Daring to Delve Deeper

Before the literal second coming of Christ, the Lord will first return in His people. Isaiah the prophet tells us to “arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you” (Isa. 60:1). Although deep darkness will cover the world, this is the church’s brightest hour, as we experience levels of God’s manifest glory presence like the world has never seen before.

There is a clarion call for the church to emerge from the ashes and confines of her natural limitations and sin-induced bondage, into the limitless reality of a higher realm where all things are literally possible through the unfettered ability of an all-powerful God. An omnipotent God who lives inside of you, as a believer in Christ.

God does not want us to be bound by familiar spirits, doubts, fears, the expectations of the natural mind, or even the physical laws of the universe! Jesus constantly challenged His followers to expand their view of reality, moving them from earthly thinking into a Kingdom mindset. He walked on water, raised the dead and demonstrated a higher spiritual plane – to which each of us now has full access through the shed blood of the Son of God.

God wants to free us from the heavy oppression that consumes us in this present age. With each degree that he brings us into freedom and ecstasy in the Spirit, the carnal mind tries to question whether it is too good to be true. In fact, due to the condition of this fallen world, each of us has been conditioned to walk under a cloud of heaviness. True joy, holy bliss and the powers of the age to come seem too fantastic to be at our disposal (in our sense of unworthiness, like Adam discovering his nakedness, we have built defensive walls, guarding against hope deferred).

Garden Bliss

Adam walked in such brilliant pleasure – even in the earthly realm – that to breathe the pure oxygen of the pristine Garden of Eden would have given him a natural high. And every breath he took was in intimate communion with God. His life was indeed pure bliss. For us, every level of spiritual freedom we experience is taking us from one degree to another, back to a state of purity and delight that God intended. We do not comprehend the degree to which God wants to intoxicate every moment of our day – spirit, soul and body – with the wine of His love. In fact, we have already been given complete access back to the Garden, as Jesus opened the way to the Secret Place through the torn veil of His flesh. We can appropriate as much of this “Garden lifestyle” into our present existence as we are willing to receive.

Our entire lives are a process of moving from a present state of numbness into the endless degrees of His pleasure.

Why is there a generation loaded on Prozac, escaping on crystal meth and crack rock, and doped up on television, living fantasy lives vicariously through pretend people in Hollywood? It is because we have forgotten the bliss of God. It is time to repent: to turn back to His goodness. To be filled to overflowing with His Spirit. To rediscover our destiny in just being in Him.

Ironically, we are afraid to receive the endless gladness of God into our lives. This is because we have hardened our hearts amid the hurts, rejection, trauma and abuse of living in a fallen world. God wants us to risk new levels of holy bliss. He wants us to dare to receive His goodness at unprecedented levels, and open up again to the higher life, trusting Him implicitly.

The degree of freedom we experience in the Kingdom is in direct proportion to the level to which we have become fully possessed by Holy Spirit. Many are under the profound delusion that they are already completely possessed by God, and that the sum of their existence represents a lifestyle at the peak of revival. But I would contend that no one has yet experienced the fullness of revival and the manifest presence of God. Although the fullness of God rests positionally in the heart of every believer.

The Gold of Egypt

God is looking for a people who will shake off all natural limitations, the sin that so easily besets us, and the false perception of where our spiritual experience will be “capped.” We subconsciously set limits for ourselves, never expecting to go higher in God. Some of us hope to one day be free from bondage by the skin of our teeth, but we never really expect to thrive or to live on the heights of the land. Recently in a dream, the Lord told me to “Dare 15:14.” I woke in the middle of the night, and the Lord gave me a parallel message from Deut. 15:14 and Genesis 15:14.

In the Deuteronomy passage, the Lord was referring to fellow Hebrews who sold themselves into slavery. Every seven years, these slaves were to be released. But they were not simply to get out of bondage. They were to move all the way from bondage to abundance!

For the slave who was set free, the Lord commanded: “Supply him liberally from your flock, your threshing floor and your winepress. Give to him as the Lord your God has blessed you. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you. That is why I give you this command today” (Deut. 15:14-15).

The slave was not simply to become a free man. He was to be given much provision. The passage of Genesis 15:14 further clarifies this principle:

“But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions” (Gen. 15:14).

God does not just want to bring His people out of Egypt. He wants to bring them out with the gold! Many of us are OK with getting free from bondage. But it is something altogether different to move into abundance. In fact, we will often sabotage ourselves in order to avoid it. We don’t feel worthy. We walk under a sense of false humility. We choose needless suffering to which the Lord has not called us. We embrace a slave/orphan mentality, over a spirit of sonship.

The apostle Paul said that he learned not only to cope with suffering, but he also learned to receive God’s abundance (Phil. 4:12). For those with an orphan spirit, this is very difficult. We try to determine how much of God’s goodness we will receive, and limit ourselves. We must risk vulnerability and mistakes to go deeper with God. Some people receive salvation, but they feel that Third Heaven experiences, dreams and visions, angelic interaction and the like are simply too “high and lofty” to attain, so they never position themselves for it. Some people feel that if God could just help them get their bills paid, that would be great. But they never believe for God to allow them to thrive in the land. Some people open themselves to a few spiritual gifts (tongues, etc.), but they never expect that God could blow them totally out of the water with trances, translations or miracles, signs and wonders.

Whenever we pre-determine how much of God’s goodness we will receive, we are essentially taking the reigns of our lives back into our own hands and scoffing at His Lordship. The irony is that a life submitted to God equates to sheer ecstasy. When we reject His ecstasies, His gifts, the benefits of His hand, we reject Him! We do not submit to a task master, but to one who has “rivers of pleasure at His right hand” (Ps. 16:11, Ps. 36:8).

God does not simply want to free you from poverty and put you into the middle class. He wants to make you rich. And I am not just speaking of natural possessions. “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke 12:15). God wants to bring you into an abundance of intimate communication with him, an abundance of power, and abundance of provision for Kingdom purposes, an abundance of joy and an abundance of holy intoxication!

He wants to supply you with flocks – from a slave to one who influences other people! He wants to supply you with grain from the threshing floor – fresh revelation! He wants to supply you with wine! He wants to load you down with the weight of his golden glory!

God does not just want you to be blessed. He wants to make you a blessing. On one side of the cross, you are a beggar. On the other side of the cross, you are a giver. And you give out of His overflow. Everywhere you go, you change the atmosphere and stuff happens. The air literally bends around you when you enter a place, because you are infected with the presence of Almighty God. The test results are in: you are Holy Ghost positive!

John Crowder, 9/10/2006