Why? Because you can’t go anywhere until you first know where you are! Let’s say you are traveling and get lost; even with a map, you need to know your current location so you can find the way to your destination. In a similar way, when your goal is an emotional or a spiritual place, you need to know where you are before you can hope to reach that goal. Whether you are a Christian or not, you’ve likely desired to be in a better emotional or spiritual place, yet had no idea how to get there. I know how that feels. There were many times in my life when I was frustrated and angry, and I didn’t know why. But a few years ago God helped me see that the reason I could never leave that place of anger and frustration and could never find a place of real peace was that I didn’t know where I was. Let me explain further by telling you this little story:
It was mid-fall in western Washington and the forests were alive with color. Between the evergreens was a perfectly patterned mixture of maple and alder trees, all in brilliant shades of orange, yellow and red. This panoramic scenery became a streaming mural as I traveled on highway I-90 from Seattle toward Snoqualmie pass. This was a common event in my ministry and every weekend for about six months of the year, I drove (alone) from my home in the “wet and green” part of Washington to the dry and desert-like, eastern region of the state. I was well known in the northwestern states, Alaska and southwest Canada, as the “Singing Evangelist.” I was a recorded music artist with two music albums and I had appeared on over 30 Television broadcasts (including regular appearances on the local TBN program). Many ministry doors opened for me; God was doing a marvelous work in people’s lives and I knew I was right where God wanted me. As I advanced on the beautiful Cascade Mountains, I was feeling a little down and somewhat disconnected - probably as a result of the hurried “in-between-engagements” routine that often accompanies traveling ministry. I turned on some of my favorite praise music and thought my spirit would be “lifted” (like many times before) but today was different; instead of feeling drawn into God’s presence I felt frustrated and alone. I tried to turn my attention toward Jesus but I felt resentment and soon became uncomfortable. Then I began feeling guilty for not feeling close to God; after all, I was a Christian Recording Artist and an evangelistic preacher with “bad feelings” toward my creator and my savior. I was mad, ashamed and confused. A few minutes later, I prayed and asked Jesus to forgive me for those feelings and to help me clear anything that was between Him and me. It wasn’t long before I felt better and I was able to enter into his dear sweet presence; yet, even while sensing His wonderful peace, there was a nagging feeling that things were not quite right in my relationship with Jesus. As years of ministry passed, those feelings resurfaced several times, robbing me of a deep and sweet relation with God.
Now before you pass judgment on me or my story, you need to understand a few things about the world of professional ministry: Ministering is one thing - loving Jesus is another. I have learned that serving God in an adverse environment is taxing and it often leaves Christians exhausted, no matter what their spiritual base. A tight relationship with God is so important and if there is trouble there (no matter how hidden) it can result in a serious breakdown in every part of your life. In my case, I wanted to please Jesus and answer His call. I knew I was where he wanted me and I saw the results of His mighty hand. The Holy Spirit amazed me as He moved in people’s lives, challenging them to change and to grow, yet, in the middle of all that, sometimes I just wanted to run away. For many years I didn’t realize what was happening. I felt the joy of ministry and felt the life that radiates from God himself but still there was an underlying resentment, and disappointed feeling toward God. I loved Him but I was angry.
Before you completely despair let me assure you there is a happy ending (and you don’t have to read the end of this book to find it). After many years of ministry and more road miles than I care to calculate, there was a special day; a life changing day. One morning while I was praying, God ministered to me in a unique way; He began to reveal a different image of Jesus and how it compared with the one I had in my mind and heart. At first I was nervous because I didn’t want a “cult” event in my life. After all, I learned about Jesus as a child in Sunday school and listened to my mother as she read to me about Jesus from the Bible. The last thing I wanted was to believe in or serve anyone or anything other than the real Jesus. While contemplating this “different image” of Jesus, I considered what Paul wrote in Galatians 1:6 “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel …” (NIV). I certainly did not want to receive a different gospel and did not want to preach a different gospel. As I pondered whether this “new image” of Jesus was valid, I considered that it might be from “unclean” spirits masquerading as “Angels of Light,” but fortunately God taught me early in ministry how to check spiritual messages and confirm their origin.
Let me take a minute and share this method of checking message sources: #1 - Go to God and simply ask Him if the message is from Him. #2 - Take some time and wait for His answer.
Sounds like a funny method, right? After all, a “person of faith” would never ask God if He really said what he just said; but, that is exactly what a person of faith should do and I discovered a long time ago that God is not offended when we ask Him about what we hear in our spirits.
After asking the Lord about the message, if you receive no confirmation in your spirit about the origin, then God has probably NOT spoken that word. The Lord wants you to know what He speaks, so He will confirm his message. In contrast, Satan loves to hide the authorship of his messages, so he cannot and will not confirm the source.
John 10:27 “My sheep recognize my voice” (New Living Bible)
Now back to the main subject:
Using those good “spirit-checking” methods, I went to God and prayed “Lord, was this message from you?” I then waited and listened (with my spirit) for Him to confirm or deny the message. I was pleased and nearly surprised when God let me know (deep in my spirit) just how true His revelation was.
God’s revelation about Himself changed my outlook on life and began to change my relationship with Him. In the weeks that followed, God unveiled the details of His revelation and it completely transformed my Christian life. In the end there was one simple truth that came from that revelation: There is “ANOTHER JESUS.” I know, I know - you may be tempted to toss this book aside and call me a heretic, but I assure you that the purpose of this book is NOT to introduce a new doctrine but to encourage you to look into your heart and mind, and see what you really think and feel about Jesus. The Bible says there is one God, and there is! It says Jesus is the Son of God, and He is! Jesus is described as “The Word” in the gospel of John and it says that the “Word was God.” So, if you follow the simple logic: There is one Lord, one God, one Jesus, one King of Kings and one Lord of Lords. So, how can there be another Jesus? To discover that, you must read on.
- Read the rest in the book The OTHER Jesus, by Dave Campbell.
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