by John W. Follette
The Lord has satisfied our spiritual hunger, to some extent. However, no one of us should be satisfied. Rather, we should be holding our spirit before the Lord, seeking more.
There is so much available to us from the One who is the source of all life and truth. There is yet before us an expansive field of spiritual reality, and we are to venture there with the Holy Spirit to make our discoveries.
Our “present attainment” of spiritual life and experience is the place to which we have been brought through Jesus Christ our Lord. All this is a preliminary training school for the ages yet to come. It is in the “here and now” that we make certain qualifications for our placement in the eternal ages. These qualifications will not be given to us spontaneously, when we get there. Rather, we are being qualified for them here, during this present time.
Then, in the eternal ages, that which has been acquired through discipline and training – through the surrender of our old life to the resurrection of the new – all of this will be projected upon another (higher) plane of living in the ages that are yet to come. Whatever we build up of spiritual value, vigor, and vision, during our lifetime – this is all that the Lord will take of us into eternity.
The method by which this is being accomplished will be the “way” in which we presently live – our reactions to the Word, and to the movings of the Holy Spirit. These are the mechanics which the Lord uses to trace the image and likeness of His Son upon our immortal spirit.
We who have been touched by eternal truth and are seeking to go further, must have a correct perspective and goal. The Lord is very busy building His Body, of which we are a member, training it and doing a thousand things within and through it, so in “that day” there will be something glorious and beautiful to be presented to our Lord, when we stand in His presence.
The day is coming when we will cast our crowns at His feet. This crown is made up of all that we have become, so that we may be presented to the Ancient of Days as the Bride of Christ.
Each of us has a certain degree of spiritual hunger. This hunger rests on certain levels of spiritual obedience and experience, ever seeking to take us further. Thus, there is a continual, progressive development in our spiritual living, moving us from one place of discovery and life, on into another level of discovery and life, and on to another. This speaks of the “spiritual ascent of our being back to the heart of God.”
We do not belong here; we are here for just a few fleeting years of training and discipline, and then we will be taken.
We are to continually move from one level of spiritual understanding and experience to another. This is determined by the amount of spiritual illumination that we have obtained through our responses to the Lord’s presence, and His workings within us. Because we are reacting agents, we learn our lessons through these experiences. We were made this way in the structural law of our being so this might be possible.
I have many very real spiritual experiences in God, however, these do not make me less practical in my daily pattern of life experience. I have discovered that I must carefully order my steps, as I walk with the Lord. I must be continually sensitive to His voice and responsive to His presence. Then He will guide my path, as He disciplines and trains me in order to push me up into a higher order of spiritual reality and life.
This process can be viewed as being “circles” of spiritual movings, and then another circle, and another, with the completion of each circle, as a spiral, bringing us slightly higher in our spiritual attainment. Our upward progress in this will be determined by the degree of spiritual hunger which is registered within us. The Lord alone can create this spiritual hunger. My part is to hold before the Lord the possibilities that He intends for me.
We become spiritually hungry on different levels, according to our commitment and desire toward the Lord. Sometimes people say, “Oh, I know that, as I heard it before – tell me something new.” But first, we must experience the depths of the word we heard. We must come to realize that there are a thousand facets of light in this glorious gem of redemption, which radiate from it continually. Who can hope to ever think that we might possess all of this light and illumination, as our capacity of reception has not yet been fully enlarged.
All revelation is purely a progressive matter. It is eternally moving and is inexhaustible. This lovely field of spiritual life and experience that is before us is immense, emancipating, and liberating. Anyone who tries to pull it down and label it into a fixed doctrinal pattern will only hinder and frustrate its full outworking. We must always remember that spiritual truth is a progressive revelation which continually expands and moves upward.
If we are unable to distinguish between certain things, it will give us great trouble as we go on in our spiritual development. We must be careful to not confuse certain terms and make them synonymous when they are not synonymous. This is the calling of teachers in the Body of Christ.
Teachers are those who have received revelation in the Word, as they are moved upon by the Holy Spirit. This does not come by reading books alone. As I move into a deeper understanding of the Word of God, I must also move into a broader and a more glorious revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus did not say, “I have some truth to share.” All other teachers have been able to do this. Rather, Jesus said, “I am the truth.” This means that all truth is personified in Him and has become articulate and fully expressive in this dynamic, marvelous, living Christ. The nearer we get to Him, the more we will love Him. There are profound unfoldings by the Spirit into the person of Christ, “in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
There is much that we can have which is quite visible and tangible. It is what we call the articulate aspect of it. But there is much more that is evasive, which is within this Christ. This is where I get blessed, as the Holy Spirit takes me into this “darkness” for a glimpse of something within this marvelous Jesus, who said, “I am the truth.”
All truth is summed up in this revelation; “He that has seen Me has seen the Father.” He is not talking about seeing a body, but rather, the manifestation of the nature and character of God as seen in Jesus. This invisible and marvelous God became visible and articulate in this wonderful dynamic Person, God the Son, eternally identified with us.
Those who gathered around Jesus heard Him speak and saw the manifestations of miracle power. They were the recipients of His grace and healing, but not even the disciples had a revelation as to His identity. After they had followed Him for over two years, Jesus said to them, “Who am I?”
After Peter identified Him, Jesus said that he had come to this understanding through a direct revelation from the Father, not through any observation of Jesus. Jesus then told Peter that he was hearing from the Father, as He heard. Now the disciples were ready to be lifted into a new level of revelation. He told them that He would die on the cross, and He revealed His glory to Peter, James, and John, on the Mount of Transfiguration.
Many years ago, I exercised the energy of my flesh in seeking a college education. It was a wonderful discipline, but it did not produce the spiritual light and illumination that I longed for.
When I began to seek the Lord Himself, I discovered that each unfolding of spiritual truth lead me to a fuller revelation and understanding of Jesus. I have been awakened to this lovely truth and Jesus is becoming an increasing reality in my life.
With the Apostle Paul, may each of us pray,
“That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect. But I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of, by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:10-12 NAS