Monday, September 22, 2008

A Righteous Frustration!!

I go through pangs of guilt every now and then that I don't feel happier with my Christian life. The last couple of Sundays I have been at the gym when "Songs of Praise" has been on and I've felt guilty at the unnerving spectacle of the row upon row of Christians singing wonderful songs but with dead-pan faces. Why aren't we as Christians happier? Or more joyful? Of course I cannot judge those who appear on "Songs of Praise" on their expressions alone. To be sure some of them may have joy inexpressible in their hearts - but the Bible does seem to suggest that out of the mouth will flow the affairs of the heart. If we had that genuine joy inexpressible in response to the touch of a divine God then the world would know.

I earnestly believe that. The problem then with a miserable Church is not God - but us. We haven't encountered Him and the revelation of His grace as we should. John Piper talked about the way to get white-hot for God is to get near to His white-hot heart! I don't think the problem is getting orthodoxy right but getting zeal for His house right and allowing it to consume us. To be sure Todd Bentley had problems with matters of orthodoxy but no one can deny his zeal and the impact he had and I believe will continue to have.

All that said, I still feel guilty and think should I heed my parents counsel and "settle"? I was thrilled therefore to find the following in my new book that I am enjoying; "The Supernatural Power of a Transformed Mind".

"I have come to see that the normal Christian life means miracles, spiritual intervention and revelation. It means peace, joy, love, a sense of well-being and purpose - all these traits that ellude so many Christians. Written into the spiritual DNA of every believer is an appetite for the impossible that cannot be ignored or wished away. The Holy Spirit, the very Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us, making it impossible for us to be content with what we can only see, hear, touch, taste and smell. Our hearts know there is much more to life than what we perceive with our senses; we are spiritually agitated by the lack of connection with the realm of the supernatural".

What a sense of freedom! What a sense of joy and relief! Suddenly I see a diagnosis that the problem is not that I and many others are just miserable and frustrated - but that it is within our spiritual DNA! Bill Johnson mentioned again this theme that seems to keep coming up and up - that the SAME Holy Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead is WITHIN us! How can we then not expect signs and wonders and miracles and interventions in our lives?


lydia joy said...

I will give a resounding Amen to that!!!

(does this mean you already finished Heidi Baker's book or do you book skip like I do :)

Dan Bowen said...

I book skip (but I have finished Heidi Baker's book too!).

janelle said...

Wow, keep pumping out the great posts Dan! A transformed mind and heart SHOULD transform the way we worship.

Dan Bowen said...

Aw thanks Janelle - you're such an amazing encourager!

Sheila said...

Spurgeon called depression a "prophet in rough clothing". For him, it seemed a season of depression preceeded a breakthrough. Dan, I pray this time of struggle is just that to you - the dark that comes before the Day Star visits you!

Having done all to stand...STAND THEREFORE. I can see, now, why the Lord told me to tell you, "Never...never...never...never...NEVER give up."

Dan. God has given you a teaching gift. I know...I know...I've heard you. You don't see yourself as a "teacher", and perhaps you'll not teach in some churchey conventional sense. Here is what I know: the man and the message have to become one in the same. Let God take you through the fire - others will need to learn from you.

II Peter 1:5, Dan...II Peter 1:5. It says, "And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge..."

The connotation to the idea of "adding knowlege to your virtue and virtue to your faith", is that the knowlege is added at your own expense.

YES - Christ died to give all things pertaining to life and Godliness to us. But there is that sense where the lessons can feel very, very expensive. At least, MY knowlege of the grace of God, my experience of this vast grace, has come against unbelievable odds, great "expense", and through much tribulation. I have had to violently take it by force. If I had time, the stories I could tell you...

Uh...I've heard my husband say so many times, "God gets to my heart by going up my keester."

ACK! Sorry. It's graphic, but I think you, too, can identify.

Never give up, Dan. Don't quit. Keep starting over. New mercies. Clean slate, each morning.

Grace and peace, "mighty man of valor"!

Dan Bowen said...

Wow ... gosh .... :) Thanks to you too Sheila! My word ... I grew up with 7 sisters and it was my lot in life to be surrounded by women who at that point gave me advice. Now I am so blessed to be surrounded by women who give encouragement! Thank you!