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Spiritual Experiences [Part 1]

Alan Wright Ministries / Alan Wright
The Truth Network Radio
August 29, 2022 6:00 am

Spiritual Experiences [Part 1]

Alan Wright Ministries / Alan Wright

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Pastor, author, and Bible teacher, Alan Wright. When you start talking about a spiritual experience, you grope for words because you don't have words, natural words, to describe spiritual experience. It was like a fog, but it wasn't a fog. It almost felt like a thick blanket was laid around me, but it wasn't a thick blanket. It was a heavy feeling, but it was a hopeful feeling.

And I just knew God was being manifested. to Alan Wright Ministries. So as you listen to today's message, we encourage you to go deeper as we send you today's special offer. Contact us at pastorallen.org. That's pastorallen.org, or call 877-544-4860.

That's 877-544-4860. More on this later in the program. But now, let's get started with today's teaching.

Here is Alan Wright. You ready for some good news? I want to tell y'all a story.

I preached in Lubbock, Texas last weekend, and it's just my custom. No matter where I am, I just start out a message, are you ready for some good news? And I said, are you ready for some good news? And the place went berserk. People started screaming and cheering.

About 50 people jumped up, started waving their hands in the air, and I was like, that's pretty good. And afterwards, the pastor told me, he said, listen, he said, I heard you about a year ago, so that's how you start your message. So he said, I stole that from you. And he said, I began on my messages saying, are you ready for some good news? And so I had to fess up to everybody last week that I had stolen that from you, so that when you came to preach for everybody, just go ahead and go wild.

And so do you really want to be outdone by Lubbock, Texas? Are you ready for some good news? I love church. I just love church.

You guys, man, I love you. God is a consuming fire. And I'm going to show you today why that is such spectacular news. He is a consuming fire, and you can experience Him. We're in Exodus chapter 3, picking right back up in the same text where Pastor Chris preached a fantastic message about call last week, in which he was explaining that God has a moral will, which we know right and wrong, and you don't have to even ask God when you know what's right, what it is that you're supposed to do. And he has a providential will in which he is at work orchestrating things in our lives. And we have seen in the life of Moses up to this point, the providence of God arranging it so that he would be a Hebrew child, but raised in the Egyptian court. So he was the perfect mediator, speaking both to the Hebrews and the Egyptians, but ultimately to be speaking between God and humanity. But what we encounter in Exodus chapter 3 is Moses having a personal spiritual experience of God's reality.

And this is where everything changes. This is where the personal will of God for his life is unveiled. This is where Moses, who had always believed in God, now experiences God firsthand.

And when you experience spiritual reality, it changes everything. Exodus chapter 3 verse 1. Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. And Moses said, I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned. And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, Moses, Moses.

And he said, here I am. And then he said, do not come near, take off your sandals, take your sandals off your feet, for the place in which you're standing is holy ground. And he said, I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. And then jump to verse 13 after the Lord has begun to tell him he's going to deliver the people. Verse 13, Moses said to God, if I come to the people of Israel and say to them, the God of your fathers has sent me to you, and they asked me, what is his name, what shall I say to them? And God said to Moses, I am who I am. And he said, say this to the people of Israel, I am has sent you.

Well, there was a pastor and he was teaching in Sunday school class about the burning bush. And so to make it come to life, he had a married couple come up front and they were going to play the roles. The man was going to be Moses and the woman was going to speak out in the parts of God. And they were going to reenact to the burning bush scene.

And everything was going just fine. The woman was reading the parts of God. The man was doing a Moses in his best deep voice. And they got to verse three and the husband said, Moses, I will turn aside to see this great sight, why this bush is not burned. And the woman said, Moses, Moses. And then he said, here am I.

But when he got to verse five, he got confused and he kept going. And then he said, do not come near, take off your sandals. And the pastor interrupted and said, no, no, you're not God.

And the wife said, that's what I've been trying to tell him for the last 20 years. You're not God. This is Moses who is meeting God on God's own terms. If you are going to know somebody, you don't know them until you experience them. If you have an image in your mind of someone, and in your mind as you would wish for that person to be, and maybe you even in passing speak to them occasionally, but you don't really experience them, you don't know that person.

In other words, until you experience someone in the reality of who that person is, you haven't really gotten to know them. And Moses here is experiencing the reality of who God is. It's interesting that in chapter two, we have all of this information about how Moses is providentially set up by God to become the deliverer. And we know that God's at work, and we see at the end of chapter two, that God had heard the cry of his people, that he remembered his covenant with Abraham, that he saw their affliction, and God knew.

We see all that going on. But now from Moses' perspective, he is going to have an encounter with God that changes everything. I want to speak with you today and invite you today in prayer, along with me, and opportunity of laying on of hands and just soaking in the presence of God, to allow God to minister to you, to manifest himself to you, for you to experience God. And for some people, it might be that it's the very thing you've been longing for, that Christianity feels so much like mental assent to Christian truths, rather than a dynamic experiential relationship with God. And I think the good news of the gospel that I want to point to today is invitational, is inviting us to experience God. And this text, one of the sermons that is really spoken to me is by Tim Keller, called The Lord of Salvation, in which he talked about this burning bush. And I really enjoy Tim Keller's preaching, and a couple of the points they're really influenced by that. And so I really want to commend that to you. And also sometimes like to say that, you know, when you are fed by something else, you kind of lose sight of where did it, which points are you just stealing, and which points, you know, so Tim Keller's The Lord of Salvation, a good message about this text made me think about a lot of things. That's Alan Wright, and we'll have more teaching in a moment from today's important series. Ever feel like something's holding you back, as if you lack an important key that could change everything?

Is there someone you love who seems stuck? You'd like to help them, but how? What's missing? Blessing. We all need a positive faith-filled vision spoken over our lives. You can learn how to embrace the biblical practice of blessing through Pastor Alan Wright's new book, The Power to Bless, which quickly became an Amazon number one bestseller after its recent release.

Until now, the hardcover book has only been available through retail sales. But this month, Alan Wright Ministries wants to send you the book as our thank you for your donation. Make your gift today and discover the power to bless. The gospel is shared when you give to Alan Wright Ministries. This broadcast is only possible because of listener financial support.

When you give today, we will send you today's special offer. We are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Alan Wright Ministries. Call us at 877-544-4860.

That's 877-544-4860. Or come to our website, PastorAlan.org. Today's teaching now continues. Here once again is Alan Wright. When I was a junior in college, I experienced a call to the ministry. I said, when I was a junior in college, I experienced a call to the ministry. And many of you have heard me tell of this call. Some of you have never heard me tell.

And it never grows old. I'll just tell you as an example of what I'm talking about today. It is not by any means to say that you should experience God in this exact same way.

It's certainly not to say that every minister will or should experience God in this same way. This is my story. This is what happened to me. When I was a junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I had started taking some religion classes along with my English major. And I had realized how much I was really enjoying studying church history.

And even as secular university, I was enjoying studying the Bible and just talking about theology and all of these things. And I realized that I could be a teacher. And so I had started plotting out my life. I was going to... My basic plan was I was going to go on and do some graduate work in either New Testament or church history or something like that and go on to be a professor in some academic department of religion somewhere.

And it just seemed like that would be fitting. And I thought that'd be a pretty good life. And I never had considered the ministry.

I wasn't... I honestly had never considered going into the ministry. Why would I consider going into ministry when I could be a religion professor, have the summer off, and everybody would, you know, think, well, that's nice, you know, you're a professor. And I had never asked God what He wanted me to do. I've been a Christian for a long time, but honestly, I'd never asked God. I was developing my own plan. I didn't think I was developing a plan that was just intentionally running contrary to something God had told me.

I just had not asked Him. Imagine being in a relationship with my Creator who has a plan and a purpose for my life, and I never actually really had asked Him, what would You like for me to do? What have You designed me to do? Well, one night I was praying in my little dormitory room and just kneeling by this couch. I usually didn't kneel for prayer.

I don't know why I was kneeling that night, but nothing magic about kneeling, but I was kneeling. And I do remember that I was earnest in my prayer that night, but I was not asking God, what do You want me to do in my life? I just was praying. I just felt like praying. And all I can say is that not long into that prayer, something I'd never experienced before, absolutely had never experienced before happened.

When you start talking about a spiritual experience, you grope for words because you don't have words, natural words, to describe spiritual experience. It was like a fog, but it wasn't a fog. It almost felt like a thick blanket was laid around me, but it wasn't a thick blanket. It was a heavy feeling, but it was a hopeful feeling. And I just knew God was being manifest in my dormitory room.

And I began to weep. Not one time in this experience of God did He say anything to me about any of my sin, but all of my selfishness was completely apparent to me. I felt something like Isaiah and his call where he said, I'm undone.

I'm a man of unclean lips, and I dwell among the people of unclean lips. And I just realized that as God who loves me so much, I'd never even so much as asked Him what to do with my life. I'm just realizing all of this, and I'm just weeping these hot tears for a long, long time. Let me just tell you something about this experience of God, which will be true of any experience of God, is that even though in this moment I had never felt more sorry for my selfishness, I had never felt more hopeful for my life. Whenever you encounter God, there is something about His holiness that is at the same time a wondrously powerful and even heavy feeling.

The word for holiness in the Old Testament is a sense of meaning like heavy, but is at the same time the most wonderful, intensely loving and peaceful and joyful and hopeful encounter of your life. Because you're meeting, when you meet God for who He really is, you're meeting the One who absolutely loves you. So His love was real to me, and He was real to me. I realized that I had spent so much of my Christian life up to that point having a sense of warmth in my heart towards the things of Christ, I really did love God. I hadn't always lived as if I loved God with with all my heart, but I had a love for God. And I had a sense that He must love me, and that He is the answer for my life. But on that night, I experienced spiritual reality. I experienced God up close and personal. And while I was weeping, I heard, not with my ears, this is so hard to describe. If you've never experienced this, it's very hard to describe this because I did not hear it with my ears. Although I've talked to people who have heard God speak and they heard it with their ears, it's a spiritual ear. It is something inside of you, but I definitely heard it. And I heard, it was very simple, I heard Him say, Allen, you know I'm calling you to the ministry, don't you?

And if I were to give myself over to thinking about that, I would start weeping just like I did three decades ago in that dorm room. What was interesting about it was I just said, yes, Lord, and it was just a very matter of fact thing. It's like, yeah, we all know, all the angels in heaven know, and we all know that God is like, yeah, we all know, all the angels in heaven know, you know, and now I know, and that was all it took, right? It was so powerful to me that I told my roommates, I'm going to the ministry, I started telling some guys in my dorm, and it was kind of convicting because some of them said, I didn't even know you're into that kind of thing. And I realized my witness had not been extremely powerful. I called my mother and I told her that I had experienced God and that I had been called into the ministry and I couldn't tell her but for weeping. And for weeks and weeks after this, I couldn't even speak of the experience without weeping. Now, to me, this day, when I tell that story, again, if I were to get alone with God and just start thinking of it again, I would just start weeping just like it was. That's how real that is to me. Now, when I tell a story like that, if that doesn't fit your worldview, what are you going to do with that? Because there are really only two responses when somebody tells a story like that. You either go, well, I don't think Alan's crazy and, man, if you can experience God like that and he's that real, that changes everything.

Or you go, I think Alan's crazy and you'd have to say that basically I'm living my whole life out of a delusion. I don't see any in between. This is what happened to Moses. Moses was minding his own business tending sheep, hiding an exile in Midian, not knowing that God had providentially arranged that he would be a Hebrew boy that was raised in the Egyptian court so he'd be the perfect one to be able to go and represent the Hebrew people and have an easy access to Pharaoh himself. He didn't know that God had already been hearing the cry of the Israelites.

He didn't know all the plans of God. He's just tending his sheep. And he sees a bush that is burning but is not consumed. And he turns and he's fascinated to see such a sight. And God speaks to him. And essentially what happens is Moses has to decide either this is a delusion, either I'm going crazy, or I am experiencing God.

And if I'm experiencing God, this transforms every single thing about life and my entire world view has to change from this point forward. The bush. As Pastor Chris said last week, there weren't anything except for rocks and bushes there. And so it might not have been an unusual sight to see in an arid climate. A bush that had caught on fire. But it was a bush that was burning and was not being burned up. That was what was so interesting about that.

Remember that. It's on fire but it's not consumed. On fire but not destroyed. Just on fire so it could burn brightly. It is an ordinary bush.

But as preacher Tony Evans once said, if God is in the bush, any old bush will do. The power of the kingdom of God, the kingdom itself, Jesus said, is at hand. It's in the ordinary. It's here.

It's now. It's not somewhere off far away. You don't have to go some other place. You don't have to go to some exotic place or do something unusual in order to experience the presence and the power of God. He can be in any bush and the bush is burning. The image of fire becomes an extremely important image, a metaphor about something about the nature of who God is. Many, many scriptures.

I give you a few of them. Deuteronomy chapter 9. Know therefore today that he who goes over before you as a consuming fire is the Lord your God. Allen Wright and today's teaching, spiritual experiences. It's from the series on Moses as we continue on. And Allen is back here in the studio in a moment with additional insight on this for your life and today's final word. Unlock the power of blessing your life. Discover God's grace-filled vision for your life by signing up for Allen Wright's free daily blessing. If you want to fill your heart with grace and encouragement, get Allen Wright's daily blessing.

It's free and just a click away at pastorallen.org. Ever feel like something's holding you back, as if you lack an important key that could change everything? Is there someone you love who seems stuck? You'd like to help them, but how? What's missing? Blessing. We all need a positive faith-filled vision spoken over our lives. You can learn how to embrace the biblical practice of blessing through Pastor Alan Wright's new book, The Power to Bless, which quickly became an Amazon number one bestseller after its recent release. Until now, the hardcover book has only been available through retail sales, but this month Allen Wright Ministries wants to send you the book as our thank you for your donation. Make your gift today and discover the power to bless. The gospel is shared when you give to Allen Wright Ministries. This broadcast is only possible because of listener financial support. When you give today, we will send you today's special offer. We are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Allen Wright Ministries. Call us at 877-544-4860.

That's 877-544-4860. Or come to our website, pastorallen.org. Allen, there seems to be a lot of emphasis today in our society, in our life on experiences. Everything is not so much about getting material things so much as it is maybe how that enhances our experience in life and conveniences and whatnot. So when you talk about a spiritual experience, I feel like we are touching on a very hot topic the world is paying attention to right now.

Well, I think the good news for anybody who doesn't follow Christ yet is that following Christ and being a Christian is not about adhering to a set of dogmas as important as our theology and doctrine might be, but it is, by its very nature, it's an experience because we speak of it as a relationship. Well, relationships are experiential. It doesn't mean, Daniel, that we go on feelings, you know, it doesn't mean we're relying on emotions.

That's not what we're talking about. But we're saying that the Christian walk is a walk with God and that is, by its very definition, experiential. And that's what Moses found out as we're discovering in these messages that encountering God in this burning bush is encountering God in a way that is an experience of God. And that changed everything in Moses's life.

So that's what we're learning about. And especially, I'm just interested in this image of the fire that burns, but it doesn't consume the bush, you know. In what ways is God like a fire? What is, in what ways is experiencing God like experiencing fire? That's some of what we're talking about. Alan, today's teaching in Moses is spiritual experiences, something that it's really kind of hard to describe, trying to put parameters around it, right?

Try to talk about things you can't really talk about. And that is really spiritual experiences. The natural mind doesn't understand these things any more than Moses understood why there was a bush that was burning that was not consumed. And then he heard God speak to him. So what we're learning about in the burning bush scene is really some things about the nature of spiritual experience, what spiritual experience is like. And we're going to look at this wonderful image of fire. It's a day to open up your heart to experience God. Today's good news message is a listener-supported production of Alan Wright Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-04 19:41:34 / 2023-03-04 19:50:51 / 9

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