DIVINE.
The imperative question is what will convince us that this wonderful transition has taken place? Our answer is found in The Unadulterated Word of God. Like God’s Friend Abraham, we too will become God’s CONFIDANT. God will share His mind, heart and intentions only with His FRIENDS. Friends do not withhold their mind, heart and intentions from each other. THEY ARE AS AN OPEN BOOK TO EACH OTHER. THERE ARE NO SECRETS BETWEEN THEM. This is clearly evident as we contemplate what is disclosed in Genesis 18:17-22
And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do; Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him. And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know. And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD. And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?
Let us as ministers of The Gospel resolutely resolve to progress from SERVANT-HOOD TO FRIENDSHIP. Let us determine by the Grace of our Saviour and the help of The Holy Spirit and the application of The Word of God to become FRIENDS WITH GOD, LET HIM BE OUR CONFIDANT AND WE HIS CONFIDANT.
With true friendship there is always trust. What is shared between friends is often confidential and the mere fact friends share secrets of themselves and even of others, must never ever be disclosed. I have always maintained breaking confidence is actually breaking the friendship. What God often shares with us about others is not for disclosure, it is but for the reason to uphold them in the arms of prayer. The best kept secrets are with friends.
It is not unusual for God to project some of His servants to what the future holds, however, often it is not for The Body of Christ and more so for the world. I have heard of books written by renowned men and women of God and may I add mostly by Americans that disregard the teaching of Apostle Paul recorded in 2Cor 12:1-7. Their books are very gripping and of a revelatory nature and unless our spirits are in tuned with the author of The Word of God, The Holy Spirit many will be led astray.
Several years ago I listened to audio tape and later had the experience on seeing the preaching on TV. This dear Tele – Evangelist, spoke about his personal experience in Heaven and his unique vision of God, The Father and Jesus, The Son of God.
He entered his prayer room and instead of spending his normal time in his daily devotions, he found himself spending 6 hours in the presence of God. He says that king David came to him and took him to heaven IN A CHARIOT AND IT TOOK BUT A FLASH TO GET TO HEAVEN AND INTO THE IMMEDIATE PRESENCE OF GOD. And there he spent time with God. He says he actually saw God on His throne and out of the person of God, THE FATHER, JESUS CAME FORTH. He said he was amazed and then asked the stupid question (he surely said stupid question) –WHERE IS THE HOLY SPIRIT. THE ANSWER HE GOT WAS THAT THE HOLY SPIRIT WAS ON EARTH SAVING SOULS. My spirit leapt in me and straight away I knew this man of God was exaggerating his experience. What he said and heard from God was contrary to Scripture. All Three Persons of the eternal Trinity are Omnipotent, Omniscient and OMNIPRESENT. GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT LIKE GOD THE FATHER AND LIKE JESUS THE SON OF GOD ARE EVERYWHERE AT THE SAME TIME.
First and foremost what this man had experienced was not for The Body of Christ. It was a PERSONAL EXPERIENCE. The startling fact it had within the experience falsehood. Great lessons can be learned from what I believe was not from God and that being as a FRIEND, GOD WILL NEVER REVEAL THAT WHICH IS CONTRARY TO HIS WORD AND
FURTHERMORE GOD THROUGH HIS WORD HAS GIVEN US INSTRUCTION FROM WHAT PAUL PENNED IN 2COR 12:1-7 NOT TO DISCLOSE SECRETS FROM GOD, AND FURTHERMORE IF GOD WANTS US TO SHARE IT. WE MUST CONSULT WITH OTHER MEN OF GOD FOR CONFIRMATION THAT ONE HAS TRULY HEARD FROM GOD. There is a principle in The Word to let the Prophets speak and let those other Prophets who have not spoken judge whether the revelation is from God or not.
LET ME SHARE ANOTHER EXPERIENCE. An Evangelist had a very successful evangelical service and several people got saved but it did not go down very well with me. For the mere fact his message was entirely based on his experience in Heaven. No doubt his heavenly experience was captivating and sadly many people got saved. I am sure you noted the words
SADLY MANY PEOPLE POT SAVED.
Why do I say that for the mere fact preacher’s personal experience do not grant us The Born Again experience? We are not saved by people’s experiences; we are saved through the death of Jesus on The Cross of Calvary and The Resurrection of Jesus conquering death and the grave.
In closing A TRUE FRIEND OF GOD WILL NEVER PREACH OUTSIDE OF THE FRAMEWORK OF GOD’S WORD. A TRUE FRIEND IS A CONFIDANT OF GOD AND WILL ALWAYS HONOUR GOD’S WORD.
Dr Joseph D’Allende
Keep Calvary Apostolic Ministries in your daily prayers