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November 7, 2011

The Mystery of Experiencing God in the Spirit

God exist in a supernatural existence beyond time and space. To experience God in his majesty, we must enter into the realm of the Spirit of God - the realm of the eternal Spirit of God. Jesus is the one who opens the gates of Heaven allowing us to experience God in the Spirit. If the object of our Christian worship is God, we must enter into his presence while breaking away from the physical body. This is what every church service must strive to achieve during worship. Some preachers think the main part of the service is the sermon. This is an error. Everything we do during service must lead worshippers to enter the presence of God. The main and most difficult part of the service is to take the entire congregation into a spiritual worship before God. This is the critical key to true worship. The uniqueness of Christians experiencing God through Jesus is the most envious relationship other religions do not have. Many earthly religions are trying to reach God through their own efforts. They want to connect through human spirit without the vehicle of grace. They enter the realm of the spirit, but they never quite connect to God. Instead, they connect human spirit into an empty spiritual realm while floating in the universe. They are like spirits just wandering in the spirit universe. In Christianity, God descended from his sanctuary in Heaven to dwell among men. The communion between man and God was made possible by Jesus whose Spirit carries man’s spirit to the presence of God with the Holy Spirit as the vehicle. If you do not believe in entering the spirit realm of God, regardless to your denominations, you will never be able to enter the spirit realm of God. Some good Christians from well meaning churches already dismissed the possibility of entering the spirit realm of God. Consequently, they are unable to enter this supernatural realm and the experience is alien to them. The first thing Jesus demonstrated to his disciples is the perception of the invisible world of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, "Most assuredly I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the son of man" (St. John 1:51). That portal of Heaven Jesus was talking about opened to the disciples on the day of Pentecost. The same is true for everybody who received the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Many of our Sunday worship services remain in the flesh and very short of reaching God in the Spirit because we spend more time in the flesh trying to reach God in the Spirit. Jesus said, "God is a spirit, those who worship him must worship him in Spirit and in truth" (St. John 4:24). Human perception of God do not define God like some Christian denominations wants to explain God by human knowledge. Sadly some preachers preach from their head knowledge of God instead of being led by the Spirit of God. God is too big for human tiny knowledge to comprehend. God’s wisdom has to be revealed to us through the Spirit realm by the Holy Spirit. Every Sunday worship must be design to connect with God in the Spirit, and less of performance. Our theatrical performance can help to ignite human emotions which in turn can connect to human spirit. The human spirit can then connect to the Holy Spirit. It is much easier, if the object of worship is designed to put human emotions aside and to connect directly to God’s Spirit through Jesus. We can achieve this through meditation on the word of God with Jesus taking us to the presence of God.

We experience a lot of pain in the physical realm. Once we enter the realm of the Spirit of God, through Jesus, the physical and emotional pains are left behind to embrace the majesty of God. The time of communion with God is also a time of healing for both physical and emotional wounds. We need to set a time aside to spend quality time with God alone. God shows man the most powerful love even humans cannot comprehend when he unclothed himself of his majesty to experience physical pain and sorrow for humanity to reconnect us back to him. Jesus said, "Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" (St. John 15:13). This is a very mysterious love man is unable to comprehend, let alone attain. Today, some people are unable to accept the reality that God can come on earth, wear human flesh and suffer pain to show us his love. What an awesome God!

Regardless of the physical and emotional pain we suffer in the earthly realm, the best experience of joy is in seeking God’s presence and enjoying and intimate relationship with him. The suffering in the physical realm is temporary compared to the eternal joy of spiritual marriage with the Lord. Yes, we can now start to experience heaven on earth if we choose to surrender to him. Every human being on earth has two journeys. The first journey is the one where we seek our own interest as we go through the jungle of life seeking personal fulfillment. The second and most important is our journey with the Lord in the kingdom. In the earthly, we live our own lives dictated by our own human selfishly desires. In the kingdom, we live a life as directed by the will of God. Some people tend to confuse the two. They will want to live a selfish life in the earthly and want to justify it in the Spirit. God allows us to have both. In the end, we realize that life without God despite the excitements of the physical world ended being empty and meaningless. God designed it that way so we can learn to appreciate the beauty of life with him in the kingdom. The devil tricked man from the beginning that life without God is good. This was a lie. Many people still believe in that lie today. God proved himself, by allowing us to go through life in search for personal fulfillment. In the end, the personal fulfillment fail to deliver the ultimate joy and serenity everybody is searching for. Only in the presence of God can you find eternal joy. We start by seeking that joy through Jesus who represents God to us on earth.

"In his presence is the fullness of joy. In his right hand are pleasures for ever more" (Psalm 16:11).

A little child who got lost in the woods became afraid knowing he might be facing danger. When the child discovered the parents, the child was filled with joy. Life is a test of a spiritual common sense. Similarly, man can never find true joy alone in the wilderness of life without God. This is the false notion society has been teaching people leading to depression and suicides of many successful people. Those religions advocating for meditation in the human spirits are misleading people as well. Others advocate for continuous indulgence is the way to personal fulfillment will eventually lead people to depression. Physical fulfillment can never fill the void for God. The best meditation is through the word of God as we meditate in the Spirit of God in preparation to enter into his presence.

Entering into the presence of God is a gradual process and graded in heights of spiritual ascension from the lower level to a higher level of the spiritual perception of God. A person must first unclothe himself from the earthly dimension through disengagement of human body from human spirit. Jesus did the same thing when he entered time away from the timeless existence in heaven. Jesus had to unclothe himself and put on the human flesh wearing a human body to enter the earthly realm. Similarly, as we enter into a higher dimension of eternal Spirit of God, the human perception about self is temporarily detached. We render ourselves spiritually naked before God to put on his spiritual garment. At that moment, when we unclothe ourselves from the natural existence, we take on the Spirit of God as if putting on, or wearing the spiritual outfit of God. That moment can only occur through Jesus who serves as a bridge of connection between man and God. No other being can connect us to God except Jesus. Anybody who has ever experienced the presence of God will notice a temporary moment when the human mind goes blank and unable to think, or even perceive the physical world. This moment is the time of worship when we experience a spiritual communion with the Spirit of God. At that moment, we enter into his rest. That was why Jesus said, "Abide in me and I in you" (St. John 15:4). We can only experience the fullness of God today through Jesus. When Jesus said, "God is a Spirit, those who worship him must worship him in Spirit and in truth" (St. John 4:24). Jesus was defining the presence of the Holy Trinity of God in worship. Worshipping in Spirit means entering the Spirit realm of God. Jesus is the truth, representing the word of God. When God the Father, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus come together, the three represent the trinity of God in one place. Where is the human spirit? Jesus answered that question by saying, "At that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you" (St. John 14:20). The vehicle that makes that union possible is the Holy Spirit. To see God man has to wear the Spirit of God through Jesus.

Once you have attained such a higher level of spiritual ascension in the Spirit of God, be careful not to live a life of sin because you are clothed in the image of God. When your spirit is clothed with the image of God, you also carry the radiance of his glory with you everywhere you go. The glory becomes more intense when you are fasting or during a spiritual worship. You may not see the glory because you are wearing it. It is like when you wear any outfit; you cannot see yourself except if you look in the mirror. Similarly, you cannot see the glory of God while you wear it. Sometimes you can perceive it when the energy gets very intense. But others will perceive the glory around you from a spirit-to-spirit interaction. They will appreciate the spiritual outfit you put on. Those driven by the spirit of the devil will tremble before you.

Here is the danger. Many people do not want to enter the presence of God. When you sin, you will experience severe chastening from God because by sinning, you are rubbing the face of God in the sewer. God is indirectly telling you that you know better. As a result, both preachers and church leaders will only lead people to the tabernacle and unable to go inside to enter into the Holy of the Holiest. Our Sunday service is therefore reduced to a superficial experience of God in an emotionalized way devoid of true spiritual experience in the atmosphere of theatrical entertainment. This is why it is very difficult for anybody enmeshed with the things of the world to have a daily intimate experience with God. You have to unclothe your self from the sinful image of this world and put on the robe of righteousness and the garment of praise given by Jesus to enter the Holy of the Holiest to meet with God. "Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise" (Psalm 100:4). How can a person filled with bitterness, anger, hate, and envy able to enter the presence of God? Impossible! God also warned, "If you want to hear his voice, do not harden your heart as in the days of temptations in the wilderness" (Psalm 95:7-8). Sometimes, God will descend and come outside the tabernacle to touch the hearts of the people. However, the most intimate experience with God happens when we enter into his presence where he gives us his rest. Jesus echoes both Psalms by saying, "Until a man is born by the water and spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God" (St. John 3:5). Once you have experienced God in his majesty through Jesus, it is very difficult to come outside and put back on the garment of sins. The material things of the world become irrelevant to a person who has truly experienced an intimate encounter with God.

The mystery of daily experiencing God in the Spirit is the love, joy, and peace we enjoy of having a daily communion with him during our devotions. Regardless to the challenges we face, God’s presence and the intimate relationship with him with comfort us even when going through the most painful experiences of life. If we stay in the flesh away from the spirit of God, we suffer. If we choose to spend more of our time in the Spirit realm of God, we experience unspeakable joy.

Yinka Vidal, author, Closer Walk With Jesus