Acceleration Through Accelebration: And Everyone Kept Feeling a Sense of Awe
Paul L. Garlington
 
“The Lord your God is in your midst, a victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.” (Zeph 3:17) Is Zephaniah a false prophet, or is it indeed possible to actualize this awesome reality in our daily experience? How then do we ensure an uninterrupted, daily manifestation of peace in our life? The secret is disclosed in Acts 2:42-43. “And they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. And [because of this daily practicum] everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles.” The word “continually” in this context indicates without interruption or intermission. Haven’t we all noticed that all of our so-called problems first surfaced during those times when we took our eyes off the One? If you expect to achieve maximum acceleration through accelebration, you must continually, without interruption or intermission, DEVOTE yourself to the four essential things that form the foundation for the lifestyle of the accelebrant:

A. The Apostles’ Teaching. The apostles’ teaching is uncompromisingly based on “THE VISION”. The emphasis is on the definite article. In other words, it is not my vision or your vision—this is THE VISION. And THE VISION has to do with what Isaiah saw. “These things spake Isaiah when he saw His glory.” And what did he say? “The whole earth is filled with the glory of God.” This revelation is based upon the fact that God is One, omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient, and there is nowhere God is absent. God is not in the universe—the universe is in God. This is the eternal, unchangeable reality. This is the truth of which the Apostle Paul insists that all men are aware, but persist in suppressing it in unrighteousness. This One power, that we without apology call God, is good. This is the good news. That is, we live and move and have our being in a virtual ocean of infinite good. “Whither shall I flee from Thy presence?” Isaiah declares that it was when King Uzziah died that he saw the Lord and got THE VISION. The death of Uzziah is analogous with the death of the ego, or our claim to an identity apart from the One. Hence when Isaiah, in total commitment to God as One, dies to his own sense of separation, he sees the Lord and gets THE VISION. “Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God.” (Mat 5:8) The inevitable consequence of purifying one’s heart of all double-mindedness is the beatific vision. I repeat, this vision is not the exclusive property of anyone. When I saw THE VISION, I gladly released any claim to a personal vision that made me unique from anyone else. THE VISION is available to anyone who will joyfully repent of his/her allegiance to any other power, presence or intelligence besides the One. If you have not seen THE VISION do not despair. To all those who will believe the report of those who have seen THE VISION, they too will see the glory of God. Hence the scripture says, “Who has believed our report?” (Isaiah 53:1) Therefore when THE VISION is seen, either directly or by believing the report, it will ultimately eventuate in the whole earth being filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord. So the report is for those who haven’t seen THE VISION yet. Having seen THE VISION, I am joyfully proclaiming to you the report, with signs and wonders, confirming its veracity. I repeat, DO NOT DESPAIR, for I am joyfully guaranteeing to you that if you’ll believe what you do not see, you’ll see what you believed. This is similar to viewing a stereogram (a two dimensional picture that when viewed properly reveals a three dimensional image). It requires that you learn to view things from a radically different perspective. This enables you to bypass a kind of “videostatic” created by the two dimensional image in order to access the beautiful three dimensional image that lies beyond. Nevertheless, you would not even persevere in the acquisition of this new viewpoint if you did not believe that your endeavor would prove fruitful. By the same token, I encourage you to not lose heart if it seems difficult to bypass the videostatic, called this world. “Though it [THE VISION] seems to tarry, wait for it.” (Hab 2:3) In a day you think not (about the two dimensional image), THE VISION will suddenly appear, with joy unspeakable and full of glory. Since THE VISION is not mine or yours, but is in fact, a declaration of reality, it is not negotiable. Hence, to all of us who have seen THE VISION, we cannot but speak the things we have seen and heard. We do not renegotiate THE VISION. No, not even in the face of death itself. Did not Jesus say in the presence of the dead child, “Give way, the damsel sleeps.”? No wonder Jesus could boldly say, based upon His commitment to THE VISION, “I always do the things that are pleasing to Him [the One].” (John 8:29)

B. Fellowship. To be specific, fellowship is:
  1. A condition of sharing similar interests, ideals and experiences;
  2. The companionship of individuals in a congenial (i.e., pleasant and harmonious) atmosphere and on equal terms;
  3. A close intimate association of friends or equals sharing similar interests;
  4. Friendship (i.e., a bunch of fellows in the same ship).
All fellowship must be in truth. Regardless of the insistence of others that there are many truths, I am boldly declaring to you, without apology, that there is really only ONE truth. This truth is not the exclusive property of anyone period. This truth transcends and antedates all religion. It is the very nature of reality itself. While there exists a multiplicity of ways to relate to individuals and/or organizations, we can only know true fellowship in the truth. Therefore, all attempts to experience fellowship apart from the truth is doomed from the outset. When Jesus said, “I have not come to bring peace but a sword,” He is referring to the inevitable winnowing process that will occur in the life of everyone who embraces the truth. This is the shaking and shake out referred to in the Book of Hebrews. At such a time, if you will remain at the eye of the hurricane (the secret place of the Most High), you will be immune to all havoc and destruction without. FEAR NOT, you will only lose what you cannot keep to gain what you cannot lose. That which remains will be nothing less than the kingdom of perfect everything. When the dust settles, all those who really love you, be they family or friends, will all be joyfully present, relating to you in wonderful ways that they have never done heretofore. The inevitable consequence of conceding all glory to the One is that God joins to us affirming relationships that no man can put asunder. “If therefore there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.” (Phil 2:1-2) If this isn’t fellowship, it will have to suffice until you can show me something better. Moreover, whenever I see this as an end result of Heartsight, it makes my joy complete. COMMITMENT TO THE TRUTH THAT GOD IS ONE CREATES THE BELOVED COMMUNITY. This is a community that is not based upon race, creed, color, gender or geographical origin, but the fact that God is One, and “He made from One, every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth...” (Acts 17:26) In the beloved community, since we all live and move and have our being in the One, loving our neighbor as ourselves is synonymous with loving God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. Having located divinity as our identity, we experience a community where we do not hurt, harm, destroy, or diminish one another, but contrariwise, rejoice in one another’s prosperity knowing that we are all heirs together of the grace of life.

C. Breaking of Bread. Community and communion are Siamese twins. Hence, the rite that many refer to as the Lord’s Supper points to the communion that we experience in the beloved community based upon commitment to the truth that God is One. Somehow without plan or direction, we find ourselves joyfully looking for “excuses” to eat together. Be it breakfast, lunch, dinner or midnight snack, we delight in eating off one another’s plate as if, in fact, there is one giant buffet for us all. This is in striking contrast to the “pride” of lions who having succeeded in the kill, inflict almost as much damage on each other at the feast. After this dubious banquet, a considerable amount of time has to be dedicated to licking each other’s wounds in order to keep the “pride” in tact. However, in the beloved community, we assume that there is abundance for all and share our last morsel knowing that it will only return to us good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over.

D. Prayer. First of all, this was the kind of prayer that elicited from the participants such a degree of devotion that without motivational seminars on prayer, they naturally persisted therein. It would seem to me that only a kind of prayer that was 100% efficacious would elicit this kind of devotion. This is the prayer based upon THE VISION that before you call, He hears, and while you are praying, He is doing it. Or, as Jesus said, “Your heavenly Father knows what you have need of before you ask,” therefore IT IS! There is only one kind of prayer that satisfies this criteria—“Thank you Father, you’ve already heard me.” With a lifestyle based upon these directives, observe what occurred. “And everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles.” The word feeling here comes from the Greek word which means to come into being, to become, to happen. The writer of Hebrews declares, “By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not MADE out of things which are visible.” The same word that is used in Acts for “feeling”, is the same word that is used in Hebrews for “made”. The word made means to bring something into being, to bring it into existence. So the narrative is telling us that when we’ve seen THE VISION or believed the report that it is so now, this feeling/mood is creative. Hence, one should not be surprised at all that signs and wonders are typical in the beloved community where everyone keeps feeling a sense of awe. What is this sense of awe? It's nothing less than the joyful feeling that all things are possible to the omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent One. Is there any thing too wonderful for the Lord? At the appointed time (now is the accepted time), the One will return to your festive celebration of IT IS SO NOW and you will have every desire fulfilled.

 
 

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