Sep 6 2011

The goal of a true ministry from God is to mature the believer, not to prolong his infancy.

  • John Robert Stevens, "To Wean or Not to Wean?" 1981
    John Robert Stevens, "To Wean or Not to Wean?" 1981
    Excerpt from the This Week "To Wean or Not to Wean?" by John Robert Stevens, Copyright (c) 1981 by The Living Word, a California non profit Corporation. Used by permission.

 

Aug 30 2011

Much dripping of the water wears away the stone is a well-known proverb. Our lives and our spirits become grooved; attitudes are formed by repetitious experience. What is the value of daily prayer? Why should I remember the Lord in the days of my youth? If it is done sincerely so it becomes an experience, if you do it until the Word becomes bread to your spirit, if you do it until you seem to feel Christ speaking to you out of the pages, if you pray until you can feel that your breath touches God—then that everyday experience builds up day after day after day. It isn’t very long until there is a rapport between you and the Lord and no hostile thing could ever separate you from it.

 

Aug 11 2011
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Perhaps no woman in the Scriptures was loved more deeply than Rachel, as we see by the acts of Jacob. But do you think she realized how much Jacob loved her? In this day we are continually being exhorted to love one another, but some of the greatest miracles are wrought when we become aware that we are being loved. What God is doing for you would often be helped a great deal if you would follow this simple step: Instead of seeking ministry and help, just open your heart to the fact that a great amount of love and concentrated faith is already flowing to you.

Open your heart to a visitation of love and say, “Lord, I know You love me.” Instead of concentrating on trying to love God, just let Him love you. Appropriate the love and blessing from the Lord. Drink of it until you are completely intoxicated with it.

  • John Robert Stevens, "No-Love" 1979
    John Robert Stevens, "No-Love" 1979
    Excerpt from the This Week "No-Love" by John Robert Stevens, Copyright © 1979 by The Living Word, a California non profit Corporation. Used by permission.

 

Aug 1 2011

When you partake of Communion, the body and the blood of Jesus Christ, you partake of the evidence of God’s love, the communication of it. When you put the bread to your lips, listen for the heartbeat of God the Father, loving you. When you lift the cup to your lips, listen for the cry of love on the cross: “Father, it is finished” (John 19:30). Learn to know His love, and to know that He really does forgive you and cleanse you. He gives you His life.

  • John Robert Stevens, "Sparks From the Altar" 1971
    John Robert Stevens, "Sparks From the Altar" 1971
    Excerpt from the book "Sparks From the Altar" by John Robert Stevens, Copyright © 1998 by The Living Word, a California non profit Corporation. Used by permission.

 

Jul 22 2011

In the early days, the Lord began to talk to me about waiting on Him….When we first came to California, we had a little house with a big fenced-off yard, a garden, and a chicken house. We cleaned the chicken manure out of the little chicken house, put a window in it, and made it a little place for me to just go out and wait on the Lord. I fasted and prayed there, sometimes taking nothing but water for days or weeks at a time, seeking the Lord and waiting on the Lord. It’s where this ministry was really born, in the old chicken house. I’ve never talked to you much about it, but that was important.

  • John Robert Stevens, "Our Spirits" 1982
    John Robert Stevens, "Our Spirits" 1982
    Excerpt from the This Week "Our Spirits" by John Robert Stevens, Copyright © 1982 by The Living Word, a California non profit Corporation. Used by permission.

 

Jul 11 2011

Although I was not born until about twelve years after the Azusa Street moving of the Holy Spirit in Los Angeles, I did have the privilege of attending church with some of the families who laid the foundation where that breakthrough came. In an old livery stable where mules and delivery wagons were once kept before the days of combustion engines, these people were so met by God that they never lost what they had gained from Him. Other people later came into that moving of the Spirit and described it as “back at Azusa Street this happened.” But those first families did more than talk about it; they walked in their Azusa Street experience. As a boy I listened to them. Some of them were old by that time, but they still had a glow because they had been obedient.*

  • John Robert Stevens, "What Does He Want?" 1978
    John Robert Stevens, "What Does He Want?" 1978
    Excerpt from the This Week "What Does He Want?" by John Robert Stevens, Copyright © 1978 by John Robert Stevens & The Living Word, a California non profit Corporation. Used by permission.

 

Jun 27 2011

Forget all the condemnation that you have gone through and repent for not believing God’s Word that He really loves you (Romans 8:37–39), and that He is caring for you (I Peter 5:7). Believe that you have done what He wanted you to do. If there is something you really need to repent for, then get down and repent for it and get it out of the way and go on with God. But do not languish in unbelief, because it does not do any good. It does not work anything for righteousness (Romans 4:3; James 2:23). It does not do anything for the Kingdom; it just makes you wallow in your own self-pity. You can waste a lot of time in this way.

  • John Robert Stevens, "The End of False Guilt" 1981
    John Robert Stevens, "The End of False Guilt" 1981
    Excerpt from the This Week "The End of False Guilt" by John Robert Stevens, Copyright © 1981 by The Living Word, a California non profit Corporation. Used by permission.

 

Jun 14 2011

John Robert Stevens and Azusa Street

Last wednesday, Gary Hargrave spoke a message titled “Pentecost: This is That.” The title comes from Acts 2:15, when Peter explains that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was the fulfillment of what Joel had spoken of 700-800 years prior, saying “this is that which Joel spoke of.” The main point of the message was that we should have a passionate hunger to see the fulfillment of God’s promises in our generation—right here, right now—just as those believers experienced on that day of Pentecost.

Gary’s message got me thinking about the brief mention I had made in an earlier post about the legacy of John Robert Stevens stretching at least as far back as the outpouring of the Spirit at Azusa Street in the early 1900’s. The moving of God at Azusa Street was characterized by the receiving of the Holy Spirit, visible manifestations of the Father’s presence, healings, and various miracles. Those who were a part of the Azusa Street outpouring experienced a fulfillment of God’s promises, and it was initiated by their intense seeking of the Lord. Stevens wrote about this:

When we look at what happened at the barn-like building on Azusa Street where the Spirit of the Lord fell in Los Angeles, we see an amazing picture of people who sought God. The emptying out took place—the heart-searching, the seeking, the tarrying before the Lord.*

The people who experienced the reality of God’s presence being manifest in this earth at Azusa Street saw a fulfillment because they were desperately seeking it with all their heart. There is a simple clarity in the fact that those who seek the Lord find Him. The Scriptures state this in very plain language: “…you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul.” (Deuteronomy 4:29). This was the reason Stevens constantly taught that believers needed to wait on the Lord and seek Him on their own. The hunger that initiates His appearing goes beyond church and beyond services – it is a lifestyle of seeking Him.

This is the core principle behind the events at Azusa Street, and it is the core principle behind the meetings with God that we have—or do not have—today.

  • *John Robert Stevens, "Why Do People Change Churches?" 1980
    *John Robert Stevens, "Why Do People Change Churches?" 1980
    Excerpt from the This Week "Why Do People Change Churches?" by John Robert Stevens, Copyright © 1980 by The Living Word, a California non profit Corporation. Used by permission.

 

Jun 7 2011

The Legacy of John Robert Stevens

John Robert Stevens passed away on June 4, 1983.

A few days ago, I was thinking about Stevens on the anniversary of his passing, and I realized that there is a difference between talking about legacy and talking about history. A legacy intimates that there is something real that can be passed down from generation to generation. A history, on the other hand, is just a knowledge of past events.

I believe that John Robert Stevens left behind a legacy, which can be seen, felt, touched.

Personally, I know that I stand in Stevens’ legacy. My father received great things from God through Stevens. And I believe that I continue to receive great things from God through my father, through Gary Hargrave, and through the Word that John Robert Stevens left behind. That’s a legacy, not a history.

I searched in Stevens’ messages for that word legacy. That’s how I found the previous quote I posted, in which John discusses the legacy of victory that we have in Jesus Christ. I love the use of that word here, because the authors of the Bible—and therefore, God Himself—seem to place a great emphasis on legacy. The entire New Testament opens with the genealogy of Jesus!

There is something tangible in the concept of a legacy. Jesus Christ lived on this earth and changed the entire history of this universe by his decisions and actions. How incredible is it to think that Jesus includes us in that legacy! If all we have is a history of Jesus, that knowledge does nothing to spur us to live our lives differently. If we see the legacy of Jesus, then we feel a first-hand inclusion into a different reality that He opened up for us to walk into. As II Corinthians 5:17 tells us: “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” That’s an experience of legacy, not history.

And in following the example of Jesus, there are many men and women of God who have left us a legacy. Hebrews 11 is known as “the roll call of faith,” because it lists all the ones who left a legacy of believing God and His Word. There are also great men and women in the history of the Church who have left us a legacy of wisdom and understanding. These are the ones who created the spiritual realities that we stand in today. They are also the ones who left us some legacy items which are true problems, but that’s a different topic!

If we choose to open our eyes, the proof of the tangibility of legacy is all around us. This is very different than history.

So in reflecting upon the death of one great man of God, John Robert Stevens, I cannot help but sit in awe of the things I’ve inherited through his legacy. This even connects me to the ones whose legacy Stevens drew upon in his lifetime, including those who ushered in the outpouring at Azusa Street.

If all we have is a history, then we lack the true impact of the lives of those who built what we stand in today. However, if our eyes are opened to see a legacy, then we carry the purpose and effectiveness of those— like Stevens—who followed God’s voice in their lives and created the ongoing fulfillments that culminate in the Kingdom of our Heavenly Father.

And now excuse me while I figure out how to change the name of this blog…

 

Jun 6 2011

No defeat is valid, nor can it reach you, when your spirit is right and you maintain that the victory of the Lord Jesus Christ is yours absolutely. It was given to you. It is yours. It is your authority. It is your legacy. It belongs to you. It is an endowment of the grace of God that rests upon your life. No one can take it away from you unless, in your spirit, you voluntarily open the door to defeat.

  • John Robert Stevens, "He is Willing and Able," 1976
    John Robert Stevens, "He is Willing and Able," 1976
    Excerpt from the book "He is Willing and Able" by John Robert Stevens, Copyright © 1976 by John Robert Stevens & The Living Word, a California non profit Corporation. Used by permission.

 

May 20 2011

Finding a Father

In the last quote I posted (below), John Robert Stevens was discussing the need for a Father. I believe I’ve already written about how much of a spiritual father John Stevens was to so many people, so I don’t really feel the need to discuss that.

What hit me about this quote was how Scriptural it is. Jesus Christ was the example to us of a Son who learned Who He was by relating to His Father. He said that He only did what He saw His Father doing (John 5:19-21). However, this principle is also true on a very natural level. Numerous studies have shown that children growing up with a father in the home are better off emotionally, psychologically, and economically than those growing up without a father.

The reason why having a father is so important, as John states, is that it helps a person discover who they are. It is difficult to figure out who you are on your own. I believe that good fathers have an ability to help a child learn who they are and to help them reach that potential. Obviously the Heavenly Father does this in an immeasurably greater way.

As John Robert Stevens states in that quote, it is hard for people to take their place without the encouragement and protection of a father. The great thing about a good father is that they are there to help when you get into trouble. When you feel the covering of a spiritual father’s love, there is no fear in stepping out to attempt things.

So if you are struggling with yourself, maybe you need to find a father. Or, perhaps you need to re-engage your spiritual father in a deeper conversation than you are comfortable with. Either way, John Stevens illuminates an answer here for each person. John Robert Stevens rocks.

 

May 19 2011

We have all of these people who, really, are searching for a father. And they cannot accept themselves, they cannot accept their place, they cannot even accept their potential, they have difficulty discovering who they are, until somehow they find a father. When they find that father, it gives them more confidence to go ahead than anything in the whole world.

We are learning something we have never seen before: a father may have started our existence, but we search for the father who will establish us in the Kingdom. We are established in the Kingdom of God by the means of beginning to find a father.

 

May 5 2011

I Will Follow You Today

That last quote I posted is perhaps the simplest definition of the kind of relationship with God that John Robert Stevens lived and taught. The chief focus is on what God has said in leading us; but it must be today that we hear His voice—everyday.

It is not enough that we heard God speak yesterday. The Father always has new steps for His children. New things for them to learn, new things for them to do. So we take a cue from John Robert Stevens and ask the Lord anew, each day, to speak to us.

And when we hear His voice, we follow.

 

May 4 2011

Our focus is: What has God said, and what will He say to me today?

 

  • John Robert Stevens, "I Will Follow You Today," 1981
    John Robert Stevens, "I Will Follow You Today," 1981
    Excerpt from the This Week "I Will Follow You Today" by John Robert Stevens, Copyright © 1981 by The Living Word, a California non profit Corporation. Used by permission.

 

Apr 30 2011

Experiencing Divine Love

As I was reading the previous quote from John Robert Stevens, it made me realize how feeling God’s love for people is really a direct experience with God. I’ve never thought of it that way before, but it has been very true in my own life. In feeling God’s love for people, and loving them with His love, it creates deep experiences with God for me personally.

Another thing Stevens is teaching me here is that our love for one another is not merely a human emotional response; there are times when our love is actually a witness of the Holy Spirit to the Father’s love!

Perhaps all of this this seems too basic, but I can draw a pretty radical conclusion to all of this: if you want a meeting with God, just determine to open your heart to love someone with His love. Simple.