Even when we were dead in our transgressions, [God] made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
And raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus,
In order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:5-7).
God gave us the indwelling Holy Spirit as the "earnest" of our eternal inheritance. Now if the Presence of the Holy Spirit in our hearts during our earthly existence isn't even called a "down payment" (which is usually much larger than the amount required for an earnest payment), then what is the magnitude of our inheritance? It is hard to think of the Holy Spirit's indwelling Presence as a gift to kind of tide us over in the earth until we receive "the real thing in its fullness." It makes you wonder what awaits us when we finally get out out these fragile earthly bodies and put on our glorified bodies! Paul wrote in his letter to the Ephesians:
Do you think you are enjoying the grace of God now? No way. You don't have the facilities to enjoy the immeasurable grace of God. You don't have the "equipment" to enjoy it without measure or limitation. Enjoy what you have received, but always realize that what you have isn't all that He is going to give you! He is telling you through His Word that He is going to give you more.
I have found that there are some songs when it's there season, have the capacity to immediately transport you into the Presence. Those melodies by-pass a rational understanding of music and worship, and while the song in another "season" may have no impact at all -- in the right kairos, you're there!
Joe Pace's "In This Place" seems to be that kind of song for me personally and probably for many worshipers at Covenant Church. I have noticed the change in the atmosphere when we sing it and particularly in the way the Holy Spirit uses Pastor George's sax intro. The old saints called certain places "thin places" because of the intangible something that enabled you to bypass the "noise" that often interferes with our access to His manifest presence.
A few days ago, our youngest daughter text me this question:
"How come when u start really praying for something, it looks like the opposite occurs?
I responded with this answer: I hope it helps you -- she said it helped her. :-)
In the beginning of a process working toward the tipping point, gravity is working against you. As you CONTINUE to work toward the tipping point, what was working against you is now working for you.
God is calling us to a different dimension of praise and worship. It requires each of us to come boldly to the throne of grace in Jesus' name. Here I come.
I believe musicians, song writers, psalmists, and singers around the world are hearing mysterious new sounds in their spirits, but don't know what to do with them! I call them forth in Jesus' name! It is time to speak out what you hear your Father in Heaven speaking! It is time to sing out what you hear the angels in Heaven singing! It is time to create the instruments that you see and hear glorifying God in the heavenlies! It is all part of bringing God's will to pass on the earth as it is in Heaven. But the task, like any other in God's Kingdom, is a supernatural task that must be done by the Spirit of God and not by the flesh of man.
If you decide that you are going to tithe, I can almost guarantee that you suddenly will run into all kinds of opposition and "financial problems" calling for your money the following week. If you decide you are going to fast before the Lord, expect temptation. You can go to work six days a week for six months and never have anyone in the office or workplace offer you anything to eat. But if you tell your spouse tomorrow morning, "I'm not going to eat breakfast or lunch today, honey. I'm just going to fast," then 10 or 15 of your coworkers will get a "bright idea" that morning. That's the day that every one of them will bring freshly baked date-nut bread, banana bread, chocolate cookies, cake, homemade pie, and your favorite brand of ice cream to your desk!