Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Hosting the Presence... Book Review and Fave Fifteens

From what began with a post about wrap dresses comes another Fave fifteens!

Last time we did a Fave fifteens/ Book review combination, it was looking at Beni Johnson's The Happy Intercessor. Such a GREAT book! Well, this one is by her husband, Bill, who is the lead pastor over at Bethel Church in Redding, California. I had been so looking forward to reading and gleaning what I could from this text, that you have no idea! And there was absolutely no disappointment at all! Such a GREAT book on the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives, and how He is the very Presence of God to us! There are few books I could recommend higher than this one!

So, as with Beni's book, there are a lot of wonderful thoughts, and it was difficult choosing which 15 to use for my Fave Fifteens this time... but in no particular order, here are some of the ones that I found most impactful...

*Throughout the Bible, God is creating a desire within the hearts of His people not only for Heaven as a location, but for Heaven as the realm of His present rule. (Kingdom is broken down into two words - king's domain.) It is right and good to long for Heaven as my home. But it is my responsibility to equally long for His rule here and now. God's job is to get me to Heaven. My job is not to go to Heaven; my job is to bring Heaven to earth through my prayers and obedience.

*The Church is the eternal dwelling place of God. And at this moment in time it is a building build on the edge of two worlds. We are dual citizens of goth Heaven and earth. As such, we are not only those who are to pray for God's Kingdom to come, we are the tools who are often used by God to release that reality into this one.

*Whenever someone despises extravagant worship, they are putting themselves in an extremely dangerous position. Barrenness is the natural result of despising worship. In doing so they are rejecting the reason why we're alive. Barrenness and the absence of worship go hand in hand....The devil actually doesn't mind worship that is tame. Extreme worship exposes religion in everyone.

*Anyone can get happy after the miracle has come. Show me someone who celebrate before the answer, and I'll show you someone who is about to experience the answer. This is the nature of faith - it looks ahead and lives accordingly.

*Many who speak in tongues think they are full of the Holy Spirit. Being full of the Holy spirit is not evidenced in tongues; it is evidenced by being full. How do you know when a glass is full? It runs over. Peter, on the day of Pentecost, is filled with the Holy Spirit. In Acts 4, peter join many others in a prayer meeting. Their overwhelming expression was to cry out for more. Peter prayed for more. He did not pray for relief in the midst of persecution, but instead prayed for more boldness, that expression that sometimes offends, so that he could go deeper into the realms of darkness and pull out more victims....In Acts 2, Peter is filled. In Acts 4, he needs to be refilled. Why? If you are doing this right, you must get filled often. There is one baptism. But we are to live in such a way that we give away all we get, while our capacity for Him increases. When we live full of the Holy spirit, experiencing overflow, only more of Him will do.

*Every believer has an open heaven. For the believer, most closed heavens are between the ears. Living as though the heavens were brass over us is actually playing into the devil's hands as it puts us in a defensive posture. This violates what Jesus accomplished. He put us on offense with His commission, "Go!" remember, believing a lie empowers the liar.

*We cannot let darkness shape our awareness of the heavenly atmosphere that dwells upon us. The size of the open heaven over us is affected in some measure by our maturity and yieldedness to the Holy Spirit. Think of an open Heaven as a big oak tree. The bigger and more stable the tree is, the more people can stand under its shade. Mature believers carry Heaven's atmosphere in such a way that others are able to stand under their shade and receive protection. To use another analogy, others can draft on our breakthroughs and become changed.

*We do well to pursue according to His commands. But romance is no longer romance when it is commanded. Some things must be pursued because they are there....Discovering His ways in the invitation to come to Him and know Him in the way revealed. Revelations of His nature are invitations to experience Him. As He reveals His nature to us through the moving of the Holy Spirit, He will often leave us without command. Instead, He longs to discover what is actually in our hearts, as it is in the nature of the heart in love to always respond to the open door of encounter.

*Emotions are wonderful, but not reliable indicators of God's Presence and moving. But there is a feeling that goes beyond emotions, and quite frankly can work regardless of our emotional state. It is the mood of the Holy Spirit Himself that we can become so in tune with that we move as He moves.

*We are the ones upon whom the promises of the ages have come to rest. And they are contingent upon our being a people who have discovered our eternal purpose. We have been chosen to be His eternal dwelling place. We have been chosen to host His Presence.

*Power and authority introduce us to the nature of the Holy Spirit with a primary focus on hosting His Presence. Ministry should flow out of the relationship with the person who lives in us for our sakes, but rests upon us for the sake of others.

*His Kingdom works entirely on the first things first principle. The provision of the Lord is not just food on the table. The supernatural provision of the Lord is divine protection and full impact in our assignment. This is the whole issue: Giving up the reigns of being in control of my life to become truly Holy Spirit empowered and directed. His commission was to go learn how the Holy Spirit moves. Go learn His ways.

*Total surrender draws us into encounters with God that keep us tender. Without that element, we become hardened to the very word that was given to transform us. It would be similar to the way a vaccination is made. We are exposed to small portions of a particular disease, which in turn cause our body to build a resistance. Jesus is not to be tried in small portions. He is to be surrendered to completely and wholeheartedly. Anything less will often have the opposite result what what He desires for us.

*Every believer is aware of God, but not always at a conscious level. Developing this awareness is one of the most important aspects of our life in Christ. He is called, "God with us." Knowing Him that way is essential to our development.

*His Presence accompanies His acts. Faith brings a substantial release of Presence, which is visible time after time in Jesus' ministry. An act of faith is any action on the outside that demonstrates the faith on the inside.

As you can see from even 15 snippets of text from this book that there is a lot of meat, a lot to grasp, a lot to absorb and to learn, but it is so very worth it! If you are seeking a deeper walk with God, I HIGHLY recommend this book!!! Hosting the Presence will change your life, if you are willing to be changed. :)

UPDATE 7/16/13-- COME OVER and check out my FUNDRAISER! Journey to a Thousand Voices...