Posts tagged ‘the Bible’

Jan 11 2011

Partake of the Life of God

One of the things that I love about John Robert Stevens is that he was not religious. I use the term religious to describe the way that many humans relate to God primarily out of rules and regulations. As I quoted earlier:

I was raised in a religious background, and I remember how we were taught that we were supposed to read our Bible for 15 minutes a day, pray for 15 minutes a day and witness to somebody for 15 minutes a day—if we did all that then we would never lose out with God. I was about fourteen or fifteen when I realized: “It doesn’t make any difference how much I read; it’s how much I digest that counts.” That has been the secret of my life. After that revelation to my heart, it didn’t matter to me whether I read half a verse or whether I read a whole book. I read until one thing happened: I began to partake of the life of God.*

I believe that this attitude is the antidote for the common “Christian guilt” that often occurs. We shouldn’t focus on checking boxes on our spiritual to-do list, but instead seek God until we find Him. Of course, this is sometimes a tricky proposition, because you never know how much seeking you will have to do! It’s easier to read the Bible for 15 minutes a day, rather than reading it until you hear the voice of the Lord.

And all of life is like this, really! It’s always easier to make a relationship with God into a list of rules—and I have to admit that the Bible might even seem to encourage this. However, to borrow a phrasing from Christ for my own purposes (which is usually a very unwise thing to do, so please forgive me), “The promises of God were made for man, not man for the promises of God.” (Mark 2:27) This is the difference between religion and relationship. And it’s a big difference.

Bottom line: John Robert Stevens rejected the religious approach to God and was a firm advocate for a daily relationship with Him. I’m nearly positive that I wouldn’t be a believer if it weren’t for this attitude that was imparted to be by John through my father.

  • *John Robert Stevens, "Eat it and Digest it," 1982
    *John Robert Stevens, "Eat it and Digest it," 1982
    Excerpt from the booklet "The Unfolding, Part 1" by John Robert Stevens, Copyright © 1982 by The Living Word, a California non profit Corporation. Used by permission.

 

Oct 28 2010

A Personal Reflection on John’s Faith

This is the third and final post of my father’s recollections of John Robert Stevens. Here are the first and second posts.

My dad spoke about one of his personal experiences that showed him that John was a man of God.

I read through the Bible when I first came into Haiku Chapel on Maui. I read it cover to cover several times. I would read something that God would make alive by revelation, and more often than not, the next thing I heard from John—whether by tape or teaching manuals—I would see him talking about the exact revelation I had seen from the Scriptures. There was confirmation after confirmation in my own heart toward John and his integrity in the Word.

I know John’s teachings enough to know that this is something he respected in my father, that he had his own relationship with God, and that’s why he was able to recognize the voice of the Lord from John.

My father continued, talking about how John mentored people and saw ministries trained through hands-on experience.

He brought a lot of us young 20-somethings into Christ’s fold. He turned us loose and had a total faith that we could do what God wanted us to do. That was a whole different way of moving than the seminary route. There was faith to produce God’s outcome.

John opened the doors for people’s ministries. It’s not as if we had training or theological backgrounds. What we had was faith, and his covering. He was willing to trust God in sending people out. Jesus sent His disciples two-by-two and instructed them. The disciples hadn’t gone through any training, Jesus just sent them out with faith and authority and covering.

There’s a Scripture about being all things to all men. That is the mark of an apostolic ministry. He was able to minister to people where they were, and trust God to move on it. He trusted God that there would be a resulting response to his faith.

Gary Hargrave has told me personally that there was a time when John Robert Stevens’ ministry was growing very fast. He had more churches than experienced pastors to lead them. So, as my father described, John had to have a faith that God would be the provision and lead the young ministries. My father was one such ministry, pastoring Grace Chapel of South Gate, and Grace Chapel of Honolulu. I’ve had many people come up to me and tell me how much my father blessed them and changed their lives. Some have even said that he saved their lives. If it weren’t for John Stevens and his faith in God, none of that would have happened!

I want to thank my father for sharing his experiences. He is my hero and I love him very much.

 

Oct 2 2010

I was raised in a religious background, and I remember how we were taught that we were supposed to read our Bible for 15 minutes a day, pray for 15 minutes a day and witness to somebody for 15 minutes a day—if we did all that then we would never lose out with God. I was about fourteen or fifteen when I realized: “It doesn’t make any difference how much I read; it’s how much I digest that counts.” That has been the secret of my life. After that revelation to my heart, it didn’t matter to me whether I read half a verse or whether I read a whole book. I read until one thing happened: I began to partake of the life of God.

  • John Robert Stevens, “Eat it and Digest It,” 1982
    John Robert Stevens, “Eat it and Digest It,” 1982
    Excerpt from the booklet "The Unfolding, Part 1" by John Robert Stevens, Copyright © 1982 by The Living Word, a California non profit Corporation. Used by permission.

 

Jul 24 2010

Thoughts on Taking a Little Step

In the last quote I posted, John Robert Stevens talked about how the preacher that prayed for his healing took a step of faith, and God did the rest. But I think it’s important to realize that the people who received healings in the Scriptures did so on the basis of their own faith. Jesus didn’t have to have faith to heal people as much as the people who needed healing had to have faith. I believe that it was John’s childhood faith in the Bible—a simple belief that what it said could actually be true in his own life—that caused the healing. Yes, the preacher needed to kneel and pray, and thank God he did, but that was only the catalyst for John’s faith to receive a healing.

What a great testimony for John Robert Stevens to have in his heart in every difficult situation he faced. I’m sure it was one of the proofs to him that God truly does interact in the lives of men. And out of that experience, John had a hunger to continue to see God move in his own life and in the lives of those around him. That was something he expressed for the rest of his life. In every Word he spoke, in every person he laid hands on, and every time he prayed, he knew that God would respond because he had seen it first-hand since the time of his youth.

 

May 28 2010

Thank God for the whole Scripture, our wonderful Holy Bible. But if we have true faith, we may need only one verse of it all. One verse could change the world. It is when we penetrate into the deep meaning of a Scripture that we finally have detonated its divine power. We can look at all the great sources of energy, but it is exploding an atom that releases the greatest sources of energy known. This illustrates exactly what God is doing with us. He is getting us into His Word. The deep Word of God, when it is expounded and opened to us, begins to explode. All my life I have meditated on Scriptures; and the great yearning of my heart is that a handful of them, which have meant so much to me by revelation, be exploded by a supernatural faith that could change the whole world.

  • John Robert Stevens, “Faith is Focused,” 1980
    John Robert Stevens, “Faith is Focused,” 1980
    Excerpt from the This Week "Faith Is Focused" by John Robert Stevens, Copyright © 1980 by The Living Word, a California non profit Corporation. Used by permission.