Every once in a while I will read something in a book that will grip my attention. And when I do, I stop reading and reflect on it. I think when something jumps out at you, it just might be God trying to get your attention. All too often in prayer, we tend to try to set the agenda with God. But there are some times when He is wanting to bring up a topic with us.
I had one of those moments tonight.
I was reading this evening from a book by Ryan Wyatt called “School of the Supernatural,” where he describes an evening where he was in prayer in his motel room, and Jesus appeared to him. Part of what Jesus said to him was (and I quote)
“Ryan, I am releasing [the oil of the overcomer] in this hour for those who will begin to position themselves for it.” Then He went on to say, “I am desperately hungry that I would have a people who will lay hold of their full inheritance… I and I alone am your inheritance… I and I alone am to be your possession.” Jesus also said to me, “I am desperately hungry that I would have my full inheritance in my people.”
That gripped me.
I think it is so easy sometimes to miss the reality that even for those of us who are passionate to love God with all of our hearts, we sometimes easily forget how much God’s heart longs for us, and how much He has a passion to have that intimacy with us. It was His idea in the first place.
But there is also the reality that as much as God wants to bless us with the realities of His presence, He knows us enough to know also that it is not good for Him to bless us with blessings that our character does not have room enough to contain.
I would love to have an encounter like many I have read of in the recent past – visitations from Jesus, visitations from angels, trips to heaven. I believe these encounters are real. I’ve had some experiences of my own, though not as drastic. (I believe there can also be spiritual counterfeits, but one of the tests of the source of these encounters is the fruit in people’s lives, and in this regard, the fruit in Ryan Wyatt’s life seems to be “grade A choice,” to be sure.)
You need the character to contain the blessings God wants to give you.
But more than anything, I have come to a place where I want have the character to contain the results of an encounter like that, whether I ever have the supernatural experience or not; I want the motivation of my life to be the Christlike character, and not merely the experience itself. What would it really profit a man to gain a supernatural experience like that and NOT have it change you to be more like Jesus?
Kathryn Kuhlman once said that God told her that she was His third choice for the ministry to which He called her.
It seems that the others He would have rather chosen were of those of whom “many are called, but few are chosen” – there are times God longs to use people in grand and glorious ways, but their sins and character issues prevent his choices for them. They have gifts, but their character issues prevent God from using them as He would like. A great man of God, George Bogel, once said in a sermon that God spoke to Him and said, “I will never torment my people with what they have missed.” But that gripped me too. The understanding that George said he had in that moment was that we should always understand what is at stake when we wilfully choose to disobey God.
Long for the character transformation.
I don’t know if God will ever have an encounter where Jesus will appear to me, or if I will see an angel, or be transported to heaven before that final day for me when I go with a one-way ticket. But one thing I have decided is this: I want to become a man of character. I want to become a man who pursues God for God’s sake. I want to be able to look back from this day forward and know that, from now on, I will never grieve the Spirit of God because I left Him having to choose someone else to do the job for which He wanted to call me.