SUNDAY, 23 AUGUST 2015,
Experiencing God is not only one time moment in our life. As a believers we are supposed to have continue even progressive experience with God in our daily life. Jesus wants all of His followers not only remember and understand about His teaching but also have a fresh and meaningful experience with Him. Unless we have a personal experience with God, our Christianity will remain plane and even boring! Only experience with God will make our life blessed, more meaningful, stronger, and filled with glory to glory. Our experience with God will bless others as well. Moreover in this end times, we must have a really fresh and strong experience with God so we can stand firm in what we believe. Experiencing God will strengthen our faith, our hope, and even our love for God. We can say that this is an expensive treasure in our journey of faith. That’s why we need to press forward and looking for fresh experience. We need to be active in pursuing this kind of experience. Our effort in the Lord will never be in vain 1Co.15:58.
What we will learn today is about the life of Job and also another man of the Bible who already had a divine experience with God Himself. Let’s put our trust that all the writings in Bible is inspired by the Holy Spirit and is written to give us reproof, correction, and even instruction in righteousness so we become COMPLETE as the man of God 2Ti.3:16.
I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You. Job 42:5
At the first time when the Bible mentions about the life of Job, we can understand that Job had already become very good man in sight of God. The Bible told us that Job was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil Job1:1. What a precious life that Job already had even since the first chapter of Job. But from our reading in the book of Job we become understand that there was a bigger capacity in Job’s life to be maximized rather than to be wasted. Our experience with God started when we commit our life in His hand, believing Him as our only Saviour, and commencing a brand-new life with Jesus. Because Job made a strong commitment to be blameless and upright person, so God Himself took Job to the next chapter, experiencing Him more and more, until at the last chapter we can read the most valuable declaration from Job. Knowing God by our hearing only is totally different with knowing Him with the eyes of our heart. Let’s ask Him to open the eyes of our heart so we can make another precious declaration as Job!
Joseph the son of Jacob is another man of the Bible who have a rich and abundant experiences with God. That kind of experiences started when Joseph commit his life to stay away from his bad brothers Gn.37:2. Commit ourselves to God and we will start to experience Him more and more. God will take the hand of those who want to incline their heart to Him. God will not push anyone to walk with Him unless we give our hands intentionally to Him. Joseph had a lot of experience with God, through the deep pit, inside the house of Potiphar, and finally to the throne of Egypt. God could take us higher and higher if we want to.
Among the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ, only three of them who had close experience with Jesus – Peter, John, and Jacob. This three saw with their own eyes how Jesus raise Jairus’ daughter from the death Mk.5:37. This three also sat together with Jesus upon Mount of Olives and received exclusive private teaching regarding the end times Mk.13:3. This three also one step closer with Jesus than the others when He prayed at Gethsemane Mk.14:33. And the most interesting fact about this special three is they stood together with Jesus upon a high mountain, surprised, amazed and gazed when they saw Jesus was transfigured before them Mk.9:2. This three received more because they gave more to Jesus, more time, more commitment, more sacrifice, more attention, more energy, and more willingness. And all of that could not be compared with the glorious experience they got up there. Experiencing God will make someone never be the same again. Only those who have a private experience with Him could say like Job, “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You.”
Commit ourselves to walk in His holiness and righteousness so He can lead us to wonderful experience even to the maximized one. We need to ask a heavenly wisdom so we can manage our time well and have the most precious time in our daily activity to wait upon His voice during our meditation. If we never plan to dedicate our time with God we will never have that one! Jesus wants to take us climb upon the mountain and receive the glorious experience He already prepared. But if people always say “No” to His invitation so how they can experience Him. In fact, the invitation to join Sunday service, prayer meeting, cell group, and another spiritual activity are a wide-open way to experience Him more. Keep our feet in His ways always and let’s learn to show our willingness to obey and receive His invitation climbing the mountain.
The outcome of our experience with The Owner of Heaven will be a totally fresh heavenly expression! Having a personal experience with Jesus will reveal an expression that will bless others! The encounter of Samaritan woman with Jesus brought a blessing to whole city of Samaria Jn.4:39-42. The encounter of Zacchaeus with Jesus at the sycamore tree produced the most awesome expressions which blessed lot of the poor and even to anyone who became a victim of false accusation made by him before Lk.19.1-10. The healing experience received by one leper produced a thanksgiving expression that brought him to receive the next blessing and made him whole Lk17:19.
People around us will be blessed by our experience with God. There will be joy, faith, hope, and love, which can be seen and felt by others through our experience with God. Our joy and peace in the Lord will bless those who have a heavy burden. Our hope in Jesus’ promises will strengthen those who attacked by worry. Our enthusiasm in Lord will minister and bless others as well. In the ages of first church, all Christian are blessed so much with the ministry of Paul. Even until this day the enthusiasm of Paul still blessed the church through his letter & teaching inspired by the Holy Spirit. All of those wonderful expression showed by Paul could only be happened because he had an experience with God in the way to Damascus Ac.9:3-6. This expression not only showed with our mimics, but also with our words and our deeds. A believers that have experience with God will have a freedom in praising and worshipping God. Since the Lord is the Spirit so we must worshipping Him in the Spirit and in truth Jn4.23-24. People around us can see our expressions during the time of praise and worship and that will blessed others. Our expressions in His joy first will bless us and revive our spirit within us, and then bless others as well. Paul and Silas could sing of God’s love even in the midnight inside the prison, and their thankfulness expression broke up the chain in their heart, their mind, their feet, and even induce the great earthquake that brought the keeper of the prison came into salvation together with all of his household Ac.16:25-31.
When our friends notice us as a Christians, they will not ask how many verses we can memorize. The first thing that they can see and feel is about our expression: do we become a thankful and cheerful Christian or do we filled with grumpy, envy, and anger as others. The most effective ways to be witnesses of Christ started with our expression. Whoever have a heavenly joy and peace in the midst of trouble and storm will attract others attention to raise a question: How could you be still and still have abundant peace? Christ inside us will be seen and felt through our expressions.
EXPOSURE & EXPECTATION
Whoever have an experience with God will have a good exposure about God also. Our journey with God will include difficult times as well. But the believers who have a good exposure will always say that God is good all the times, even in the difficult times. Our experience with God will bring better faith and better hope so we can be strong even in the waiting room. It would be lovely to get the answer from God promptly rather than we need to wait more and more. But in fact sometimes we need to wait upon the Lord to answer our problem and our need. Especially in this last days, Christian are being trained to wait patiently upon the Lord. Little baby can not wait any longer for the milk bottle, but adult must be able to wait patiently and even fasting. Christians need to purified, tried, and made white Dn.12:10, however all of this process will require us to be in such normal problem that will not go beyond what we are able 1Co.10:13.
When Daniel pushed to stop praying, Daniel did not afraid at all. His experience with God since Daniel chapter one had produced a better exposure of God in his life so he could choose boldly to keep praying and faced the den of lion rather than stop praying. Heavenly experience will bring a good exposure of God! No matter how big the problem that will come in our life, no matter how long we need to wait upon the Lord, an experienced Christian will be enabled and sustained to always say that God is good. Even when Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego must choose between their faith and a burning fiery furnace, they were enabled to boldly keep their faith because they already knew well that God whom they worship and serve is the living God and He always able to help His people. Although they were not delivered from the burning fiery furnace they will still keep their faith and will not worship the gold image made by the king Dn.3:18. Experienced Christian will have a strong expectation upon God’s words and promises.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.” Daniel 3:16-18
Let’s ask Holy Spirit to bring us in the fresh experience with God. Not only at the past, but also now in the present time, and even in the future. Our experience with Him must be refreshed from time to time, from day by day, so we can always have a fresh expression as well. Our expression must be a blessing to others. Let all people around us can see and feel Jesus through our faith, our hope, our love, our enthusiasm, our words, and our deeds. Fresh experience will also build a better exposure of God in our life and a stronger expectation as well so we can always say that God is good and never faint in waiting His promises to be fulfilled in our life. AMEN.