Category Archives: Pathways in Heaven

Sit in His Presence

From the book “Pathways in Heaven” …

When God starts to deal with your old nature He heads straight for the center of all you hold most dear. Allow Him to bring you the cross in the very center of who you are. Don’t grumble and become agitated when the process starts: Silence and peace will help you much more than being upset.

You will be tempted to speak out in a humble tone of voice to tell others of your problems. Watch out for this! A humility that is still talkative does not run very deep. When you talk too much your self-love relieves its sense of shame a little.

Don’t be angry about what people say. Just follow God and let them talk. As far as people are concerned, you will never be able to satisfy them. Silence, peace, and union with God should comfort you from all that people speak against you. You need to be determined to do right in your present situation – but at the same time your quick temper requires checks and balances. Come to God often just to sit in His presence and renew yourself. Nothing is as important as lowliness of heart, and detachment from your own opinion and will. Stiffness and harshness is not the spirit of Jesus Christ

Francois de Fenelon (1651-1715)
French Roman Catholic Archbishop
Taken from the book ‘100 Days in the Secret Place’
Copyright 2001 – Gene Edwards, Published by Destiny House

The above excerpt came from a letter written by Archbishop Fenelon. His fatherly voice and practical advice is part of the inspiration for this book. His writings remind me we are all very much a work in progress and we need to be reminded to ‘Come to God often just to sit in His presence and renew yourself.’ God is working deep within all of us to bring us to maturity as His sons and daughters.

All of us are on a spiritual journey. It is important to know the pathways we are on have been traveled by others before us as well.

Receiving More

From the book ‘Pathways in Heaven’ …

Many are offended when they hear someone say there is something more to be received from God. You’ll hear them say, “I received everything I’ll ever need when I was saved. I don’t need a ‘second blessing’.” I agree with them. They are saved. They are now a part of the God’s family. They have received everything they’ll ever need.

Please don’t fault me for not wanting to stop with simply what I need. Once saved, I knew I had everything I needed. I knew one day I would go to heaven. But, I also knew there was more I wanted.

The answer to what I wanted came as I studied the Book of Acts. As I studied the book, I read about the miraculous. I read about the dead being raised. I read about whole families and towns turning to the Lord. Why was my own church experience so different from what I read? The answer came from a study of the following verses:

Acts 19:1-5:

And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”

So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?” So they said, “Into John’s baptism.” Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.” When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.

The key to understanding the passage for me was to study the phrase “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” Specifically, to understand the Greek word translated ‘receive’.

There are several Greek words translated into ‘receive’ in English. The Greek word ‘dechomai’ means to receive something passively. You can passively receive something, as is the case when someone hands you a gift. The word in Acts 19:2 is the Greek word ‘lambano’. It means to actively lay hold upon something.

The example which made the difference clear to me is the example of a person who receives (lambano) a commission as a military officer. Receiving a military commission takes active participation on the part of the candidate. It also takes active pursuit.

Everything we receive from God is by grace alone. We don’t earn the gifts of God (as if we could put a price on them). Yet James 4:8 exhorts us to: Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Receiving a military commission changes the recipient forever. It changes their identity. The commission an officer receives becomes who they are. They are an officer for the rest of their lives. The gifts of God are not external gifts to hold, they are internal transformations. They change our very nature.

This understanding changed something inside of me. I was no longer going to sit back passively waiting for God to drop a gift in my lap. I was going pursue God. I came to understand God is not offended when we actively pursue Him.

This new understanding brought an intense determination. It brought a burning desire within me. I wanted to experience my full inheritance as a child of God. If God had it for me, I wanted it! I wanted to be changed into His image! I wanted to posses everything bought and paid for by the cross of Jesus Christ. I wasn’t going to be robbed nor cheated of what was my inheritance!

Like Jacob of the Bible, the day came when I went into a wrestling match with God and I wasn’t going to let go of God until I received a blessing!  My wrestling match with God lasted most of one day and all of one night. I wasn’t going to let go of God until I received an answer to the burning desire in my heart for my rightful inheritance as a child of God.

What happened? By the dawn of the next day, I was exhausted, in total peace and speaking in tongues.

I had received my answer.