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I hear you talk a lot about "intmacy with God," saying that our closeness to God is critical in our ability to hear His voice cleary and to prophesy well.Dear Is It For Me
What does it look like and how does one obtain it? It is something that any of us can persue, or is it just for a select few who God chooses?--Is It For Me?
Several of the prophetic-school students have written me and asked me about what intimacy with God might look like. It is a close friendship with God that we experience on two levels. The first is the day in and day out relationship and fellowship with God. The other level is those "special experiences" that we have with the Lord. We won't have special experiences with Him on a daily basis (or they would not be special, they'd be normal and fall back into the first category.). But we should expect to have them on a regular basis--not just once or twice in our life, but frequently. I think it is reasonable to expect to have a deep personal encounter with God at least once or twice a month, and maybe more frequently than that.
God loves each of His children and desires to have a "special time" with each one of us. He does not reserve those wonderful experiences with Him for the super-mature or the privileged few; He wants to have them with each of us. However, there is a catch. If we want to have these deep personal experiences with God, then we have to demonstrate to Him that we love Him and that we are hungry for Him. We have to show Him that we want it as much as He does.
How do we show that to God? We show it by making a continuous decision to obey Him because we love Him. We allow Him to be Lord of every area of our livers. Jesus said in John 14:15, "If you love Me, then obey My commandments." He told us the way we cab show God that we love Him, and it is by choosing obey Him put Him first in all things. That decision is not because we are afraid of being punished if we disobey Him, but it is because we love Him so much we want to please Him.
When we have that attitude of "hunger for God," then Psalm 37:4 is for us. It says, "Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart." If we delight in the Lord, that means that when want and desire Him more than anything else. Psalm 37:4 tells us that when we want God that badly, He gives Himself to us. And that is what opens the door for us to have those intimate and special personal experiences with God.
I would like to share one of mine with you, to give you an idea of what God wants you to experience. This is not "normal" for me, it was a special time with God, but it is the type of thing that we can (and should) expect to experience on a regular and ongoing basis.
[Your personal experiences may not look like mine, but they can (and should) be just as rich and wonderful as what I am about to describe.] God really does want to have this deep intimate relationship with you and He wants you to experience Him more directly.
The experience I am sharing happened on Sunday July 22, 2007; just before I left for a missions trip to Singapore. I went to church Sunday morning and I got on an airplane for Singapore Sunday night. I wrote it while I was on the plane en route to Singapore and I'd like to share it with you, and I pray that you will have many similar experiences with Him...God did an amazing thing with me today at church. At the start of service, they prayed for me for my upcoming missions trip to Singapore. Rodney (our senior pastor) called me to the front and invited a group of people to come up and pray for me. It was good prayer, but it only lasted about 5 minutes. The prayer finished shortly after the worship music started, so I went back to my seat and started to worship.
After a few minutes the Lord spoke to me. "Teresa, you have just been prayed for regarding this trip. Would you like Heaven to pray for you as well?"
"Yes, Lord. That would be wonderful." I wondered if I would be able to hear the prayers or if this would happen as I worshipped.
"I will let you will hear some of them," The Lord said, but not all of them."
Apparently the heavenly prayer time started right away, and I had all sorts of unusual physical sensations. It felt like I was being touched on different parts of my body--mostly my feet. I never saw any of the angels, but from time to time I heard some of their prayers, as if they had spoken audibly.
One thing I have noticed about Heaven's prayers is that they are usually very short, but a lot of things happen in my life in response to them. I heard two angels pray over me. The first one said, "That she would be bold and fearless." Right after that, a second angel said, "That she would know God's will."
Then I did not hear anything else for a while, so I pondered the two prayers I had heard. I really liked both of them. They fit me for where I was at in my life and I started wondering how God was going to answer those prayers.
Then Jesus came and prayed for me. He lightly touched my forehead and prayed, "That she would be My witness."
My heart did a flip flop. I was particularly excited about His prayer because I have been desiring a stronger measure of the gift of evangelism for some time now. Jesus' prayer sounded like God was about to release it into my life, and I loved the idea of that. Jesus had prayed for me twice before (that I can remember). And each time that He did, there was a noticeable change in me in response to His prayer. I expected that the same thing would happen with this prayer, and the thought excited me. I felt undone and I could not help but break into a deeper level of worship.
I worshipped for a few minutes, thanking God for the promised of increased evangelism anointing and looking forward to it. Then God the Father began to speak to me. It was not audible, it was in my thoughts. He spoke to me the way He always speaks to me. But what He had to say to me was wonderful and exciting.
"Teresa, would you like to give yourself to Me for this purpose?"
My first thought was "Yes, Lord!" But then I remembered that I already belonged to Him, and I was not mine to give to anyone...I already belonged to God. I felt almost sad that I could not respond to Him with a "yes."
"Lord, I am already Yours."
"Yes, but if you could give yourself to Me for this purpose, would you?"
"Oh yes, Lord, I would!"
God seemed pleased. He reminded me of the time I'd given myself to Him--I am not talking about salvation, but a dedication to be set aside as His servant; set aside for His plans and purposes, to do whatever He asked of me. A part of that was giving up my rights to disagree with His itinerary and requests. The memory of it came flooding back into my memory.
I was soaking in His presence in a renewal meeting in San Francisco, doing what they call "carpet time." I can't remember if I initiated it or if Jesus initiated it, but I found that I was giving myself to Jesus and dedicating myself to serve Him no matter what He asked. Jesus accepted me and then He picked me up in His arms as if I was a small child. Jesus held me for a while, and it felt so good to be in His arms. I could feel His love and acceptance and love penetrating every part of my being, and it was wonderful.
After a while, Jesus asked me, "would you be willing to let Me give you to My father as a present to Him?" I gave my permission, and then I became aware of Jesus (who was still holding me) handing me to someone. I realized that He was handing me to God the Father. I could not see Him, but I could feel Him holding me and I was surrounded by a brilliant light. Then God the Father said that He accepted me from Jesus. It felt so neat to be accepted by God. At that time I still had a lot of rejection issues, so I was overcome with begin accepted by the Father. He held me for some time and then He told me, "Teresa, I receive you as a present to Myself, and I am giving you as a gift to the Church. Are you willing to do that for Me?"
That all happened a long time ago, but it came flooding back into my memory in detail as if it had just happened. I suspect that God had recalled it to me. Then He said, "This time it is a bit different. This time I am giving you to the world. Are you willing to do that for Me?"
Yes, I was! I loved that idea and I was so excited about what He said. I felt His nearness and for a while I was just lost in Him. During that time, I got a sense that the Holy Spirit would also pray for me, like Jesus had done. I expected that to be the next thing on God's agenda. But instead, I began to hear more angel prayers for me.
The first one prayed, "That she be strong!" I said a silent AMEN to that.
"That shed be unstoppable!" another angel prayed.
I was really loving this prayer time. I had never experienced anything like it before. I was amazed at how well the prayers of the angels reflected what I needed to be effective in the Lord! This was an incredible experience for me, but it was not over yet.
God the Father began to speak to me again. It was that "still small voice" that was not audible; it was in my thoughts. But it was clear and distinct, and there was no doubt in my mind that God was speaking to me.
He asked me if I would like to receive His anointing. He said that I need this anointing to do what Jesus prayed for me. Then He said something almost alarming. He said, "With this anointing comes both sorrow and great joy."
I wasn't so sure I liked the sorrow part. I wondered if it mean that I would have to pay some horrible price to get this anointing. I was reminded of what Jesus said about the newly converted apostle Paul, 'I will show him the things he has to suffer for Me.' I thought to myself, 'Sorrow doesn't sound so good, but I guess it is better than suffering." So I told the Lord that I was willing.
One thing I have noticed about God--many times when He puts a choice before you, He doesn't explain it very well until after you have made the choice, and then the choice turns out not to be nearly as "bad" (or difficult) as it sounded when you made it. That is what happened. God began to explain it to me after I made the choice. He told me that the sorrow would come from my heart breaking for the lost, and I would begin to experience great compassion for them.
Then He said that I'd been carefully guarding my heart so that I would not be hurt, and I would not be allowed to do that any more. God wanted to take that over. He would let in things that "hurt" from time to time, but it would enable me to really have His compassion for the lost. I would have to stop 'protecting myself' and trust Him to protect Me (in the context of guarding my heart.). It sounded scary at first, but I knew He was trustworthy and that He would never give me more than I can bear.
About then, the worship part of the service was ending, and Rodney was taking the podium to preach. At first I was a bit confused as to why the Holy Spirit had not prayed for me. But before I could ask God about it, the Holy Spirit told me that He would pray for me "later." I assumed that "later" meant the ministry time at the end of the service. But that came/went, and the Holy Spirit still had not prayed for me. I was starting to feel concerned. Had I heard God wrong? Or had I accidentally done something to upset Him?
I asked the Holy Spirit what was going on. He replied that I had not heard wrong, but I had made assumptions about what He said to me. I had assumed He was going to pray for me at church, but He had other plans. He said that He was going on this trip with me and He was going to pray for me each day. That really excited me, because when God prays for you, you know the prayer is going to be answered. (Could you imagine God the Father saying "No" to something that Jesus or the Holy Spirit asked for?)
He told me what His first prayer for me was on the plane to Tai Wan, shortly before we landed. His prayer was, "That she might be balanced." At first I did not understand that prayer and I asked Him about it. Did He consider my theology "off balance?" Or was He referring to my personality, or what? He explained that He was referring to my physical body and internal systems. The time change really throws a person's internal clock off and they find themselves want to sleep during the day and being unable to sleep at night. It also had to do with my overall health, my immune system, etc. Balanced meant functioning the way that God created it to function. When He explained it to me, I found myself thinking, "Wow, that is a great prayer for someone who is traveling internationally with a 15 hour time difference." God is really smart and the more I get to know Him, the more I realize that He really knows what He is doing.
His second prayer came about eight hours later, while I was in the air from Tai Wan to Singapore. I really liked this prayer. He prayed, "That she might be blessed."
At first I was excited that He had prayed that for me--after all, we all like to be blessed. Then I started doing the "math" and figured out that He'd prayed for me twice in the same day. I figured that meant one of the two prayers had to be my imagination. I was trying to sort out which one was the "real prayer" and which was my imagination. The Holy Spirit spoke to me again. He said, "Teresa, there you go with another assumption. I said I'd pray for you each day, but I never said it would only be once a day. I felt like praying for you twice today, so I did."