“When we are in an unhealthy state, physically or emotionally, we always want thrills. In the physical domain this will lead to counterfeiting the Holy Ghost; in the emotional life it leads to inordinate affection and the destruction of morality; and in the spiritual domain if we insist on getting thrills, on mounting up with wings, it will end in the destruction of spirituality. The reality of God’s presence is not dependent on any place . . . our problems come when we refuse to bank on the reality of His presence.”
Oswald Chambers wrote these words almost a hundred years ago – they are profoundly prophetic, pointing the finger at the fact that if we are spiritually unhealthy, then we will look for the thrill of substitutes and even experience things which may look like the Holy Ghost but which are, in reality, counterfeited by the enemy – for who else would want to counterfeit the Holy Ghost?
In our generation there has been a lot of thrill-seeking and there are many counterfeit spiritual experiences available for the undiscerning to choose from. There is also a lot of immorality around – even inside the church as people seek the thrill of wrong relationships, evidence of their lack of spiritual satisfaction and the sheer poverty of their relationship with the Lord.
It is only because their relationship with the Lord is so superficial that many people have little or no ability to either resist temptation or to discern the false from the true. I don’t say this from a position of arrogance or judgement, – just from a position of reality, knowing many of the things that come pouring out of the heart when people have reached the end of themselves and are now desperate for help.
If we have lost (or have never found in many cases) a relationship of intimacy with the Lord, then it is only a short step to cross the line and then be more intimate with the devil and his ways, than we are with the Lord and His ways. Then we are opening the door and giving the devil a foothold – which he is never slow to take advantage of! (Ephesians 4:27)
When the Lord led me to draft out the contents of Ellel 365, I was at first doubtful about what I was writing down. At first it seemed a little disconnected from the healing mission that God had birthed within Ellel Ministries. It seemed too focussed on helping people to understand and apply the foundational truths of what we believe and not enough on what Ellel 365 is described as – Personal Transformation – One Day at a Time.
But as time has passed, I have seen the profound wisdom of the Lord in leading us in that direction. For what is happening is that people are discovering the deepest healing in their lives through getting back into a healthy personal state with the Lord. This is undermining unreality, self-deception and in some cases ignorance of the Word, with truth. People are becoming far more aware of the presence of the Lord in their daily walk with Him and are no longer looking for the thrill-based substitutes that the enemy will tempt us with, if we are in a spiritually unhealthy condition. Neither are they stuck in the sterility of gaining information without application. God is healing people, quite radically in many cases, in His way – and I’m thrilled by what is happening.
Only this morning I received this from a lady who is doing Ellel 365 in Mexico: “It´s just amazing the incredible things that have been happening to me. I’m just amazed by what the Lord is doing in my life. I would like to know if there´s anything that I can do to bring Ellel Ministries to the whole country of Mexico . . . Now I understand so many things that I couldn´t understand before . . . I have seen God´s hand working in me and delivering me from rejection and pride. I can only say: THANK YOU! and I want more of this! Thank you for being faithful in what the Lord gave you.“
Maybe a lot more people would have been attracted to Ellel 365 if it had been more ‘me-centred’ – but we can only experience true spirituality and the deepest healing when we move from being ‘me-centred’ to‘Him-centred’! And that is a journey that we all need to be on – from ‘me’ to ‘Him’.
As I meditated on what Oswald Chambers had written, I began to see some things in my own life in a new way and even now, as I am writing this blog, I’m conscious of a tugging by the Spirit to look again at those areas where I may be tempted to be dependent on my own ability, rather than to look for the fruit of His presence and to walk in the ways He lays before us.
I found myself praying, “Lord, help me to desire your presence above all else” knowing that outside of His presence there are dangerous deceptions and temptations will increase. I just wonder what would happen if we gave greater attention to desiring His presence in the intimate place of our hearts? Would we then see more of the revival that people pray will happen in their churches and communities? I’ve never forgotten those words written by J.Edwin Orr, ‘O Lord, send revival, but start the work in me!’