RECEIVING

As ye have received Christ Jesus the Lord.” —Colossians 2:6

I often talk about what happened to me in the summer of 1994. I had been a Christian for twenty one years and had pastored for sixteen. As a matter of fact I considered myself a committed, spirit filled, Pentecostal/charismatic pastor. In retrospect something was wrong and I was out of touch with that. What had changed over the years of ministry was a subtle change. I guess my ministry success had effected me more than I realized. At some point on my journey I had forgotten how to receive from the Lord. The scary thing about that, I didn’t realize I needed to receive, I thought I was doing quite well. What changed all of that? It was seeing Christians in the midst of an outpouring of the Spirit. It was intimidating, infuriating, and convicting at the same time. I needed another touch, I needed to receive again from the Lord. Here is how Charles Spurgeon describes this.

“The life of faith is represented as receiving— an act which implies the very opposite of anything like merit. It is simply the acceptance of a gift. As the earth drinks in the rain, as the sea receives the streams, as night accepts light from the stars, so we, giving nothing, partake freely of the grace of God. The saints are not, by nature, wells, or streams, they are but cisterns into which the living water flows; they are empty vessels into which God pours His salvation. The idea of receiving implies a sense of realization, making the matter a reality. One cannot very well receive a shadow; we receive that which is substantial: so is it in the life of faith, Christ becomes real to us. While we are without faith, Jesus is a mere name to us—a person who lived a long while ago, so long ago that His life is only a history to us now! By an act of faith Jesus becomes a real person in the consciousness of our heart. But receiving also means grasping or getting possession of. The thing which I receive becomes my own: I appropriate to myself that which is given.”

It was a big thing but something that changed quickly and dramatically. It was like turning on a light switch. Suddenly I found myself in the receiving mode and was experiencing huge downloads of the Spirit from heaven. Revival was right under my nose but I couldn’t step in until that adjustment was made. Humble yourself, get in a receiving mode and you too will swept up in God.

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