3 Jul 2004

Is what I am experiencing OK?

Submitted by theshovel
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After a particularly tough weekend I met up with a friend in a pub for a talk last night. At the end of it he prayed with me and I was filled with the most amazing feeling..it was beautiful and I did not imagine it. It was like a warm honey flowing through me.... I can only describe it as being filled with the spirit... When it was over I felt so refreshed and on fire for God...I was praising him all the way home...just buzzing on the grace, goodness and love and call of God for my life and the revelation that I was where I am today because of him and his work in my life and his reality...it was amazing!! I've always been so anti that sort of thing..people shaking and crying etc, Id be like get a 'grip man'...but I cant deny what happened. I also feel that God has been answering all my questions about my life within me..what happened, why, where Im going, his call on my life... Is what im experiencing OK???....cause if it is I want more! Ray

It's a wonderful thing to feel refreshed and complete in the reality of the living Christ ... and you're wondering if it's okay, are you? :) I have come to intensely enjoy many such emotional sensations in this reality of being alive to God, though I don't think the emotional sensations equate to the filling of the Spirit.

In the reality of our being filled with God's Spirit we might find ourselves often in the place where our feelings are painful, and even in this I have found myself thankful for the "experience"! haha! I think the real concern is found when we end up seeking only for the "good" feelings ... as if they are the "filling". It's easy to fall into a formulaic approach in hopes of reproducing the experience that you can never ever get back again.

Life often feels lonley and uncertain and scary and I am plauged by doubt, regret and longings for her all the time but it sure beats the sorry excuse for a life I was living before. Ray

Never forget that the powerful emotions that recently hit you are not isolated from what you describe above, for they are all part of the overall "experience". I encourage you to treasure the times of emotional dulldrums and the painful aspects of life in the same manner as the "good" experiences, for you will find that they compliment one another. Don't expect your next good feeling to hit you in the same way or especially not from the same set up (as in after a prayer, etc). I have been blown away numerous times while watching a movie, or witnessing a sunrise, or after having been emotionally drained, etc. I have often received such refreshment while answering an email or sitting around discussing the reality of Christ in a small (or large) group ... though I have also found a total absence of that hoped for sensation in the same. There is just no formula ... there is only life!!

Love, Jim

Comments

oh my gosh! that was GREAT! soooo ENCOURAGING!!  :) i especially love the following: “I have come to intensely enjoy many such emotional sensations in this reality of being alive to God, though I don’t think the emotional sensations equate to the filling of the Spirit.” “I encourage you to treasure the times of emotional dulldrums and the painful aspects of life in the same manner as the “good” experiences, for you will find that they compliment one another.” “There is just no formula … there is only life!!” golly gee … i should just quote the WHOLE reply to ray. it was soooo AWESOME!! thank you sooo much for sharing that! :)
theshovel's picture

I am so glad it meant something to you. :)

Jim said : “In the reality of our being filled with God’s Spirit we might find ourselves often in the place where our feelings are painful, and even in this I have found myself thankful for the “experience”! haha! I think the real concern is found when we end up seeking only for the “good” feelings … as if they are the “filling”. It’s easy to fall into a formulaic approach in hopes of reproducing the experience that you can never ever get back again.” -Jim Minker Jim, I want to clear something up here. Above in what you wrote here it could be easily misunderstood that you are saying something you are not. I imagine some will misread it while a select few would not. Some might view what you are saying here as you saying that the feelings that come along with the fleshly minds ideas are ‘from God’ or a part of the ‘filling of the spirit’. In other words because you said the word ‘painful’ emotions that what you are possibly meaning is that CONDEMNING and guilty and fearful thoughts/feelings are all part of the life of Christ too. But, they are NOT. In fact most of what we come to struggle with and in is identifying the bondage we are coming out of in this. Somehow we just can not accept that the abundant life Jesus promised us was one of constant worry, guilt and fear and shame. It confuses us when we hear that we should lean on those feelings as if they are from the Lord! In the I.C. we were actually being taught strait out that this IS God. However, God DOES cause ALL things[even condemning feelings] to work together for our good.
theshovel's picture

Hello Adam,

Yes, I'd hate to think that someone might reinterpret anything I've said about feelings and end up with the conclusion that feelings of condemnation come from God's Spirit. Feelings, after all, are complex reactions within our bodies that are based upon various and random stimuli, especially including our perceptions, expectations, and beliefs. In relation to feelings of condemnation (those we often attribute as coming from God), we have to ask ourselves if our emotions are simply responding according to our false beliefs and perceptions of God. In other words, if I believe that God expects me to not eat popcorn on Wednesdays, and then I do, I will most likely feel bad about it and conclude that the feeling of condemnation came from God.

Ah yes, but what if we really sin ... shouldn't we feel remorse, even to the point of feeling God's condemnation upon us? My friends, this whole mindset with its setups and conclusions arises from fleshly reasoning. You see, the logic of the world is what brings about the kind of examination that scrutinizes and condemns. This is the thinking that attempts to establish the degree of sorrow, remorse, or feelings of condemnation that should correspond with specific offenses. This is the reasoning that trips us up and keeps us in the cycles of sin and condemnation that we use to compare ourselves one against another. This is the mentality by which we have accepted levels of condemnation as part of the Christian experience.

But even here, God is working in and through us so that he will take even those feelings of condemnation that we have projected upon him and work them for our good. For he is working to cause us to recognize that there is absolutely no condemnation for you who are in Christ. Let me tell you, it is a wonderful thing to realize that it was not God who was bringing condemnation upon you. The relief that comes from having the weight of a false gospel hanging over you is incredible. Real life comes out of this freedom.

Jim

Jim, Your response is powerful. I’d like to mention too though that the fleshly[Legal] mind will of course take your statement about having no condemnation and use it as way to JUSTIFY hurting another brother and then having no remorse whatsoever over it.[the hard heart of the law] This too is the mind of the flesh. For though there may be no more law involved with anything to do with us who are in Christ, there certainly is Love. And of course we can turn love into law oh so easily too. But! We rely on the spirit within us when all this madness comes at us with it’s legal interpretation. For we know it from within, this love from God. We rely on His grace through everything, even when it appears that we aren’t loving or are loving. He shows it all for what it truly is, for His light reveals it to us at the proper time. Because there is no condemnation, this is the place we rest with Him…it’s a good life.
theshovel's picture

Yes, you are right, for the fleshly mind takes everything and perverts it in order to conform it to itself. It's a good thing we are no longer of the flesh but of the Spirit, isn't it? :)

Jim

It’s so true, tis true. Always present that legal mind. What a wonderfully needed Saviour.

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