Archive for September, 2010

Sep 29 2010

The Realm of Spirit

This is the second installment of posts based on an interview I did with my father about John Robert Stevens.

One of the things my father talked about was how John opened the realm of spirit as an important reality for the Christian:

I came from a background of an awareness that there was a lot more to this existence than just the physical expression. And the Christianity that I had known had pretty much ignored that fact. John knew there was a spiritual world. And he was able to function in both worlds—a world of theology and doctrine, as well as another world of gifts and the moving of the Holy Spirit.

This is so important. Just tonight in service at Grace Chapel of Honolulu, I talked about the realm of spirit and how Christ expects His believers to be active in the spirit realm. Christ says that His Kingdom is not of this world, and that we need to seek first the Kingdom (John 18:36; Matthew 6:33). The only way to seek the Kingdom is by doing so in the spirit, simply because it exists in the realm of spirit. We can do this because our spirits have come alive with Christ, we are seated with Christ in the heavenly places. (Romans 8:10; I Peter 3:18; Ephesians 2:6).

Stevens’ stance was that we can’t just know about God. We have to have real experiences with Him. And as it says in the Scriptures, God is a spirit, and anyone who wants to worship Him must worship in the spirit (John 4:24). John was instrumental in opening up these concepts to Grace Chapel of Honolulu, and to the entire Living Word Fellowship. It is because Stevens was willing to say that the Bible is not just a theory, but an absolute reality, that I am able to learn how to function in the realm of spirit. Christ brought our spirits to life for a purpose, and that purpose isn’t to just wait around to go to heaven.

My father continued:

There’s more to Christianity than going to church, sitting in a pew, and singing a hymn. There’s another dimension because God is Spirit, and John was very relatable in opening that up somehow, and making what I knew to be true, and opening up the Scriptures to reveal the truth.

This is the John Robert Stevens who changed my father’s life.

This is the John Robert Stevens who inspires me to seek first the Kingdom.

 

Sep 28 2010

John’s Relationship With God

I recently spent some time in Los Angeles, and had a chance to talk to my father about his recollections of John Robert Stevens. This will be part one of a series of posts about topics from that conversation.

One of the things my father said concerning John is that “he had a relationship with God that was palpable.” I love this turn of phrase. The way my father described it is that when you were around John you could feel the connection he had with God emanating from Him. John spent time with God. He didn’t just talk about God, or study God; he waited on the Lord, prayed, and put everything else on hold in order to cultivate a true relationship with Him. My father continued in this vein:

It was impressive to watch him move in the Spirit, but that’s not all he did. He was personable and relatable and Scripturally sound. It was always evident that John had a love for God and a love for the people. That’s what drove him. He had an anointing and a commission.

The combination of all these facets of John’s personality is what draws me to his teachings. It’s not just the fact that he was so important to my parents, or that he founded the church that I pastor. When I hear him speak in a recorded sermon, I can feel his love for God. It was so simple, but so foundational. And instead of just having a love for God in his heart, he actually did something about it and ministered it to the people around him.

Once again, we hit this bottom-line description that what drove John Robert Stevens was his love for God and his love for the people. So cool.

I will try to write more from this conversation soon.