Why can’t I see him?

On my bike home the other day, I was listening to a message that John Paul Jackson gave at a conference on August 1, 2010.  I wasn’t able to verify but I believe it was given at the Mission Viejo Vineyard.  Here is the excerpt that got me:

A pastor comes and says to me, “I have a 4-year-old son who says he’s seeing angels, and he’s talking to them, like, regularly.”  And he said, “Could that be true?” “Or is he talking to, like a spirit guide?”  I said, “Well, depends on your definition of a spirit guide, but it’s probably an angel guiding him,” thus the definition of a spiritual guide. And he said, “Well, I don’t see him. Why can’t I see him?” I said, “Well, next time you find your son talking to the angel, ask him!”  He said, “I can do that?” I said, “Well of course; you’re his dad!”

So a couple of weeks later the dad went up to get the son for supper—he sees his son talking to the angel.  He says, “Son, are you talking to the angel?”  The son says, “Yeah.”  And he says, “Will you ask the angel something for me?” “Will you ask him why I can’t see him?”  So the 4-year-old asks the angel, and the angel says this—the little boys says what the angel said—”Dad, the angel says for me to tell you,” and he says it in his 4-year-old voice, “that the reason why you can’t see him is that your eyes have beheld too much evil.” And so, after the dad recovered, he then looked at his son and said, “Son, will you ask him this: ‘Will I ever be able to see?’” So the little boy asks, and the angel responded. The little boy said, “Dad, the angel says ‘Yes, the day will come, but the calluses run deep and it will take some time to dissolve them.’”

See we allow ourselves to do things thinking it has no bearing—we’ll still get into heaven, everything is fine—but we have no idea it stops us from living at a higher spiritual plane than we would have lived otherwise. We live in a much lowlier estate.  And I don’t mean humble.  I mean less spiritual state than we would have walked had we allowed the Holy Spirit to discipline us and keep us in a better place.  Calluses form, lack of sensitivity, lack of ability to discern, slowly slowly.  We may have salvation, but slowly, slowly our spiritual life erodes, and we wonder why.  We make poor choices, and we think those choices are inconsequential, but five years later they take a toll.  Ten years later they take a toll.  Twenty years later, they’ve taken a toll.  And we think it doesn’t make any difference, making those kind of choices.  We need to feel His presence, and when it lifts, we need to do something different than we’re doing.

God’s grace covers us when we fall.  I know that from my own repeated experience.  But I want more.  I want to see the angels.  I want to know God at a greater level of intimacy and experience than I do now.  I believe it’s possible.

Lord, dissolve the calluses from my eyes, for I too, have beheld too much evil.  Lord, draw me close to you.  Transform my appetites to hunger for your word and your presence.  Show me how to keep pure eyes and ears and mind in this depraved culture we must live in.  In Jesus’ name.

Secret Church!

Been reading Radical by David Platt. This idea of “Secret Church” has been really speaking to me.

After experiencing the desperation of believers in the underground church in China, and going back to pastor his megachurch, he writes:

What if we took away the cool music and the cushioned chairs? What if the screens are gone and the stage is no longer decorated? What if the air conditioning is off and the comforts are removed? Would his Word still be enough for his people to come together?

At Brook Hills we decided to try to answer this question. We actually stripped away the entertainment value and invited people to come together simply to study God’s Word for hours at a time. We call it Secret Church.

We set a date—one Friday night—when we would gather from six o’clock in the evening until midnight, and for six hours we would do nothing but study the Word and pray. We would interrupt this six-hour bible study periodically to pray for our brothers and sisters around the world who are forced to gather secretly. We would also pray for ourselves, that we would learn to love the Word as they do.

We weren’t sure how many would show up that first evening, but by night’s end about a thousand people had gathered. Our topic of study was the Old Testament. After our first try we decided to do it again, and again, and now we have to take reservations because we cannot contain all the people who want to come.

One of my favorite sights is to look across a room packed with people with their bibles in their laps, studying who God is and what God has said—after midnight (we have never ended on time). Granted, we still have the cushioned chairs—though we did discuss the possibility of removing them! And we still have the comforts of a nice building with indoor bathrooms. Be we are taking steps, I hope, toward discovering what it means to be a people who are hungry for the revelation of God.

This speaks to me deeply. Lord, raise up in our community and in our churches groups of believers who would hunger and thirst after you!

%d bloggers like this: