A Christian’s heart should be full of fountains flowing and wide-open faucets running with rivers of Jesus’ living water. Is yours? If not, this might help:
January 6 is called “The Day of Epiphany” by traditional churches. It celebrates the wise men of the East encountering the living Jesus — the Creator in human flesh. The word “epiphany” literally means revelation or spiritual awakening. I believe that Christ-followers should experience continual spiritual awakening that grows from glory to glory! Anything less than that is substandard Christianity. Instead of celebrating a day of epiphany that happened 2,000 years ago, we need to embrace a lifestyle of epiphany — awakening and surrendering to the presence and reality of the living Jesus more and more every day!
Epiphany is the recognition of a godly thought or sensation that comes from beyond the human mind. It’s a supernatural aha moment. When that recognition happens in your life scoop it up. Hold it near and dear. Treasure it in your heart. Let it empower you to draw nearer and nearer to the risen Jesus. If you will notice and act on the thoughts that God puts in your mind, you’ll experience many powerful manifestations of His presence.
When Jesus died, the temple veil that separated humans from God was torn from top down. Because of Jesus, epiphanies are no longer rare. They happen throughout the day to those who are surrendered to the risen Jesus, but we often don’t recognize those supernatural thoughts and sensations for what they really are.
God’s epiphanies enter us from beyond our analysis and rational thinking. They need to be listened for rather than figured out. We need more than human wisdom. We need epiphany — direct insight from the living God.
Epiphanies happen to you. God is frequently sending you thoughts and sensations. Notice them and let the overwhelm you! If churches would become an open forum where everyday people could train to recognize and share their epiphanies, spiritual awakening would sweep our land. Unfortunately, much that’s done in modern Christianity seems to me to match the story of “The Emperor’s New Clothes” much more than the “Day of Epiphany.”
For a real message from God, ask Jesus to talk to you and then be still and let the thoughts He puts into your mind touch your heart. Spirit-led (epiphany filled) Christianity cannot be contained in any church or religious organization. It blows the lid off! “Awake sleeper” from the daze of habitual religion to the glorious presence of the living Jesus!
To play is to engage in an activity without a practical purpose. Perhaps church attendance without a practical purpose is playing church. If we won’t even allow the risen Jesus freedom to actively work in church, no wonder we seldom see Him powerfully working in society.
No man no matter his title should ever be between you and God! Jesus said that Christians are brothers and sisters. No one of us should be exalted above the others. People who connect heart-to-heart with the risen Jesus are automatically connected to each other, but churches separate Christians from one another. You don’t need to belong to an institution to be a daily walker. You don’t need to belong to an institutional church to walk daily in God’s Spirit.
Christians are told to speak by God’s Spirit and not to rely on our preparation. Jesus said: “Do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time.” If those who preach don’t trust Jesus to “say whatever is given you at the time,” during a sermon, how could they do so, as Jesus commanded, when brought to trial and their life is hanging on what they say?
The Gospel needs to be shared from the heart in words given by the Spirit in the moment, not just from human study and analysis. Preaching without the passion of a heart on fire for God and connected to Christ’s presence is just a religious talk.
If pastors would study the Bible to be personally convicted and transformed by God, instead of to write a Sunday talk for other people, churches would experience much spiritual awakening. A sermon prepared by a human mind might reach a mind, but words shared directly from a humble Spirit-led heart will touch a heart.
Pastors have been trained to rely on human knowledge, study, and analysis for their sermons (and sometimes they even preach sermons they’ve copied from books or online) instead of relying on the immediate presence of God’s Spirit speaking directly through them. That leads to sermons without actual demonstrations of God’s presence and trains people to just be hearers of the word but not doers of the word. Enough Sunday morning talk! It’s time for Christians to walk the walk and live out what they’ve heard preached.
Church needs less playing and pretending and a whole lot more praying. (I often wonder why it’s so rare for Christians to trust Jesus to lead a church service without a human leader controlling things.) “You can all prophesy.” –1 Corinthians 14:31. Any Christian can speak by the Spirit. Perhaps pastors should demonstrate that in their sermons instead of speaking based on study. Study and sermon preparation is too often an excuse to not trust the Spirit to give words on the spot.
To praise Martin Luther for his criticism of church while condemning present day critics is hypocrisy. Any institution can benefit from openly and honestly examining sincere criticism.
A group of Christians can meet together and be beautifully led by God’s Spirit without one person controlling the meeting. It’s unbelief to think that Jesus can’t Himself lead a gathering of the body of Christ without a human leader controlling things.
Daily trust in,
And rely on
Be wise. With your inner eyes Look beyond What you regard as ordinary And experience the epiphanies Of the Creator's cries Within your heart. You don't have to be On your knees To experience God's epiphanies. He has given you the keys To His kingdom. Everyday unlock your heart To Christ's presence And communication. It's not about your expertise Or your religious affiliation. We need the eye Of the Magi So God can lead us By the sparkling Glory of nature To the Creator In human flesh.