Sitting With Christ
Before we experience being seated with Him in heavenly experience, we need to experience sitting at His feet. While I have heard many approaches to leading people to the Lord and also many approaches to spiritual growth, I believe it comes down to this. Do you know Jesus Christ? And are you growing in Him, in grace and truth, and the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ? Like Mary in Bethany, do you take the time to put everything aside? Or are you anxious about many things that ultimately do not matter at all? I still deal with the cares of this world. And my main weapon against it all is this. “Father I cast all my care on you for you care for me.” Yes we need such weapons for we are in a battle. The tyranny of the world and time must be overcome.
It is essential to carve out time to simply listen to the Lord. I learned that a long time ago. It works differently for me now. We have seasons and changes in our lives. It was so with the disciples. I was recently reminded of these words through Isaiah (Is. 50:4), “He wakens me morning by morning. He wakens my ear to hear as a disciple.” Some believers still struggle with the concept that God speaks to us directly. If they cannot see it in the written word, they are skeptical. They are led of the Lord but often seemingly held back by tradition. That thought may be my own filter. Often I find our communication gets bogged down in semantics, the meaning of words. You know how two people can say the same words and mean something very different.
I have found the Lord speaks to me in a language I can understand. We also learn His language. That brings us to think of the tongues of angels, heavenly languages. It was this spiritual experience that encouraged me in the miraculous, the very spontaneous interventions of God. The tongues of fire fell suddenly on that day of Pentecost. I already knew the wonder of the revelation of Christ in me, registering in my soul by the Spirit. I had been filled with the Spirit. Without any drama, I asked for the experience of tongues privately and immediately received it as a mature language. I have learned that the Spirit works differently in every situation and to never try to put my specific experience on anyone else, nor try to copy theirs.
As a wise old saint once said, “Don’t try and walk in my shoes. You might get bunions.” The Spirit gives as He wills, not as we may desire. And Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “Do all speak in tongues?” (1 Cor. 12:30) Let us not argue about such things, rather pray for and build one another up in our spirits, our inner man. The Lord Jesus Himself met people uniquely. The woman at the well, each of the disciples, Nicodemus. They each had a personal encounter with Jesus. So it is with every experience with the Holy Spirit, and with every person. He comes and reveals something fresh, or He gives an experience like tongues, or healing or wisdom or knowledge. It is often according to a need but it is His wise and wonderful response which may not be what we expected. At Pentecost, they did not specifically expect tongues of fire and speaking in other languages. That was God’s choice.
I believe heaven broke in and they all in that room broke into heaven. It was not by their effort, or by some earthly, natural means. They responded to what Jesus told them, to go to Jerusalem and wait. I think there was a great hush the moment before the Spirit fell and surged into and through them. I read a book by Harry Foster, a man in direct fellowship with T. Austin-Sparks, where he wrote on this. He was addressing the need to be still in our seeking after God and looking for spiritual gifting, or revival, or harvest, or whatever we desire from God. First we must hear what He says, and respond. Those in that upper room were responding to Jesus. They were not planning a strategy for the Lord to move. The Lord Jesus gave them simple clear instructions and they followed through.
As the Lord Himself said, I do nothing except what I see and hear the Father do and say. May it be the same for us. Seated with Him in the heavens, in the very throne room of God, the mighty One, the Lord of hosts, may we be listening for His voice and going as He sends. He dispatches angel armies on behalf of those who follow His lead. As the angel said to Joshua, “As the commander of the army of the Lord, I have now come.” As the Lord raised up Joshua, who had prepared for 40 years, let us follow the Lamb as He leads us. Let us continue to look and listen to that One on the throne.