Why did God save you?
I can imagine a hundred different people responding to this in their own unique way.
There will certainly be many different reasons we may present as to why God wanted to save us, most of these reasons we will present will certainly have their root in the things we strongly believe He would want us to do and accomplish for Him on earth, and therefore most of our answers will be completely wrong!
You see, when it all comes down to it, God never saved us to be anything, or to do anything for Him. Now I know that sounds absurd and wrong, but in reality, it is absolutely true!
Here is why –
You will remember that the Holy Spirit calls you and me, who are born of the Spirit, His “temple”, and His “house” and dwelling place on earth. This gives us a good idea of what God intended to do when He saved us, doesn’t it?
He wanted to come and dwell in us.
But why, what was the reason He wanted to come and to dwell in us?
To find the answer to that question we have to have a look at Jesus and why He was born, and what God had in mind with His life on earth. He, like we, was also to be indwelt by the Spirit of His Father.
So what was the purpose of His life on earth?
The Holy Spirit tells us that He, by being indwelt by the Holy Spirit, became the express Image of the Father!
His Father was Living in and through Him and expressing His very Own Life through His Son.
Do you remember how Jesus kept pointing to the will of the Father as being the sole purpose of His life?
And how He kept deflecting any praise that He received from people towards His Father, reminding them that it was because His Father Who was working in Him and through Him, and that it was not He Who was doing the works, but the Spirit of the Father Who was in Him, performing them through Him?
Well that’s our answer right there – Jesus became the living dwelling place of the Father on earth, and also became the very body of God on earth through Whom He could express His Life, both in His Nature, Character, and Personality, and also through the works He would perform through His Son – Jesus was born for this sole purpose, and guess what? So were you and I!
We were born-again for no other purpose than to become God’s living dwelling place on earth through Whom He could express Himself in our world.
He did not create us with the purpose of doing anything for Him, but rather as vessels through whom He could express Himself in His Own Person, and also in the works that His Spirit would do through us!
You see this is where most people miss their relationship with God. They want to do things for God, rather than having the understanding that God wants them to be available for Him so He could do things through them!
We were born-again not to perform, but to surrender! To give ourselves to the Holy Spirit so that He could reflect His Beauty and His Life in you and in me.
Christian living can only ever be authentic when Christ is expressed through us, by His Holy Spirit. It is not our works that make a difference, but His work in us, and His Spirit-works through us, that showcase Christ to the world around us.
- What is healing?
- What are miracles?
- What is the Gospel?
- What is deliverance?
- What is the Anointing?
What else? … It is the Life of Christ expressed through a vessel that He fully possesses!
The greatest secret that we can ever come to terms with and discover is the Message of “Christ in you”, and the greatest revelation to come to is the understanding of allowing Christ in you to express Himself through you!
This and this alone is the core of Gospel and of living the Christ-life, and of all the service we can ever be a part of in ministry!
When I hear someone talk about, “my ministry,” I hear someone who has already lost any chance of truly being in ministry! Because when you are in ministry, the Holy Spirit is not!
When you, however, become a mere vessel in service to Him, He comes to express the Life of Christ through you!
What does that mean?
Well, it means that it is not merely a “power” that is working through you performing the miracles or doing the signs and wonders, but a Person! It means that when God is so expressing Himself through you, His entire Personality will be expressed, not only His Power. His very Presence will be expressed.
The problem today is that there are many who express “power” without bearing the fruit of God’s Personality. They perform miracles, signs, and wonders, but in doing so, are drawing attention to themselves, rather than expressing Christ.
The focus becomes the “magic” they perform. Christ in His Personality, Spirit of humility and Presence, is nowhere to be found! When I see such man-governed ministry, I choose to remove myself at once!
True signs, wonders, and miracles are rooted in the Person of Christ and when they are present, they are so because He is present and being expressed!
In such an atmosphere there is a loveliness and a sweetness detectable, and everyone is aware that He is in their midst. Hearts are melted and hands are lifted – He is present!
We can liken having Christ expressed through us, to a river flowing through us.
“He who believes in Me [who cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me] as the Scripture has said, From his innermost being shall flow [continuously] springs and rivers of living water,” John 7:38 AMP.
No one has to tell a river to flow, there is also no effort on the part of anyone to get a river flowing, rivers just flow because that is what they naturally do.
When Christ compares the Holy Spirit as being like a “River” that will flow from our innermost being (or belly), He uses the example because that is exactly what the Holy Spirit will come to do in us when we allow Him to – He will become a River flowing with no end!
We would not need to ask for the River to flow, neither would we have to “try” and make Him flow, the River of His Presence will just flow!
All we need to be is the riverbed making ourselves available for Him to flow through us! No further effort from ourselves is needed for His Presence to flood our lives.
One of the hardest things for mankind to do is to be out of control. We so love to be in control of our own lives.
We like to know what is going to happen next, where it’s going to happen, for how long and to what degree of intensity. We like to be in control. When it comes to the practice of God’s Presence it is something that we also sometimes attempt to control.
We want to decide when and where the River has to flow, and many times we try our best to make it flow when we desire for it to flow.
We forget all about the principle of just being a riverbed, allowing the River to take His own natural course and at His own pace.
Living a Spirit-filled life is all about being a riverbed for Christ’s Life. It is far more than we have made it out to be – it is more than His “Presence” we seek in a meeting, it is more than a wonderful ‘sensation’ we experience during a worship session, from which we walk away, until the next time when we are ready for the River to flow again.
To live a Spirit-filled life is to allow the Life of Christ to live in us and through us at all times – To allow His Life to flow in the riverbed of our lives, constantly, and at His Own pace.
It is not something we make happen, but allow to be. It is something we make room for by daily yielding our lives to His Presence and allowing Him to be in control and to guide and direct His Life-flow in our lives.
We can never be in control if we truly seek to know Him and to experience the true flow of His River inside of us.
We have to come to the place of making a total surrender of ourselves to Him. We have to come to the place where we allow the Life in our inner(-most) being – that part of us where He constantly dwells and flows – to become the place that dominates our lives, and from where we allow His Source of Life to flow, guiding our lives.
So long as we live our lives in the external shell of this natural world, trying to access the River in our innermost being at the times we choose to, we will never truly come to live in the place where God’s Life will become a constant, Life-giving River, that continues to flow through us, and cause our lives to blossom with every part of His Character, Nature, and Personality.
We will never truly become God’s watered garden, bearing the wonderful fruit of the fragrance of His Presence within us.
We were created to be connected with His Life, to be a riverbed of His Presence in whom and through whom His Life could constantly flow and in whom others could experience His Life, bringing Life to them also.
It is only in our willingness to become a riverbed for His Holy Spirit, by daily yielding our lives and asking Him to flow and through us (and then allowing Him to do so!), that we can truly experience His River and become a fountain of His Life, bubbling up, where others can drink the Waters of Life from.
When we lose control, God gains control. He wants to flow in us and through us from here into eternity.
It all happens when we choose to allow Him to live His Life in us through us every day. Won’t you also choose to lose control, and rather than seeking His Presence at those times you really want to be near Him, yield yourself for Him to dwell in you constantly?
Ask the Holy Spirit to saturate you every day, and allow His Life to flow in you and through you from this very day.
Become a riverbed of His Presence today and allow His Life to bubble up and flow out from the riverbed of your innermost being!
~ 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 www.29Vision.co.za or Revival.