Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.- Acts 4:13
The last nine words of this passage ring through my spirit, as if echoing down a long corridor. A question has been weighing heavily on me for the past several days, ever since the Holy Spirit led me to Acts 4:13. My mind wonders of Peter as he stood with John before distinguished elders, rulers, and priests, an uneducated and seemingly common fisherman who had denied Jesus three times while warming himself in front of a fire was now releasing the fire of the Holy Spirit from within. I wonder if this question crossed his mind. “Do they recognize that I have been with Jesus?” It is a question for us all.
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.
What would you deny yourself if it meant having the fullness of Christ manifested in your life? Is there a depth in you aching for the things of God and for His Presence in an incomprehensible way?As I sit here meditating on the beginning of this new year, my stomach is grumbling and hunger pangs are hitting me.
It is the grumbling and the discomfort that comes when flesh is put under to pursue Him. My body is persistent in reminding me that it wants food, but instead, I down some water and I keep pressing. My mind conjures up favorite meals and delightful treats, but my spirit craves the sweetness that only He can supply.
Many of us are ringing in the New Year with corporate fasting. We are fasting for direction, breakthrough and new levels. All of those things are important and yet there is a fast that surpasses all other desires and expectations. It is the fast leading to romance of monumental proportions, the fast beckoning to personify the bride of Christ. Continue reading “The Fast That Births The Hunger Pangs Of Intimacy”
Deep calls to deep. These were the words that I heard the Father speak to my spirit a week ago as I prepared to go to corporate worship on a Sunday morning. When I asked Him what this truly meant, I heard Him say, “The depths of Me calls out to the depths of Me in you.” It was a short yet profound revelation that stirred my spirit.
At the time I was not doing anything super spiritual according to man’s standards when He spoke this to me; I was getting myself ready for the day. I was not lying prostrate in the floor, groaning in the Spirit with the lights dim and my favorite worship song playing in the background, though those are precious times. Yet He shared this intimate revelation with me out of response to time previously sown in the secret place with Him.
That day ended up being a powerful day both corporately and individually and I have found myself meditating on the depths of God and His calling to the depths of Himself in us. This revelation has pierced my heart. It is the acknowledgement from us that an infinite God has deposited the depths of Himself within us and by acknowledging this revelation of identity in Him, intimacy with Him is attainable, the kind of intimacy once encountered in the garden.
As I stood on top of a hill overlooking the Crow Nation yesterday, I was reminded of a word that the Lord had spoken to me about seeking higher ground to gain a broader perspective. Recently I heard the words, summit meeting, and I could hear the Lord calling those who would obey the call to come up higher and to attain His vantage point.
The summit meeting is for those who refuse complacency at the base of the mountain, those choosing to be sent for intercession and for instruction and to see as God sees. I believe it is in the summit meetings that we gain limitless perspective, divine instruction and desired intimacy with the Father .
They stood inside the entrance to their tent doors while Moses approached the tent of meeting outside of the camp. Their gaze was fixed upon the back of Moses as he made his way to that first tabernacle. He was going with one purpose and that was to meet with The Lord face to face. The tent of meeting had been pitched by Moses and it was a prelude of the tent to come. It was for everyone who desired to seek the Lord (Exodus 33:7).
The location of it required a person come closer to the Lord, leaving no distance between them. I can see the cloud, the Presence of God descending upon the entrance of the tent after Moses entered while the people worship from their tent doors. It breaks my heart because I see people who were content in “knowing” about the Lord from a distance while someone else pursued His Presence on their behalf. We are not so different today.
Imagine a bride during the days of Jesus, adorned in her wedding attire and awaiting her groom. From her appearance it would seem that she has done everything expected in preparation for this moment. Her dress is without blemish, her purity is untainted, her wick is trimmed and her lamp is lit. As she hears the anticipated cry that the bridegroom is coming, she notices her flame is burning out. It suddenly occurs to her that she is not as prepared as she once assumed.
It seems harmless, but she has neglected the oil supply and because of this she has compromised her flame, forfeiting her place next to her bridegroom by seeking oil elsewhere. Thinking she has rectified the situation, she goes back to her groom, only to be denied entrance because she is recognized not as His beloved but as a stranger. This bride lacked something money could not buy and appearances could not compensate and that is intimacy.
The oil was everywhere. It was coating everything in the sanctuary: every seat, every instrument and every inch of the floor. I looked up to see the rafters dripping with this same oil, saturating the room and anyone in its path. There was no end to the flow and if we pursued Him passionately and unapologetically, I sensed it was a prelude of things to come.