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I had just been prayed for and could really feel the Lord's presense all over me. I felt so passionately in love with Jesus and so greatful for all the wonderful things He has been doing in my life. I found myself wanting to somehow bless Jesus back. I wanted to give Him a present to say "thank you" for all that He has been doing for me. It was a puzzling question for me. What could I possibly bring to Jesus that He did not already own? He owns all of my possessions. How about my obediance? No, I've already pledged that to Him, so He already owns it. What about my Worship? Well, He is SO worthy of all worship, so I would only be giving Him His due. So what do you bring the One who already literally "has everything"?
As I lay there, my mind drifted back to something that I believe the Lord had recently shown me during a time of prayer and meditation -- about how the members of the Trinity bless each other and are in fellowship with each other. I am sure that the words I choose to describe what He showed me are inadequate, but it was something to the effect of "Sometimes Jesus and the Holy Spirit conspire together to bless the Father. Sometimes the Father and Jesus team up together to bless the Holy Spirit and somtimes the Father and the Holy Spirit plot together to bless Jesus. They never do it behind the Other's back, for each member of the Trinity is all knowing, but they do team up to bless each other. And they do succeed in blessing each other." (I know that some of you will not agree with this "theology", and that is OK.) But while I was laying there I was strongly reminded of what I believe the Lord had shown to me. I found myself asking the Holy Spirit if I were allowed to conspire together with Him to please Jesus. I told Him that I would like very much to bring Jesus a gift that really pleased Him. I asked the Holy Spirit to please help me find a gift suitable to bring to Jesus just then.
Suddenly, I was remembering when I was a little girl. It was mother's day and I did not have any presents to give my mother, because I did not have any money to purchase anything. So I went into the yard and picked some flowers for her. Now technically, I was not giving her anything that she did not already own. But I remembered her vivid delight when I gave them to her. Suddenly flowers seemed a fitting present to bring to my King. Yes, I would like to bring Him a lovely bouquet of flowers. But where does one find flowers when one is laying flat on one's back on a hardwood gym floor?
"I will pick some weeds from the garden of your heart and turn them into flowers. Then you may do with them as you please."
Could that really have been the Lord's voice? No, it was probably my immagination. After all, picking weeds from one's heart sounds like inner healing and the Lord was not doing an inner healing type of thing with me just then. He was doing more of a love an intimacy type of thing.
I lay there for a while, lost in His goodness. I could feel His sweet presense around me, it seemed to saturate every part of my being. I was so passionately in love with Him and so greatful to be His. I mentioned to the Lord what I thought I heard and told Him that if that realy was His voice and His plan, that was fine with me, but I kinda concluded that I'd heard wrong.
Well, eventually the sense of the Lord's presense diminished and I was able to get up. I could still sense His presense lightly on me. (I was staying with Doug and Marsha and wanted to check in with them in case they needed to go home). Doug came over the instant I sat up and helped me up. He said that they were not in a hurry and that it would be fine to get some more prayer if I wanted to. (Of course, I wanted to!)
I stood there and closed my eyes and just worshipped. In the back of my mind I kinda hoped someone from the ministry team would come and pray for me. But the Lord's presence on me increased so drasticly that I began to think that He was by-passing prayer and simply falling on me as though I'd already been prayed for. I became really lost in His presence and was having trouble standing up. I could feel myself swaying and it occurred to me that I might fall and I remembered that a hardwood gym floor is probably not a good thing to land on. But then I was reminded of His goodness. If He really did choose to take me down without a catcher, He would assure that I was not injured. I stopped thinking about the possiblity of falling and concentrated on Him instead. His nearness was so wonderful. I found myself wishing that I could be in His manifest presense 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Then I started to get a mental image of it being normative for all Christians, not just me, to walk in this type of intimacy with Him day in and day out as we went about doing the Father's business. I saw myself walking and standing and functioning very effectively, but still bathed with an all prevailing sense of His presense on me. 'Yes, Lord,' I prayed, 'please make it become normal for all of us to walk in the level of intimacy with You that You desire for us!'
Suddenly I heard a woman's voice praying softly in tongues and felt a light touch on my back. I cracked open my eyes to see an oriental gal, probably in her twenties, standing in front of me. I caught sight of a pink ministry team tag on her chest and then closed my eyes again. I had a strong sense that the Lord had hand-picked this team to come and pray for me. At first her prayers were the general sort that we all pray when the Lord is not showing us anything else -- like "fill her Lord" and "come minister to your daughter". Then the catcher started praying. At first I was surprised then I realized that the catcher was also am ministry team member. But the catcher's prayers were sharp and specific and matched exactly the recent cries of my heart to the Lord. She would pray things like "Lord, she wants to discern Your voice and be assured that it is really You she is hearing. Lord she wants to move in Your power and Your authority and to be used by You to do Your kingdom business..." I found myself praying "Yes, Lord! Yes, Lord!" as she echoed the prayers of my heart. For quite a while both women repeated back my recent prayer closet prayers to the Lord -- of of which are know to folks on new-wine and some of which are not known. There were several short prophesies interspersed with these prayers, all of which were recent words the Lord had spoken over me and in the correct order. By now the Lord really had my attention and I knew that He was orcherstarting this ministry time. His presense came on me so strongly that I started shaking and I think my arms were making chopping motions. I was aware of these manifestions, but they were not very important to me at all. What was important was the Lord's presense and how He was prophetically repeating back to me the prayers I had been praying before Him.
"See, Teresa," the Lord spoke to me, "I do hear your prayers. And I am demonstrating this to you right now."
A few moments later, one of the ministry team women launched into a short prophesy that started "Know that I hear your prayers. I am pleased with You..."
Yes, I knew He heard my prayers. I found myself breaking into silent prayer during the prophesy. As He said "I am pleased with you", I found myself praying along "Yes, Lord, I want to please You with all of my being!" I realized that I was praying future tense, like it was something that had not occurred yet. But the Lord was speaking present tense, indicating that He was already pleased. Somehow this jarred my being. How could sinful inperfect me possibly be pleasing to God? The prophesy went on and the Lord was addressing my inability to receive what He was saying to me. He was not angry with me about it, but He was corretly pointed out that I have trouble believing that I could possibly be pleasing to Him.
The Holy Spirit really bore witness to my spirit about this prophesy. He would speak something quietly to me and then the a few seconds later use the ministry team person to prophesy the same thing to me. He would keep speaking to my heart the same thing that she prophesied but just ahead of when she would say it. I was so overwhelmed by His goodness to me and awed at His love for me. It really began to sink into my spirit that He really was pleased with me.
The prophesy ended, but the Lord kept speaking to me. He told me that He was not some ogre, impossible to please. Rather, He has given us guidelines in His word of how to please Him and then He really is pleased when we follow His guidelines. I was so overcome by this revelation that I tuned out what they were praying for me. Immagine that -- God really is pleased with us when we really do concentrate ourselves to loving Him with all of our heart and all of our soul and all of our spirit. "Yes," He seemed to be saying, "When my children give Me the Lordship in their lives, I start changing them so that even the desires of their hearts are pleasing to Me. I will work this good work in all who seriously ask Me to and I have worked this good work in you."
About then I became aware of the oriential lady praying, "Lord, make this real to her. Allow her to believe in her heart what You are speaking to her right now."
I was overwhelmed with a sense of awe at who He was and of how He was capable of orcherstarating this type of ministry to me. Then I became even more overwhelmed at His great love for me that He would desire to orcherstrate this type of ministry to me. Suddenly the box that I kept God in got a little bigger and He became a big enough God to be pleasable -- that it was possible for His children, sinful nature and all, to literally cause Him pleasure as we endevored to follow the guidelines He layed down in His word. Of course, it is not possible to keep everything He laid down in His word because of our sinful nature. But as we endevor to make Him Lord of all and to enter into intimacy with Him, He is pleased. We can literally please God. I can literally please God! wow!
Then I became aware of the prayers again. They started praying that God would heal any rejection that was left in me and pull out and heal the darts of condemnation that others had thrown into me. They asked Him to heal those wounds so that it would not hinder me in the ministry He has called me to. Immediately I started thinking, "Oh, this does not apply to me. God has already healed me of rejection and condemnation from others is not an issue..."
"Teresa," the Lord said, "Are you not willing to receive from my hand what I have for you? Don't let your pride get in the way of the good thing I want to do in you."
Ouch. I felt reproved. God was right. Clearly He was orcherstrating this ministry time. He had already confimed to me that He had to be involved in this. Who was I to pick and choose what I would or would not receive from Him? I told Him that I was sorry that that I would receive from Him whatever He had for me. Instantly, I felt God smile and I felt His warmth and His healing penetrating every part of my being. He started showing me how the condemnation of others was frequently their disapproval to me when I did not live up to their expectations and offered me freedom from their expectations. He offered to replace the expectations of others with His own expectations instead. He started showing me how this effected my ministry -- such as a timidness to do deliverance because of fear that one of my pastors (who is not fond of deliverance) would disapprove. He brought back to my memory some times when I'd been minsunderstood and wrongly condemned that were very painful memories for me. He showed me how some of those experiences effect my behavior today. But He poured so much of His love and His presense into each memory that it stopped being so painful.
"Teresa," He said, "I am pulling weeds from your heart right now."
I was startled.
"Remember," He continued, "that earlier this evening I told you that I was going to do this. Now I am doing it."
Suddenly I was in vision. I was still on the gym floor recieving prayer and shaking under His power. But I was also standing with Him in the garden of my heart. An invisible hand was plucking up some weeds from the garden floor by the roots. It handed those weeds to me.
I stood there with my hand outstretched, holding the weeds. They were limp and ugly and the roots hung down. The top part of the weeds slouched over my hand and hung limply near the roots. There was absolutely nothing desirable or attractive about them. Then Jesus came and stood infront of me. He stretched out His hand over the weeds. Suddenly they were transformed into a lovely bouquet of flowers, suitable to give to a king.
I remembered my passionate desire from earlier that evening to give Jesus a gift. I remembered laying on the gym floor wondering where I would be able to find flowers to give to Jesus. I remembered the Holy Spirit whispering to me that He was going to pull some weeds from the garden of my heart and turn them into beautiful flowers. I could smell the sweet fragrance of the bouquet and knew it would be acceptable to the Lord. I remembered the Lord telling me that after He'd transformed the weeds into flowers, they'd be mine to do with whatever I wanted. So now I had my flowers to give to Jesus and there was Jesus right before me, ready to receive them from my hand....
You'll never guess what I did next.
As I handed the flowers to Him, I was again lost in a sense of His love and goodness. Much later I became aware that the oriental lady was sitting on the floor next to me, still praying for me. I was surprised and delighted that she had stayed with me so long.
The Lord spoke to me once more and said, "Teresa, just as you brought a present to me, I had a present for you this evening. She " (indicating the ministry team lady) "is my present to you." Suddenly, I was overcome with an intense desire to be His present to others as I ministered back at my own church. I was strongly reminded of Romans 12:10 "Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves." I began to see how this is possible if we are first rooted securely in His love for us. Then I just lay back and enjoyed His presense some more...
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