Archive for the ‘Intimacy with the Lord’ Category
The logs crackled and snapped in the campfire as Jesus unfolded a large wool blanket and draped one end around my shoulders. Then He pulled the other end around His own shoulders and sat down on the log beside me as we faced the fire. The surf pounded on the beach nearby and tiny crabs ran into their holes to hide. Enjoying the beauty of His creation, the Lord breathed in the salty air and watched the night sky with pleasure as one by one the bright stars appeared above us. Soon we were surrounded by His galaxies in the canopy overhead.
Time always seems to be suspended when I am with Him like this. It does not pass, it just is. He is never in a hurry. He has all the time in the world. After all, He created time and it submits to Him. In one instant He can remove me from the cares and stress of life and transfer me into His timeless realm of peace, showing me where reality truly lies. It is as though life in the realm we consider real is only a tragic story in a book. Then we lift our eyes and close the book and are once again in the present reality of His realm of glorious life.
The warmth of Him close beside me dispelled the chill of the night air. Quietly now He sharpened the end of a long stick with a pocket knife. Then He reached into a bag of marshmallows and placed one on the end of the stick. Grinning at me, He held the stick over the fire. When the marshmallow was golden He pulled off the outer layer, as I had done as a child, and popped it into my mouth.
What detailed care He takes to surprise us with such small, yet wonderful encouragements of His love. The cares of many days rolled away as I sat on the beach, eating marshmallows with my friend, the Creator.
Recently I read a posting on Elijahlist by Kathi Pelton regarding revelation the Lord had given her about peace. It seemed such vital information that I wanted to share it with you. She said:
Peace creates an atmosphere of blessing, but fear creates an atmosphere of warfare. The Holy Spirit spoke to me one day and said, “Fear is like bait for demons. They smell it and they gather to it in order to feast of its many delights. It gives strength to demons and leaves its victim weak and vulnerable.”
Then He went on to say, “Peace is absolute confusion to the enemy. He doesn’t recognize it; he cannot work within the atmosphere of peace because chaos and peace cannot coexist. Peace is the pathway to the banqueting table that I’ve prepared for you in the presence of your enemies. Peace is to fear like light is to darkness; it dispels it.”
This was one of the greatest revelations that I have ever received. Honestly, the majority of the warfare that I’ve faced in my life has come from lack of peace. The loss of peace increased my warfare, because fear came in and the enemy had an atmosphere that he could breathe and work in. As I have allowed the Holy Spirit to take me into deeper levels of peace I have found that it is an atmosphere of breakthrough. It is as if peace creates a portal that bypasses the enemy’s opposition on some level. As I have come into greater peace, I have also discovered that I can more clearly hear the voice of wisdom. Peace calms the storm and the noise produced by fear, allowing us to hear the counsel and wisdom of the Lord.
* Elijahlist article posted by Kathi Pelton, May 9,’15 (www.elijahlist.com)
We have been discussing success from Heaven’s viewpoint, in contrast to an earthly perspective. (See previous post ‘What is the measure of success’.) How can we have a secret, hidden life in God and also be about building the Father’s Kingdom on this earth?
These 2 things – the hidden life or the public life, may seem so far apart they contradict each other. I have struggled with this concept many times as well. I am so in love with Jesus that I desire and need to spend much time alone with Him, just sitting at His feet and gazing into His wonderful eyes. Then there also comes a point where I desire and need to be out ministering to people and drawing them closer to Him as well, building His Kingdom.
One day in the middle of my confusion about this, the Lord showed me the Bride in the Song of Solomon. A careful reading of this short book will reveal that she lives there with Him in the mountains in an intimate relationship. Then she comes ‘with Him’, leaning on His arm, as they go down into the villages to check on the fruit and into the vineyards to bring in the harvest! I was stunned at their lovely and natural rhythm. It was like a dance that came out of intimacy and obedience. We are “in Him” (1 John 5:20) and He abides in us. (Gal.2:20) Intimacy produces fruitfulness. As we stay in this love relationship with Him, He flows out through us to accomplish whatever He calls us to do. It is always Him actually accomplishing anything through us. We just obey by walking through the doors He opens, going where He calls us to go or responding to His call of intimacy to come away with Him.
Recently I heard someone sharing a vision he had of the Heavenly City, the New Jerusalem coming down to earth. (Rev. 21:2) There he saw the Lamb of God upon His throne and His Bride beside Him.
He said, “I looked at the throne of the Lamb. The Bride was with Him on the throne but I could not see a distinction between the two! They are one. She is with Him wherever He goes. ”
Consider the rhythm of Jesus earthly ministry. With the job description the Father gave Him, He could have been the most frustrated man on the planet! He had such a short space of time to accomplish the Father’s will. Yet, He was never in a hurry, He stopped for individuals who needed Him, He was full of peace and patience … How did He do this? Bear in mind that at this point He had laid aside His Divinity and chosen to live this life as a man filled with the Holy Spirit as an example for us to follow. (Phil.2:5-8) His method was part of that example. He only did what He saw the Father doing and heard the Father saying. He spent large amounts of time alone with His Father in prayer. Then He simply listened and obeyed whatever the Father told Him. Was He successful? In the eyes of the world and many of His followers His death looked like failure. At least for 3 days! They did not understand that He had defeated death, hell and the grave. (Rev. 1:18) Successful? Absolutely. For eternity.
True success in this life depends largely on our relationship with Him and how much of the image of Christ is formed within us. This is what the Father is looking for. ( Rom.8:29, 2 Cor.3:18, Gal.4:19, Rom.12:2 ) Everything that we ‘do’ here will only be an outflow of that foundational relationship. Christ in us. ( Gal.2:20, Col.1:27)
There is such a wide variety of creative intercession that the Lord allows us to enter when we ask Him to share His heart with us. If we are open, He will show us things we’ve never imagined. Such was the case with a prophetic experience I was taken into a few weeks ago.
Recently at our House of Prayer there was a wonderful presence of the Lord during the worship. I found myself entering deeply into His presence and dancing with Him for a long time. At last I heard the leader urging us to pray for the persecuted church in specific countries. There are times when the presence of Jesus is so sweet that I really don’t want to change gears and come out of that to do something else. So I made a conscious decision to stay in the Heavenly realms and pray ‘with Him’ from that place.
As we separated into smaller groups I saw, in the Spirit, a large group of people who were under attack for their faith. Jesus invited me to ‘stand in the gap’ with Him. He offered me His hand, also taking the hand of another person and many of us formed a circle around these people, facing outward to protect them.
As He called us deeper into intercession, I maintained my position in the Heavens and was now in the Throne Room. The phrase ‘souls under the altar’ keep running through my mind and I knew He was drawing my attention to them. Rev.6:9-11 says these are the ones who have been martyred for their faith in God. As if from far away I could faintly hear their cries. Then my eyes were opened to see a vast host of people from every tribe and nation who had all been slain for their faith in God.
Suddenly, perhaps because we were now praying for the persecuted church in Nigeria, another group began to rise out of the first one. These were Nigerians – tall, black skinned men in white flowing robes with their women in colorful dresses and head coverings, and their children … hundreds of children. Tears were flowing like rivers from their eyes as they cried out from the depths of their passion, “How long Oh God, will you not judge and avenge our blood from them that dwell on the earth?” (Rev.6:10)
But then as I listened, I began to hear other cries as well and prayers that were mixed with our own prayers for their nation. They were joining their voices with ours to pray for the persecuted church in Nigeria! They were crying out for those who were suffering for their faith and for those who will be martyred! They were praying for courage and strength for their brothers and sisters. They were bringing hope to them! I was undone.
The rain had finally ended and the sun was shining. The woodland behind the house was a dozen shades of green and the trees were still dripping as I crossed the bridge. I had spent so much time here with Jesus that stepping onto the path brought a tangible sense of His Presence. I expected Him to meet me here.
Soon the awareness of Him was so strong that I could smell His fragrance. When I rounded the bend in the path, there He was, sitting on that same magnificent white stallion that I’d ridden with Him before. His dark hair was slightly tousled by the breeze but it still radiated as always with what looked like living sparkling lights from within. I have come to understand this as the oil of anointing.
He was dressed all in white, from the shirt left casually open at the neck, to the white pants tucked into the softest, white leather boots which folded down into high cuffs just below the knee. Under His left arm was a small, white leather pouch or satchel that hung from a long strap going across His chest, over His right shoulder and down across His back. I wondered what that might be. The spicy sandalwood scent of His own fragrance mingled with the smells of leather and of the horse and the damp earth.
He seemed so completely at home and comfortable in the midst of the natural realm He had created. He sat for a long moment just gazing on me with so much love. Then He casually jumped down from the horse and came to meet me. Time stood still once again as we walked together there in the green woods of this earthly realm.
Several months later, on Remembrance Day, I was reading my old journals and pondering this experience again. When I came to the description of His clothes and the leather satchel or pouch, He stopped me. It had been an item I didn’t understand but I hadn’t questioned it at the time. Now He said,
“Shall I tell you what that is?”
“Yes Lord,” I replied.
His voice became very serious as He continued softly.
“That bag is filled with My promises to you.”
His words shocked me and cut deeply into my heart. I had received so many prophetic words and promises over the years which were still unfulfilled, that by now I had a bad case of hope deferred. (Prov.13:12) This was so deeply entrenched that when another word came, I could only remember all of those still pending and I began to say,
“Oh, just put it in the bag with all the others.”
There was no condemnation in His eyes as they searched my own. There was only deep, wounded love. Slowly now He continued.
“Every prophecy and every promise I have made to you, past, present and future, is in that bag and I will fulfill every word I have spoken. They are so precious to Me that I keep them there under my arm, close to My heart. I will not forget.”
[ In the next post we will return to the subject of prophetic intercession. But I felt the Lord nudging me to share this now since tomorrow, Nov. 11 is Remembrance Day.]
The large hall was set and ready for the meeting to begin. The musicians were tuning their instruments. People were arriving and greeting each other before taking their seats and there was already a sense of His presence and an air of expectancy.
Suddenly Jesus appeared in front of me, smiling broadly. Manifested in this form as the Man, Christ Jesus, He always takes my breath away. Opening His arms to me, He invited me to dance. My weak knees led me to Him as I accepted His invitation. Being in His arms is to be surrounded by a cloud of His fragrance, a cloud of His protection, a cloud of His love.
Music came from somewhere as He whisked me out into the open area. Then all else disappeared – the people, the instruments, the chairs and even the carpet which had covered the wood floor we were now dancing on. In the light of His presence, gazing into His wonderful eyes I see nothing else but Him. I want nothing else but Him. To be held in His embrace, learning how to move as one with Him is my only desire.
For a long time we followed the music around the room and I revelled in the sweetness of His presence. But then without warning Jesus also disappeared, at least from my natural vision. Startled, I realized that nothing else had changed. The music continued in the empty room and I could still feel His strong arms guiding me in the dance and the warmth of His hand holding mine.
There was, however, one thing that changed. In the moment He disappeared from my sight His presence magnified greatly, causing what had been a blissful, sweet experience to now become so intense it was overpowering. I rested my head on His shoulder and wept. Now I was no longer moving on my own for He was carrying me.
So often when I am wrapped in His embrace, I find that words are unnecessary. There is a language that communicates on a much deeper level, Spirit to spirit. Now He was teaching me that sight is sometimes as unnecessary as words. The reality of the Spirit realm goes as far beyond physical sight as it goes beyond earthly physical language.
Here, for these moments suspended in time, in this new realm of the Spirit where I had entered with Him, spiritual sight had overcome the natural.
II Cor. 4:18 Amp. – “We consider and look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen: for the things that are visible are temporal (brief and fleeting) but the things that are invisible are deathless and everlasting.”
Many years ago I was going through a very dark time in my life and not dealing with it very well. I was only in the beginning stages of intimacy with the Lord and there were (and are) still many lessons to learn. I was about to experience one of those lessons very forcefully.
In my search for answers to the impossible circumstances I was in I had finally blamed God for it. Oh, of course it was an attack of the enemy but God could have stopped it and protected me. What about all He promised me? What about all I had sacrificed? Where was He when I needed Him?
On and on I went, venting my anger at Him until suddenly He stopped me. Everything was quiet for a brief second and then I could hear the hurt in His voice as He said to me, “It grieves My heart the way you publicly disgrace and dishonor Me!”
Shocked, I wondered what He could mean. Publicly? I thought I was alone in my room and no-one was home but me. And what did He mean by disgrace and dishonor?
Answering my thoughts as always, He began to explain. “Yes,” He answered quietly. “You disgrace and dishonor me by casting doubt on my abilty to protect you. You accuse Me of not even loving you when it was My love for you that sent Me to the cross. I died for you.”
He paused for a moment to let His words sink into my heart. There was still great pain in His voice as He continued. “And yes, it is very public. Are you still so unaware of the spirit world around you? Everything you have said was heard by all of My angels and the great cloud of witnesses who have gone on before you. The whole demonic host of the enemy is also listening. Your words have disgraced and dishonored Me in front of them all.” After another brief pause He continued simply, “I love you. Please don’t do this again.”
Face to carpet, sobs and groanings of deep repentance. Forgiveness granted. Grace extended. Relationship restored. Lesson learned.