Wednesday 16 January 2013

A Guide To Heavenly Bliss - Chris Hammond

Intoxicated by the Unseen first posted here


The Frustration

I’ve often been asked by people who desire to be “Drunk in the Spirit” how to get drunk or “Why is it that some people feel drunk or high and some people don’t?” Often times, people are frustrated by their seeming inability to sustain the experience of Bliss in everyday life. I used to struggle with similar questions. Although I would get “drunk” at meetings, I didn’t know how to sustain the drunkenness throughout regular life. I thought it was just some kind of special “anointing” the preacher was gifted with, so I would enjoy the intoxication while it lasted and return to my depressed state when the meeting was over. I didn’t know I could live in a perpetual state of being high in the presence of God. It wasn’t until I learned “what” I was drinking – or rather “Who” I am drinking – or where I drink from, that I began to understand and actually live life being whacked out on Jesus on a constant basis.

I believe one of the main problems people run into is that often times we let our intellect get in the way and we talk ourselves out of experiencing something that we don’t necessarily understand. It’s all by faith. Simple faith. Like a little kid. Also a lot of times people still struggle with condemnation. So often, they wake up with this sense of guilt and shame that cannot be explained and subconsciously think God is mad at them, although they may not say it quite that blatantly. The key to experiencing a life of absolute freedom  is simply believing – or “Trusting that it’s true…” –  that we are in perfect Union with God and that we are absolutely innocent and deeply loved. It’s amazing how many people don’t actually believe this simple truth, although they make the intellectual agreement that it’s true. Our lifestyles and attitudes show what we believe far more than our words ever could.

The Truth About You

In the Person of Jesus, God and Humanity were united. Christ is in you. Right now. Your unbelief does not nullify this truth. Your belief simply changes your awareness of this truth, which in turn, results in a change of experience. God’s opinion of you does not change based on your performance. What you could never do, He has done by nailing the requirements of the Law to the cross, setting you free forever. I encourage you to read Colossians in the New Testament. I’ve gone into more detail on this subject in previous blog posts and I will definitely go into even more detail in later posts. Endless words still cannot express the inexpressible. It must be experienced.

Childlike Faith

Although this illustration can translate to pretty much every aspect of faith in the unseen, one of the most effective ways I have found to explain the initial “getting drunk” part of the experience involves a scene from the movie, “Hook” starring Robin Williams. I’d like to thank my good friend, Will Bibee, for telling me of this beautiful illustration of faith – Seeing the unseen. (I’ve included the scene below, in case you have not seen it.)

Notice in the beginning of this scene, Peter was complaining about wanting real food because he didn’t see any food on the table. He looked around at all of the Lost Boys, only to see them all eating food that, to him, wasn’t actually there.  To the Lost Boys, though, this food was as real as it gets.  The only difference between them and Peter was that they actually believed it was there, so they were able to enjoy it simply by using their imaginations. Peter’s unbelief in a reality he couldn’t see with his natural sight blocked him from enjoying the benefits of what had been there all along, even though he couldn’t see it.
It wasn’t until Rufio insulted Peter to the point of being really annoyed, that Peter began to step into his True Identity – Peter Pan. This is a huge point. Identity. Knowing who you are is absolutely vital. (Side note: Jesus is your Mirror. Everything that He is, points to who You are! Jesus is God’s opinion of you!) When Peter began to step into his True Self, he scooped a spoon into an empty bowl and flicked it at Rufio. The next thing that happened was the initial crossover of his faith. Food appeared. He saw it for himself. The Lost Boys began to applaud Peter for believing. For “playing” with them! This is so key! Jesus said to become like little children if we are to inherit the Kingdom of God! So of course, Peter then was able to enjoy what had been there all along by – pardon the terminology here – “Make Believe.”
I suppose it’s necessary to say this: We don’t actually “make” anything happen by our faith. True Faith is simply agreeing with what has been true all along…

The Drink

Song of Solomon, a romantic poem written a few thousand years ago, is widely interpreted as an allegory of Christ and His Bride. You are the Bride of Christ – even if you’re a guy (another topic that would take too much to get into right here. Just be loved, bro. It’s good!) In the first chapter of this beautiful poem, the Bride says to her Beloved , “Your love is better than wine.” Wine will get you drunk if you drink enough of it. To me, what this sounds like is that the Love of Christ is more intoxicating, or better, than wine.
In the 5th chapter of the letter written by Paul the Apostle to the church in Rome, he tells them, “the Love of God has exploded within your hearts, through the Holy Spirit who was given to you.” So the Love of God, which is more intoxicating than wine, has exploded inside of your heart and my heart. Therefore, the intoxicating bliss of heaven is already coursing through our veins whether we feel it or not. To feel it, we simply agree that it is true.

The Experience

Here’s a simple, fun way to help our minds get out of the way:
Jesus said that if we come to Him and drink, we will never thirst again, but out of our belly will flow rivers of Living Water. (John 7:37-39) He also turns water into wine. (John 2) He also said that if we want to inherit the Kingdom of God, we must become like children. (Matthew 18:3) Bear with me here, but what I gather from these scriptures is that there is actually a river of life flowing out from me all the time. I also believe this river of life is actually the intoxicating pleasures of heaven – Christ Himself. The same intoxicating bliss is already coursing through my veins all the time.
Now this may seem silly, but I encourage you to try it. Become like a child. Imagine a river of extremely potent wine pouring out of your tummy. Then hold your hand up like you’re holding a cup. The cup is really there, even though it’s invisible. The river is really flowing although, it too, is invisible. Now dip your cup in your river, filling it up. And drink it. That simple act actually takes faith to do. You wouldn’t even try it if you don’t believe there isn’t some possibility it would work. Your belief will affect what you experience.
The truth is that you are seated in heaven right now. You are in Christ. He is in You. You are in union with God with absolutely no separation at all – regardless of your actions or behavior. You are eternally united to the Godhead. This truth is irreversible. In the Person of Jesus, God and Humanity were married. You cannot be separated from him and His opinion of you never changes. Jesus is God’s opinion of you. When He sees you, He sees his own reflection. You are absolutely innocent. The Law was fulfilled in Christ and He has done what you could never do. He destroyed the charges stacked against you when he was nailed to the cross. He who knew no sin became sin. And as sin, He died, thus destroying sin. You’re free.

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