27. Surrender, Crucifixion and Sacrifice

Mike Parsons –

I surrender

We are continuing to look at the Prophetic Timetable that God showed me, the plan of what He intends  to do in our days, until Jesus returns. As I have said, there are no specific dates here, but periods of time in which God will be working in particular ways.

In the coming days, God is going to equip people in supernatural ministry. There will be cities of refuge (we read about cities of refuge in the Old Testament: they were places where people could go and be safe). God is speaking to us here at Freedom about being one of those cities of refuge. And there will be others because in the times that are going to come, people will need places of safety that only the kingdom of God can provide.

Surrender

All the creative gifts are going to be released, whether in music or the arts or media – all sorts of areas. God is going to release that, but He has first to remove the stumbling blocks: and the gathering angels are waiting. We do not have to wait for that time, do not have to wait till He comes and pins us to the ground. We can be proactive: we can surrender and allow God to do it right now; we can get on our face before Him and allow Him to do anything He chooses in our lives: get rid of the flesh, pride, rebellion, impurity, unbelief – anything. And if we surrender, He will do it.

He wants us to surrender, He wants us to say ‘Yes’ to Him, so that we can shine like the sun, shine with His glory: the light has come, and that light needs to be released, manifested through us as true sons of God, manifested in power. The whole of creation is groaning, waiting for the manifestation of God’s sons (Rom 8), those who are actually reflecting the glory of Jesus, who are truly living as Christians – ‘little Christs’. You know, ‘Christ’ is not Jesus’ surname: it means ‘Anointed One’ and it puts the focus on His anointing. So when we are Christians, we are anointed ones; and we carry His anointing and His power. All those ancient anointings, together with new ones, are going to be released in these days. So please, let’s not miss out, any of us.

Crucifixion

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me (Galatians 2:20).

That is a key scripture in surrendering to God. This is what Jesus has already done for us on the cross: are we going to embrace it? Are we going to count ourselves crucified with Him? We are going to have to surrender ourselves to that crucifixion of the flesh. Everything that could hinder, and cause us to be a stumbling block, or cause us to miss out; everything that has happened to us; all the pain and the hurt, the disappointment, the people who have let us down, and the abuse that we have suffered – are we going to allow any of that to stop us? Or are we going to use it as a springboard to surrender to God, to be healed, restored, and made whole?

Let me make it personal: will you ask yourself, “Am I going to allow God to change my life, so that I can get on and do the things that He has called me to do?”

He wants to live through us. The New Age movement has robbed us of so much, because they have counterfeited what is real. When you talk about being a channel of the Holy Spirit or being a channel of God’s power, there is a sharp intake of breath as people say, ‘Oooh, you can’t do that”. And that is because the New Age people talk about channelling spirits. But we are actually supposed to be a channel of the Holy Spirit; rivers of living water are supposed to flow through us; we are supposed to be those who God breathes through, who God lives in, so that people see Him in our lives.

Sacrifice

This is how we do it:

I urge you, brethren (and ‘urge’ is a very strong word), by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect (Rom 12:1-2).

That is what worship is. Worship is not singing songs, though singing songs may be a way we express our worship. Worship is bowing down in obedience and saying, “You are God, and I submit and surrender to You. I present my life as a living sacrifice: You use it how You want to use it. I am not going to get in the way, I am not going to determine what I am going to do in my life, I am going to surrender it to You. I will allow You to lead me”.

Those who are children of God are led by the Spirit. We are not conformed to this world, we don’t have to come under the rules and regulations of the world. I am not talking about the laws of the land, we need to respect and honour those in authority over us; but I am talking about the things of the world that seek to keep us down, things that say to us, “You’re not good enough, you’ll never be anything”.

God uses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. He is not looking for people of great intellect, He is looking for people who are available, people who are willing. It is not about how much head-knowledge we have of the Bible: what counts is knowing Jesus. It is actually having a personal relationship with Him. No-one reading this is excluded from that, no-one at all. You might have university degrees, that is great. I had an education like that, but did it help me in knowing God? Not a bit. Most of the time it got in the way, because I rationalised, analysed and thought about Him rather than feeling Him, experiencing Him and knowing Him.

And now that I am feeling, experiencing and knowing Him, it is a total revelation! To meet with God and know Him, to meet with the Holy Spirit and know what God is saying; to receive visions and direction and dreams from God: that is what He wants for us, and that is how He wants to speak to us. We cannot know God except by experience. It is not about gaining knowledge, it is about being transformed by the renewing of our mind. Then we will know what God’s will is for our lives, and we will be able to outwork it.

That is why God wants us to sacrifice ourselves to Him, to surrender and to submit to Him as Lord of our lives: to allow Him to determine what our lives are like – who we are, where we go, what we do, what we say.

How do we surrender and submit to Him? We come as a living sacrifice, a prepared sacrifice; and in the next post we will see exactly what that involves.

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25. Who Can Live With Consuming Fire?

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott – 

rootoutidolsAre we willing to root out of our life the idols that would otherwise keep us blind, deaf and dumb in the things of God? We saw what some of them were last time. The reason they would keep us blind, deaf and dumb is that they themselves are blind, deaf and dumb. A carved image has no life, it has no voice, it has no vision. So we will be aimless, powerless and ineffective if we do not deal with our soul. This is what God is saying to us right now.

Consuming fire

There is a verse which asks, “Who among us can live with the consuming fire? Who among us can live with continual burning?” (Isaiah 33:14b). It is a good question: can we live with consuming fire? The answer is, we can’t, not without being continually burned. If we are to live with the fire then we will be continually changed and purified. “Who among us can live with the consuming fire?…He who walks righteously and speaks with sincerity, he who rejects unjust gain and shakes his hands so that they hold no bribe; he who stops his ears from hearing about bloodshed and shuts his eyes from looking upon evil…” (Isaiah 33:14-15). We will need to not only be righteous but to walk in righteousness; there are things we will have to stop looking at, things we will have to stop our ears from hearing, because we must be found willing and ready.

Fix our attention

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you (Romans 12: 1-2, The Message).

We are to fix our attention on God. His eyes are fixed upon us, and those eyes of fire can see right through us. When we have God in our spirit, and the glory of God coming through our spirit, it will restore our soul. We will be changed from the inside out, as it says in this passage.

I have said before that the gathering angels are here among us. There is a time very soon, in fact it is about to come upon us, when the true church is going to be separated: there are things which are going to be taken out of the church, but the world also needs to come out of our lives. Then we will be able to shine like the sun, transfigured with glory; able to be true sons of God, revealed to the world in which we are living.

Ancient anointings

And I believe that all the ancient anointings and mantles that God has released in history are going to be released in these days, and restored to the church. The mantles of authority and power of every revival there has ever been are going to be conferred upon the church in the last days.

We can be eager for that, but if you have listened to and read the stories of revival, you know that virtually every one of the people who were involved in leading those revivals eventually fell into sin in some way. They ended up either dying early, or their ministries fell; and this happened to them because they were not pure and holy. God is not going to trust people who are not pure and holy with the mantles and the anointing that he is going to release in these last days. This is the reason He is wanting us to prepare our lives: if we are to carry this anointing and these mantles – and not fall – then we have to do now what is necessary in order to be ready.

Be hungry and thirsty for more. There is more to come, therefore be changed. God is wanting to  prepare us,  to equip us, to empower us; He wants us to truly be sons of God, to be superheroes of the faith. That is what God is looking for in these days, and we cannot afford to hold on to anything that will keep Him from finding us prepared and ready.

If He says to let it go, we let it go.

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24. For Such A Time As This

Mike Parsons 

We are in the middle of looking at some serious issues which require a response from us. We saw last time that Jesus is saying to the church, ‘Repent, or else!’. There are things which God wants removed from His church in these days and if we are wise we will remove them ourselves – because if not, the ‘or else’ is that He will come and remove them.

Jude picks up the same theme: Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain, and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah (Jude v11).

Cain was a murderer, overcome by anger and  jealousy; we need to watch out for unforgiveness in our relationships with each other – these things have no place and can no longer be tolerated in the church. Balaam, as we said last time, indulged in licence, immorality and idolatry; and he encouraged others to do the same. Ministry for personal gain was what that started with, being paid to prophesy against God’s people. Korah rebelled against Godly authority; he wanted to do it his own way. But the days of loose cannons in the body of Christ is over. There is no room for ‘lone rangers’. We work together, in unity and harmony; side by side, not on our own.

We need to keep in mind that all these things were written for our benefit: ‘Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, “THE PEOPLE SAT DOWN TO EAT AND DRINK, AND STOOD UP TO PLAY.” Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day. Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents.  Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come’ (1 Cor 10:6-11).

We need to be really careful about polluting our bodies. If 23,000 fell in one day under the Old Covenant, and the New Covenant brings greater responsibilities, then we had really better not try God’s patience. Grumbling? It doesn’t sound like much, but it was fatal, it brought destruction on them. God is not going to tolerate such things much longer; He is coming to clean His house, and if we carry on behaving this way then we are putting ourselves seriously at risk.

We are called for such a time as this. That is what was said of Esther; she was the queen and the bride, representing the bride of Christ in the New Covenant. She lived in a time of extreme danger, as do we, and she was able to go in to the king and rescue the nation. But she had to go through a time of preparation, of anointing with fragrant oil and perfume, she had the very best lavished upon her, and she made herself ready for the king.

We need to make ourselves ready because this is our time. We need to deal with all the idols that take priority over God. Those might be family, work, church, sport, relationships, ministry, money, success. Sickness can be an idol, as can addictions, problems, issues. Images you have seen, words you have heard and said, memories of past hurt and trauma, unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, disappointment… the list goes on. Mindsets and strongholds, things you strongly believe and hold on to, doctrines and traditions in the church (Mark 7:8) – anything that is bigger than God in our thinking. Smoking is a big one: using tobacco to cope with stress and trouble, to relax. Some people use food the same way.

Looking at the problem rather than the solution will magnify the problem, and then it gets in the way of our looking at Jesus. Maybe we can still see Him a bit, but it prevents us looking into His eyes; it prevents us looking into His heart. It can appear so big to us that it gets to the point where we can’t see past it. Or if we can see through it at all, it still acts as a filter; so that everything we see of Jesus is coloured by our issues. But Jesus is way bigger than any problem we might have. If we keep our eyes fixed on Him, the problems become diminished and He is magnified. Nothing is impossible for God.

Let’s remove the stumbling blocks from our hearts. Let’s not see everything through the filter of our idols. God doesn’t want us seeing Him that way; he doesn’t want us living like that. That sword is coming. That living, active, sharp word will come and judge the thoughts and intentions of our hearts. It will reveal our motives; it will expose selfishness and self-centredness.

When I was on the fast I spent time going through my life year by year, repenting and being cleansed. It was really valuable, but I know I only scratched the surface. God wants to take us deeper. He wants to cleanse and purify our conscience, the ears of our hearts; He wants to cleanse and purify our imagination, the eyes of our hearts; He wants to cleanse and purify our reason, the voice of our hearts. The deaf cannot hear the voice of God, the blind cannot see Him, and the dumb cannot speak with His voice. But we can do all these things if we choose to be cleansed and purified.

I have said it before: our choice empowers God or it empowers the enemy. God wants us undistracted; He wants our choice.

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Main image attribution: Photo of the Astronomical Clock, Prague by Jay8085 [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons.

23. A Bride Bejewelled with Splendour

Mike Parsons 

William and KateIt is, and always was from time and eternity past, God’s intention to have a bride for His Son. And that bride is going to be arrayed in finery, perfumed with fragrant oils, and adorned with precious jewels: she will not be dirty and dressed in filthy rags.

Royal Wedding

We had a royal wedding here in Britain a while ago when Prince William married Kate Middleton. Do you remember what that was like? The bride wore a beautiful lace dress – it must have cost thousands, maybe tens or hundreds of thousands – and she went through weeks and months of preparation to be ready for that day. God wants a bride like that for His Son.

He wants her meticulously prepared. The angels are going to be looking on in wonder and amazement. She will be adorned with the character of Christ – that is what the beauty is, the fruit of the Spirit – and bejewelled with gifts of splendour. Jesus is coming back for a bride like that. And who is that bride? It is the church, and we have the opportunity to be a part of that bride, or to be an obstacle that gets in the way.

Discipline

The Message version of Heb 12:6 says:

My dear child, don’t shrug off God’s discipline, but don’t be crushed by it either. It’s the child He loves that he disciplines; the child he embraces, he also corrects. God is educating you; that’s why you must never drop out. He’s treating you as dear children. This trouble you’re in isn’t punishment; it’s training.

And verse 11:

But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God’s holy best. At the time, discipline isn’t much fun. It always feels like it’s going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God.

So God is doing His best for us, because He wants His best for us. He is looking for a people who are well-trained, people who are mature in relationship with Him. We need to risk letting Him see inside our hearts, and we need to surrender.

Eyes on Jesus

We also have a part to play if we want His best:

London_MarathonLet us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,  fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith (Hebrews 12:1-2).

You do not run a marathon carrying heavy weights. You don’t wear a heavy costume – well, some people do, but not the winners! You are not going to win the London marathon dressed in a gorilla suit.  The winner will wear a lightweight vest and proper running shoes, and their focus will be on the finishing line, the goal, and on the prize. We need to have our eyes fixed on Jesus.

It is so easy to get distracted, to take your eyes off Him and start looking around at something else that catches your attention. Not everything that distracts us is bad in itself. But we can’t afford to lose sight of Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. We will need to be radical. We will need to be ruthless. We need to ask ourselves the questions: What is it that holds me back? Entangles me? Distracts me and draws me off track? People do get drawn off track, sometimes for years. Whatever it is, you need to turn away from it, and run the race with your eyes fixed on Jesus. Such things are idols, idols in our hearts, they become bigger than God to us.

Thus says the Lord GOD, “Any man who sets up his idols in his heart, puts right before his face the stumbling block of his iniquity” (Ezek 14:4). God hates idolatry; he has the right to first place in our lives, and that is what he demands. What idols are we bowing down to? God wants them thrown down.

You can put the name of this church, or any other church in the world, into this scripture, because Jesus is saying this to His church everywhere:

And to the angel of the Church at ……… write: The One who has the sharp two-edged sword says this… I have a few things against you… The teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality… Therefore repent; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth (Rev 2:12, 14, 16).

The sin of Balaam was idolatry and immorality. God is going to clean house. Anything that we fail to deal with ourselves, He is going to come and deal with it. Jesus says ‘Repent or else!’ That is a strong word, and we had better sit up and take notice. The ‘or else’ is that He will ‘come with a sharp sword and make war against them with the sword of His mouth. I don’t want that; I’m sure you don’t want it; we don’t want it for ourselves, and we don’t want it for anyone else, come to that. God is giving us one last opportunity to repent and turn away from these things.

If we are smart, we will take that opportunity.

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21. Conflict for Souls

Mike Parsons – 

One Sunday, as we were singing, I saw Jesus, and He was looking at me. He was the Jesus of Revelation chapter 1, with fire in His eyes; His gaze was penetrating, seeing into my head, seeing into my heart. There was love in His eyes, and fire, and He was looking deep within me.

The eyes of God

The scripture says that the eyes of God are going to and fro throughout the earth (2 Chron 16:9), looking for those who He can strongly support: those whose hearts are completely His. That is what He is doing in this time, looking for willingness; willingness to say, ‘My heart is Yours. There may be stuff in it that needs dealing with, but I am willing for You to do what needs to be done, to restore me and make me whole. I am willing to step out and do Your will’. God’s eyes will penetrate your heart. If He looks into your heart and mind, what is He going to see there? Certainly you are not going to be able to hide anything from His eyes. And because He is also a warrior king, He is coming with a sword in His mouth; His words too will penetrate your heart and life, bringing division between the positive and the negative, the good and the bad, what can remain and what must be got rid of.

God never acts without revealing his plans to His prophets. Some of you reading this, you are on a crash course. You have been saved into this environment, into this understanding of God’s revelation and His purposes in our days. It will not take you the twenty years or more that it has taken some of us to come into the reality of the presence of God. And things are only going to accelerate, if we are willing. We do have that choice – we can resist Him and stop Him having His way in us, prevent Him from purifying and refining us, clearing out the dross and revealing the image of His Son in us. My advice is, don’t hide, don’t resist; allow God to deal with what is in your heart. In what is coming, a level of holiness – a level of being set apart – will be required that we simply do not have as yet. The highway of holiness is higher than we have imagined.

Harvest

Jesus is returning. He will return, at the end, but He is returning all the time. He is coming to us all the time. Open your heart, and He will come to you. The reason He is coming is to prepare us for the conflict for souls. The harvest that is coming is a battle for souls, make no mistake about it, and there will be conflict. People are falling into a fiery pit every day, and they are making that choice to go there.

I had a vision while I was on my 40 day fast, a vision of people, hundreds and thousands of them, walking across a plain. In the distance I could see that fiery pit, and people were just walking straight up to it and falling in. And I saw other people, Christians, standing in front of them and planting a sword in the ground right in front of them and saying, ‘Stop!’ Some of them did stop, but they looked around them, then they stepped to one side and carried on going.

Others did turn around though. With some of them it took 3 or 4 people to plant a sword in their path and cry, ‘Stop!’ before they turned and went back. The enemy has blinded their eyes. Our part is to bring the light. This is a real battle, this battle for souls: we are not playing games, not just having nice times with God for our own personal enjoyment, for the sake of the experience. Yes, He wants us to experience Him, but He wants our hearts and lives transformed for purpose, for His eternal purpose. People’s destiny is at stake, and we must shine so brightly that we get their attention so that they see that God is real and that they too can be transformed through His love.

What did Jesus say? ‘Look around you, the fields are white but there are not enough labourers’. He is seeking out those who have a heart for the harvest, to bring it in. In everything God is doing and planning to do, this is what it is about: bringing in the full harvest, seeing all those people saved, and healed and delivered.

The first stage we have looked at in God’s Prophetic Timetable is that call to intimate knowledge of Him, to really know Love. But the second stage has already begun for some people, even as that first one continues. Every stage of this plan takes us closer to the return of Jesus. We have already seen that God has established forerunners of everything He plans to do, little tasters if you like, to give us an appetite for what he intends to bring about on a much greater scale. So everything we have seen so far is tiny in comparison to what is coming.

That second stage is the removal of stumbling blocks, and the revelation of a generation of those who will bring in and train the harvesters. You have to understand, there are two phases of the harvest. There will be a final harvest at the very end of the age, but first the harvesters themselves need to be brought in. We will consider this next time.

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19. Stepping Up

Mike Parsons  

Step up

In our days, the prophetic books are being opened. Fresh revelation is being released: revelation of the Spirit, revelation of heaven, revelation of the days ahead. And God wants His people to get plugged into the Holy Spirit and to be aware of what is going on in our own lives, in the world around us, and in heavenly places, so that we can cooperate with what He is doing.

Where more is given

As each period comes along, it is going to require more of us. God is going to require more of us.  Each period brings more revelation, both of what is going on on earth and of what is going on in heaven. And God says that where more is given, more is required.

He wants us to step up to a new level of holiness, a new level of being set apart for Him, a new level of righteousness. He is coming to refine and purify us so that we are able to live on that new level, and we have to submit to Him in that, because He is looking to prepare us for what is coming. On each level there will be more demonstration of kingdom power and authority. God wants to take today’s church back, not just to the early church (or New Testament) levels of kingdom authority, but back to the Garden, where He conferred the mandate on Adam and Eve to bring the kingdom of heaven to earth. That task and that mandate are now ours.

This diagram is a representation of what God showed me:

Periods of God's Prophetic Timetable

On each level there will be stronger and more powerful demons and fallen angels for us to defeat and dethrone. But we will be able to defeat and dethrone them. We will be able to take new ground on earth, in areas we haven’t yet ventured into. There is territory to occupy and a strategy to outwork. We have the power to overcome: we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.

Step up

God is looking for us to be a habitation of His Presence, and we need to be prepared to step up. He is calling us to be a people who will bring the kingdom of God from heaven to earth. That call starts with a call to intimacy because only in knowing Him intimately can we be prepared to move up to the next level. Intimacy is absolutely key to moving forward in this.

In the Kingdom Explosion meetings in 2011 when Mike Bryant was here, God showed him that there were three phases of what He was intending to do, and that the first of those phases was fire. The purpose of the fire was first of all to thaw us out! God wants us softened up. He wants to draw us, His sons, His children, to draw us to Him in a close, intimate relationship, and to stir up our passion and our desire for Him. Jesus is to be our first priority, our first love. His kingdom is what we seek, and what we seek first. And we will need constantly to surrender to Him, in order to encounter Him at ever deeper levels.

Encounter

This is about love. It is about our identity as sons of God. It is about a new level of knowing Him. The Old Testament word for know is “yadah” which means “personal encounter.” There is a difference between the Hebrew and the Greek ways of thinking. The western world has been fashioned and formed by a Greek mindset. We cannot go deeply into that here, but we do need to understand that the Hebrew concept of ‘knowing’ has nothing to do with the intellect. You cannot say you know God unless you have actually experienced Him. People with a Hebrew mindset won’t even listen to you if you are not speaking from experience. Moses had that kind of an encounter with God at the burning bush. That was an experience in which what he saw and heard opened up his destiny for him. We need a personal encounter with God in the same kind of way to open up our destiny for us. As we come to truly know Jesus, His Presence in us will be obvious, and His light will be increasingly shining from within us and growing in intensity.

The New Testament word for know is “ginosko”, and this is the word used for a man knowing his wife and bearing a child. That is pretty intimate isn’t it? This is not sexual, of course, but it is the spiritual equivalent. It is a relationship in which nothing is held back, on either side. We hold nothing back from Him; He holds nothing back from us.

He wants us to know Him in two places: on earth (in our own spirit), and also in heaven. Psalm 23 is a powerful psalm which talks about the intimate relationship God desires to have with us, and that is where we will be going in the next post.

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18. Experiencing Intimate Knowledge of God

Mike Parsons 

Unbelieving believers EngKnowing our identity as sons of God begins with really knowing God and not just knowing about Him. Who are we? As sons of God, we are royalty. We have a royal identity. We are priests – those who have free and full access to the holy things of God. We are a habitation of God – the Father, Son and Holy Spirit have made their home in us and want to be expressed through us. Bill Johnson says that ‘God is locked up in unbelieving believers’. He doesn’t want to stay locked up any more – He wants us to let Him out.

And we don’t want to be unbelieving believers either. We want to be believing believers, those who know what God says about us and act on it without question, without hesitation. And there is a call for real intimacy, to know God’s love intimately on earth and in heaven. If we are a habitation of God, then we have God on the inside: more and more, He desires to open up His heart to us and for us to open up our heart to Him. This is increasing in intensity: we have seen that the initial outpouring of the Holy Spirit is as nothing compared to the latter rain that is coming.

Call to intimacy

We can struggle with the very concept of intimacy with God. The men in particular, even as we are singing ‘Romance me’ in our Sunday meeting, some are squirming because they don’t know how to take it, because they can’t get their head around being romanced by a man. But God is not a man, He is a spirit. Yes, He makes Himself known to us as Father, but God is a Spirit. ‘Hold me close, let Your love surround me’ – He wants to hug us, draw near to us, so that we can truly know Him, know what He is feeling, know what He is thinking, to feel His heartbeat. The Apostle John laid his head upon Jesus’ breast. Jesus is looking for a close, intimate relationship with us so that we can get revelation of His heart. He is drawing us into that intimacy. Sometimes we struggle, but our praise has the power to open up the heavenly portals so that we can have intimacy with Him, in the throne room, in the bridal chamber; so that we can find intimacy with the heart of God.

These and other chambers in the heavenly realms are places He wants to take us into, but we cannot enter into them unless we allow Him to open up that place of intimacy with us. We need to be willing, so that he can release truth to us, so that he can release our identity to us. The door is open in heaven, and God is calling us to love and identity. He is calling us to know by experience. We can read a book about God, we can even read the Bible, and know facts, but He wants more than that: He wants us to know Him by experience, to know what love really is, to know what acceptance really is, to know what forgiveness really is. He has made us a ‘kingdom and priests to our God’ (Revelation 1:2). And He says, ‘Behold I stand at the door and knock, if anyone opens to me I will come in and dine with him…’ As the Jesus Culture song ‘Come Away‘ says, we need to open up our hearts, and let Him in.

Open the door

Just as Adam walked with God in the Garden of Eden, so also we have a garden inside of us now, a place where God’s Spirit joins our spirit. He is wanting to open up a door for us so that we can have experience of heaven, but we have to open it up by opening up our heart to Him. And not just ajar, so that we get a brief glimpse; but to swing it wide and ‘let the King of Glory come in’. Jesus promises that if we will open up to His knock, He will come in and dine with us. Remember, dining is a very intimate thing in New Testament times; they would have reclined on the floor very close to one another; it was a place of sharing life. Jesus wants to do that with us so that we are able to hear His heart, to feel His heart, experience His love. And ‘Look, behold, a door open in heaven’ – as we open the door in our spirit, a  door in heaven opens and we hear a voice inviting us to ‘Come up here, experience my garden, experience the things of heaven with me’. We need to open the door in our spirits, daily, and when we open the door, a door opens for us to receive intimacy of relationship with Him.

I used to think I knew what His Presence was: now I know I didn’t have a clue. I don’t know all that much now, but I know more than I did, because I have experienced it for myself; because I have experienced going to heaven; because I have experienced what it is to look into His eyes, to look at Him on the cross, to see His eyes of love. There is so much for us to experience: let’s be hungry and thirsty, let’s not get stuck, let’s be eager for more. Because there is more to come. He is wanting to equip us to come into our destiny as sons of God. He wants to parade His sons before people and say, just like He did of Jesus, ‘This is my Son, whom I love, listen to Him’.

It is time for us to open up our hearts. It is time for us to become superheroes of faith. I am telling you, Marvel Comics characters will have nothing on the church when we come into our inheritance as sons.

Father, release a hunger and a thirst in Your people.
Release in them a passion for intimacy, for love,
So that each of them will open up their heart
And let the King of Glory come in.

Let the Holy Spirit come in and stir us to receive You.
Touch us afresh,
Help us to know who we are, and who You are.
Teach us to flow together with You,
To open up those heavenly gates and welcome You in.

Let Your people see that door standing open in heaven,
And hear Your voice inviting them to ‘come up here’.
Let Your Spirit brood over us.
Empower us as sons of the Living God
To be those superheroes of faith
Who know their God, and do exploits.

Amen.

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Soundtrack: Jesus Culture – Come Away