An excerpt from the new book – “Let My People Go!” – currently in writing.
“To be born-again is a personal, supernatural encounter with God, which happens when God reaches out to draw an individual person unto Himself and chooses to open the eyes of their heart so that they may see Him and come into the Revelation of Who He IS.
It is not a work that can be done by man, neither by any method man may use, it is a Divine Encounter by the Sovereign will of God alone.
It is therefore impossible for us to “lead” anyone to Christ, using our own religious methods, even when they are based upon Scriptures being used – God and He Alone has the Power to save by a work of Divine Grace that is extended by His Sovereign will to whomsoever, and where ever, He chooses to extend it.
To be born again comes through a personal life-altering encounter and experience with God where you are changed from the inside out and where everything changes in your life in the twinkling of an eye – suddenly you are able to see what you never could see before, and you enter a domain of awareness you have never entered before.
A desire is born inside of you to rid yourself of all evil, no one has to tell you to stop sinning, there is a burning desire in you that causes you to hate sin and evil with the same hatred that God has for it.
You desire to be pure and holy and set apart, because of an inward working of the Holy Spirit, leading you to become as He is and working His Divine will out in your life.
Now of course that does not mean that the process is complete and that you now have been “saved” when you are born again, it means that your spirit has been given life – God has come to dwell in the place He had prepared for Himself, He now lives inside of you and that place where He dwells, is in your spirit.
That is the sanctuary he has prepared for Himself in every human being to dwell in, just as He had asked Moses to prepare the Most Holy place in the temple for Him as a dwelling place, also.
You will also remember that there used to be a veil of separation in that old temple between the Most Holy place and every other place in the temple that Jesus had to tare down through the cross, so that the Presence of God could not only fill the Most Holy Place, but the whole temple.
Just in the same way Jesus comes to open the door in us for the veil of separation, which is our flesh, to be torn down, so that the Presence of God in us, will not only indwell our spirit, but will also saturate our entire being – spirit, soul and body.
This is the process that begins from the day you are born again – that day God “turns the Light on” in your spirit and you become aware of Him and all He is, and also of all you are, and your great need for Him.
In that moment we are given the opportunity to make a full surrender to Him, of all we are and of our lives in totality, giving Him the supreme Authority over every area that pertains to us and to our lives, to allow Him to lead and to guide us in accordance with His will.
This choice of surrender, rents the veil of our will, and allows God to have His will in us, beginning a work of salvation in us as He now begins to transform all we are, into all that He is.
It is the beginning of the process of our salvation that will ultimately lead to us come into a place where we will live to be in complete harmony and in full agreement with all He is, and where we will be joined together with Him in the Union of His will, (John 17).
This process is a daily ongoing ‘happening’ in our lives that will never end, until the day we will stand before the Lord (Philippians 3:11-12).
It is a daily process worked out in our lives, as we allow God to transform more of ourselves to be joined together in harmony with His Character, His Nature and His Personality – the Holy Spirit calls this process the “renewing of your mind” in order to “have the Mind of Christ” (The mind of the Holy Spirit) – or to be in agreement with God (in your thoughts, your acts, your behaviour, your character, nature and personality) – in other words, to live flooded with the Holy Spirit!
This wonderful transition happens within a deep and intimate walk with Christ, where He unveils more and more of Himself in us, as we continue to surrender and to yield ourselves to be changed and transformed by His Spirit living within, and so in that way, our soul (or flesh), becomes subject to His Spirit within, and becomes flooded with all He is, and in the process of that our body (natural man with all its attributes and behaviours) is changed to produce the righteous works of the Holy Spirit, Who now occupies our soul, also.
To explain this in simple terms – consider for a moment that your body cannot behave on its own, it needs to be commanded to act, and it takes its orders from your soul (your mind that constitutes all you are – your desires, passions, cravings, emotions etc).
If your soul is subject to the Holy Spirit, Who dwells in your spirit (if you allow the Holy Spirit within you to control you and to influence every area of your life), your whole being (including your body) will be flooded with God’s Character, Nature and Personality, and you will act, behave and respond in accordance with His will.
This process of change is never instant; it takes a lifetime of walking with Him and being changed into His Likeness.
Jesus opened the way for us in order for the Holy Spirit to come and to work this process out inside of us, so we may become all that God intended for us to be!
These truths live in stark contrast to the religious conversions that are cheaply sold at the mere repeating of a prayer and a few Scriptures to be joined to the Christian religion and “religious club”.
It is obvious that these kind of conversions are not designed to lead anyone into the awareness of a deeper experience or a deeper life with Christ, and leaves people in a place where they “search the Scriptures in order to find salvation in them”, but miss the reality of coming to truly know God in the Spirit and in the real born again experience – by a mile!
In essence then – the very attempts of man to reach and to please God by building his own system accepted in his own eyes as being pleasing to God, has resulted in a Babylonian tower of confusion rising to Heaven, that at the end has served to further separate people from God, rather than to draw them closer!
It has caused people to follow the rules of men in order to try to achieve a place of right standing with God, rather than merely to yield to Spirit, as God has originally intended it to be.
It has confused religious worship with True Worship and ritual with True Spirit experience.
It has caused people to believe that they have to go to a house built by man to try and ‘find God’ and to hope that He will come down and meet them there, rather than to teach them that they are the building of God, re-created through Christ Jesus, in whom God presently dwells, and that He wills to work His will out in them and in their lives, through a daily walk of intimacy, encounter, and the experience of His Power and His Life in them.
It has caused people to become dependent upon following rules, instead of being led of the Spirit, and to become depended upon men as leaders, rather than the Holy Spirit as their soul-Leader and Teacher.
Religion has taught men that they need men to lead them, rather than to teach them how to walk in, and be led of the Spirit!
God has a more excellent way! He always has – The way of surrendered life, lived in Union with His Spirit – the way of true salvation!”
~ Johann van der Hoven
Johann van der Hoven is in South Africa. He has been serving the Lord in ministry since 1991 and has hosted numerous apostolic revival meetings in South Africa and in South America. He also currently pioneers a organic church planting movement across South Africa. For more information about him and his ministry visit Fellowship of Believers or Revival.