A Non-obvious Encounter With God

Is God real?

The natural approach to the concept of God often leads to the search for the super-natural, that is a super-event that is still along a natural continuum, a sign, an observable phenomenon, something bound by space and time that we can perceive with our five senses.

But, God is spirit. (John 4:24)

An authentic encounter with God is often non-obvious and imperceptible to the natural eye because it’s spiritual.

“Philip said to [Jesus], ‘Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.’

Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, “Show us the Father?”‘”
—John 14:8-9

An encounter with God is a committed, consistent, all consuming burning that transforms us.

“And they said to one another, ‘Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?'”
—Luke 24:32

“For our God is a consuming fire.”
—Hebrews 12:29

We can know and experience God.

“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
—John 10:10

“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”
—John 17:3

Everyone who does is transformed by it. No one who sees Him remains the same.

“You must be born again.”
—John 3:5

It’s a miraculous reality unbound by time that always is; before you were born and after you die.

“He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world”
—Ephesians 1:4

“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
—Ephesians 2:4-7

That’s spiritual. That’s supernatural.

It is real.

It’s a reality on a higher spiritual level, that’s not always obvious on this natural one, but its effects are (Galatian 5:22-23).

I Am Accepted In The Beloved

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - I Am Accepted In The Beloved

I am accepted in the beloved. (Ephesians 1:6)

This is what we’re built for,
This is humanity’s greatest suppressed desire,
This fills the God-sized hole in each of us,
It is the reason for our social bent,
To be accepted truly, purely, safely, irrevocably, ultimately by the Father.

I am accepted in the beloved.

To really recline in that I need two things:

to be completely satisfied with being accepted by the Father —alone, to be perfectly content and full of joy with the Father’s acceptance whether anyone else accepts me or not,

and to understand that I’m accepted on the basis of His goodness, not mine.

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” —Romans 5:8

I cannot mess this up.

There is nothing I can possibly do to mess this up.

Oh, what amazing grace! Praise your name God our Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ!


This is at the heart of righteousness.

Righteousness is having a right relationship to everything.

This reality, that I am accepted in the beloved, changes my posture.

Accepting it changes how I relate to everything. It makes righteousness possible.

It allows you to stand tall and stand firm for what is good and right, like a mighty tree that gives shelter to others and feeds them with the fruit from The Tree Of Eternal Life who’s leaf never fades and is always in season.

Consider Jesus.

This cradle of absolute safety was established so that you could be conformed to His image without fear of failure or rejection, so that no matter what happens, Jesus is the result.

“being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete [it] until the day of Jesus Christ;”
—Philippians 1:6

I am accepted in the beloved.

Rest in that, and be transformed by it.

Placed In The Dark

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - Placed In The Dark

Sometimes, God will put me in the dark to show others in the dark The Way.

“Now if we are afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effective for enduring the same sufferings which we also suffer. Or if we are comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.” —2 Corinthians 1:6

Those with a heart ready for heaven, who love God and are called according to His purposes, glory in their suffering, rejoicing to be counted worthy to suffer for His name.

“Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.” —1 Peter 4:16

And for those, like me, who are not there yet, God uses all things, including that same suffering to get you there. Instruction in the Light and lessons in the dark facilitated by the Holy Spirit is how I’ve gotten this far.

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son…” —Romans 8:28-29

“Though He [Christ] was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him” ——Hebrews 5:8-9

“Why Lord?” is an excellent question, if I’m listening for His answer.

I have not already attained but I press.


The Goal Is Not Good But Life

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - The Goal Is Not Good But Life

The goal is not to be “good”, the goal is to be life-giving.

“And so it is written, ‘The first man Adam became a living being.’ The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.”
—1 Corinthians 15:45

To be sure, good is life-giving but which you set your heart on to pursue, drastically changes the outcome.

There’s a great difference between wanting to look like Dad versus wanting to be like Dad.

Because we, as Christians, often pursue presenting some perception of God’s person (“good”), rather than pursuing God’s heart and purposes (life [John 10:10]), we get religious, which results in a lot of beautiful dead things (e.g. buildings, rituals, programs, gestures, etc. [1 Corinthians 13:1-3]).

The goal is life.

If you’re thinking how only God can give life and we cannot do that, you’re on to something.

Furthermore, life is the result of God’s glory. So, the ultimate goal is God’s glory.

Both are something that ultimately only God can do [John 12:28, 1 Corinthians 12:3].

“No one can say Jesus is Lord [glorify God] except by the Holy Spirit [God]”
—1 Corinthians 12:3

We can only hope to make ourselves available for His use, which requires emptying ourselves of everything: possessions, pleasure, popularity, power and even our person.

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.”
—2 Corinthians 4:7

That’s ultimately the lesson of the Jesus’ encounter with the Rich Young Ruler [Luke 18:18-27].

The goal is not to be “good”, the goal is to be life-giving.

We cannot do it.

But, God can, through us.

“But [Jesus] said, ‘The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.'”
—Luke 18:27

Rather than just signaling virtue and having an appearance of righteousness (paying tithes, going to church, being a “good person”, etc.), seek God’s heart to produce life in others.

Seek God on how to allow God to give life through you.

So… how’s your garden? [Genesis 2:15]

Same Suffering Different Outcomes

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - Same Suffering Different Outcomes

If I go to church,
If I pay my tithes,
If I do good things,
bad things will not happen to me.

That’s not true.

That’s witchcraft.

You can be perfectly in the will of God and suffer the same conditions created by original sin as everyone else:

need – 2 Corinthians 6:10, 2 Corinthians 12:10
hunger – Philippians 4:12,
sickness – Philippians 2:27, 1 Timothy 5:23
distress – 2 Corinthians 6:4
disaster – Acts 27, Romans 8:35
injustice – 2 Corinthians 6:5
crime – 2 Corinthians 11:26
violence – 2 Corinthians 6:5
torture – Hebrews 11:37

death – John 19:10

The difference is, for those who belong to God and are in His will, our suffering —our grappling with the various manifestations of death caused by original sin, produces life.

So then death is working in us, but life in you.
—2 Corinthians 4:12


“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.

We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.

For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

So then death is working in us, but life in you.”
—2 Corinthians 4:7-‬12

“But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings; by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as chastened, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.”
—2 Corinthians 6:4-‬10

Glorious Suffering

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - Glorious Suffering

God is teaching me about suffering.

The message given to me was:

We can do more than know about God.
We can know God.
We can be with God, now.

Now, the Word burning on my heart is:

We can make God known.

As I pressed into this, and dug to unearth the marvelous treasure of this revelation, the first means of making God known that the Spirit began to tutor me in was suffering.

It has been put on my heart to dispel several prevalent yet errant notions about suffering.

One being that because I may be suffering, that something must be wrong, that I’ve done something wrong or that I must not be in the perfect will of God.

But “living right” or “being in the will of God” does not give us a pass on suffering.

Bad things have happened and will happen to even God’s most faithful elect.

In that sin has entered the world it made it so that everyone will suffer, even the best man, the perfect man, Jesus, was not excepted.

We do not have a choice whether we will suffer, but we can choose who our suffering will serve.

It may very well be that you are suffering not because you’re not in the will of God, but precisely because you are, and He has entrusted to you the honor and privilege of making Him known through the ministry of your suffering.

Consider Job.

Not only do I hope to share how to survive these inevitable seasons of suffering, but to thrive in the midst of them, by God’s grace being plump grapes in the desert —a fig tree producing in incompatible seasons, giving life and bearing fruit abundantly for the saving of souls to the glory of His name.

In the coming days and weeks, I hope to unpack that and share what God reveals about how to suffer in a series called Glorious Suffering.


A Quiet Mind: The Medium Of God’s Revelation

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - A Quiet Mind: The Medium Of God's Revelation

In silence, on the still waters of a quieted mind, is most often where the Seed of the Word of God unfurls, after it has been received, to bring forth life in the time and space of our hearts.

“The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep.

And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light.”
—Genesis 1:2‭-‬3

“For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
—2 Corinthians 4:6

We need silence.

Jesus sought it.

“Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.”
—Mark 1:35

So, should we.

Silence is the time and space that we reserve and consecrate for God, where God is invited, that when He comes, His glory may fill the temple of our bodies.

God shouts before sinners, to whom His Word thunders, who perceive sound yet cannot discern its meaning, deafened by the futile busyness of life and the worthless affections of their hearts.

But, He whispers to His saints.

“‘Father, glorify Your name.’

Then a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.’

Therefore the people who stood by and heard it said that it had thundered.

Others said, ‘An angel has spoken to Him.'”
—John 12:28‭-‬29

“And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.”
—1 Kings 19:11‭-‬12

“Behold! My Servant whom I have chosen,

My Beloved in whom My soul is well pleased!

I will put My Spirit upon Him, And He will declare justice to the Gentiles.

He will not quarrel nor cry out, Nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets.”
—Matthew 12:18‭-‬19

Some are going to a house of God today with a real and eager expectation to meet God and to hear from Him. I am too, if the Lord allows.

My encouragement to you is not to think this is fulfilled simply by attending a service.

Seek His Word, “take heed”, keep it securely, then go and take it with you to a sacred place just for you and God, to spend quality time, to ponder it and allow His Word to expand on the still waters of your mind that life may burst forth from your heart.

Not just an hour on Sunday, but as much quiet time as you can offer.

“But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”
—2 Corinthians 9:6

“He who continually goes forth weeping, Bearing seed for sowing, Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, Bringing his sheaves with him.”
—Psalms 126:6

Be still, seek God, make room for Him, and hear the still small voice of God.

How We Can Know God’s Voice

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - How We Can Know God's Voice

Some while ago, I heard a new Jay-Z song, but it wasn’t by Jay-Z.

It was a song created by artificial intelligence (AI) that took the sound of Jay-Z’s voice and even his flow to rap words he never said on a song he had nothing to do with.

That got me thinking about how can anyone really know who they’re hearing?

Then I thought about my Mom.

I know my Mom’s voice better than I know any other. But, her “voice” is more than the form of the soundwave produced by her vocal cords. And, it’s more than her “flow” -the timing, pitch, volume or the natural patterns of her speech.

It’s also about content. There are things my mother would never say.

But it’s even much more than that.

I know it’s my Mom because I know my Mom’s spirit, her essence, who she is and what she’s about. These are the things that make up her “voice” and authenticate whether it is my Mom who’s really speaking.

The Word found in the Holy Scripture of the Bible is the “voice” of God.

God does not directly speak with vocal cords and soundwaves. He speaks directly to us by His Spirit that moves on the heart.

“knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”
—2 Peter 1:20-21

We are awash in spiritual suggestion all the time, including messaging from the principalities and powers of this age, many of which pretend to be God.

“For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.”
—2 Corinthians 11:14

God’s Spirit, His essence, who He is and what He’s about as revealed in Jesus Christ and to whom the Holy Scriptures attest, is the way we discern signal from noise, the way to know His voice from counterfeits.

“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;”
—Hebrews 1:1-2

These are the things that make up God’s voice and authenticate whether we’re talking to our heavenly Father.

God is not an idea but an actual person who you can know and interact with now.

You can hear from God, not with material sound, but by His Spirit.

“For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.”
—1 Corinthians 2:11

When I say or perceive that God is speaking to me, it’s like Someone blowing on an ember, the ember being the implanted Word of God.

He makes a theme, a thrust or a truth that can found in Scripture burn on our hearts.

Without the Word in our heart, the Spirit has little to blow on.

And, God is not going to say anything to you that contradicts what He has already said in His Word.

“And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.”
—1 Corinthians 14:32

The heart is our preceptory organ, where we sense: see, taste, feel and hear spiritual transmissions.

The Word is the sound of His voice. Jesus is the Word expressed in three dimensions, manifested materially in time and space.

Train your “ear”. Wash it in the Word. Read Scripture and open it through humbling yourself, looking to the real person of Christ and asking questions in pursuit of faith.

“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
—Romans 10:17

You can do more than know about God.

You can know God personally and talk with Him by knowing His voice.

#KnowGod #KnowingGod #Gospel

How We Can Know God

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - How We Can See God

One of the greatest travesties of modern-day Christianity and the church is we stop just short of knowing God.

We’ve created centers of learning about God that we call church.

We talk a lot about what we “think” God is like.

We strain out gnats and swallow camels.

It’s academic and not personal.

But unless God is real, we’re merely like every other religion -just another philosophy.

But God is an actual person who can be known and with whom a real relationship can be had!

My prayer of late has been how to truly know and experience God, and usher others into that.

Then, I saw something I’d not really seen before -something that I may have understood conceptually in my head but that’s now burning on my heart.

Consider 2 Corinthians 4:6:

“For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
—2 Corinthians 4:6

Now, juxtapose that against Matthew 6:23:

“But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!”
—Matthew 6:23

The Apostle Paul did not just say, “God commanded light to shine out of darkness” else we would think of this “light” in terms of what we can see visually, but he continued “WHO HAS SHONE IN OUR HEARTS to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

My God.

Now, compare that to Matthew 6:22-23,

“The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light.

But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!”
—Matthew 6:22-23

Now, consider the immediately preceding pericope of Scripture in Matthew 6:19-21,

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your HEART will be also.”
—Matthew 6:19-21

Ok. What am I getting at?

Those who have been born again do not “see” with their iris and pupils but with their hearts.

When Paul writes, “[God] has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” it should be apparent that we cannot perceive wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation (light) with the organ that pumps blood (heart).

So by “heart”, Paul is referring to a spiritual organ -the core of our spiritual being, and by “light”, he is referring to the life giving power that comes from God.

What Paul is essentially saying is the heart is the eye. It is the sensory organ by which we have any sensitivity to the spiritual dimension and that gives us the ability to perceive God.

The Matthew passages makes a contrast between a good eye and a bad eye -a good eye filling the body with “light” (life) and a bad eye filling the body with great darkness (not life).

I would argue that the “good eye” is a spiritual heart made alive in the new birth by faith through grace. And, the “bad eye” is the natural perception obtained through bodily sensory organs, experience and earthly ideation, which leaves the heart dead, hard and stony with no capacity to sense, know or experience God.

I believe Jesus provides a test in Matthew 6:19-21 so that we can know which “eye” we have: WHAT WE TREASURE.

The bad eye treasures “treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal.” (e.g. things material and that are dependent of the material: money, possessions, status, etc.)

The good eye treasures “treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.” (e.g. spiritual things independent of material things: virtue, fruit of the spirit, Isaiah 58:5-8).

Because, what we treasure, as Matthew 6:21 concludes, “There your heart will be also.”

Everything God commands is good and for our good. So when Jesus says “whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple” in Luke 14:33, He is not merely putting forward the price of discipleship, Jesus is giving us the prescription for nurturing a heart that can sense, know and experience God.

We can do more than “know about” God.
We can know God.
We can sense and experience God!

I want that more than anything.

And, our “heart” -the one that God gives, is our “eye” which gives us the ability to perceive, know and experience (be with) God.

Get that heart (humble yourself, repent, seek diligently for it).
And, guard it.

Thank You, God, Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ for answering my prayer. Not that I have attained, but that You lead me in the paths of righteousness that I may fully attain it, and, above all, that You are with me.

Thank You for teaching me to close my eyes and see through the eye of the heart You gave me so I can perceive, know and experience You.

#KnowGod #KnowingGod #gospel

52 Weeks Of Gratefulness #21 – A Quiz (About Fasting)

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - 52 Weeks Of Gratefulness #21 - A Quiz (About Fasting)

In week 21 of 52 Weeks of Gratefulness, I give thanks for a quiz.

I was at Rosey Baby’s for lunch and as I was leaving I passed a table where Monica Banks was having lunch with a colleague.

She was aware that I had recently accepted my call to the ministry and she motioned for me to come to her table.

Now Mrs. Banks was constantly investing in people, looking to develop leaders in the community and trying to help them get to the next level.

She asked me a question, “What does it mean to fast?”

She was quizzing me, because, being a seasoned woman of faith and also a minister, she knew the answer better than I did.

I gave her an answer that may have been technically correct but I could sense from my delivery and from her response that it was from my head but not from my heart. It was something I thought, not something I knew.

She responded, “Thank you, Reverend. Hug Melissa and those babies for me.”

That was almost two decades ago, and since that moment I’ve been pondering her question in my heart.

Providential factors: life, seeking, surviving a crisis of faith, and reading the following passage at just the right time brought her question full circle.

“And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.

So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.”
—Deuteronomy 8:2-3

All that God does is to make Himself known. There is not only no higher good, there is no good beside that.

It is during a fast where the cloak of our sufficiency is removed and we are confronted with the depth of our earthly dependencies to the point of idolatry. We are confronted with our reaction to withdrawal from them and the true condition of our heart from which our reactions spring.

God’s objective toward us is to perfect us so that He can shine through us, like He does through Jesus, His only begotten Son.

**We can either do it with Him** and cooperate by willingly putting things down and exercise ourselves to godliness through disciplines such as fasting, **or it can happen to us** through a “forced fast” like the one experienced in this passage by the Children of Israel as they are tried and trained in the wilderness.

Either way, we’re going to be made to learn, if we’re His. And, it’s for our good.

“If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.”
—Hebrews 12:7-8

We can either seek out opportunities to confront those things that get between us and God, that block His love to and through us, or find ourselves thrust into situations that cause us to confront them, or both.

He desires to make us stronger, to conform us to the image of Christ, until like Jesus we are steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.

It is a work that He will complete without fail.

“being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ”
—Philippians 1:6

God wants to grow us to the point where, when the enemy attacks us at our weakest point, tempting us, our Strength is so overwhelming we can respond, “Man shall not live by bread alone [our earthly dependencies or whatever Satan’s offering], but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”

But [Jesus] answered [Satan’s temptation] and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ”
—Matthew 4:4

Fasting is a spiritual discipline of forsaking natural satisfaction in pursuit of spiritual sustenance.

Without the **pursuit** of God, fasting is just dieting.

But, a real fast is much more.

Fasting is more than abstaining, it’s availing ourselves of the sustenance only God can provide, through seeking His revelation, obedience to what He reveals, while putting aside our earthly comforts and dependencies to rely on Him alone.

“In the meantime His disciples urged Him, saying, ‘Rabbi, eat.’

But He said to them, ‘I have food to eat of which you do not know.’

Therefore the disciples said to one another, ‘Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?’

Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.'”
—John 4:31-34

Fasting is strength conditioning, where at the point of our weakness, His strength is made perfect. It is preparation for the trials that are sure to come.

I’m so thankful to my dear sister in Christ, Monica Banks, for her quiz that prepares me for the test.

I’m grateful.

#52WoG #fasting #spiritualwarfare