Friday, September 11, 2015

September 11th

August 12, 2015

All this that you have, I have given to you so that others might receive it for themselves, and so you must give it away, Jesus said.

September 2, 2015

Last night and early this morning I have been drenched with the love and presence of Jesus. Of course, He never leaves, but sometimes He causes me to remember that He is with me- He causes me to remember this, and in remembering this, it’s as though there is a door open. The door is faith.

It’s like a door in the middle of a landscape. The landscape is the same on either side, but on one side, I can’t see it and on the other side, I can see. By faith, I step into the seeing and the experiencing of what is always true. But this is just a metaphor. Another way to explain it would be that Jesus impresses upon me that His home is within me.

When I realize this, wonder and joy and awe well up in me. I say to Him and to myself, “Jesus is at home in me! I am His home! He lives with me! Where is Jesus? He is not somewhere far away, beyond knowing, beyond my reach. I do not have to reach up to Heaven to pull Him down, I do not have to search through the depths of mystery for Him- Jesus is close to me, He is living in my heart! Jesus is right here with me!”

Accepting those statements and rejoicing in His presence with adoration, joy and wonder is like stepping through the door. Sometimes I feel His presence around me. Other times, I see Him in the inner place. Either way, I am drenched in His love. But almost better than accepting His love, is to love on Him myself.

“I love You, Jesus, I love You,” I whisper to Him, in awe, amazed that I can speak this to Jesus face to face. The fact that Jesus Himself is choosing to be with me, to rest in my very spirit, causes me to become almost nothing but love.

I remember His earthly life and His sacrifice for my sake and I realize that He is mine and I am His and I get to love and adore Him in Person for eternity and that I do not have to wait to do this, but I may express myself to Him now- right now.

Then my love is almost beyond words and I am not contained within myself, but I am melting out into love, and I want to give back to Jesus for all that He suffered- I want to comfort Him and welcome Him and adore Him and worship and praise Him, and I do; I am nothing but the expression of this.

Even after the day began, my heart continued melted and anytime I turned my attention away from my task and toward Jesus, I felt His presence surrounding me, and I could lean back into Him and remember.

September 4, 2015

In the evening, I had turned all my attention toward Jesus in whatever I was doing. remembering that He is always with me and dedicating that time to simply enjoying the peace of His presence through faith.

I did not make it a strenuous thing. If my thoughts wandered away, I peacefully drew them back to Him by thanking Jesus for each thing- the evening light in the sky, the arched wood paneling on the closet door, painted white and looking clean and quiet against the pale blue wall. I thanked Him for the sound of the water as it rushed out of the faucet when I brushed my teeth and for Keith’s chuckling, relaxed laughter as it floated up from downstairs- the whole peace and solidity of the house and our family and our life.

I thought about pulling out the book I had been casually rereading for about the hundredth time. “Shall I read?” I asked Jesus, hardly expecting Him to answer, as asking Him this was another way of drawing His presence into each thing I was doing.

No, be with Me, Jesus replied.

“Really?” I asked, to make sure, as I had been looking forward to reading the book.

Come be with Me.

“But inner sight might not open up,” I said as much to myself as to Him. “Sometimes I decide to be with You and I never see You at all and I feel foolish and let down…”

Sometimes that does happen, Jesus affirmed, without any condemnation or impatience. Because it’s true, sometimes I just don’t see Him. I want to and I cannot, and I have no sense of being with Him, even though I know by faith that I always am, and I know what He promises and the beautiful things He has said. But even when I lean into the faith with joy, with expectation, with longing, I simply don’t see Him.

“Well, but I will risk it,” I decided, feel a feeling of joy. Obedience alone comes with its own kind of reward. “I won’t read. I will be with You. If I never see You at all, then I don’t see You.”

I left the book where it was and climbed into bed and let all my thoughts settle down quiet and waited on Him, and His presence came flooding into me, first like a slow, peaceful stream and then like a deluge, or like a glow of light before the sunrise that comes and then the sun lifts above the horizon and changes the darkness of the sky to a luminous, clear blue, making all the colors and shapes appear out of the shadows.

Jesus didn’t do this apart from me as though I were an inert object, He did it with me. That is, when I spoke His words, He illuminated them and made them come alive, so the enjoyment of His presence was a mutual thing. He had spoken the words first, I believed them and remembered them as though they were the most delicious thing in the world to me, because Jesus is the deepest and most compelling desire of my heart, and Jesus fills the words with Himself, and the words which had always been beautiful, become luminous, without depth, filled with His life.

I sat before Jesus in the inner place, searching His face in growing joy. I put my hands upon His shoulders and looked into His eyes, gentle, welcoming and full of love, His face peaceful and still - perfectly willing to sit still before me and to be seen.

I will not leave you an orphan, I will come to you,” I whispered to Jesus in awe. “In a little while, the world will not see Me, but you will see Me. Because I live, you also will live.”

I was pulling these words of His out from memory, so I wasn’t sure if I was getting them in the right order, but regardless, the words were growing outward and upward and in all directions, because Jesus the Christ, Jesus of Nazareth had spoken those words on that night, and they were true. Jesus who had spoken them was right before me. I was not an orphan; He had come to me and I was seeing Him and He was my life.

“Jesus, Jesus!” I cried out in joy, in wonder and threw my arms around His neck and worshiped Him and adored Him. “Jesus, I love You! I love You, Jesus!”

His answering love flooded my spirit and sent me spinning down a river of love like a piece of silk that has fallen in the water and is being carried along swiftly unseen within it. When I could think again, I remembered more pieces of Scripture.

(This particular passage was alive in my mind, due to the fact that I had recently read a lovely post by Jamie Rohrbaugh as I was catching up on my blog reading from the month of August. In her post, she shared two prophetic degrees based off the passage in Ephesians, which were quite lovely, that filled me with joy to declare and set my spirit on fire as I read them.)

As I was looking at Jesus, the gentleness and the trueness of Himself as the Word made flesh moved me to such wondrous love for Him. I could see the creases at the corners of His eyes where the skin is worn from the wind and from squinting into the sun and from sorrow and from laughing. They give His beautiful eyes a gentleness and depth of feeling.

"I know Your glory is truly, radiantly and absolutely beautiful before You came down to us,” I whispered to Jesus, thinking about this. “You, as the outlying radiance of the Father’s glory - Your beauty in that way was and is perfect. If I saw it, I would fall down before it as one dead. But even so, I think what makes You the most beautiful is Your humanness. I think that is the most beautiful thing about You. But maybe I’ll feel differently after I see You as You are…”

For all eternity, you will love My incarnate self and delight in Me and love Me for it and find it the most beautiful thing about Me, Jesus said.

“Yes, eternally!” I cried, delighted. “I will never tire of it or reach the end of marveling at You as the incarnate Word of God! It is the most extraordinary thing- the deepest mystery, the greatest wonder!”

And you are the spice of life to Me, Jesus returned, full of love.

“Yes, the zest!” I repeated, surprised and delighted by His colorful turn of phrase. It wasn’t until the next day that I realized Jesus must have meant I was salt.

My thoughts drifted and I found myself thinking of my blog, reviewing it as though I were narrating about it. "Sorry," I said to Jesus, abashed, when I realizing I was doing this.

It is My voice that gives meaning, perspective and direction to your life, He told me.

"Thank God!" I exclaimed, throwing my arms around His shoulders in relief. "Thank God it is Your words that define me!"

I waited a long time for you, Jesus whispered.

Sept. 5, 2015

Last night Keith was gone to help Col. D-’s widow and family move to their new home in another state and wouldn't be back until the next day. As usual, I was a little nervous about the night alone, because I never know if it will be one of those nights when my faith is refined through the cold presence of fear. Sometimes it is and I have to walk through it, which I can do more confidently now because the end result is that my faith in my Lord Jesus Christ grows rapidly higher and deeper as I rest in His authority through it.

So last night I wondered, as I was alone in the room, if again my faith would be caused to grow through that intensive training, but I felt only the protective, loving covering of Jesus’ presence which is always there and always effective no matter what I sense. Still, it is a pleasure to feel oneself surrounded by it.

I was resting in Jesus presence and as usual lately, my thoughts were centered on how Jesus lives in me, and I was talking to Him about it. I wasn’t seeing Jesus, but I knew He was there.

“I want to make You a beautiful home,” I said shyly, “and make it very comfortable for You… But how? What should I do? Should I alter something? Do You want me to change anything around?” Without realizing it, as I was saying this, my ideas and thoughts were reverting to legalistic demands as I was trying to think of something, anything, to do to please Him.

I created you to be My home, Jesus reminded me. What He said was like a lightning bolt that lit up my understanding in one moment, leaving me breathless with joy as I grasped what He said.

“You created me for You!” I exclaimed. “You created me for You! You made me just the way You wanted me to be, to be a place to rest in! I am inherently pleasing to You, because of this!”

Then again, another flash of understanding- I remembered that it’s by faith that we welcome Jesus into our hearts- faith in Him, faith in His perfect work on the cross, so I cried out, “All I must do is open my heart to You by faith! By faith, I open my heart and welcome You right into the home that already belongs to You and that You knit together with Your own hands and brought back to Yourself through the cross!”

This time the joy was so great that there were no words and it was like going up in flames. I was face to face with Jesus in my spirit, and He was with me. I was clutching Him and when I could speak, I was almost babbling. “I feel so grateful that I can love You! I'm full of this gratitude! I want to thank You for helping me love You... But it seems strange to thank You for something I'm doing... But how am I doing it? I couldn’t before… I couldn’t keep Your words like You said… I wanted so badly to be one who truly loves You by having and keeping Your words like You said, but I couldn’t! I couldn't, but now…”

Then again, this huge piece of understanding lit me up entirely inside as all the pieces came together into one brilliant picture. The words were tumbling out of me.

“But I abide in You! I live in You! Apart from You, I can do nothing, but now, I abide in You and produce fruit! That fruit leads naturally to the keeping of Your words! I’m am keeping Your words because I live in You! I abide in You! That is how I can have Your words and keep them, and therefore truly love You, and so You and Abba make Your home in me! It is because of You! It's because of You that I can love You! It's because of You that I can be pleasing to You!"

September 6, 2015

Still drunk on the fact that Jesus makes His home in me and have not yet reached the end of the ecstasy of welcoming Him and adoring Him and relishing His presence. In fact, I was going to continue working on this when Merissa went down for her nap, and I began to, but Jesus pulled me away.

You will have lots of time to write and to work on this for Friday, but you won’t always have this perfect opportunity to rest with Me, Jesus said, when I pointed out that I needed to start working on it.

But I left my work and went to rest with Jesus and spent two hours being flat out drunk on His love and presence. At the end, I began to see something over and over again.

It was a circle of light being cut out of the darkness, as though a laser beam where cutting through. Where it was cutting, white light was piercing through, so that it was becoming a circle of outward flaring light. I saw this once and then again and then I saw the circle of dark that had been cut out by the light fall inward and dissolve into the flames that were now golden red and orange, so that I was staring at a circle of flames and the circle became a tunnel that twisted and turned and I said to Jesus in understanding, “It’s a glory tunnel!”

Then the glory tunnel became a line of dancing flames and Jesus said to me, what do you see?

“I see flames,” I replied. These dancing flames rose and fell in the lovely, liquid way that flames do and then they were dancing into a circle and then the circle of flames was turning and diving down into the dark, so that it was now as though I were looking down at what were missiles of flames falling at great velocity into a circle of darkness, which I realized, as I saw it, must be earth, only I couldn’t see the earth, because it was obscured by the dark.

As the missiles of flames were plummeting down, they were slowly drawing closer together as though the circle they formed were tightening. Also, they were falling in a graduated pattern like steps spiraling one after the other in a pleasing regularity of purpose. So when they hit, if they made a sound, it would be a rippling loud, like running fingers over a keyboard.

As they were diving down in this pattern, they each lit up in a burst of vivid white light like a lightning strike from within them, one after the other, so that it appeared that a dazzling white light had just run in a circle that leapt from one to the other in a smooth, swift way. It was very beautiful to see and hard to describe, and I saw nothing else.

That night, I opened my arms to Jesus. “Jesus, I welcome You,” I declared with solemn joy. “Be at home in me!”

Jesus presence flooded into my spirit and I was held close in His strong embrace. His presence was full of a certain and quiet authority, deep and still.

“I’ve been learning about Your Kingship lately,” I said, realizing this growing pattern that has been woven through my experience for maybe the last six months or so. “It’s making me shy because of my increasing reverence and awe. Sometimes I have to get used to being with You all over again, after I see even a glimpse of Your sovereignty.”

Do you see why I kept that understanding from you at the first? He asked me gently.

“Yes, I do! If You had shown me before even one glimpse of Yourself as King, I would have been immobile on the floor, unable to believe that You could possibly love me. Even now, I have to remember all over again that I know You as my beloved and compassionate Friend as well."

I was resting with Him, and I was understanding in a new way that Jesus Whom I knew as my beloved Friend, my treasured Counselor, had promised to return in Person, manifest, on the earth, and I would know Him. He was not be a stranger to me.

Sometimes I forget and get caught up in fear at the thought of a dreadful, unknown Jesus returning and I assume that I will cringe away from Him- all those fears and assumptions that I grew up with. But those fears were falling away at a much deeper level, leaving my heart wide open.

In that moment, I rose right up in my spirit to Jesus and threw my arms around His neck and poured out my longing and love for Him without fear, without hesitation, because I wanted, more than anything else to be with Him.

“Come!” I insisted with trusting abandon, with adoration. “Jesus, come here to us, return! Oh Jesus, come to us!”

Beloved, I will, He assured me, His voice ringing with certainty and joy.

September 7, 2015

Still flat out drunk on Him.

Yesterday, right out of the blue and with no warning, I was caught up in a bizarre, intense situation, and as it was unfolding, I was thinking to myself in wonder, “Finally! I am feeling just a little taste of suffering for Jesus’ name! I should leap like a lamb! I’m being slandered, rejected and threatened for His sake!”

I felt such strong love for Jesus. I can't describe it. His love and His words, but I say unto you, love your enemies, were pealing again and again in me like a bell and I wanting nothing more than to do just that, and in fact, I didn’t even ask Him to have mercy on this person, because I could feel His mercy and compassion filling me. If I could have comforted them like a child, I would have. All I could see was their pain.

That evening, rarely have I felt so close to Jesus or seen Him so clearly or been so swept away by the beauty of His Person, His light, His peace and courage. I was with Him and the fact that I was with Jesus Himself was again sweeping me away into a reverent worship and melting, almost endless adoration.

I was holding His head in my arms, His heavy, human head with the sweep of His neck so vulnerable. I was breathing in His peaceful presence as thought it were air. This peace of His was beautifully off set by the apparent fragility of His incarnate self- although I was with Him through His Holy Spirit, Jesus was appearing to me as human, manifest, flesh and blood, and therefore, able to be hurt. And of course, He had been hurt, terribly hurt- tortured to death.

I was lost in thoughts of His life on earth; I was thinking particularly of when He had gone back to Nazareth at the beginning of His ministry and had read from the Scriptures. I have always loved that passage, it has always been one of my most favorite parts of His story, and I was putting together the realization that Jesus of Nazareth whom I adored so deeply, respected and feared with such love, was in fact now resting in my spirit, at home in me and I in Him. He was not far away, He was right with me. I held Jesus in my arms.

“Oh my most treasured and beloved Lord!” I whispered to Him in amazement. “My Lord and my God! You most beautiful One, uniquely begotten of Abba!”

Jesus did not answer me in words, He opened His eyes and looked at me and the love in His face was depthless. To look at Jesus, to look in His eyes, was like drinking, or like falling down into something clear, endless, peaceful and yet perfectly, spiritually intoxicating. It was impossible to be lost in this and not worship Him, but it is not possible for me to sustain such intensity for long; otherwise, I feel as though my physical frame will simply collapse like a sandcastle when the surf washes over it.

So the intensity ebbed away instead and again I was resting, and my thoughts, which had like a fragile leaf been caught up in a dance of irresistible wind, settled back down on His life and His words- His beautiful, His living words.

“And You said,” I whispered slowly, drawing the words up with pleasure from memory, “You said, “The Spirit of the Lord God has anointed Me… has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor… to bind up the broken hearted and to release the prisoners from captivity…”

As I was speaking, I was thinking specifically of the Syrian refuges- our neighbors lying beaten and broken on the road, the least of these that we must love as Christ, and how perfectly right here and now there is an opportunity for those that are His to bring those words to life, to be Jesus' flesh and blood to those who have lost everything, to the broken hearted, to the captives of war, caught at the borders.

I knew there was more to that passage, but that was all I was remembering at the moment and it was enough, because I could see Jesus speaking those words with absolute confidence in His Father.

I’ve given you those words, Jesus said quietly.

At first this startled me, but quickly I made the connection. “Yes, I understand,” I said. “I’m Your own flesh and blood, one part of Yourself, and so of course I speak Your words, just as I have Your Holy Spirit within. If You carry an anointing, of course also I must have that anointing, because I am born of Your Spirit and am one spirit with You, as must Your whole Body altogether. How could I not have Your words, as I am one part of Your Body, the living Church?”

I was holding Jesus’ hand and I could feel the gruesome scar of crucifixion, and, like everything recently, the horror of it was sinking into me in a deeper way. But this realization was deepening alongside of another- that Jesus who had been crucified was no longer on the cross, but had risen to life and ascended to the Father and was seated at His right hand and because of this, He is my life. I was crucified with Him and raised up with Him to new life. Because He lives, I live. Because of this, I live in Him and He lives in me.

Jesus was no longer on the cross, He was with me. That was the realization that was echoing out in larger and larger circles through my whole spirit. Jesus who had been crucified now made His home in me. I get to welcome Him. I get to love Him.

This wonder broke out into words. I was holding Jesus in my arms, my head against His heart and I felt as if my entire spirit were a bed of live, burning coals. I was speaking to Him and the words were coming out in this flow of joy that was richer than joy, because it was so richly heavy with reverence and awe.

“Jesus, You are not on the cross any longer, in agony, You are welcomed and adored and loved! You are not hung high up and mocked- see! I am in Your arms, I am close to Your living heart! Your arms that were once outstretched and nailed down in agony are now full of love, living love, I am living because of You! I love You and I am Yours. You have me. May everyone for whom You died come to You! May they all come into Your arms and may Your heart be overflowing with joy at all You have won! May Your whole heart be satisfied when You hold close to You all that You redeemed, the full reward for all Your agony!”


And He took a cup, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, Drink of it, all of you; For this is My blood of the new covenant, which [ratifies the agreement and] is being poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

I say to you, I shall not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it with you new and of superior quality in My Father’s kingdom.
-Matthew 26:27-29, AMP

I’m not just talking theory. There is urgency in all this. If you’re apathetic and complacent, then you’ll miss the moment of opportunity. You should be wide awake and on your toes like servants who are waiting for their master to return from a big wedding reception. They’ll have their shoes on and their lamps lit so they can open the door for him as soon as he arrives home. How fortunate those servants will be when the master knocks and they open the door immediately! You know what the master will do? He’ll put on an apron, sit them down at the kitchen table, and he’ll serve them a midnight snack. The later he comes home—whether it’s at midnight or even later, just before dawn—the more fortunate the alert servants will be.
-Luke 12:35-38, The Voice

May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the [Holy] Spirit [Himself indwelling your innermost being and personality].

May Christ through your faith [actually] dwell (settle down, abide, make His permanent home) in your hearts! May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love,

That you may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp with all the saints [God’s devoted people, the experience of that love] what is the breadth and length and height and depth [of it];
[That you may really come] to know [practically,  through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]!
-Ephesians 3:16-19, AMP


I have been standing at the door,
and I am constantly knocking.
If anyone hears me calling him and opens the door,
I will come in and fellowship with him and he with me.
-Revelation 3:20, TLB