Graham Cooke: pgs. 10-12
COHABITATION WITH GOD
Much of the terminology surrounding revival is geared to
events and special circumstances. It is largely “visitation” terminology.
We are looking for God to come in a move of the Spirit.
“We are looking for God to come in a move of the Spirit. Yet the language of Scripture is one of abiding, a habitation of the Spirit being built inside each of us.” My Comment: Excellent. We do look for “the movement of the Spirit” at revival meetings and in church, right? That doesn’t mean the Holy Spirit is not present in meetings, although I think what Graham is trying to point out here is it means we have misunderstood the language of the Scripture as God intends for us. I also looked up and read in Duet.30:14 …”the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it”
So, we can see that the language of the Scripture is God’s way of cohabitating with us… awesome! We can’t see him [physically] but when the scripture is read… His is near you [in NT it’s Jesus], when it is spoken [in our mouths] it has His authority [His Righteousness] to do His good pleasure and as it abides in our hearts; so that we stay obedient and in the cycle of His Love towards us. Pondering, pondering….
Yet the language of Scripture is one of abiding, a habitation of
the Spirit being built inside each of us.
In reality, revival is not about large numbers of people discovering
the King and His Kingdom. Something that is dead
spiritually cannot be revived, it must be born again. Revival is
for the church, not the world. We must wake up from our sleep.
Revival has three stages. First is renewal of our passion for
Jesus; we must return to our first love and learn to be abandoned
to His grace and power. Secondly we must be revived in
our compassion for the lost; to give our lives in service of the
Kingdom. The outcome of these two initiatives will release the
final stage reformation where the world will begin to respond to
the power and the glory of a risen Lord, inhabiting His people.
“Revival has three stages. First is renewal of our passion for Jesus; we must return to our first love and learn to be abandoned to His grace and power. Secondly we must be revived in our compassion for the lost; to give our lives in service of the Kingdom. The outcome of these two initiatives will release the final stage reformation where the world will begin to respond to the power and the glory of a risen Lord, inhabiting His people.” My Comment: Now, this is heavy duty here, my friend. It is a big, big, statement. It’s packed with a span of 2000 plus years and going. But it is very dear to my heart as I read Grahams capsulation of revival stages. I am reminded of what I read about Constantine and those that God used to bring the gospel through to the modern ages.
I am a just a cheerleader in the arena of revivals, at the sideline, joyful for what God is doing in the body of believers. I have but a simple heart that loves Jesus. I just love Him. I don’t count myself worthy to tie a shoe of these great orators of the Lord, but I love what they speak of Him and teach of Him to me. Through these wonderful people, God has used their words, their faithful heart to bring awareness of Jesus and His love for us. So, I say yes, we must return to our first love and learn to be abandoned to His grace and power, as Graham points out here, again. Also, I say yes, Christ will ask us if we fed His sheep, clothed the naked and visited Him in prison; because of His compassion for the one lost sheep… his treasure. He does call us to respond because He longs to connect with us… to inhabit His people.
We need to lay down our agendas and words and give ourselves,
day in and day out, to loving Jesus. “He who believes in Me,
as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living
water,” Jesus taught in John 7:38. People all too often come to
church meetings because they are thirsty. I just cannot understand
that. We should be coming to meetings because we’re full
of water and wanting to give some more of it away.
Learning to cohabit with God takes time. The pressure of
ministry is intense: it can stress us out, make us sick, even kill
us, unless we know how to rest in the Lord. It takes discipline
to bring ourselves to a place of peace before God, but it is absolutely
necessary to do so. It has taken years of practice for me,
but, on most days, I can bring myself to that place of peace
in five or ten seconds. It no longer matters what is swirling
around me or threatening me, I can still myself before God. I
have to: I need to be quiet to hear His voice. God loves to speak
in whispers. He rarely answers prayers at the same decibel level
at which they are prayed.
“Father!” we can shout at Him. “I need to hear Your voice!”
“I know,” He whispers back.
“Speak to me,” we bellow at the top of our lungs.
“I am,” He whispers.
“I need to hear Your voice today!” we blare.
“Shut up and listen,” He whispers.
“Be still, and know that I am God,” says Psalm 46:10. Meditation
is another avenue towards cohabitation with God. The
western church must learn to meditate, setting time aside to
think deeply about God. It doesn’t have to be long: just fifteen
minutes or half-an-hour, but the more you do it, the more time
you’ll want to give to Him. I love meditating.
Meditation and stillness flow into an upgrade of our peace.
“Be still, and know that I am God,” says Psalm 46:10. Meditation is another avenue towards cohabitation with God.” Ok, so this brings out the “hippy-Jesus-freak” in me. [Lol ] Meditation. Hmmm, visions of piles of pillows and sitting cross-legged on the floor… I think I can see lots of macramé stuff hangin’ on walls and planters, too. [I’m silly]
I learned early in my faith [teens] that meditating on the word was like regurgitating it over and over in our mind, heart and spirit. Today, am so glad that in my youth I learned some key scriptures. How wise was my mom to teach me how to memorize the word at an early age. It got me thought so much back then and it still carries me through today. But in reading what Graham is saying about stillness before God, I find a deepening or a deeper understanding of that discipline and surprisingly my inner peace reflects [responds to] that increase he is teaching about. So, when I think about adversity, the challenge to confront my level of peace helps me to listen to that “still small voice” — His voice within speaking His words in my heart. (Oh my goodness… so much to ponder…where is my pillow???)
I spend a lot of time on peace with the people I disciple. I constantly
confront them on the issue of peace in their lives. I
don’t expect them to worry or panic at the same level next year
as they did this year. Their peace must increase, and anxiety
decrease. Peace is a vital fruit of the Spirit. Without an upgrade in our
capacity to rest in the Lord, we find ourselves running on
adrenaline. That’s okay for awhile, but for every adrenaline
high, there’s an adrenaline low. Often, people get down and
depressed because they have been running on adrenaline, and
they’ve run out. It’s not the pressure of life that gets to us, it’s
the pressure of how we run it.
Peace, though, is an equalizing pressure.
If the world is throwing a thousand pounds of pressure at you from the outside,
peace sends a thousand and one pounds from the inside.
I’m under pressure wherever I go—intense pressure in most
places. Everyone wants to see me and talk to me and pull at me
and get prayer from me. I don’t mind; it’s my job. To survive,
I have learned to be at peace. My rest in God gives me space.
Eventually, adrenaline will rob our mind and body and will
leave us exhausted. It’s okay to be tired in the work, but it’s not
okay to be tired of the work. We must learn to give ourselves
to peace, rest, and meditation. We can operate at the highest
level for many years if we have developed ourselves internally
Graham states that “Peace is a fruit of the Spirit” and “Peace, though, is an equalizing pressure.” Now we are given a key for what to do with all the stress, daily or otherwise, right. So, as I take from the fruit of Peace and eat, it nourishes my spirit but it also is acting like a mighty spirit builder to counter balance the internal pressures rising from external stressors. It’s my SPIRITUAL POWER SUPPLEMENT, so to speak.
“ Mighty am I, who come in the name of the Lord!!” That is my new banner over me….Praise Him.
Next week: Please read section: Sonship and Stewardship pgs. 13-15. God bless your study.