“YET THROUGH IT ALL, this joyful assurance of the realm of heaven’s kingdom will be proclaimed all over the world, providing every nation with a demonstration of the reality of God. And after this the end of this age will arrive.” Matthew 24:14
I know we have information overload right now. It is easy to get consumed with COVID-19, fear, food, stress of staying in, the unknown, or what to do with ourselves.
I urge you, my brothers and sisters, to not use this as a time to just “get by.” In fact, we are told in this passage—“through it all,” we have some responsibility. So, I want to encourage you in the next few articles of some things we must continue—through it all. One way, is to use this time it to regenerate yourselves. Being shut-in your home gives you the opportunity to discover or rediscover your intimacy with Abba Father.
For God SO LOVED the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever BELIEVES IN HIM should not perish but have ETERNAL LIFE. John 3:16
And this is ETERNAL LIFE that they may KNOW You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. John 17:3
The word know here is that same language that is used in Genesis when it says that Adam knew Eve and she conceived and gave birth.
Abba wants to know you intimately, and Jesus made that way possible. Use this as a time to hear from Him. Get alone in the secret place and hear His heart beat.
“And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the SECRET PLACE; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Matthew 6:5-7
In just a brief search of how many times there is a reference to God and the secret place—I found 73. There could be many more related to that subject, but that was a brief word topic search.
God wants to meet with you. Not just to hear you give a list of things you want for today. Not just to hear your complaints about everything that is wrong. Not just to hear you beg for something else. He desires intimacy with His children. Yes, He desires for you to represent Him and bring Kingdom on this earth, but it comes from a place of intimacy—not from a place of striving.
Consider Jesus’s words in John 15…
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. ABIDE IN Me, and I IN you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it ABIDES IN the vine, neither can you, unless you ABIDE IN Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who ABIDES IN Me, and I IN him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:1-5
Real lasting fruit, according to Jesus, comes from a place connected to Him. From a place where you are not just saying you are “saved,” which is a great start, but a connection with Him that leads us into a “one-ness” with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Jesus always said He could do NOTHING without seeing or hearing from His father. Jesus modeled this lifestyle all the time. He would get away from the crowds, even in times that He was “needed.” However, Jesus modeled the one-ness needed to co-labor with Abba father here on this earth. Remember, He came to make all things new—to bring it back the way it was meant to be before the lie (Genesis 3).
Prophetically speaking, in Song of Songs, is a passage from the bridegroom to the bride. That would be Jesus to “us.”
“My darling bride, my private paradise, fastened to my heart. A SECRET SPRING are you that no one else can have—my bubbling fountain hidden from public view. What a perfect partner to me now that I have you. Your INWARD LIFE is now sprouting, bringing forth fruit. What a beautiful paradise unfolds WITHIN you. When I’m near you, I smell aromas of the finest spice, for many clusters of my exquisite fruit now grow WITHIN your INNER garden.
Here are the nine: pomegranates of passion, henna from heaven, spikenard so sweet, saffron shining, fragrant calamus from the cross, sacred cinnamon, branches of scented woods, myrrh, like tears from a tree, and aloe as eagles ascending. Your life flows INTO mine, pure as a garden spring. A well of living water springs up from WITHIN you, like a mountain brook flowing INTO my heart!” Song of Songs 4:12-15 (TPT)
WOW!!! Notice the intimacy He longs for with His bride. Notice what comes from that place—or should I say springs up from that place!
“On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will FLOW RIVERS OF LIVING WATER. But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” John 7:37-39
This is so important. For us to operate in the fullness of what He is calling us into, we have to not only understand this concept but actually live in it. Jesus not only modeled this lifestyle for us but He prayed for it and then sealed the deal by conquering death, hell, and the grave!
“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be ONE, as You, Father, are IN Me, and I IN You; that they also may be ONE IN US, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, (Why?) that they may be ONE just as We are ONE: I IN them and You IN Me; that they may be made perfect in ONE, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.
“Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be WITH Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be IN them, and I IN them.” John 17:20-26
Notice His language—what He is implying—what is important to Him before He lays down his life completely and picks it back up again. This is important!
He is still praying for you now!
“Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.” Romans 8:34
“Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” Hebrews 7:25
There are many more passages we could choose to look at it, but I think you are beginning to see that this is important. So, if you are like me—you immediately say, “Ok, I see what you’re saying but how do I do this?”
Well, there is not a formula—just like there is not a formula for relationships with your spouse or children. However, there are some guides that can help you.
We have been practicing this lately at my house. When leaving to go to work my two boys always leave with me and the girls ride with their mother later. As we are about to head out the door, we kiss the ladies and then leave. My wife stopped me a couple of months ago and said, “Come back here. Kiss me like you mean it.” You know there is a difference. Not to say that I didn’t mean it before, but when I took time and actually felt it—it was just different. One had a meaning from my head and the other more passionate kiss had meaning from my heart. They both were meaningful but were on two different levels.
This week I have been trying to help my kids with the process of trying to spend time in the Word and with the Father. I noticed a lot of their prayers were from a “head” level and not so much from their heart. I used this example with my wife and I, except I placed their baby sister in the equation. Sometimes they kiss her, hurriedly, to get on with their agenda. Sometimes they get so caught up with her they snuggle and kiss her up. You can tell both have meaning, but are two completely different levels.
So, we have been trying to connect with God on a deeper level while we are shut up in the house.
We can begin this process as we read the Word. As we read, we can take each word on a “heart” level and not a “head” level. This has transformed me spiritually in the last year. I have read and studied hard in the past, and now that I look back at it—I came from a place of striving or a place of trying to understand scripture based off of someone else’s interpretation. I would read the scripture but then spend a majority of time studying commentary on it. Nothing is wrong with studying this way—however, I noticed it didn’t stick with me as much because it was in my head, and there is only so much I can remember in my mind. When I began to take time with my “heart,” I have remembered almost everything I read. I also noticed how much He reminds me of His word all the time in life situations. Not that He didn’t before, but now it is on a new level.
In our home we are now being more intentional with our time with the Father—moving from head knowledge and experience into deeper matters of the heart.
“For indeed, the kingdom of God is WITHIN YOU.” Luke 17:21b
I understand this may sound foreign to you. I understand also that it may sound too simple at first and that you are really going to have work hard at it or fear that you are not doing enough. I understand because I had all those same thoughts too. I would try this over the years for a day or so and then go back to what I was used to. I really wish I would have stuck with it.
Here are few things to consider as you begin…
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come IN TO HIM and DINE WITH HIM, and HE WITH ME.” Revelation 3:20
There is a huge promise right here– or should I say promises! He is standing there wanting to come in. Notice also, in this part of Revelation He is speaking to HIS BRIDE. She needs to repent and become zealous for Him—not just the things of Him. So, from there He is waiting on you to open the door to come in and SIT. Even have a meal.
What is he saying?
Let’s talk and enjoy one another on a personal intimate level. I can’t tell you what exactly it is going to be like because this is a relationship—not a method. But your relationship is ready to go beyond your head knowledge.
There are several other things we could talk about right now but I don’t want to overload your “thinking.” You could get to “heady” and try to make it hard. So, I will leave you with one thing to begin with.
Think of how many times we are told or see examples in the Word of being still in His presence. We are even told He speaks in a STILL small voice. Think about the word Selah over and over in the book of Psalms—to pause and meditate.
“But those who WAIT on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall MOUNT UP with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
Those who wait. Get still and turn your affections toward Him and wait. The two words “mount up” actually mean to be caught up. Very similarly, we see this in the Greek Lexicon with the word “harpazo” which means to “catch up.” This is what we use with the word rapture most of the time. Not to take away from the meaning of the rapture of the church but to show you where He wants to take you—to be fully caught up with Him. To take you into encounters with Him.
So, get still, open the door, and wait on Him. He loves you more than you can imagine!