(Original radio broadcast from May 8, 1998)
Today we would like to discuss the singlemost important issue in your life and mine! Does this arouse your curiosity? Should any ordinary man make such bold statement? We would like to invite you to stay tuned, and answer this question for yourself!
It is becoming increasingly evident that we are heading into a time of great expansion for the Kingdom of God. Pressures from every side are moving against the people of God, and these pressures must of necessity force us out of our comfort zones. Passivity and complacency have captivated us for much too long, while our enemy has continued to thrive in this earth.
Our Great Commander and Chief is presently mobilizing His forces. The question we must ask ourselves today is, will we be in that number?
No effort will be made here to incite fear into your hearts, and none will be necessary. Many of you are already overcome with fear for the days that are upon us, but our only purpose is to instill hope! Our hope is found in only one place and one person. That person is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself!
The crucial question of this hour is not if you should move into the country and hoard provisions, or invest your money in the gold market. If the Spirit of the Lord directs you to do certain things, by all means obey Him! But as I listen and observe the conversations of my fellow Christians, and even my own words, I am forced to ask this haunting question: Where do you and I stand in our relationship with Jesus Christ!
Many of us have been walking with the Lord for years and yet finding ourselves being shaken by daily events. We then begin to look to Christian leaders in church, and on the radio and TV, and these in turn point to specialists of every field. There are Christian psychologist, and counselors, doctors and scientists, all of whom have much wisdom and insight to offer us. But there is also the great danger of our ever learning, while never coming to the full knowledge of the Truth!
But what is the Truth? The question should rather be: Who is the Truth? Bible believing Christians have within their grasp the one greatest resource that has ever been given to mankind, but how we fail to avail ourselves of it! We have the most awesome and marvelous privilege of KNOWING THE LORD JESUS CHRIST intimately, but who has the time for that?
There are so many important projects to be involved in and works to accomplish! There are so many things to possess and pleasures to experience! There are so many problems to solve and answers to be sought! Who has the time to SEEK THE LORD?
Brothers and sisters, the present time, and every time, will always be the proper time to seek the Lord! Are any of us so familiar, so spiritually mature that we have actually outgrown our need to maintain an intimate relationship with Him? And what are we actually talking about, but finding our pleasure in and actually giving pleasure to the most awesome being in the universe! He is our Creator and Lord! He is our friend and lover! He has redeemed us from the curse, and brought us forth from the graveyard of fallen humanity! Why should we NOT desire Him! Why should we fail to seek Him first above all things — the One from Whom we draw our very breath and life?
May the Lord Jesus Christ use this entire broadcast today to draw us near unto Him! May we all receive a fresh revelation of His glory, which will fill us with an all-consuming desire and passion for Him!
If you are finding it difficult to love others — seek Him. If you are reluctant to give and sacrifice for His Kingdom — seek Him. If you lack the energy to even perform the simple and normal duties of life — seek Him!
If you are having trouble paying your bills — seek Him. If your children are giving you problems — seek Him. If your marriage is in danger — seek the Lord!
How can I suggest this course of action? Because I have found myself in each one of these situations, and have consistently proven by the Word of God that He is a rewarder of them that believe that HE IS, and who diligently SEEK HIM!
Be advised that we are not counseling anyone to seek rewards! We are exhorting one another to SEEK the Lord! In Him we find our purpose in life, as well as the means to succeed in that purpose. Any other goal or venture is vain — absolutely worthless, and not worth the waste of your time or God’s time in prayer for!
As in any relationship, our intimacy with Christ is progressive. There may be certain aspects of His Life and Nature that we have already fully experienced in our walk, but we must never settle down right there. One of the greatest testimonies of all time is found in the life of Paul and in his letter to the Philippians:
But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Phil 3:7-14).
We would do well to adopt the attitude of the great apostle, Paul. With all the revelation he possessed, the mighty miracles he performed, and the countless souls he won to the Lord, the fire of his passion was not quenched! He knew there was even more of the Lord Jesus Christ to know! From the pain of His sufferings, to the joy of seeing His children walk in Truth! All of it was real, for Christ is ever real and alive unto us, and the challenge to live as He Lived remains ever before us!
We too must press towards the mark for the prize of the High calling of God in Christ Jesus! We too must hunger and thirst for His resurrection life above all things! Knowing that eventually every knee will bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father, our greatest desire is to know His Lordship in our lives today!
There is a freedom from fear and anxiety for one who knows the Lord. But there is a need for instruction in this area. Far too many understand Christianity as a list of do’s and don’t’s, or as a constant pursuit of Biblical knowledge. More of us need to understand how to correctly use the scriptures as a means for our spiritual growth. Jesus confronted some Bible scholars of His day for knowing the scriptures, but not realizing that they spoke of Him. We have a tendency to pick and choose the Scriptures that reinforce our own ideas and beliefs, but wholesome teaching involves the whole counsel of God. And Satan would love to keep our thoughts focused on theology, rather than our relationship with the Living Christ!
Man is not to live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds out of the Mouth of God. As sincere babes, we are to desire the milk of the Word, which feeds our inner man. As we grow in thought and practice, the meat of the Word becomes palatable unto us. In this we obtain the strength to perform the duties of a mature son in his Father’s House.
Before we close this teaching, we hope to leave you with both the desire for a deeper walk with Christ, and some direction that will aid you in your pursuit of Him.
First of all, you must know that it is the Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom. This whole plan was His idea! He gave Himself to reconcile you unto Him! Therefore we must understand that He is ready and willing for you to know Him experientially. He is actively drawing you into Himself at this very moment!
He has given us the Scriptures, the Gospel, His servants and the power of the Holy Spirit to bring us into completeness in Him! We even have an open line of communication unto Him in our prayers! Christ has torn away the veil, that we may boldly come before the throne of Grace!
All of these gifts must be received by us.
James 1:21-22: Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
There is no doubt that the Scriptures can be intimidating and challenging unto us, both mentally and spiritually. But that is not our concern. When we spend time in study and meditation on the Scriptures, our attitude is one of meekness and receptiveness. When we meet with the hard sayings, and difficult challenges, we must continue to receive with meekness the ENGRAFTED WORD. You see, this is how we become doers of the Word! The Word of God becomes a part of us — whether we mentally understand it our not!
The Scriptures become a means for us to receive the Life of God into our bodies! They also can convey the wonderful revelation of the Person of Christ unto us, as the Mighty Presence of the Holy Spirit enlightens our study of them!
Always remember. Whatever Christian discipline we practice –whether it is prayer, fasting, Bible study, church meetings; whatever offerings we give unto the ministry and the needy; whatever services we perform for humanity — in all things our ultimate desire is to KNOW HIM, and there is a beauty to be discovered in every one of these activities when we see Him in them!
This ONE THING I DO, forgetting those things that are behind me, reaching forth unto those things that are before, I press towards the mark for the prize of the upward call of God IN CHRIST JESUS!
There are more than a million distractions both within us and from without us today, that strive for our attention. How easy it has become for us to simply forget you, your love, your life, and your purpose for our lives. Give us a new and fresh revelation of your Son, and His glorious Bride, the Church. And fill us with a consuming passion and love for you.
Our commitment today is to keep our faces towards you. Give us the strength to follow through in this commitment in turning away from any idols that have found places in our hearts. We lay our hopes, dreams, and fears before you. We lay our careers, hobbies and even our families on your altar.
Accept our bodies as living sacrifices unto you, and also our love which is merely a response to your great Love for us. Keep us on this path, for our trust is only in You.
In Jesus Lovely Name,