The Damascus Experience: A Fresh Vision of Jesus
November 1, 2020
The Damascus Experience:
A Fresh Vision of Jesus
November 1, 2020
Vision in the natural is about the path or strategy to fulfilling a goal or desire.
Spiritually, vision isn’t about you seeing where you want to go.
It’s about seeing and knowing the Lord. It’s about Jesus being both the Way and the Method to the Father.
Vision is the act of seeing: actual sight. In scripture it is a revelation of God.
The American church needs a revelation of God.
We sometimes have such a narrow view of who God is that we don’t realize that we are missing out.
I want to help you find fulfillment in Jesus. I want to inspire you to get hold of more Jesus today. [Make this practical – more Jesus meaning what? – perhaps letting go of habits and things you are doing that keep you away from Jesus and His best for your life, relationships, marriage, job, finances, parenting, etc]
Jesus gave the Disciples a NEW vision!
Matthew 16:13-19 (KJV)
When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Jesus builds His church where the revelation that He is Christ, The Son of the Living God, exists.
Victory Church is only a building for the church to gather. You and I are the Church of Jesus Christ. Jesus asked, “Who do men say that I am?” Does your living match your response?
Notice the vision Jesus cast here to the disciples:
1. Jesus will build His church upon your personal revelation of who He is.
The church is the vehicle (is what manifests) the Kingdom of God on the earth. His church is His agency on the earth (Jesus can ONLY work through the church)
The gates of hell will not prevail against the church.
*God doesn’t have grandchildren; just sons and daughters.
You have to know Him for yourself (Personal relationship is necessary).
Your parents won’t get you into heaven. Checking a box on Sunday won’t get you into heaven.
2. He will give YOU the keys to the kingdom of heaven: these keys are for binding and loosing (causing the kingdom of God to manifest in darkness) . These keys represent authority.
* Show me someone with no revelation of Jesus, and I’ll show you someone with no authority.
Your authority or lack thereof is an indication of your revelation of who He is.
Notice that Jesus does the building of the church and the giving of the keys.
All you have to do is know Him! It’s in knowing Him that we find everything: security, freedom, healing, salvation.
Light & Darkness
How do I get a bigger revelation of Jesus?
Look at Him and give Him your attention. (Take time to get to know Him personally).
About a month ago, I was praying with the worship team before service. As we prayed, I saw Jesus, and I realized that I was seeing John 1:29.
John 1:29 (NLT)
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
I wrote these words from what I saw:
“I see Jesus on the shores
His face is trustworthy
His outstretched arms are inviting
His heart beats for me
The more I behold Him the more I can feel it all leave
The doubt, fear, angst… I feel it all leave
Jesus is here and so is Freedom.”
Anything that is opposed to God is Darkness.
This includes everything from the darkness of human sin to the dark power of the devil.
The person in darkness does not know they are in darkness.
It (may have) has the appearance of good.
It (may) offers comfort. It (may)makes sense.
It (may) can have the appearance of wisdom or logic.
Example: Walking into your house (comfortable place) in the dark. You are only able to maneuver in the dark because you’re comfortable. So it is with people who choose to live without the Light that is Jesus.
[Question: Are you comfortable in your life with what you are allowing because God is pleased with you, or because there is not enough light to expose the obstacles?]
Darkness always ends with destruction and separation from God. What is of darkness is sin. The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). The soul that sins shall die (Eziekiel 18:20).
How do you get rid of darkness? Turn on the Light!
John 1:1-9 (AMPC)
1 In the beginning [before all time] was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself.
2 He was present originally with God.
3 All things were made and came into existence through Him; and without Him was not even one thing made that has come into being.
4 In Him was Life, and the Life was the Light of men.
5 And the Light shines on in the darkness, for the darkness has never overpowered it [put it out or absorbed it or appropriated it, and is unreceptive to it].
6 There came a man sent from God, whose name was John.
7 This man came to witness that he might testify of the Light, that all men might believe in it [adhere to it, trust it, and rely upon it] through him.
8 He was not the Light himself, but came that he might bear witness regarding the Light.
9 There it was—the true Light [was then] coming into the world [the genuine, perfect, steadfast Light] that illumines every person.
So the Word, Life, and Light all agree and work together in harmony.
So when God speaks, the Word gives Life, and that very Life is Light.
The Light is divine illumination to reveal and impart life, through Christ. Jesus Himself gives us purpose.
[The Word, the LIVING Word and the WRITTEN Word give both light and life!]
Jesus, the Light
Ordinary light allows us to see by illuminating the way. It expels darkness. It brings clarity.
The Light of Life is not just knowledge of the Bible, doctrines, or theology.
Many people possess knowledge of the Bible but have never met the person of Jesus. What some consider light is only some interpretation regarding a passage of scripture or a kind of teaching about the Bible. We usually call this “revelation.” Real Light is not mere knowledge; it is the Lord Himself.
Whoever sees Him (Jesus) sees Light.
Three Things Jesus the Light does
Acts 9:1-9 (KJV)
And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,
2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.
3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:
4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.
8 And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.
9 And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.
The Light that Slays
If you have really seen The Light, you would have fallen to the ground!
Real encounters with Jesus humble us.
They flatten us along with all of our mess.
When Jesus shines His Light on you, He exposes things that you may not have known were issues.
4Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: 5Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; 6Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
7But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 8Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
When we fall, we do so as dead men. When you hit the dirt, everything dies. Dead people have no will. This is worship; it’s yielding to God’s will and dying to ourselves.
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
If it doesn’t slay you, then it isn’t Light. It isn’t Jesus. It is counterfeit. If it doesn’t humble you or challenge you to lower yourself, then it is darkness; it is deception. Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light!
The Light that Blinds
If you look at the sun and walk into a dark room, you will not notice the dark. You’ll still be blinded by the light.
This is the exact effect that the Son will have on you. He will leave such a mark on you, that you can’t entertain the dark.
If the light doesn’t blind you, it isn’t Jesus.
If the light doesn’t leave you disoriented, then it isn’t Jesus.
A real encounter with Jesus will cause you to not want to see those idols.
Saul never picked up those letters.
Or if he did he at least didn’t see them the same way. When you’re blinded you don’t pick up your baggage, those things you found your identity in, that man or woman, the fancy car or house, the letters behind your name or on your purse.
His letters represented validation, authority.
His glory and visage is so bright that now what you see is branded by Him.
And everything you look at has to be seen through the same lens that Jesus sees us with.
An encounter with Jesus will leave you not looking at people and circumstances the same way.
In a way, you have to be blinded by Him so that you can see things His way.
Words follow after thoughts. Thoughts follow after perception.
The Light that Illuminates
Example: Sunday evening prayer after the first men’s Encounter.
Light is for revealing.
It pushes back darkness so that what is in front of us can be seen, revealing what has always been there.
It offers comfort to those in need of Light.
And a bit of discomfort for those who aren’t ready for God to expose areas of their heart.
Light is for drawing.
Think of all those bugs that are drawn to your windows or porch lights at night.
His Light offers hope to the person in the midst of a dark tunnel in need of rescuing.
John 1:5 (KJV)
And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
This is the gospel:
Jesus, who was here before the earth, came down in great humility to redeem His most beloved creation, mankind.
Mankind did not recognize Him. In fact, mankind rejected Him.
*John 1:10- He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not.
But just because they didn’t understand or recognize Him doesn’t negate the fact that He came.
You have a choice today.
The earth is a dark place right now.
Our country is in a dark place.
You may personally be in a dark place, but it doesn’t negate the fact that the Light of Heaven came down.
His Light is shining on you. Will you choose to be in darkness? (Salvation, life-style change, walking in obedience, etc.)
Our Responsibility – You are the Light
Isaiah 60:1-3 (KJV)
Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. 2 For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. 3 And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.
Matthew 5:14-16 (KJV)
Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
God’s light and life is on the inside of us.
Light causes darkness to flee.
But the more we behold that which is not of God and choose to believe it, we are putting a veil over our faces or hiding a light under a basket.
When you give attention to other things, by default the light/fire on the inside of you begins to dim.
To give attention to the darkness is to contribute to it, because you’ve then placed your light under a basket.
Stewarding the Flame – Matthew 25:1-3 (10 Virgins)
Matthew 25:1-4 (NLT)
Then the Kingdom of Heaven will be like ten bridesmaids who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3 The five who were foolish didn’t take enough olive oil for their lamps, 4 but the other five were wise enough to take along extra oil.
Keep oil in your lamp.
Tend to the flame. [Allow the Holy Spirit to stayed stirred up in you by maintaining a regular prayer life and by reading and feeding on the Word]
Example: Burning brush in my yard
I didn’t tend to the fire, and I was unprepared to deal with bigger limbs (challenges, problems).
Hebrews 12:1-3 (KJV)
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
Think about what it cost the Father.
Think of the punishment and agony.
Do not treat the sacrifice of Jesus as common.
He deserves your worship (yieldedness).
Lay aside those things that are in opposition to God that you know of, and invite Him in to reveal other things.
Examples: music, voting, pre-marital sex, stubbornness- your need to be right or be in control, forgiving others, etc.
It’s all a part of Jesus wanting you. Him loving you and walking with you.
Action Points: How Can I apply this Truth?
- Ask God to search your heart and reveal to you the things that aren’t pleasing to Him. [What things in your life need to change?]
- Yield to what He wants to do when He reveals those areas. [Decide to stop doing things that you know displease the Lord]
- Place heavy value on the Word, prayer, worship, and being with other believers. [give God minimum 30 minutes or even an hour before you start your day, etc]