Posts tagged ‘Holy Spirit’

Aug 12 2010

Thoughts on Not Criticizing

When I read John Robert Stevens’ writings, I feel strongly his heart of care and concern. I know I’ve written about this earlier, but so many people I’ve talked to about him often say the same thing: John Robert Stevens was a man who loved God’s people very deeply.

The quote previous to this post is another great example of this, because the other thing I hear from so many people who knew him is that he was a man of great perception. He was able to look at people and the Holy Spirit revealed to him their strengths and their weaknesses.

I was thinking recently how it’s so easy to love someone when you are not that aware of their problems, but it takes a greater depth of love once you see the issues. Well, John saw the issues very clearly, but he had a commitment and love in his heart to help people. He had faith for every man, no matter what they were facing! As he said: “God did not give me the deep insight of the word of wisdom or the word of knowledge or discernment so that I should criticize, but rather that I should help.”

I’m thankful that John Robert Stevens established this kind of relating among believers in his churches, especially since I pastor one of them! I see first-hand the fruit of his heart and his teaching in the people who attend Grace Chapel of Honolulu.

Of course, we all know where this attitude comes from. It comes from the Lord and His Word. It could only come from Him! It is exactly what Christ taught us in the Book of John:

“A ​​new commandment I give to you, ​​that you love one another, ​even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)

 

Jun 22 2010

Thoughts on John’s Youth

I was thinking about the quote that I just posted, and how foundational those early years must have been for John Robert Stevens. Having that experience of the Lord healing him at such a young age, as well as having experiences with the Holy Spirit day-by-day, truly became a definition of how he lived his entire life. From that time, he never stopped seeking God. It’s difficult for me to imagine having services every night throughout the winter, especially considered how cold it gets in Iowa! But that could hardly have been an obstacle for someone who had as much spiritual hunger as John had.

I imagine the time of the “holy rollers” and the “storefront religion” to be like the Wild West equivalent in the process of God restoring His Church. In the Early Church, miraculous experiences with God were normal, and to see that John Robert Stevens had his formative years in an atmosphere where God’s presence was a reality truly reveals the roots of a man who sparked meetings with God for thousands of people. I think this is something that drove John Stevens: to see everyone know the Lord that He knew, not as a theory, but in the same tangible reality that he experienced since the time of his youth.

 

May 20 2010

A Father’s Heart

One of the things that I’ve heard from many people who knew John Stevens was how much he wanted everyone to find their own relationship with God. Some would say that was one of his great missions in life. My friend and co-pastor Rob Rich described it as a father’s heart, because a true father always wants to see his children do better in life than himself. I found this quote from Stevens in 1980:

I do not regret the fact that others have taken over where I have served. Actually, I look forward to the time when there will be a thousand prophets who can outminister me; there are already a good number who can outminister me now. I know very well that there are others much more qualified, by the anointing of the Holy Spirit, to direct the churches and Kingdom businesses in specific areas. The diversity and the distinctiveness of the ministries is taking form as never before.*

This is something to admire in a man, that even after creating such a dynamic ministry, he is still humble enough to want to see his spiritual children excel beyond his own fulfillments!

__________

  • *John Robert Stevens, "Things Have Changed..." 1980
    *John Robert Stevens, "Things Have Changed..." 1980
    Excerpt from the This Week "Things Have Changed; How Shall I Think About It?" by John Robert Stevens, Copyright © 1980 by The Living Word, a California non profit Corporation. Used by permission.