Apr 5, 2009

Letter To An Apostle

Dear Peter,
I am writing because I was reading my Bible the other day and I think we have a lot in common. So I have a few questions for you…
What was it like to be a disciple of Jesus? What was it like to be one of His closest friends? It must have changed your life. I wish I could have been friends with Him like that.
How close were you standing when He touched the blind man’s eyes, or when Jairus’ daughter was raised from the dead? That must have been the experience of a lifetime. I wish He could’ve come in this century. I have family that desperately needs healed.
What was it like to hear Him silence the arguments of the Pharisees, were His words different than any other man’s? What were His techniques? Did He carry with Him a Presence of power and authority? I bet that when you were with Him you learned much…maybe you had more courage, too. I think I would have.
You, see, Peter, I hear many arguments against Him in my workplace, and I wish I could have been taught by Him how to answer.
I can imagine what it would have been like to be right there every time He opened His mouth to teach. I know I would’ve listened with everything in me.
It must have been so nice to have Him there to counsel you before you talked with someone so He could tell you what to say that would help them. Or to debrief with Him in the evenings and have Him tell you what things you said that were silly and how they could’ve been said right…or He could tell you when He was proud of you for acting like He would have. I wish I could have walked with Him every day and talked everything over with Him.
You see it’s harder here. So many times I feel like I’m going on a wing and a prayer. Often I get confused and I don’t know what to say and I don’t know how many times I’ve gotten in trouble when I should’ve known better. I do stupid things a lot, and always regret it later. If I just had Jesus here with me, I’m sure it would be different….

Oh well, I guess that’s just how things are.
Do you have any advice though?

Yours truly.

.......and the response..................

Dear Believer,

In response to your letter, I admit I was a bit confused at first. Apparently we are alike in many ways. Apparently you too don’t recognize God when He’s standing right next to you.
You say you do not have Jesus living with you in your day-to-day life, but…think harder…don’t you?
I supposed you to have a Helper, a Counselor, a Divine Teacher, one who is God, just as much as Jesus was…The reason I say that is that once Jesus told us that He would send us One who would be in all ways like Him. He said it was to our advantage that He went away, so that He could send us the Helper. Have you not met the Helper and formed a partnership with Him?
Do you not have the Holy Spirit?
See, yes we had Jesus living with us for a time, but YOU, beloved, have Jesus living WITHIN you.

You say you don’t know right from wrong? He said the Holy Spirit would convict us of sin and righteousness.
You say you don’t know what decision to make? The Holy Spirit was sent to guide you in all truth.
You say you don’t know the will of God? The Holy Spirit declares and bears witness in you the will of God.
You say you have no one to be with you to keep you from making a fool of yourself? As I remember, you too received the promise that He would never leave you or forsake you.
You say you can’t have the same friendship relationship? He said that He is a friend to those that fear Him.
You say that you wished you could’ve seen the lame walk, the sick healed, the blind made to see? He said TO YOU that you would do even greater things than He Himself did as soon as the power of the Spirit dwelt in you.

DO YOU REALIZE the resources at your fingertips? DO YOU REALIZE the power that you could tap into if you only would? Do you even understand?!?!

The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead now quickens you. The same Spirit by which we prophesied is ready to speak through you. The same Spirit that filled us on the day of Pentecost is at hand waiting to give you your DAILY Pentecost.
The fire the touched me that day when I preached to the multitude with a boldness I had never possessed is still burning. The same power at work when 3,000 were added to the church in one day has not lost its potency.
The same - the exact same Spirit - by whose wisdom and authority James, and John, and Andrew, and Matthew, and Barnabas, and Philip, and Stephen, and Paul, and the rest of the Early Church walked and talked and prayed and preached and evangelized and prophesied and healed still lives and works and moves mightily through you!!!

Oh yes, we may have walked with Him and observed His power, but when we walk IN Him the world will observe His power at work in us!

So, remind me again what excuse you have.

You asked for my advice? Start talking to Him as you would to Jesus. Recognize His wisdom. Seek it out and pursue it, because it will be a crown of glory to your head and a grace to your actions. Listen to His words and receive them. Walk in His ways and let Him be the power at work in you.
Who knows…perhaps someday you too will raise the dead. If you don’t it won’t be for lack of the Divine power available to you.
If you live an ineffective life it will only be for lack of pursuit of the Divine on your part.
So, learn the art of pursuit...LIVE in the Presence of the Holy Spirit.