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The Deeper Life - by Steve Porter

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Forum Name: Encountering Life's Issues - Is there a God? Is God real?
Forum Discription: What's a relationship with God all about, and what's Jesus Christ got to do with it? Have you recently been touched by God's reality? Are you wondering how you can be? Are you feeling there's a deeper purpose for your life? Are you facing a crisis and need prayer. Someone cares. Post your need here
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Printed Date: 11/22/2014 at 7:17pm


Topic: The Deeper Life - by Steve Porter

Posted By: Moderator
Subject: The Deeper Life - by Steve Porter
Date Posted: 02/09/2011 at 9:16am

The Deeper Life


by Steve Porter

 

"For many are called, but few are chosen." Matthew 22:14

 

In every generation there are a few rare individuals who break free from mediocrity and apathy. These trailblazers are hungry for God and yield their lives to follow hard after Him. They yearn for something deeper and more meaningful than just a surface relationship with the Savior.

 

We know from Scripture that "wide is the road that leads to destruction and narrow is the way that leads to life." Hell's highway is wide and broad with people standing shoulder to shoulder, unknowingly edging toward the very edge of the abyss. But there is also a narrow road that leads to life, and if you were to sit under a tree beside the road and watch you would notice that only every so often does anyone pass that way.

 

There is also within the body of Christ a broader path called "status quo." Many believers are on this road, saved, with heaven as their final destination, but they fail to seek God's highest or best for their lives. Along this path there is also a narrow gate that leads a few of us down a path far less traveled. On this path are many twists and turns with bumps and awkward places that require a leap of faith to continue. This is the road called "sacrifice." It is a long walk down this unpopular and lonely road and few want to go there.

 

Satisfaction in His Presence

 

On the road called "status quo," travelers are content with what they've always had. They are enamored by the "blessings" of God. They seek Him for what He can do for them and become spiritually satisfied with the gifts of His hands. They desire a life of ease, comfort, and simplicity. They avoid those who preach about "carrying a cross" or "denying self." It is far easier to seek a popular, "feel good" message.

 

A rare few travel the path called "sacrifice" and are not content merely to follow the multitudes down a crowded highway. For these saints the only place of deep satisfaction is in His manifest presence, where they can actually touch His face and feel His heartbeat. They're absolutely convinced that He is the only One worth pursuing! They have a kingdom mindset and see things in light of eternity rather than being consumed only by what they see and hear. They cry out with passion, "Jesus I want the deeper life found only in you."

 

So what does it mean to live the deeper life? It means walking a road far less-traveled where consecration, holiness, humility, intimacy, devotion, and sacrifice are treasured--where its travelers would rather invest themselves in pleasing God than in pleasing man. It is a place where the Lord rules and reigns in their hearts and they realize that crowns aren't simply given as souvenirs, but are earned. Where taking up the cross and following hard after God, though difficult, still brings deep contentment to the soul-and is its own reward. To them pleasing God means everything.

 

A life of sacrifice and devotion is a virtue, a sweet fragrance that actually scents the throne room and blesses the heart of God. To be perfectly frank, anything less leaves us all feeling empty and dissatisfied. It is not good enough to think ourselves devout because of the number of prayers we pray. If we go home from church and are arrogant and angry toward those we say we love we are only deceiving ourselves. Spiritual maturity must be more than just a desire or an intention--it must be walked out.

 

We often fill our lives with empty things and shallow pursuits gradually growing weaker and colder in our souls until we have finally had enough. At that point a hunger from deep within is born and we rise up and say, "I'm desperate for more of God!"

 

Seeking a Fresh Encounter

Why does it take so long to realize our desperate state and seek the cure? Because it's tough to face the truth we often conceal, even from ourselves-that the old way just doesn't cut it anymore. When the Holy Spirit shows us how weak and wayward we are, we are then humbled and can only cry out with deep hunger for a fresh encounter with the living God, and nothing else will do. In fact, we feel like we'll die without it. It's only at the place where we will settle for nothing less that we are truly ready to go deep with God. 

But be warned. Going hard after God will offend others. It is inevitable--the moment you press into God, Christian friends will show up with "words of encouragement" that are actually ordained by the enemy, designed to quench your fire and stifle the deep hunger inside you. And make no mistake about it, if you act on their words they will lead you back through that narrow gate and onto same old wide way. Better to lose a friend than the miss out on the incredible treasures of the Spirit of God.

And while you may offend those close to you by going hard after God He is pleased and excited by the deep hunger in your heart. That's why you must silence the conflicting voices around you, of both humans and spirits--that urge you to settle for less than God's best. In order to go deep you must determine in your heart to march to the beat of a different drummer leaving others behind who are not willing to walk the road of sacrifice.

Are you determined enough to arrest God's attention-to say you won't let go until you've pressed in? Are you tired of standing on the sidelines, a mere spectator while the passionate pass you by? Get desperate enough today to press in. Cry out with all your heart, refusing to settle for anything less than God's best. Get hungry for the deeper things of God, moving beyond the status quo to touch His very heart.

Surrendering to God

Going hard after God will mean loving God not just in word but also in deed.  Sweet surrender is the first step to empowerment and the anointing that comes only when we refuse to settle for anything less than serving God with all our hearts, souls, minds and strength. It is hard to convince our finite minds that carrying a cross can bring peace and contentment, but because it is by His strength that we accomplish anything, He gets the glory and we are filled up in the process. 

He is the sweet master, and in order to please Him we need only adore Him on this narrow path, even without fully understanding it all. By walking the path of sacrifice we finally realize that we can never become mature without first dying to the old selfish lifestyles that demand more and are never satisfied. In dying to our old man we become that fully developed "new man" that God intended-something that could never happen otherwise. As we walk down the narrow path of sacrifice He accomplishes His grand design for our lives. We become reliant on Him and He frees us from self by revealing our weaknesses by the power of the Holy Spirit. An intense desperation is created by the emptiness we find in all earthly things, which hold little appeal at that point. We discover the doorway to the deeper life by first being discontent with a shallow, egocentric existence.

The natural man would love to go deep in Christ and his pure love at no cost, but it is only his excessive self-love and pride that acts so childish and demanding in the first place. And while God's fatherly heart takes no joy in seeing us struggle He knows the road of sacrifice brings about steadfastness and meekness, purifying our motives and intentions to the point where we are worthy to feel His deepest heart cries and carry His message of love to a lost and dying world.

Take heart, precious friend, when bearing the cross down the narrow and winding road of sacrifice, as you anticipate the joy that comes with pressing in. As you go hard after God, let me encourage you.  You have set out on a journey of divine proportions, determined to settle for nothing less than touching the very heart of God, and I guarantee that in that place is fullness of joy, where you will find that He is altogether lovely and everything you ever wanted.

Steve Porter
http://www.soakingplace.tv - www.soakingplace.tv


Replies:

Posted By: Wanda D. Davis
Date Posted: 05/03/2011 at 11:48pm

Pursuing God and getting to know Him comes at a great price. Once He reveals Himself and His love for us, it's hard to desire this world and everything that goes with it. I chose the "deeper path" and my life is changing as I continue to die to self. What a journey! Your message was awesome and deep. Thank you for sharing. Wanda



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Rehoboth



Posted By: Moderator
Date Posted: 07/25/2011 at 6:40am

OVERCOMING THE SPIRIT OF UNBELIEF
 
    For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world- our faith. I John 5:5
 
    Do you know what George Washington said to his men before crossing the Delaware? Get in the boat! Sounds silly but there had to be action put to his words in order for them to launch out to accomplish their mission. Do you know what Jesus said to Peter when He approached them on the stormy sea walking on water? Come!
 
    Walking on water is physically impossible, and for one to accomplish such a feat he must move into a different dimension of the Spirit. Raising the dead also requires faith outside the box of man's natural mind. The church of Jesus Christ has been given the power and the supernatural ability to overcome the natural realm to accomplish extraordinary miracles.
 
    Today we live in a world totally dominated by the media. Everything is electronic, hand held and information is instantaneous. The modern mind of man has been brain washed into believing anything that media wants him to believe. Even the court system is compromised by whatever verdict the media wants to attach to someone, subsequently swaying the juror's minds. They can ruin you in a matter of minutes or exonerate you, it all depends on what makes the most money.
 
    Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. James 2:17
 
THE DIVINE MIXTURE
 
    For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. Hebrews 4:2
 
    If Jesus said it, believe it, if it's in His word stand on it and take it to heart. God is moved by people trusting His word and believing the promises contained in scripture. Not name it and claim it, or blab it and grab it, that's just childish gibberish reserved for new converts and TV preachers. God is not Santa Claus reading your list of selfish pleasures and rushing out to make you happy.
 
    That which moves God is true faith in His word and stepping out with a heart believing that He will watch over His promise to perform it. When one's motive is pure and sincere in regards to his need the Holy Spirit comes in power always glorifying Jesus and giving honor to God. Knowing God's will in regards to our circumstances involves prayer and meditation in His word leading to the answer to our petition.
 
    When Jesus arrived at the home of Lazarus, He was moved with compassion as he saw his sisters and friends mourning the loss of their loved one. He immediately proceeded to the tomb and wept with grief even though He knew the outcome and He called him forth from the grave and received him back into the land of the living. The loss of a dear friend moved the Holy Spirit to resurrect a man who was dead four days.
 
    Desperation moves the hand of God, for it is when we have reached the point of no return in regards to our own fleshly means of deliverance that Holy Spirit begins to work. Many years ago I was with the parents of a young lady that had just lost her baby and then suffered kidney failure. The doctor was telling them that there was no hope because her organs were shutting down and she was being kept alive by the assistance of machines.
 
    As we heard the hopeless news the Holy Spirit said to me, "Go and pray again." Out of obedience and not super spiritual faith I entered her room and saw her lying there hooked up to a heart and lung machine and her color was almost bright yellow, needless to say it looked pretty hopeless. I prayed and then left the hospital and two days later she was released, totally restored to perfect health.
 
    "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also, and greater works than these he will do, because I go to the Father." John 14:12
 
GOD WON'T MOVE IN UNBELIEF
 
    Jesus appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. Mark 16:14
 
    After seeing and experiencing three years of signs, wonders and miracles the eleven apostles sat in unbelief. Their Master dead, wanted by the authorities, and scared for their own lives the disciples huddled around the table discussing their plight. Suddenly Jesus appeared and rebuked them for their hardness of heart.
 
    Instead of beating them over the head with the scriptures, Jesus commissioned them into their lifelong mission to make disciples of all nations. We as the church would do well to take a hard look at what Jesus did with the eleven, He didn't tell them to put a church on every corner, He said make disciples. If we would just obey and unify under the banner of the cross the world would be harvested and He would return for a glorious church.
 
    Instead of arguing about doctrine and the color of the new carpet in the sanctuary, trying to hire a new "Senior Pastor" (Found no where in scripture) and bickering among themselves about nothing, the church has neglected the very thing that breeds spiritual life: the great commission! Because of her unbelief and hardness of heart the church has sunk into a cesspool of fear and doubt becoming a Sunday morning social club catering to the rich and famous!
 
    "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. "He who believes and is baptized will be saved: but he who does not believe will be condemned. "And these signs will follow those who have believed: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; "they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick and they will recover." Mark 16:15-18
 
Your servant in Christ, Tim Laughlin
  http://www.restorationtrainingcenter.org/" rel=nofollow> 



Posted By: Wanda D. Davis
Date Posted: 07/25/2011 at 11:19am

Awesome! Thank you for sharing truth with us.

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Rehoboth



Posted By: Moderator
Date Posted: 10/12/2011 at 6:58am

CHRIST IN YOU, THE HOPE OF GLORY
 
    To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among you: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:27
 
    Without the Lord Jesus Christ residing in your heart and life there is absolutely no hope for your future and no eternal glory! The mystery of salvation is the new birth of the divine seed being planted in one's heart and growing up into a vineyard of the sons of God.
 
    After thirty years of ministry I have come to the conclusion that no one can be changed by human means, only by the transformation of the mind and heart of man by the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus can the world truly be made a new creation. One cannot change a people politically, by voting. The issues of abortion, homosexuality, child abuse, drug and alcohol addiction, pornography and the like can only be changed by the washing of the blood of Jesus Christ and the anointing of His Spirit.
 
    The world is sin-sick, lost and sinking into a deep depravity, a literal cesspool of filth caused by a defecting from their Creator. Prideful arrogance and selfish ambition and religious ritual have polluted mankind leaving him totally ignorant of the things of God! Science, medical miracles, and the electronic age have further caused man to move farther away from his only hope for redemption.
 
    Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new. II Corinthians 5:17
 
IS CHRIST IN YOU?
 
    "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." John 3:3
 
    When one experiences being born again by the Spirit he begins to live a life outside the confines of the natural world and a spiritual being is created within his soul. Just as an earthly child is born and immediately wants to be fed, so also the spiritual child longs for the pure milk of the Word.
 
    Praying a prayer without conviction, being baptized, joining the church or going to Sunday school or even taking mass or communion does not make a Christian. Only by the "Divine seed" being planted in one's heart can he become a new creation in Christ. One of the signs of one experiencing the new birth is old things begin to pass away. As Jesus begins to set up house cleaning in His new temple He begins to throw out the old and replace it with all new furnishings.
 
    If the Lord Jesus Christ resides within you, your desires will change, your old habits will begin to disappear and you will instinctively want to do the things that Christ does. The true Christian does not live by rules and regulations anymore such as "Thou shall not" because the laws of God have become fulfilled in Christ and they are now written on your heart.
 
    If you have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ and have repented of your sins and iniquities and received His cleansing through the blood He shed for you, then you are a brand new born again spiritual being and the Spirit of God now resides within you. You are the temple of God, you no longer go to church because you are the church. You have become a priest of the most high God, anointed with His Holy Spirit and given divine revelation of His word.
 
    Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. I Peter 2:4,5
 
A CHOSEN GENERATION
 
    But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. I Peter 2:9
 
    You are no longer a mere mortal barely existing to survive, you have been transformed by the regeneration of His Spirit and His word to become a supernatural generation of priests who are anointed with the Holy Spirit to minister to the Father of lights. Invited to come into the very throne room of God, we as His holy priesthood have been given access to His divine presence.
 
    As spiritual sons and daughters we can come before the Father at any time to receive His mercy and grace, or to speak to Him about our circumstances just as we would with our earthly fathers. In the old testament the priests would offer sacrifices of animals for the people and the high priest would enter the Holy of hollies into the presence of God. Today we have a High Priest who has gone before us to become the sacrifice for us and to reign forever, interceding for His holy priests on earth.
 
    Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:14-16
 
LIVING SACRIFICES
 
    I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. Romans 12:1
 
    Our sacrifice to God is our life, given freely to the One who died and was raised for us. As Jesus was the sacrifice for our sin, we in turn give our life in godly service back to Him. The laying down of one's life is a great sacrifice to make, but in light of what He has done for us, well worth the loss of any worldly gain.
 
    To become a born again Christian is to become Christlike in every aspect of our lives as the Spirit transforms us into His very image. The body of Christ is His presence in the earth, the representation of Jesus alive doing the same things He did when He was in bodily form, setting the captives free! As His ambassadors we have the responsibility to continue His kingdom here on earth until He returns.
 
    Heal the sick, cast out demons, raise the dead and preach the gospel (the good news of His saving grace) to the poor is our mission in life, we no longer are bound to this earthly realm. Our commission as soldiers of Christ is to make disciples of all nations, exact replicas of the Lord Jesus Christ. Freely you have received, freely give!
 
    As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. Colossians 2:6,7
 
Your servant in Christ, Tim Laughlin
  http://www.restorationtrainingcenter.org/" rel=nofollow>




Posted By: Moderator
Date Posted: 11/30/2011 at 2:17pm

The Love of God

Herb Dean

  It has been my personal experience and my experience in counseling that many people have difficulty really believing that God loves them. This is often because of their past. They may have done things that they feel make them unworthy to receive God's love. Though they are Christians they have not fully appropriated the work of the cross. They still carry the burdens of self-condemnation, guilt, shame, and regret. I was thinking about this as I prepared my Sunday message and the prodigal son came to mind. We have all heard it preached various and sundry ways, but I felt the Lord was giving me a fresh application. Think about this for a moment; the prodigal son spent his inheritance in riotous living. He consumed his living with harlots and on a life of debauchery. As wicked as he had been, living totally contrary to the things he had been taught, he finally came to his senses and returned home content to be just a servant in his father's home. When the father saw him, he ran and embraced him even before he could speak his prerehearsed speech of repentance.

      I'm just thinking as I write and here's what comes to mind:
 
    Because of his wickedness, he could no longer perceive himself as a son. The guilt he bore caused him to be willing to settle for being a lowly servant instead of a son. He did not understand the love of his father. He felt he could never again have an intimate relationship with the father.
 
    The good news is that regardless of what he had done, his father still loved him. In fact, when he was doing his worst the father never stopped loving him.
 
    It was God's love that put Jesus on the cross and His sacrifice was sufficient to cover what ever you have done. If you are still carrying guilt and shame, it may be unrecognized by you, but you are still trying to pay a debt that was fully paid. When He said it was finished, it was.  It is time you took condemnation, guilt, shame, and regret to the cross and received the Father's embrace. He loves you and He desires intimacy with you.
 
   As the old song says, "The love of God is greater far than tongue or pen can ever tell. It goes beyond the highest star and reaches to the lowest hell."  Of faith, hope, and love the greatest is love. Hope sustains us; faith will make you an overcomer, but love will make you more than a conqueror. Nothing can separate us from the love of God and today God wants you to hear His words,"I love you."
 
I know many of you are secure in God's love and I praise the Lord for that, but there are still many who need those yokes broken off to receive His yoke. May God's richest blessing be yours and may you know the height, depth, and breadth of His love.
                                     In hIs love,
                                     Herb Dean
mailto:rborvitae5@aol.com - rborvitae5@aol.com
 



Posted By: Wanda D. Davis
Date Posted: 11/30/2011 at 11:20pm

Amen

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Rehoboth



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