Tag Archive | John

Alone In His Presence

CoffeeWe have fast food, as well as drive-thrus for almost every type of service: Instant banking, drive-thru pharmacies, laundry drop-offs — everything is prepared in a hurry for our convenience. Unfortunately in our “have-it-now” society, we expect spirituality to happen quickly as well. We want instant miracles, sudden break-throughs, and smooth, problem-free lives.

The call of Jesus in Scripture is not centered on our need, but on His presence.

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. ~ Matthew 11:28

He underscores this again in an account told by John…

On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. ~ John 7:37

These calls invite us to come to Jesus. As we love and worship Him, our needs are met, and necessary resources are released. The call of Jesus still rings across the centuries, “Come to Me.” However, this requires a discipline of time. Destiny comes to those who are not afraid to be alone with God.

One of the most powerful alone times I ever had with God occurred on a personal retreat several years ago.

I had set aside four days and three nights with God, in a sparse and simply furnished cabin. As I drove up nearby Dayton Mountain, an expectancy filled my heart. I had brought a CD player with worship music, along with my computer with Bible programs on it, and an unfinished book manuscript. I also brought a deep hunger and a serious need to know if I was moving with the spirit. My spiritual awakening, including tongues, had become common knowledge in my circle of acquaintances, and there was unrest among many of our traditional church members.
Once settled in the cabin, I prayed, worshiped, wrote, and finally went to bed. In the wee hours of the morning, I was summoned to the stairs of His presence. My small room became a cathedral as God awakened me to join Him. He spoke and said, “It is time for you to act!” Looking at the clock by my bed, it was 3:19 AM. I picked up my Bible and read Acts 3:19-21:

Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.

I had a clear answer from God—He was up to something special in our church. He was refreshing us and drawing us into His presence. It was all God’s doing and not mine. Then I reread that prophetic word, and it shook me. Jesus Christ would not return until a mighty restoration took place. God would restore to the church all that she had lost. A colossal revival was beginning in the body of Christ!

I immersed myself in the rest of the book of Acts, worshiping and feeding. Soon I came across Acts 15:16-17:

After this I will return
And will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down;
I will rebuild its ruins,
And I will set it up;
So that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord,
Even all the Gentiles who are called by My name,
Says the Lord who does all these things.

The passage shook me. I recalled how David’s tabernacle was brought up with dancing and praise. It was a precursor to Solomon’s temple. Scripture was clear here—Jesus was coming, but not until the restoration of real praise and worship was established. As David walked, sang, danced, and ruled in God’s presence, so will God’s people do in the last days.

I walked out of that cabin far enough to get service to my cell phone, and called my answering machine back in my office to pour the revelation word out. All that week, revelation continued to pour into my soul. Alone with God, my ministry direction was affirmed, strengthened, and challenged.

So, my question is this… Is God calling you to an alone time with Him? Is God calling you into a deeper place of abiding in His presence?

If He is, then heed His call. Listen to His voice. Allow His presence to permeate your life.

— Adapted from my book
Secret of the Stairs
Copyright © 2006 Ron Phillips Ministries
Published by World Publishing, Inc.

Living With The Dream Thief

President Theodore Roosevelt once said:

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”

Joyce Meyer had this thought:

“A #2 pencil and a dream can take you anywhere.”

Norman Vincent Peale wrote:

“Change your thoughts and you change your world.”

We all have dreams. We all have a desire to be successful. No one sets out in life to be the poster-child for mediocrity. So who is the real “dream thief”? After all, in Philippians, Paul says…

Bible“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

So why don’t we?

John tells us in I John that…

“He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”

So why don’t we live in victory?

Maybe it is because sometimes we allow our own mindset to hold us back. Sometimes — as the saying goes — “WE are our own worst enemy.” We diligently battle the enemy of our souls, but then turn around and speak things into existence out of fear or low self-esteem, forgetting that the power of the tongue is as much a force to be reckoned with as the greatest enemy we may face. Actually, sometimes, they are one and the same.

King Solomon understood this when he said in Proverbs:

“The tongue has the power of life and death.”

So, the next time you feel the urge to speak negatively about your current situation, do this:

Stop.

Think.

Speak a blessing instead.

Pastor Ron

When the World Goes Mad…

At one time or another, we all want to run and hide. We want to resist the urge to get out of bed in the morning, simply pull the covers up over our head, and pretend the rest of the world has dissolved into time and space. For many, the recent events in our world make these feelings not just a passing fascination, but a genuine wish…

The recent terrorist attack in Boston, and information being reported in its wake make us question the safety of our nation.

The revelations coming out in the trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell makes us question the sanity of a civilization that allows the horror of abortion to be perpetrated upon the most innocent and helpless among us… the unborn.

The contrast of the media reaction in treating a professional athlete who “comes out of the closet” (with regard to his sexuality) as a hero, while ridiculing and denigrating another for simply being unashamed of his Christian faith, makes us skeptical of an “unbiased” media clearly bent on force-feeding the public with a left-wing, liberal, Godless agenda.

I could go on for days, but you get the picture. Honestly, sometimes we just want to hide.

So how should we deal with it? How do we keep our sanity when the world is losing it’s collective “mind”? How do we maintain a heart-cry of holiness when we feel as though we are being drowned-out by the noise of profane and abhorrent voices actively pursuing our silence?

How do we find “the secret place”?

Must I wrestle as Jacob? Must I run as Elijah? Must I weep as Isaiah? Must I be martyred as Paul?

No. These are only the outward circumstances that lead us to the simple secret of his Presence. The answer lies in having a depth of spiritual hunger and thirst. God is looking for some people with a desire as strong as a parched and thirsty man lost in a desert. Such a man would give all he owned in a desperate moment for a lifesaving drink of water.

Our desperate cry for Him should be wholehearted and passionate! In Scripture, we find out how to seek Him, and discover promises from the Father for those who are thirsty. Are you…

Like a deer running from a hunter? (Psalm 42:1-2)

Like a weary worshipper, tired of the ordinary? (Psalm 63:1-4)

Like a tired traveler on a journey? (Psalm 107: 5-6)

If any of the above describe you, then ACT!

Stretch your hands toward Him. (Psalm 143:6)

Claim His promise of outpoured blessing. (Isaiah 44:3)

Respond and come before His grace. (Isaiah 55:1)

Realize that you are invited – not to religion – but to Jesus. (John 7:37)

Your responsibility is to come. (Revelation 21:6)

When you arrive, you may drink of Him. (Revelation 22:17)

In Matthew 5:6, Jesus says…

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.”

My only requirement is a holy dissatisfaction with all that is around me. My heart must be thirsty for Jesus, and Him alone. I can hear Him calling me up the stairs into the High Place where there flows an artesian well of life. It is mine to enjoy. I may drink, or I may splash in it like a child on a hot summer day.

I come, O Lord. Indeed, I come with all my heart and soul.

~ from my book, Secret of the Stairs