This morning during my time with God, I had a serious encounter with Holy Spirit. I hope you know the kind of encounter I’m speaking of. It was glorious as I was moved to sobbing, I felt breakthrough in my Spirit, and I was trembling in awe and reverence of Who He is and what He has done for me.
It seemed like every song on my shuffling worship playlist hit me in the heart, and scripture was jumping off the page. I could hear so CLEARLY and felt such tremendous peace and approval.
Regretfully, I glanced at the clock, which rudely informed me that I only had about 15 minutes left of this supernatural ecstasy before I had to continue with my normal morning routines or I’d be late.
I don’t know if it was my brain trying to justify my actions or if it was my emotions feeling like I just couldn’t take anymore because it was sooooo good, but somehow, I began to think that it was time to pull out of this beautiful heavenly place. As if I was “filled up for the day” and therefore somehow released to leave God’s Presence and go about my day. I certainly felt utter satisfaction – no doubt about that. I both wanted to start my day but also felt like an anchor was there pulling me back into His Presence. But I knew that I had things to do and it was time to get up and go.
And then I heard Him speak: “Mandy, I NEVER want to let you go!”
I was wrecked.
I realized then that there is so much more. There is so much more to our “quiet time” with Him. The “Secret Place” is so much bigger and better than the corner we have settled for.
He asks us in John to ABIDE…. that word in Greek means so many beautiful things, including to tarry and to linger and to stay. HE WANTED ME TO STAY WITH HIM LONGER!
The farther I go in my walk with Him, the more I realize that a fact about Heavenly hunger is that we are actually NEVER filled. We just get invited to keep going and going and pushing in deeper and deeper and we have to actually challenge ourselves to not stop just because we’ve had an emotional or spiritual encounter that we think has set us up for the day.
THERE’S SO MUCH MORE, y’all.
And He is worthy. And He can bend time for us. He will do the impossible just to be with us – again and again.
I was reminded of a dream I had once, and while thinking about this dream I felt Holy Spirit take me into His Presence yet again. I was able to revisit what He showed me in the dream, but also He gave me even more insight through another vision, rather like an extended version of a movie.
In the dream I was with this woman who I knew from a previous ministry, and she was chatting my ear off with criticism, accusation, negativity – all the things that pastors deal with and yet struggle with regularly. I found myself backing up into a deep closet while she kept yapping at me, and I was able to close the door and lock myself in. When I did that, I could still hear her chatting away, yet it was muffled. So I went a little deeper, and then a little deeper, until I couldn’t hear anything but my own heart beating in rhythm with the Father’s. In the extended vision this morning, I then saw that I was so utterly transformed in the “deeper” places, perfectly in rhythm with His heart, that when I finally did exit the closet, the Glory on me was so intense that it silenced the woman completely, and caused her to repent and begin to speak Praises instead of cursing.
That’s what going deeper into His Presence looks like.
Leaning in and abiding is a supernatural experience. YOU HAVE PERMISSION TO TURN YOUR BRAIN OFF. He’s the God of the impossible, which we all agree on, and He CAN bend time for us. His reality in Heaven is OUR reality because we are seated WITH HIM in Heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6) and if He is the God of the impossible, He can change circumstances, literally stop time (He did it for Joshua) and change our perspective if we allow Him to.
He did it for me this very morning.
God didn’t just want to fill a place called Heaven with a bunch of humans, He wanted INTIMATE FRIENDSHIP with us.
Everything that Jesus went through was for INTIMATCY. I am convinced that one of the devil’s best tricks is to cause us to forget that fact and to keep us from going deeper and lingering longer.
Why stop short of everything He has for us? Even if you feel that you can’t take it anymore, let Him burn you with His love a bit longer. Burning leaves a mark, yes, but it’s a heavenly mark that has the supernatural power to transform the earth.
Next time you are pressing in and feel the need to “come out” a little early, I dare you to press in just a bit longer. Watch the GLORY that comes forth! He is so worthy.
~ Mandy Woodhouse