Let Us Pray:
Our loving Heavenly Father, our God whom we adore and serve: we come before You by the precious blood of Jesus Christ and in His blessed name. To You, our loving Father, we offer up our thanksgivings. We know that Yours is a throne of grace and that You delight in giving us grace. You've declared that You're a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. You've also assured us that we can come confidently before Your throne of grace to receive mercy and grace in our time of need.
Our loving Father, we now come before You with empty and thirsty hearts. In Your glorious riches, please fill us with Your grace according to our individual needs. We definitely need Your mercy and grace especially in this age of perverseness and lustfulness. For the sake of Your own glory, we humbly plead for Your grace.
We fix our eyes on You, for You alone are the spring of living water ?C all else are but broken and leaky cisterns. And so, from our inner depths, we look up to You. May each of us have a teachable heart and a humble spirit. We need You, Lord, and plead for Your grace. May Your children be blessed and Your name be glorified. In the glorious and victorious name of Jesus Christ, Amen!
Christianity is not a type of philosophy; nor is it merely a set of teachings. Christianity is actually a life experience. After receiving Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior, Christians have the life of Jesus Christ in them - Christ is our life, according to God's Word. That is why a normal Christian life consists of many spiritual experiences starting from the moment he was saved. He who has only heard and accepted Christian teachings without receiving Christ into his heart is still not yet a true Christian.
Brother Tang, with whom I was baptized in Shanghai, China on August 24, 1942, was in his 40's while I was only 16. He gave a very good baptismal testimony. A wealthy businessman, he had left his wife and children in his remote hometown in Fujian Province while pursuing a lavish lifestyle with his sworn brothers involving women, alcohol and gambling. When he was saved, not only did he accept the gospel but he also received the life of Jesus Christ. The Bible says that he who accepts Jesus will not perish but has everlasting life. Having received the everlasting life, his life changed drastically. One day, he hosted all his sworn brothers and made this announcement, "I've already accepted Jesus as my Savior. I know that a life of evil and darkness, such as the one I led in the past, will disqualify me from meeting with God on That Day. Therefore, from now on, I'll follow Jesus and take the heavenly path. How I wish you, too, will accept Jesus Christ as your Savior! But if you won't, then I regret that our relationship will have to end from this day on." Later, he closed all his businesses in Shanghai, gathered up his possessions and returned to live with his family in his hometown Fujian. Years later after I was released from the Labor Camp1, I learned from another Christian that Brother Tang had been greatly empowered and used by the Lord, especially in demon-casting and gospel-preaching (for which he was imprisoned several times). On one occasion, someone drove a jeep to fetch Brother Tang for casting demons but, because of leg injury, he was unable to go. The driver then took his umbrella along and placed it in the bed of the demon-possessed person; the demon departed (Ref.: Acts 5:15, 16; 19:12).
My point is that apart from the accepting and understanding of Christian teachings, every truly born-again Christian has new spiritual experiences. In his spiritual walk, a normal Christian receives many answers to his prayers and experiences the way of the cross. Besides, he is able to discern the will of God and, by God's grace, walks in it.
The will of God is a matter of tremendous significance. God created the universe in His own will (Rev. 4:11b). God's plan of redemption, too, is in accordance with His will (Heb. 10:7-9).
Discerning God's will is not a matter for preachers only but is a must for every Christian. The Bible tells us that even a bondman believer should also walk in the will of God (Eph. 6:5-8; Col. 3:22-25). In order to walk in the will of God, one must first be able to discern the will of God.
1 During the Communist rule in China, the author was exiled to Labor Camps for 21 years (1958-1979) for his steadfast faith in Christ - for further details, please read The Cross & Suffering, published by the Chinese Christian Testimony Ministry.