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21 June, 2013

The Ministry Of The Inner Life - Part 1

Yesterday’s post (June 20) was done in preparation for today’s post. The reason being that in both Devotionals (June 20 & June 21) Oswald Chambers is talking about the inner life.

There was a time, reading about these things especially June 20th devotional, if I want to be honest, I have to say they used to get on my nerves.  For instance, when you read the June 20 devotional, I used to feel the author was all over the place a little bit. Now I know,  all that Oswald Chambers is talking about is related to the ministry of the inner life. The ministry of the inner life is the whole of Christianity, it is where life resides, it is where we commune with Him, it is where we live and walk. It is proof of your Salvation because it differentiates you and me from the other religions out there which all, offer some sort of spirituality kind of thing. So, the inner life where our spirit and God’s spirit intersects, it is indeed “true Christianity.”

I used to be scared of the inner life simply because I started my walk with God when I was part of a conservative Baptist Church and they wanted to have nothing to do with God’s manifestation in us Christians. It was so bad that, after I was filled with the Holy Spirit, which is such a memorable day for me, during Church services, my worship time would be so filled with the Spirit that I would be trembling and trying very hard to control myself. It got so bad that I prayed for the Holy Spirit not to meet me there or perhaps to ease up a bit. “This is truly sad isn't? ” I remember after I prayed the Holy Spirit to stop meeting me in the Church, the only answer that I received was something like “you silly goose, the power you are feeling has nothing to do with the Church but it is in you, you bring me there with you”.  Now, you cannot read this statement without seeing  how stupid and ignorant I used to be. Most of my ignorance was due to the fact that I was walking a walk where I had no mentor, and no one to share those things with. Someone who would have been there already with Him and knew exactly what I was experiencing.  Worse, I never heard a sermon about how the spiritual growth works and what it was about. Over time I learned from the Holy Spirit, yes, this is a lonely path, but you are not alone my child.   

Sadly, the Church leadership was scared of any kind of spiritual manifestation coming from the flock, because way too many so called Christians out there have been using the Spirit’s manifestation fraudulently. From faking speaking in tongues to faking healing others, faking the gift of the spirit to the point we ascribe titles to ourselves without being consecrated by Him. And if you have been watching television you know the list goes on as people are caught up into doing things to feed their ego and to some, their wallets too.  As I walked in the Spirit, He took my fear away. 

He taught me while the leaders of my Church are right in their assessment that most Christians out there are abusing what they think is the power of the Holy Spirit, but those leaders are equally wrong to let themselves be led by the spirit of fear to the point where everyone in the Church is affected by that mentality. He taught me, that as long as one walk in the Spirit, one has nothing to fear of the manifestation of the Spirit, simply because He is in charge of one’s life. After all, if you have the true Spirit at work in you, then you have the Spirit of wisdom, the Spirit of discernment, and the Spirit of light who is stronger than the spirit of darkness, why then should I fear? What the leaders did not know, if they themselves walked in the Spirit, there should not have been any reason to be scared of the Spirit's manifestation in other people, because the Holy Spirit would have taught them who is real and who was not.  After all, it is His job.

The ministry of the inner life will be your biggest ministry as you walk the Christian path. Because it is alive, and it is literally larger than life, it does not die and it does not get old, and keep rejuvenating on a daily basis. It swallows up the self, it takes charge of you, it fellowships with God in a way that makes you want to go see Him directly and be done with this life on earth. The inner life is the life, that the life of Christ living in you is constantly working on. It is the regenerated you, it is Christ being formed in you as He keeps growing bigger than the container you are. (Galatians 4:19.)

Even though sometimes we do not feel that we are making any advancement in our spiritual life, yet if God shows you amazingly how He is feeding, His life to your own inner life, you never doubt for a moment that you are growing constantly. The feeding of a baby in the womb of a mother is not felt, yet the child is being fed and strengthens daily, moment by moment. This inner life is so big, that we could live hundreds of years, while we grow every day, yet God would still have a lot to do within us. Because, the inner life is the life that He is conforming to His and since there is an unreachable vastness between Him and us, there will always be work to do. It is the reality of your redemption which is the true Gospel of God. It is a life that goes beyond common sense and reason. It is a life of faith and trust where the Word of God, along with the Holy Spirit found no limitation in the host, to move freely and work within. It is the holy life we are called to live out, and it is also about being prepared for eternity. Brothers and sisters the only end to our preparation for heaven and the only end to our spiritual growth is in our mind and the limitation of what we are willing to receive from Him.

On a side note, I know some of you will not feel comfortable with the fact that I said there is an unreachable vastness between Him and us. It is good that you believe the cross of Christ bridges the gap, and I agree wholeheartedly because only His blood can washes us clean, but that’s not the same thing as the vastness between us and Him that I am referring to.  One learns about the vastness that separates us and Him and will always separate us and Him even when we are in heaven, by going forward with Him while putting no restrictions on the Holy Spirit. I learned about the vastness that separated me from Him, the hard way and by then I was exhausted in the wilderness. As you grow with Christ, you get to that stage where there is a oneness with the triune God, but God the Father has become so big in your life that you can literally see it with the eyes of your heart, which is also the ministry of the inner life. He becomes so big in your life that you can see why the universe is way too small to contain Him.  Only then you can understand why He holds the universe in His hand and it is no longer something you say. 

As you cultivate your oneness with Him, He does not take that knowledge and picture away from you. He is holier than your mind can imagine, and His love is not only as big and mysterious as an abyss, but, the intensity alone is suffocating that you cannot remain there for ten seconds, in human time. One thing for sure, as one learns to see God in His majesty, one learns to heed to Paul’s word in Philippians 3:10-18. Once you can see Him with the eyes of your heart, the magnitude of this being who, by His grace has chosen to bring us into a relationship with Him, you give up your idea of what a saint should look like and take on God’s standards because you realize that your idea is totally irrelevant to God’s.  I could go on and on and on. But, I hope this explains what I mean by the vastness between Him and us.