Joined to the Head Part 3

In my first few years of walking with Jesus I read a lot of A. W. Tozer, a prophetic voice to a generation and a friend of Jesus. In an article where he talked about drawing nearer to the Father in intimacy he said one consequence is, “Others may, you cannot.” The idea being that the closer we draw to the Father the more the ways of the world fall away and our path becomes narrower.

He has built into our relationship with Him a structure that carries weight in the spirit realm. The closer we come the less we care about other things.

In the New Testament the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle points to the throne of grace in the New Testament and the main theme of the book of Hebrews is explaining Jesus role as priest of the heavenly tabernacle compared to the earthly one of the old covenant. The invitation of our new High Priest is to come boldly.  

16  Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV)

We are called to come boldly because we come in Jesus righteousness, not our own. At the same time while the writer of Hebrews again talks about our freedom to boldly enter in because of Jesus sacrifice (Heb. 10:19-22), he also warns us of the danger of presumption (Heb. 10:26-27) and says further.

31  It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Hebrews 10:31 (NKJV)  

In the encouragement to enter in, something we can do at any time, there is an encouragement to be more sensitive to His presence in the call to serve Him (Heb. 12:28-29).

One way we serve, as we are joined to the head, is pursuing a growing and deepening sensitivity to His presence. This is something we can regularly pray for and pursue. For example, a fruit of pursuing this sensitivity it that while writing this there was a sense of a call to simply sit with Him and experience His presence so I stopped writing and did that. No flashing lights, no great emotional experience, just a deep awareness of His refreshing presence.  

This past Sunday at church there was a sense in the spirit of a prophetic mantle hovering over the congregation. I came into agreement with His purpose and prayed for it to be released. Perhaps others did as well. At the end of the service the pastor had an altar call for people to lay things down that were getting in the way in their relationship with Jesus. An unusual event there and it did not happen in the second service. This is shared simply to illustrate what can happen when we recognize we are joined to the head and seek to walk in that reality.

A key to this is pursuing His face and asking Him to deepen our sensitivity to His presence and calling and believing that He will. This is how He has structured our relationship with Him. He has much to share but wants us to value and pursue it. Let us come boldly with a sensitive heart!

Jason Upton captures something of this call in the first 3-4 minutes in this clip.

Walk in the Spirit

Scripture encourages us in many ways. One encouragement Paul provides is as follows.

16  I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. Galatians 5:16 (NKJV)

In our Christian walk the Holy Spirit is our leader. His job is to lead, ours is to follow. At times we will be on a well-established trail with clearly marked directions. At other times the trail will be faint or very difficult to follow. As a general principle we need to always be paying attention to His leading to walk with Him. We need to hear when He tells us to pause, to turn, to press on, to stop and rest.

His leading will not always make logical sense. Years ago a fellow shared a story of how the Holy Spirit trained him to listen. He said he was directed to drive around town and given a sense of when to turn and where. This may seem like it was a pointless exercise but he said he learned to be attentive to the Holy Spirit leading him. The benefit came when one day he was driving and had a sudden sense to stop as he came to a green light. He hit the brakes and someone came tearing through the red light and would have broadsided him had he not stopped.

I’m not suggesting this is the way He will train all of us. Just as good coaches develop individualized plans based on the developmental needs of their players, so He knows what we need to learn and seeks to draw us into His specific training program for our lives. I know in my walk it is more about my thought life and speech. At times I have a sense, ‘say this’ or ‘don’t say that.’ I find when I listen I experience His peace resting in and on me.

While peace is one indicator if we want a broader look at how well we are doing He has provided us with a diagnostic tool in Gal. 5:19-23. Here Paul shows the fruit of walking after the flesh in contrast to walking after the Spirit. While we may be in and out of either way of walking at times, the more we submit to His leading the deeper the habit of waling with Him becomes established in our lives and the more of His fruit we manifest.

Recently I was walking with a younger man on an established trail and I was breaking off some overhanging branches that were in the way. I explained why and he joined me. Whenever I hike, even if I don’t think I will ever be on the trail again, I habitually clear branches and remove small rocks and sticks. I believe it is a basic function of leadership to improve the path for others. In a similar manner the Holy Spirit is always leading us in ways to better clear and establish the path of our lives. He wants us to work with Him to remove branches that will entangle us or rocks and sticks that may trip us up. So, let’s focus on staying in step with Him.