Okay, here’s the thing, a lot of Christians, including myself, don’t believe enough about the immanency of God, the power of God, the love of God, the faithfulness of God etc, etc.
Yet, we love Him, we long to “Do better” be a different kind of Christian and always see our “better” self as hugely different to what we currently are like. Or even worse, trundle on vaguely unsatisfied but managing to keep the balance of just enough God stuff not to feel too condemned.
To be honest, because of my experience of a powerful conversion experience, I’ve had an abnormal Christian walk. It’s been all about extremes. It’s been messy; it’s been annoyingly confrontational to those close to me. I remember the Lord telling me, (not audibly, I hasten to add!) that I see my Christian life as a mess. He agreed!! But He went on to say that it wasn’t my fault, He had touched me and I was never going to be the same, I was always going to be hungry and searching until I saw Him face to face. In the 25 years of my walk the consistent theme has been the awareness of my need to put Jesus first in my life. That awareness has changed in terms of how that’s worked out but the truth of it has become stronger and stronger to me. I believe that the key to living an overcoming life is to focus on Jesus as the truth, the way and the life. He sets us on fire!
The mechanics of our faith, prayer, bible reading, worship and fellowship should flow out from the catalyst of that love experience. Also we need God encounters; we are built for God encounters. Keeping yourself in the love of God, because of our born again status, is positional, wherever we feel we are in terms of our faith. God’s love has been poured into our hearts (Romans 5:5) to be activated we need to believe it, to believe it we need to experience the love of God.
We need a God encounter. Great. How do we have a God encounter? Good question!
Well, for starters, desire it, or desire to desire it, or, truthfully, desire to desire to desire it. I mean tell God what He already knows, your need of his touch, your need of His presence. These things are yours already by inheritance as God’s child.
Fall in love with Jesus! How? Good question!
Be still and focus on Him, or talk to yourself about Him, do you believe He’s alive? Good, that’s the foundation. Read testimonies, lots and lots. If you don’t like reading, watch Youtube videos of amazing love encounters with Jesus. Key in phrases like:”Amazing love encounters with Jesus”. Build your faith daily. A truth that might help you:
YOU’RE ALREADY DEEPLY, ETERNALLY IN LOVE WITH JESUS!!! You have the Holy Spirit inside you; he’s a huge fan of Jesus!! (In a scouse accent “Calm down, calm down!!”
Hang on Mark! That’s not grace, you’re bashing us over the head with law, this is works based Christianity!
OK here’s the health warning:
All the processes I’ve suggested come out of the desire to know and encounter God, not perform to impress Him. He’s already impressed with Jesus.
If we never did one more thing for God, he wouldn’t love us any less, He is love and we are His children.
Also as Galations 2:20 says “It’s no longer I that live but Christ lives in me”
Wow!! Your `I` is Jesus. That means that you’re not trying to bring God down towards you, He’s in you by His Spirit, He’s the Vine you’re the branch, you are a temple of the Holy Spirit, you’re not the point!! Hoorah!
So all the above truths counteract the idea of striving, we seek the face of Jesus from a position as a loved child desiring to encounter Jesus and the Father heart of God!
Falling in love with God and keeping our life focused on Him and encountering God supernaturally is, I believe, our birthright and is available. But we have a part to play.
We ask God, like a very hungry child, to meet with us.
Falling in love with Jesus comes out of realising and experiencing His love for us. You can’t just try to believe. It’s the Father’s role to give good gifts to His children. But you will make time when you realize that where you are now is His fertile ground for you. Everything is spiritual, there’s no separation, practice the presence of God in your most mundane times. As mentioned before, start with the most basic and fundamental truths, Jesus is alive, He dwells inside you by the Holy Spirit. The difference between trying to believe that God loves you, in order to be transformed by focusing on yourself, will end in disillusionment and despair. Looking to Him to reveal that truth is the only way. Encountering the love of God through seeing Jesus as the truth, the way and the life, declaring it, keeping those truths always in the forefront will enable you to experience the power of God.
“Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God”. (Romans 10:17) The word of God, the bible, yes, the bible. With the Holy Spirit, always with the Holy Spirit, read it, eat it, digest in, it will set you alight. You can’t see it as just a book, you just can’t. See it as the most foundational, basic God encounter. Don’t make it a must or should do, it’s a want to! It won’t impress God in the slightest but it will bless your cotton socks off as you begin to be transformed by the renewing of your mind!
This will build your faith.
Prayer, oh gosh!! Yes prayer, the one thing that the enemy wants you to disregard, see as irrelevant. He knows. “How can little old me affect anything through prayer?” Prayer is massive, absolutely massive. Start small, but regular. Build yourself up in anticipation, read books, watch testimonies of amazing answers to prayer. Prayer is encountering God. Start in your sphere, your world, record answers. Pray with people, where two are three are gathered, that’s where He is. Again, this is not to win Christian brownie points, it’s communication and the chance to supernaturally effect the Kingdom for God’s purposes! Not to do your duty as a Christian!
Worship is the atmosphere of heaven. Some of the most powerful God encounters come through worship. If you don’t like sung worship, no problem. As you fall more in love with Jesus you will. No, you just will! Saturate your home environment, if you’re able with worship, it will change the spiritual atmosphere.
So, to summarise: You want a closer walk with God? Fall in love with Jesus. You want supernatural power in your Christian life? Fall in love with Jesus. You want the answer to your life’s problems? Fall in love with Jesus. And then: Keep falling more in love with Jesus: the way, the truth and the life.
"A Mouthful of Mark"
Mark Yelland-Brown is a lover of Jesus, worshipper and teacher, Mark has a passion to see people experience the presence and power of the Father and grow in intimacy with Jesus.
If you haven't yet made a decision about who Jesus is, it is the singular most important decision you will ever make. To help you decide, this is what Jesus said about Himself (Jesus' words in red):
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6
"Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father."John 14:9
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."Matthew 11:28
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven."Matthew 16:15-17
"I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”John 6:51
The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”John 4:25-26
Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”John 6:28-29