When Stephen testified of Jesus to the Sanhedrin (the Jewish council of elders and priests), he was not aware of, or at least not paying attention to, their hostile, hardened responses. Having shown them that they were as stiff-necked and uncircumcised of heart and ears as their fathers had been, they were cut to the heart. Then they became livid! Enraged and irate, they began gnashing their teeth; but Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, was gazing into heaven.
He’s gazing, they’re gnashing; who wins? Stephen won, of course, because he gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, with Jesus standing at the right hand of God! Instead of backing down, he proclaimed to the whole council, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” (Acts 7:56, NKJV). The council was furious; they stopped their ears, ran at him, then took him outside and stoned him to death. But Stephen kept His gaze on Jesus, committed his spirit to the Lord, and cried out with a loud voice to forgive those who would not listen, would not see, and would not accept Jesus standing at the right hand of God.
In everyday situations, hopefully not as stressful as Stephen’s, we are offered the same choice: to be filled with the Holy Spirit as we gaze into heaven and see Jesus, or to be filled with ourselves and all the conflicted emotions and issues we carry. We can hear the gnashing of our teeth or others, or we can see Jesus. A lot of life doesn’t want to yield to Jesus, but we always can.
Be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Take a moment and shift from self to Holy Spirit. Move out of the emotions, come out of the clamor– the fears, jeers, even the cheers of man and the moment you’re in–and step into the eternal Spirit of God. Be filled! Don’t take a mere sip or be satisfied with a fleeting moment, but be fully FILLED with His river of life flooding your spirit, with His Spirit. Be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Gaze into heaven.
We will see that whatever we fix our attention and imagination upon, whatever we set our affection toward—THAT is what we will see. Gaze into heaven, and by the Holy Spirit, see the glory of God. See Jesus.
Jesus is our life; our life is hidden with Christ in God. When we see Jesus, we locate ourselves no matter what moment we are in here on earth; when we see Jesus, we see ourselves in Him. When we see Jesus, access the gaze of God in Him: His fullness, His eternal salvation, His life, healing, deliverance, faith, hope, and love.
Notice: Where is Jesus?
Jesus is not worrying, stressed or uncertain. Jesus is triumphant, victorious, rejoicing and in rest. Jesus IS, and we can see where we are. We are in Him! We are in Christ, and He appears before God for us!
Declare what you see!
God delights in our confession of hope. It is the anchor for our souls; it brings us into the Presence behind the veil, where Jesus, our forerunner, lives. But it’s only when we declare what we see, or confess the scriptures that we hear, that we enter into the same place where Jesus resides–full of peace, victory, and triumph. We enter into a place so real that even stones can’t stop us…where our very life is hidden with Christ in God. It’s the same place where we will appear with Christ in Glory.
Practice before you get stoned!
No, I am not talking about that kind of “stoned”! I am talking about the greatest influencer, the Holy Spirit, far superior to marijuana or any other diversion, vice or sin. Take the time with the Holy Spirit and practice getting high. No, not high as a kite, but high as heaven! As you practice being inside of Jesus daily, it prepares you for life, the very life Jesus freely gives you. It’s LIFE, filled with Holy Spirit visions, Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and you, secure in Christ. Sounds simple? It really is. Praise God!
It bears repeating: Even though we can be hard pressed on every side daily, we are still offered the same choice. We can be filled with the Holy Spirit as we gaze into heaven and see Jesus, or we can be overwhelmed with ourselves and all the conflicted emotions and issues we experience.
We can hear the gnashing of our teeth or others, or we can see Jesus. A lot of life doesn’t want to yield to Jesus, but we always can. We can turn our gaze…and see Jesus.