Grace I hope you can tell that I don't have anything against you, for you have been more than patient with all my questions and tones of doubt, but I do get concerned about certain ways things are taught. You say it's a personal experience he had, but it comes more across as a teaching....it was a sermon after all.
You posted: "God, right now I am not going to do anything. I'm not going to pray or worship, I am just going to become aware that I am the object of your affection and love. I am just going to sit here with that awareness."
Big key word stands out in this statement. There are 5 "I" in this statement. It's all about me, me, me. Where in the bible does it say to do this? We are not to create little gods within ourselves.
I'm not saying Bill is a person who does not love the Lord, but I do realize that not all out there are biblical teachers. Some Charismatic christians are getting away from the bible...calling it milk. I can trust what the bible says but anything else needs to be tested. It has guided me all through these years with the help of the Holy Spirit and it has never directed me incorrectly.
I too had a personal experience to share about a person involved in the gold dust phenomenon, so I hope you understand why I want to be careful and pick out the useful truths you have to share and I will discard what I do not feel is biblical. I hope that does not make you uncomfortable.
Even the bible tells the story of Simon the Sorcerer who people gave the nickname 'The Great Power of God'. He believed on Jesus and was baptized and was amazed at the laying on of hands and the Holy Spirit being given. He wanted to buy this ability of laying hands on people but was rebuked for having such a mindset. So, we have a record of someone who is attracted for the wrong reasons. I could just imagine how Simon would react if he saw gold & gemstones appearing. So we can just use common sense to know that many who look at prosperity wrongly will be attracted. Or we could look at all this more positively and say that God is refining his people.
It seems there are fewer and fewer people with true discernment anymore. I hear people making up excuses for others, when the signs are so huge. It took too long for people to catch on to this pastor who was crooked in his actions and by that time it took even longer to get the evidence to prove it. He never repented and the damage was done. He was big on teaching covenant relationships within the church. Which sounds good if everyone is trustworthy and not out to benefit for themselves.
The question I have to ask myself is this. What is the purpose of using gold dust? My thought is to create more faith in people. Fake faith healers for years believed if they could only create more faith in their congregation then real miracles would come....so they would start out by using fakes miracles....so, the power of people's faith in God and the receptiveness of the positive mindset did cause people to heal. Do we say God healed them or due to deception...the devil did?
My faith in God and knowing He loved me, took me a certain direction to find physical healing. Even though I was sick, I believed, I tried to stay positive and I did what I was shown to do and did heal from the good gift that God gave me.
I don't think anyone thinks that God is incapable of creating something out of thin air....that would not be biblical. Creation comes to mind....but the bible also says that many false prophets will arise, along with false miracles, and so a fear of being unsure of the quality of our discernment is questioned, if even the Elect could be fooled. So surrender can mean different things to different people. Needing great assurance to what we are surrendering to.
As a christian my belief is that I became a spirit filled christian on the day I cried out to Him and Christ spoke and I responded. Everything was done for my salvation....I just need to walk in Truth...with the Holy Spirit so I can endure all the way to the end.
So I hope you can see how people are careful of such things. Everyone inches up closer, little by little, to trusting in the unseen God things of this world, but there are just enough Simons in the world to cause many to doubt. I will be glad when the day comes...Jesus appears...and all doubts are put away. :)
You will have to explain what a growing edge is.
As far as shaking up this forum. There is always a whole lotta shakin' goin' on. lol