There is a pastor here in Oslo who was seeking God in his youth. At the age of 27, he was tranported to a service held by the apostle Paul, in a full vision. He was literally present there.
In this service, he saw Paul holding something like an altar call, and he saw people literally run forwards screaming to get hold of the things of God. The presence of God was, in his words, out of this world, and like nothing he has ever experienced before or after.
Now, in our Charismatic day, you can wave your hand and people will scream and run forwards to the pulpit because they have been trained to. But these people were the kind who knew that their decision could literally cost them their lives, and they weren’t about to do anything unless they meant it.
So how do you get hold of the deepest core of the human being, where his longing becomes so strong that it overrides every single thought he has about his entire life and everything in it ?
I believe it takes two things : Depth and reality
Depth has to do with how deeply stirred the human being is by the things of God. Reality has to do with how convicted the human being is of the things of God and their actuality.
Most of what we see today, is a question of shallowness in both departments. People can watch miracles take place all day long, but unless they are convicted of God in their hearts, that is all it is going to be.
In this context, I would like to share with you an experience I had as a Christian, about a year ago. Now I’m used to walking in the Spirit, and being continually engulfed by the glory of God. To a certain extent. It is always a question of “to a certain extent”.
I was watching a movie on television, actually. A woman was playing a guitar and singing a lullaby to her lover. Just a plain ordinary movie. But at that point the reality of the presence of the Spirit filled the room until I was dead certain that it had liquified and was going to threaten my ability to breathe.
I am a terribly unemotional man, especially if I try to be. That is how I approach such things, I don’t add anything of my own. But this was actually so real that you could have switched off the rest of existence, even the television screen itself, and I would hardly have noticed. I was drowning in the glory cloud, and I wasn’t trying to at all. Actually, the glory cloud was the only thing that existed at all, every sensory perception seemed to be a part of the glory cloud, contained within it.
What I got, was both depth and reality. The spirit of the whole thing was so heart drawing and so able to carry me away that I plain died to its charm on the spot. And it was certainly the Spirit of God. The reality factor was….oppressive.
What effect did this have on me ? Well, for starters I ceased to look at this world as real at all, in comparison. I had literally been completely contained within an other reality that is not of this world.
Then the both the charm of the whole thing and the reality factor had driven me virtually insane. In a good way, that is.
From that day on, my heart has pondered every living second on how to get there, permanently.
Depth + reality = irrestible impact
The thing is that this works with sinners as well. I’ve seen sinners drown in a reality and heartswallowing depth of the Spirit, where they have been taught who Christ is directly, who the Spirit is and how he wants to relate to them. I’ve seen them give up every fiber of their bodies to be engulfed in that reality. And I’m talking about extremely strong individuals, the kind who would never end up in a cult.
Sure they fought it, as sinners do. The more they were drawn, the more they fought. Often. Mostly with themselves. Stepping over into the Spirit requires that you give up your life at the cross. That is the only way. That is the standard we hold to. Jesus is the portal, and that is that.
The trick is that once they have thrown themselves into that reality with the bottom of their hearts, their chances of succeeding as Christians is quite astounding. Everything starts there, and there is nothing they could want more, so how could they fail ?
A Norwegian Evangelist