Empty Me-Chris Sligh
If we really desire to pursue truth, please take the time to listen to the above video and search our hearts before the Lord. To achieve a true spiritual unity in the Lord, we must seek His truth with all our heart.
Deuteronomy 4:29 But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.
Psalms 51:6 says that the Lord desires truth in our innermost being. In other words, the physiologists have observed something already stated in the Bible. We all have defenses, Christians included. There are compartments within our heart that we can open to the Holy Spirit (who is in our innermost being) or close down. It is possible for believers to have an ongoing battle with denial or self imposed theology. We simply need the Holy Spirits light to teach us (John 16:13). To accomplish this, we have to continually put our heart before the Lord and seek His truth. This is called surrender and it has to be ongoing. I truly believe lack of surrender (selling out to the Lord) is the number one stumbling block for Christians, and this is why our theology and purpose in the Lord can be so distorted.
We all are guilty of stumbling in this area, but the key is to learn that we always need to be dependent on His truth. Lets’ look at some examples
1) When we are truly saved and know the Lord, we realize what we used to do (and many old friends still do) was sinful and full of darkness. We see the lack of understanding in the hearts of the lost.
2) Some in the church teach against (or never apply) what the Bible calls the Baptism of the Holy Spirit (as I did for 12 years). For those using this blessing from God, we see the lack of understanding and denial in many Christian hearts toward His important provision for the bride of Christ (see related articles).
3) In many Pentecostal or Charismatic churches we see the exact same problems Paul faced with the Corinthians (I Cor. 12-14). An immature desire to promote self and power, with an almost complete lack of understanding for our Christian walk. The most noted chapter in the Word on love (I Cor. 13) was ‘sandwiched’ between correcting our Pentecostal brothers. Again, an understanding heart will see their lack of Christian maturity.
4) The greatest teaching in the New Testament is hardly ever mentioned, taught or preached (see below). It incorporates our entire purpose in the Lord. Jesus, John the Baptist, Paul, Peter all told us to go out and make this truth known. It is mentioned hundreds of times in the Bible and Satan has effectively kept its’ power and truth (light) under a bowl. When this truth finally becomes real to the church, Satan’s doom will begin. This truth has been hidden because we have not abandoned our empire-or what we call our ministry. (see Kingdom of God-site map)
I believe the Lord is reaching out with His Spirit-waiting for our hearts to turn to Him so He can correctly teach us and bring us together as one. The great stumbling block always seems to be lack of true surrender and seeking His face with all of our heart. As with those that are not saved, you can see the defenses ‘kick in’ when the Lord gives a truth to a Christian who is not willing to surrender his theology –social status in a church-intellectual superiority-the list continues.
I am not here to point fingers, I am here to identify the problem and lock on to the purpose of the Lord in the end times. We cannot do this unless we abandon our agenda for His. Each problem mentioned above is a result of a small or large part of our ‘inner most being’ not being yielded to Gods truth and purpose. We will never understand everything until we are face to face with the Lord, but need to be united in the purpose of His truth. (I Cor. 13:2, Ephesians 5:26-27, Amos 3:7)
When Jesus addressed lack of spiritual understanding, in every case it was the condition of the unwilling heart. (Mark 3:5). We need to realize however that if even a portion of our heart is blocked, this can cause a spiritual darkness to creep in. This can blind us from the His true purpose for the church. God is mercifully, but Paul had to correct Peter and numerous church leaders for distorting the salvation plan of God (Gal 2:11-21). As a Christian, I spoke against the Baptism of the Holy Spirit for 12 years. I was not ‘evil’, but had areas of my heart not open to the truth. In some ways I was zealous for the Lord, but robbed many from provisions they needed from God because a corner of my heart was not willing to listen to someone without a degree from a similar Bible college. I was foolish, I do not want to repeat my error.
God is attempting to bring His church together for catastrophic events that lay ahead. We have been taught we will not be here for the trials from evil men as witnessed in the seals (see -prophecy). This is an attempt by Satan to not only confuse the church, but to make her totally unprepared for the coming events. Yes, Jesus says all the 10 virgins will be sleeping for His coming.(Matt. 25:5). In Rev. 12, one of the greatest victories the church will have is to dethrone an evil illegitimate ruler. This will cause the Kingdom of God to come in His power. We need to be earnestly working toward this event, but because of lack of zeal for His truth, un- scriptural teachings have taught us the rapture will occur before this time (Rev. 12:9-11).
As Christians, we can start by:
1) Surrendering everything that keeps us from pursing a more complete place with Him. Remember, it starts with our defenses in the heart…be serious with the Lord and as the song indicates, have Him show us and remove everything standing in the way of His truth. Pray for a humble heart daily (I Peter 5:5).
2) Receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and apply this provision to your lives (if you have not already done so). The term surrender seems to suggest it can be a heart felt matter and we move on. This is not the case. We have to abandon our old ways when the Lord provides such a foundational provision. Too many pastors and leaders in denominations will decline the Baptism of the Holy Spirit without crying out to Him and totally abandoning their traditions for His Truth. As doctors for eternal life, we have no authority to disregard His ‘medicine’ for those in need. You must be willing to truly surrender-your social life, community legacy, friends, retirement funds etc. for this truth. We must plead for “emptiness” for us to receive His Fullness. If what John the Baptist says is true, and it is- ‘I baptize you with water, He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit’ Mk. 1:8, how dare we replace His special provisions for a desperate world with a polite disagreement. I am not trying to be harsh, I am pleading with you to consider your error so we can be united with the Holy Spirit.
Personal note: It may help to think of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit as an opportunity to experience God in a greater way. Who would not want this for yourself and hungry world needing truth. Among the many qualities of His gift or provision, this one usually tops the list for me.
3) For those who understand and apply what the Bible calls the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, we must again abandon the errors that Paul mentioned in regard to the ‘Pentecostal’ brothers in 1 Cor. 12-14.
They replaced the deep love that Jesus demonstrated with an immature loudness and use of the gifts. As mentioned earlier, he greatest teaching in the Word on God’s love is given while correcting ‘Pentecostals’. As seen in these scriptures, Charismatic brothers are able to apply spiritual gifts, but because of immaturity, the Holy Grace of God is substituted with loudness and confusion. A foundation of pride always seems to be the culprit. We too have to “empty” ourselves to come to the knowledge of the Kingdom of God, and the purpose He has for the Church. The Pentecostal church is equipped, but not moving out to bind up Satan, town by town, nation by nations as the Word directs us to do (Mark 6:7, Matt. 24:14). To accomplish this, pastors and leaders will have to abandon (not desert but surrender) their ministry, personal goals, denomination-everything that will cause them to ‘hang on’ to their personal place with the organized church. The task to accomplish this is tremendous and to date it has not happened. We start however by incorporating the Kingdom of God message in our own hearts-knowing God will wake ‘all’ the churches (virgins) up by shaking them to the purpose of His coming (Matt 25:6). See related articles-Kingdom of God
Jesus is waiting for us to fulfill our commission. It is not just preaching to the world, but conquering Satan by uniting together with One Divine force. God bless you as you pursue this Holy task.