The Cost of Spiritual Impartation
“For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established” (Romans 1:11).
Beyond the warming glow of rote religiosity and perfunctory performance, there is a blazing river of God's eternal purpose in the earth. It is vital that we burrow through the crust of carnal church-ianity into the molten magma of metamorphosis within the heart of our Lord Jesus. It will take more than platform preaching while people are present in their pews to release the lava flow of transforming power into the bosom of the church. We need to be changed by an impartation of the Spirit of God.
Impartation takes place not just when a sermon is delivered, but when the Word of God is actually received into the core of our being. Impartation requires a certain reception of divine truth for transformation to take place. For in the end, we will be judged not by how much we have heard, but how much we have been changed into the image of Christ. The greatest burden of any ministry is not to simply scatter seed but to see fruit growing from the preaching and teaching of the Scripture.
The book of James tells us to "receive with meekness the engrafted word which is able to save your souls... be ye doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves" (James 1:21,22). The doing or the accomplishment of the Word of God in our lives will be imparted to us only as we receive the Word of God as a tree admits a branch to be grafted into its life.
When I was a boy I saw my father graft a limb onto an already living tree. He cut down into the tree with a very sharp knife at a certain place and pulled open that wound in the side of the cambium of the tree. Then he took a very fresh, small and willing branch and put it inside of that wounded place in the original stump. My father then carefully shut the limb inside the splice he had carved and wrapped a cloth around and around the limb, tightly binding it together. He told me that in a day or two the cloth would be completely soaked and we would change it again like a bandage on a sore. My father explained to me that the tree is weeping because it has been wounded, but unless it weeps, there will not be enough sap to support the life of the new little branch.
We all desire to see the church growing and thriving and our lives to be full and rich with the blessings of God, but we fail to count the cost of true spiritual impartation. We forget that for Adam to have a wife, he must first be wounded and something taken from him before he has an Eve. We fail to remember that for Christ to have a church, he must first be wounded, with blood and water pouring from His side into the thirsty ground, and his life laid down in death, before he will ever have a Bride. We need to understand that for impartation to occur, something has to be wounded for something else to be grafted into it. There must be travail before birth, loss before gain, and death before resurrection.
God wants to cut through the bark of our soul. He needs to saw a gash through the weathered timber of self protection that we cover ourselves with. He has to pierce through our phony facade of self-righteousness into the tender, weeping part of us. There is a place in all of our lives where impartation would happen. Where our soul bleeds and where our heart seeps is where God will carve a gorge through which self will escape and the Spirit of God gain entrance. The Lord does not cut a wound in our lives to bring us pain, but He knows that it is only through the broken-open places in our being that He can instill His power and plant His purpose in us.
And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.
And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him.
And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel; for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.
And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there.
And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.
And as he passed over Peniel the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh (Gen. 32:2-31).
There was a time in Jacob's life where he came to the end of him self. All alone, Jacob wrestled with God. All night long, he refused to let go of God until he received an impartation of transforming grace and divine blessing. There are also seasons in our lives where God is dealing with us. We sense it in our spirits like a seismograph records the quaking of the earth's shell as it responds from the pressure within its heart. When this occurs, we need to take the time to pray, for out of the shaking mantle of stammering lips, we can release groanings in the Spirit that will open up the very mysteries of God. Jacob may have first wondered who it was that jumped him. God's face was kept in darkness and God's name was sealed in silence. Likewise, we do not always know what or how we should pray, (Romans 8:26) but we should refuse to give way to anything that would hinder the reception of spiritual impartation. Sometimes we must be able to pray effectively without knowing why and able to sense the relief of an answer without knowing what it was. This is the path of becoming the Israel of God (Gal.6:16).
Jacob wrestled with God until he was changed through spiritual impartation. How many times have we heard the Word of God and not been moved? How many times have we felt the shaking of God's presence and refused to tremble at his Word? We hear just enough to be touched but not enough to be changed. We wade in the shallow pools of charismatic experience, refusing to go deeper in God because we know that to be transformed we must be wounded in a hollow place. We long to hold the royal robe of Deity but are not willing to let God get too close, or He may cripple our carnality or fillet our fleshiness from us. We have yet to understand that to save our life we must lose it, and to truly walk with God we must halt upon our thigh.
If we are willing to say good-bye to everything we have worked for and everyone we have ever loved, and wait upon divine visitation in the black night of unknown possibilities; if we are willing to be crippled by the Great Healer and forever wounded by the touch of a nail-scarred hand; if we are willing to never be normal again, embracing all of God until the dawn of eternity, then perhaps we are willing to pay the cost of spiritual impartation.
In our wounding, God will create a sensitivity, like the war-wound of an old man who can tell the coming rain by the pain he feels. In the hollowing touch of God will be planted a fruitful bough of pronounced blessing. And in the impartation of his life, we will be forever changed in the beholding of His face. If we are willing to be wounded and unwilling to let go of divine visitation until we receive spiritual impartation. –end of Hanby article.
“And He was saying to them all, ‘If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.’” (Luke 9:23, 24, NASB)
"I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5, NASB)
Peniel, was Jacob’s coming to the end of himself – the end of trusting in his own wisdom – his ability to deceive, connive, manipulate. Confronted with having to face his life-long enemy who swore to kill him the next time they met ( Gen. 27:41), Jacob ran out of schemes. He had no place to go but God. That is humility. And we find this humility perfectly expressed the next morning as Jacob bowed before Esau, his brother and enemy, seven times (the number of completion or perfection). And what is the outcome of perfect humility before our enemies?
“…I have seen your face as though I had seen the face of God, and you were pleased with me.” (Gen. 33:10, NKJV)
When we come to the place of not trusting in the arm of our flesh and truly leaning on the arm of God, our enemies are no longer enemies, they actually become our resources without having to manipulate them. As Mark Hanby said, however, this word implanted in the mind is only a good and interesting teaching. But when one truly has a Peniel experience, truly comes to the end of their strength in the flesh, then the teaching becomes reality – those we perceived as enemies become our friends. (By the way, this is the only way the Middle East Conflict is going to be resolved. It will NOT be resolved by the military and political manipulations of Israel and its American ally.) --Gary Amirault