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The problem is that a wide puddle won’t get us anywhere. We could stand in it and not get wet, because there is no depth. We need to be wells, not puddles.
What produces depth in our relationship with God? What brings our hearts to life and really teaches us how to live every day with Jesus? Here are a few things I’ve found helpful.
Holiness is not something any of us could accomplish on our own. Holiness is absorbed. It is not learned, earned or forced. It is not calculated with points for and against. Holiness is the result of a relationship with Someone who is holy. As we draw close to the One who is holy, we start acting holier. It is similar to holding a nail to a candle flame—the nail will heat up. It cannot help but respond to the candle’s warmth in a similar fashion. The closer we are to Jesus, the holier we become.
If the key to holiness is intimacy with the Holy One, the answer to the question of holiness is time spent in His tent:
For You have been a refuge for me,
A tower of strength against the enemy.
Let me dwell in Your tent forever;
Let me take refuge in the shelter of Your wings.
— Psalm 61:3–4 (NASB)
I want to thank you for your generous prayers and support for our mission efforts in India. Phase 1 of Training India 2015 is on schedule, fully funded, and already showing amazing fruit. We’ve hand-picked 50 pastors and leaders in India who will become the first Hindi-speaking teachers of The Art of Hearing God courses in Mumbai.
These 50 leaders started their training last February by attending an Art of Hearing God course I taught in Mumbai. Since that time, they’ve continued their instruction by reviewing the material online. Perhaps the most important part of their training will take place early this year as I will be leading a team of Streams Instructors back to India to give them personal training and mentoring that will prepare and release them to become teachers of the course.
It is a natural human tendency to find a rut and want to climb into it. When we find something that works, we tend to make it into a formula. Formula gradually becomes habit; habit becomes tradition, and the problem with tradition is that it tries to set boundaries for the mind.
When the “formula” becomes more valuable than Scripture, faith in God or true relationship with Him, something needs to happen. That something is called chaos.
Dependence on the Holy Spirit takes up a lot more “room” than most of us realize. When we think about being dependent on God, we probably think of specific circumstances such as sharing Jesus with someone on the street, difficult financial situations, unpleasant medical reports, etc. When we are running out of options, or just can’t see any other way out, we have to be dependent on God.
Faith understands the system of God. You have faith in God because you are starting to understand how things work. You’ve had a glimpse of how God operates, and you are beginning to recognize His heart and intentions. As a believer in Jesus, you always have two options: You will know what the world says—the visible realm—and you can follow its leading if you so desire. But you will also be able to perceive the invisible realm. Through the eyes of faith, you see what cannot be seen, yet it exists.
The invisible realm is eternal in nature, and because it is eternal, it is superior to the short-term physical world we live in. There will be times when we cannot understand the invisible realm simply because the inferior cannot fully comprehend that which is superior. The invisible realm helps teach us the ways and purposes of God—why He heals, why He delivers, what He is thinking about when He does signs and wonders and miracles. When we look with faith, we see what cannot be seen.