By David Stahl

        Each of us has varying amounts of information about Jesus, and many are satisfied with this.  But some (I wonder why not others) are being stirred to seek a higher level of spirituality in which they experience not only His presence or power, but have an active personal relationship with Him. Jesus desires to make Himself personally known to us.  It is essential that we respond to this inner stirring of the Spirit especially at this present time as things seem to be collapsing while unfolding.  Jesus said that we cannot enter the Kingdom (which is righteousness, love peace and joy in the Holy Spirit not a place or even a concept) except we first become as little children.  In Mark Jesus tells us, “Allow the little children to come to Me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say to you, whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.”  (Mark 10:14-15)  Did you know little children are not that intellectual and unforgiving like most adults?  Little children for the most part are obedient and can play (without causing problems) with about anyone. It is also important for us to understand that the LORD may move in ways that differ from our past expectations or experiences. The Children of Israel (In Exodus) never knew this and could not relate to God on Mount Sinai when He wanted to spend time with them. This means that our approach to this present stirring within our spirit must be with a child-like trust and faith.  God’s ways are high above our ways, but at the same time God’s ways are foolish to the wise and strength to the weak.  Paul tells us, “But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.”  (1Corinthians 1:27)  The LORD’s response to our seeking may be in a way that is not familiar to us or that may appear offensive ( most often when we resist Him) to our intellect.  The LORD may do this to see if we are really sincere and if we are willing to accept Him on His terms.  Herein is the test of our child-like faith and trust, “I love them that love Me; and those that seek Me early shall find Me.”  (Proverbs 8:17)  The LORD will respond to the expression of our heart’s desire to know Him.  As we vocally express to Him our love for Him, “LORD, I love You” and you are first in my life He will respond to our heart and spirit felt approach.  In the LORD’s approach back He will respond in a special way to those who seek Him “early” or “those that seek Me early shall find Me.”  This “early”could mean we are to seek Him early in our lives as children so the years of our youth will not be lost in the stubble of  misgivings and youthful waywardness we all seem to experience,  but I think  this “early” means that we are to quickly set aside “early” in the problems and circumstances we face in life, even “early” whatever we were doing and with a single purpose respond to His quickening presence in an unquestioning, unqualified anticipation of all that will follow without any attempt on our part to understand why or what.   And when we put the LORD first and in all things acknowledge our utter dependence upon Him, then He will make Himself known to us.  He then will work in our behalf and as a result we will receive a spiritual impartation from him which means that our lives will become a witness of His life.  This is the “testimony of Jesus,” which is the expression of His life flowing out through the expression of our relationship to Him. Our primary calling as we put Him first (all else will follow in time) in our lives is to come to the LORD spending quality time in fellowship with Him.  As we are faithful in our part He will be faithful in His part.  This ministry may take many forms;  from the expression of our personal experience as a witness to another, to our being called into some level (I shudder to call it higher) of ministry.  In Matthew 13, a sower went forth to sow seed, which is the word of God and not money or abilities.  Some of this seed fell by the wayside and was eaten by the birds.  It is very important that the seed falls into carefully prepared soil if God has called us to be a teacher, if not scattering the seed as a sower broadcasts the seed will work fine with an Evangelist. But please know the distance from the hardened soil of the wayside to this prepared soil can be only one step.  This step that we take into the place of preparation is very important, but while this inner work of the Holy Spirit is taking place, there may be no evidence of a harvest.  This should not concern us as during this time of change, oh no the important thing is the changes that are taking place within us rather than what we are accomplishing.  There have been times (I think we all experience them) when I have struggled to meet the LORD trying all kinds of ways, but getting nowhere.  Then I became quiet and found that all the LORD required of me was for me to take one step to the side.  When I did this He was there, He had been there all the time just waiting for me to wear myself out so I would yield and come His way.  You see I have been trying to force the LORD to move as I thought He should.  All I had to do was put Him first, yield, and come His way in child-like faith.  The demands of our soulish desires are very real and ever present.  To seek Him “early” requires of us a time of heart preparation.  This involves a crucifixion of these self-centered desires with a determination to seek the LORD and spend time alone with Him. We must become serious concerning spiritual things. As we put the LORD first He will draw us to Himself and impart into us an adequate supply of what we need for our daily bread and what we need to build for the future.