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Building up believers and the New Testament church

The Hope of Glory

The Way Forward

While our souls may thrill at the truth we are considering, there may be questions lingering in our minds. What is the way forward? What shall we do? If this is a work of God, do we just stand by and wait for Him to complete the work? I believe these questions are valid and that they must be answered. God has involved man in a very intimate way. His method is men and women filled with the Holy Spirit. We were made in the image of God and His purpose is fulfilled us. If we want to enter into this purpose of God (and I trust we all do), we must clearly see our part.

First, are we hungry and thirsty to experience more of the fellowship that God has opened to us? Jesus extends Himself to those who desire more. If we are satisfied where we are, Jesus has nothing more to offer. He does not force us. This is a love relationship, and He invites us to come and partake of His love. God is love, and love is to be experienced. Do we desire?

Perhaps our desire has grown cold. We have let other things enter into our lives, or found fulfillment in something other than God. Are we willing to reckon with this? Do we see that what we have given ourselves to is passing away? The pleasures of sin are but for a season. Our senses are thrilled, but it passes quickly and leaves emptiness behind. Jesus bids us turn from this world and what it offers, and come to Him. We cannot deliver ourselves, but we can turn to the one who can deliver us.

As we have already seen, the grace of God is real. It does something divine in us. "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works" (Titus 2:11-14). We are saved by grace through faith. Are we willing to come and partake of this grace?

Perhaps our spiritual senses have become dulled. Here is the rebuke given to the Hebrews: "For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil" (Hebrews 5:12-14).

If we have received the Spirit, but have not been exercised in the Spirit, our spiritual senses are dull. We may be unaware of the anointing within, insensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. In this place we cannot discern good and evil. Only God is good, so "good" is everything that brings us into and keeps us in relationship with Him. Evil is all that is outside of God, so everything in this world that pulls us down to a natural level and keeps us satisfied with things that are passing away is evil, even if it is not the sordid things we often associate with the term "evil." If we are aware of a God who dwells within, and if we give attention to the anointing, the Holy Spirit will put His finger on that which hinders our fellowship with God.

What is our part in this? I believe one of the most important elements in developing this spiritual sensitivity is taking time for intimate communion and fellowship with God. We spend time with the One we love. It is not forced. We want to get to know Him. We cannot do what only God can do, but we can make ourselves available to God for Him to work. We lay aside the "evil" things that are waging war against our soul, the things that fill our mind and pull at our desires. We can turn from this world to Jesus. We can sit at His feet to hear His word. As we draw near to God, He will draw near to us. He will bring us into this fellowship of which we have been speaking. He will apply the eye salve to the eyes of our heart, that we may see. He will shed light on our pathway. He will not turn away the one who comes to Him in sincerity, bowed low in utter humility. God will meet us. Are we willing?

Every revelation of the glory of God includes a place of response. This is our part: not to find our own way, but to respond to God. The grace of God will be there to enable us to respond. Every response works more of Christ in us and brings us to a new place in our relationship. In this new place we can see more, and our fellowship with God and with others is brought to a higher ground. The oneness we have been brought into is expressed in an even fuller way. We experience the glory of God, and our desire to experience more of that glory is increased. We are being changed from glory to glory, and God is glorified in the midst of His church.