Archive for April 2012

Intimacy With The Lord – The Secret Place   1 comment

There is a secret place that is reserved only for true lovers of God. (Psalm 91)  It is a place where nothing of this earthly realm can enter.  We come away with Him … away from this present darkness, away from the on-going battle in the earthly realm.  There is a quiet place of peace where Peace Himself dwells.  It’s a place where the hot breath of the Lion of Judah can breathe on your troubled mind and weary spirit and bring life and hope again.  In an instant, in one step through the veil, as close as your next breath … that’s how near He is to you.

We were created from the dust of this earth and the very breath of God. (Gen.2:7)  We are creatures of both earth and Heaven with the DNA of our Father and the ability to step from this realm into His realm in a heartbeat.  There are times when we are in a place where His presence is felt very strongly.  It may be in a worship meeting or in our own private times of prayer.  Gravity loses its hold and it is easy to ascend in the Spirit.  But there are other times when we are in places of great darkness or warfare from the enemy and it is very difficult to even feel the Lord’s presence.  We think He isn’t there or perhaps He has forsaken us.  But this is not true.  He promised to never leave us and He never does. (Heb.13:5)  If we could see from His vantage point, we would see the angels in awe and tears in the eyes of Jesus.  For the angels who dwell in continual realms of glory, worship is a natural response.  But when we who live in the darkness of this realm, choose to fight against everything here to ascend into His presence it touches all of Heaven.  His angels are even assigned to help us draw near to Him. (Heb. 1:14)

Make it a discipline to learn to quiet your spirit.  Set aside a block of time daily just to be with the Lord, to love Him, to listen.  Keep pushing out the random thoughts that parade through your mind. This may take time so try not to be frustrated. The point is just to be with Him.  The reward is well worth the effort.  He is the reward.

So come … take His hand and step through the veil.  He is waiting.

Security on the Father’s Lap   Leave a comment

My Father’s arms were open and inviting as I toddled up to His throne.  I seemed to be about three years old with blond curly hair and a little red dress.  Although I could not see His face, I could feel Him smiling down on His little girl.  The light of the glory that emanates from Him makes it impossible to view Him initially.  As my spiritual eyes adjusted to this brightness I was able to see His form and the golden robe that hung in folds around Him, spilling out over the edges of the throne.

Responding to His invitation, my small toddler legs began to climb up into His great lap as He helped to lift me there with His own hands.  His delight at my being there seemed to even surpass my own.  Holding me tenderly in His great arms He stroked my hair, gently rocking me back and forth until I fell asleep there on His lap.

There on the Heavenly Father’s lap we are allowed to see from His perspective.  The cares and concerns of life here, while not forgotten, simply have no power over the reality of how great He is and how much He loves us.  It becomes so ridiculously obvious that everything is going to be alright … sometimes we can actually laugh at our worry and fear.

This is also the ultimate cure for the plague of insecurity which has side-lined so many people.  It can turn a person into a tyrant or a people pleasing yes-man.   Insecurity is closely linked to the fear of man.  Some have such a need for people to like them and affirm them that they will do anything to gain this.  Their actions can even appear to be done out of love but actually the roots are fear of rejection.  Those same roots can also produce a controlling, manipulative, jealous person who dominates others because of their fear of man.  If we submit to this spirit of insecurity it will pull us back and forth depending on the circumstances.  When people praise us and put us on a pedestal we are in danger of falling to pride.    When people are against us and attack us we can fall into rejection, hatred or control.

Our security must only be in God – in the solid fact that we are so loved and accepted by Him always.  This is not because of who we are or what we do but because of Who He is and what He has done.  (Titus 3:5, 1 Jn. 4:19) Then, if people like us, that’s fine – but that’s not where our sense of security lies.  And if they don’t like us – once again it doesn’t matter.  He loves us and always will.  The focus shifts from us to Him where it belongs.

It is about being so much in love with Him that we can simply trust Him in all things.   Then we can be as a child and climb up into His lap, laying our lives down in His arms.  Just abandon yourself to His love.  He’s not like your earthly father.  He is completely trustworthy.

What a wonderful Father!

Fruitfulness Flows From Intimacy   Leave a comment

I was awakened from sleep by the sweet perfume of flowers on my night table.  One pink stargazer lily was nestled into a basket surrounded by many other lovely flowers, a gift from friends on my birthday.  The fragrance of that one lily was permeating the air.  It was only one flower in a basket of many other scentless ones.  Yet the aroma was so intense.

Although I loved the fragrance, it was becoming overpowering and interrupting my sleep.  So I got up and moved it from the bedroom into the en-suite bathroom.  Half an hour later, even from that distance, the room was still filled with its spicy sweetness.  Finally I arose again, moving it to a room down the hall and closing the door.  All the while the Lord was speaking deep within me.

“I want your life to be like this lily.  Let the fragrance of your love for Me be so intense that it penetrates the atmosphere around you and cannot be ignored.  It is the scent of life to those who are Mine and the smell of death to the enemy.    He is allergic to it. (2 Cor.2:15,16)

“Don’t think that you have no influence because you are only one small person in an obscure place.  My Presence can flow out through you in a wordless Spirit communication to those around you.  You carry my fragrance which will draw others to Me and produce much fruit for the Kingdom.”

Fruitfulness flows from intimacy with Jesus.  It’s a natural by-product or result.  We don’t have to choose one or the other … it’s both.  Of course there is work to do and He will let us help.  But the goal is Him … intimacy with Him.  That is the end in itself.  Everything flows from that but that’s not why we seek intimacy – so that we can gain anything else.  We seek to be with Him because we are in love with Him.  Out of that intimate place He will pour His love through us to everyone around us.  That’s how it’s supposed to work … like the branch on the vine that Jesus spoke of. (John 15:5)  The focus is not on ministry or power or authority.  When our hearts are fully His, He will give us the power to love with.

We must not try to serve for intimacy – that is backwards.  We cannot do things to earn or gain His love.  He loves us already and wants us to return His love in relationship. (1 John 4:19)

We don’t have an ulterior motive about this relationship and just draw closer to Him out of duty so that we can be more fruitful.  Some have actually done that, as if intimacy was a fad so they “tried it” for awhile.  But if their hearts were not really in love with Him, they soon returned to the futility of working to gain His approval.

Make sure your motives are pure.  We do not seek intimacy with Him to gain anything else – not even power to work for Him.  We do not treat him as one with whom we have to deal, only to receive something else we want.  (Most men know when they are being used … when a woman wants their money or power or sense of importance for herself instead of truly being in love with him.  Jesus knows too and it causes Him much grief and sorrow.)  If you find your motives are wrong … just repent sincerely and ask Him for His mind, His heart.

This is another example of the great paradox that I spoke of in the last posting (Satisfied, yet longing still).  Actually, our entire Christian lives are full of what our natural mind would consider to be paradox.  We die to live.  We lose to gain. When we are weak, then we are strong.  God is unseen, yet fully revealed.  He is the lion and the lamb.  It seems the closer we get to Him, the more difficult it is to use earthly language to describe Heavenly things.  But we must finally come to the point of embracing both sides of this coin and learn to live in this tension between the two realms.  One day we will be fully there in His realm.  But for now we are creatures of both realms, interacting frequently back and forth.

There have been times when I was confused and torn between these two things – intimacy with the Lord or ministry to others.  My heart longs for Him so much that I choose to stay in the secret place alone with Him for long periods of time.  But at some point I start to long for people to minister to … to bring them closer to Him as well.  Other times I was so involved in ministry that my time with Him was limited and my heart became sick with love and longing for Him. (Song of Sol. 2:5 Amp)  Finally, He showed me the pattern, the rhythm of the bride in the Song of Solomon.  She lives there with Him in the mountains. Then she goes with Him leaning on His arm, into the villages to check on the fruit and into the fields to bring in the harvest.  And when the day is done they return home together … always together.

Make us one with You, Oh God!