I love talking to Abba, and I love spending time with Jesus. His Presence is priceless. Since I came to know Christ, I have had some wonderful talks with the Father, and I have had some gut wrenching moments of correction. When we talk, it is a dialogue. I am not speaking to the air or to an imaginary friend, but I am conversing with I AM. He has a way of melting my heart like wax with one word.
Driving home a few days ago, I was talking to God and thanking Him for connecting me to people in my life. This year has been a whirlwind for me. Over a year ago, I stepped out in faith, leaving my medical profession behind and coming after Jesus. I felt like one of the disciples as Jesus walked by and said, “Follow Me”. It always seemed odd to me that fishermen, tax collectors and a doctor would drop everything at the invitation of a man they did not even know as He walked by them. It made no sense to me until it happened to me, but I recognized the deep calling as they did, and I laid it all down to come after Him. I had no idea what awaited except that I was to write and to minister on another level. It was a leap of faith onto a runner’s path with the wind of His Spirit propelling me onward toward the high call in Christ Jesus.
As I thanked God for future connections and for open doors in this coming year, the Holy Spirit whispered something ever so gently yet ever so weighty to me, and I began to weep. He said, “I am the greatest connection you will ever have”. When He said this to me, I knew He was not talking about connections in the sense of climbing the ladder of success, but it was a reminder to not forsake intimacy with Him.
It was a simple love note from God that no other relationship would compare to the relationship I have with Christ. The favor of man pales in comparison to His favor. He wanted to remind me that on the way through doors He opened to stay connected to Him. He is not the doorman or a hired servant. He is not my meal ticket to success and notoriety. He is my Bridegroom, ushering me across the threshold and into His anointing upon my life, and I am His bride, longing to return glory to Him, no matter the cost.
His Presence sets us apart
The Holy Spirit took me to Exodus 33 while His words nestled in my heart. Moses was interceding for the people of Israel, reminding God of His words, “I know you by name, and you have also found favor in my sight.” (Exodus 33:12) In this conversation between the Lord and Moses, God responds, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest”. Moses’ response to God resonates in the deepest recesses of my being. He says to God, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?”
It was because of Moses’ connection to God, his relationship with the Lord, that he was privy to the glory of God. He refused to go into the promise without His presence. He understood that His presence set them apart from everyone else. I want to tell you it is His presence which sets you apart from others. It is not the platform nor the advancement that sets you apart. It is His presence.
Though I celebrate and honor men and women of God in my life, I honor my relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit above all others. Advancement means nothing when His presence is abandoned in our lives. I believe that God is wanting to remind His body that though promotion and glory are facets of His nature and blessing, relationship with Him must take priority above all else. If the price to pay for success is sacrificing my relationship with Him, it isn’t worth it.
His presence is everything
Some people will get offended at the mention of favor, promotion, prosperity and the like when speaking about God, even though His Word demonstrates these elements in the lives of men and women of the Bible. However, those who experienced favor and glory maintained fellowship with the Lord. Favor and promotion are merely byproducts of the goodness of the Father. They are not the prize. Jesus is our prize and our treasure. Promotion does not set us apart from others. It is His presence which does that. He is the greatest connection, the greatest relationship you will ever have. His Presence is everything.
What are you petitioning God for in this new year? Are you desiring to go into the land promised to you by the Lord? Whatever you are taking to the Lord in prayer, refuse to advance without His presence and intimate fellowship with Him. Refuse to view other people as a structure to build your own platform. Value the relationships God has cultivated in your life. Give honor to them without idolizing them, all the while maintaining that deep personal relationship with Christ, giving thanks to Him in everything.
I do not want to advance while abandoning my relationship with God. His glory comes at a cost, and it is worth it. Every time. Make it your cry that you will not advance without His presence and you will know Him even more deeply as you go from glory to glory. He is your greatest connection.
Watch this video about the greatest connection to glory and promotion.