The Greatest Thing You Can HAVE

Joe Brock's picture

In one of my previous blogs, I shared about an experience I had where in an open vision, I saw Jesus playing the card game Solitaire. You can read it here. I want to share 2 more experiences that carried the same theme and the absolute greatest thing you can possess as a Christian.
 

New Years Eve and a Lonely Savior

When we lived in Northern, IN we would spend every New Year's Eve with some very dear friends of ours. We would spend the evening laughing, eating and fellowshipping. As midnight approached, we would move into a time of prayer and worship bringing the New Year in seeking the Lord. One particular year as we were waiting on the Lord, I sensed an immediate and intense presence enter the room. I was lying down waiting on the Lord with my face resting in my hands.

 


“Joe, all over the world tonight My sons and daughters have gathered to celebrate the New Year, and very, very few have invited Me to be a part. I’m just lonely Joe.”


 

As I lay thereJesus Christ Himself walked in the room and stood right next to my right arm just inches away. I was very afraid; so much so I did not look up. I remained there not knowing what to do. After a moment or so, I announced to the room – “Jesus just walked in the room and is standing right next to me. There was no talk or banter, just silence. I then said aloud, “Jesus, what are doing here?” His response was heartbreaking and brought me to painful tears. He said to me, “Joe, all over the world tonight My sons and daughters have gathered to celebrate the New Year, and very, very few have invited Me to be a part. I’m just lonely Joe.”

 
What could I say to this? How was I supposed to respond? On a night filled with such joy and celebration, our King was left out. Jesus was left to be alone. The One who took on flesh to save us was left ignored. I was crushed and broken again, much like I was in the Solitaire experience. Jesus felt loneliness and to me that was absolutely unacceptable. Never again would Jesus be left out of something my family, my church or I was doing. Jesus does not need us, but loves and enjoys us more than we will ever know. The next experience along these lines broke me again, but also showed and widened my understanding of God’s love for us.


God's Unwillingness to Let us Go

One Sunday morning I was ministering at a church. I had shared the message and at the end, brought the congregation to a place of waiting on the Lord. We sat there in silence for a couple of minutes. I sensed there was no stirring in the spirit so I moved to dismiss. Immediately I felt an inner resistance preventing me from ending the service. I said nothing. I just continued to wait on the Lord. After a couple more minutes, again, there was nothing stirring in the spirit so I attempted to end the service. The minute I considered this in my mind, there was a resistance from the Holy Spirit again – I was not to dismiss. There was now a few minutes of silence that was moving into that ‘awkward’ stage. This happened once more which prompted me to ask the Lord in my heart why He would not allow me to dismiss the service. My heart ached because of His response.

 


“Joe, most people in this room will not speak to Me again until next Sunday and I love being with my kids. Once you dismiss the service, they will leave, and I will not get to be with them again until next week, and I’m just not ready to let them go just yet.”


 

“Joe, most people in this room will not speak to Me again until next Sunday and I love being with my kids. Once you dismiss the service, they will leave, and I will not get to be with them again until next week, and I’m just not ready to let them go just yet.”

You know even as I type this my heart breaks. Remembering these things is just as hard now as they were when they happened. As I scanned the congregation, I saw these people differently. I saw them unaware and blind to how much God loved and longed for them. I saw how easy the preoccupation of life holds us captive from the heart of our loving King. I also saw again just how much God enjoys being around us. So much so, He allowed a church service to continue just so He could hang out with His kids. He knew that the moment we dismissed, He would have no communication with these people for a full week. How great is the Father’s love for us.


The Greatest Thing You Can Have

One of the most quoted passages in the Bible is I Corinthians 13. In the first 3 verses Paul shares something, that without proper understanding, makes most of our spiritual labor in vain.
 


1 Corinthians 13:1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.



For years I thought what Paul meant in these three verses was that if I did not ‘do’ my spiritual gifts in a loving manner, the outcome would be me being a nuisance, me being nothing or me gaining nothing. The picture I had was me ministering in a loving way; and this is what qualified me. One day as I was looking through these verses in the Greek New Testament, I saw something that changed my entire view on the motivation behind ministering.

 

You will notice I highlighted and italicized the same three phrases…have not loveIt was from these three places I developed my idea of how I was supposed to minister. My ministering was to look and feel loving. This is true, but it is how we arrive at being loving that escaped me. The word -have- is the Greek word -echo- (pronounced just like our English word echo). Once I understood its meaning, it changed the way I saw God’s heart and what true ministry should look like.

 

 


God places a higher premium on your own personal knowledge and revelation of His love than He does your giftedness. 



Echo means by definition – ownership, owner, to be in possession of something, grasping or having a hold of something. When you understand what this word means, it shows God’s desire for how true ministry should happen. Paul is saying – If I have spiritual gifts, prophetic power, understanding of great mysteries, and a faith that can move mountains, if I have all of these but do not possess for myself, within myself, the true knowledge and experience of God’s perfect love, I am nothing. God places a higher premium on your own personal knowledge and revelation of His love than He does your giftedness.

God wants you loved before you step out to serve. This is what is most important to Him. God does not care if you can quote John 3:16 – He cares if the revelation of that verse is alive and active in your heart. He does not want slaves; He wants sons and daughters smitten by His love. Do you possess God’s love? You can, and it’s worth giving up everything in the world to possess.

In the two experiences I shared, God showed me He how deeply He loves His children. He enjoys us and enjoys us enjoying His enjoyment of us. He wants to be around us doing whatever we are doing. He also wants us to be with Him doing whatever He is doing. This is called relationship, and from this relationship true flows ministry. Before you seek what your gifts are, seek out His love and do not stop until you are in possession of it. When you know and are aware of God’s love, you will never leave Him lonely and will spend time with Him doing more ministry than you have ever done before. May you be blessed in all things. 

 

                                                                                            Your Brother Joe

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