[ To Walking Index Page] [ To Previous Article ] [ To Next Article ]
I was at Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship for their renewal meetings the week of July 2 to July 7. On Saturday, July 6, I was asked to give my testamony of a physical healing that occurred earlier that week. After I gave my testamony a small group of ministry team people prayed for me. At first there was so much power that I could not process what all was happening. I think I had some physical manifstations in reaction to all that power, such as shaking, crying out, stomping my feet, etc. At some point I ended up on the floor. Someone stayed beside me and "soaked" me in prayer as the service continued. At first I was quite overwhelmed by all the power of God that had hit me. But after a bit things quited down and I found myself dropping deep into intimacy prayer with the Lord. I told Him that I did not just want to have some experience, I wanted to come away from this changed and transformed to be more like Him.
I was aware that a lady from the ministry team was sitting near my head and holding my right hand and praying quietly for me. I could not near what she was praying. I was also mildly aware that the service was going on, but it did not seem very important to me at that point and I was not paying much attention to it. I was very aware of the Lord's presense surrounding me and I wanted to be closer to Him. Then I had a "vision". I use the term rather loosely, because it did not work the way I expect visions to work. I did not see very much in terms of images or pictures, but I experienced it. I was mildly aware of laying on the floor by the stage as the meeting progressed, but at the same time I was experiencing things that were occurring somewhere else, including tactile feelings and hearing voices, etc. From time to time I'd get brief flashes of visual images, but for the most part this "vision" was not all that visual.
When it first started, I knew I was laying on the floor and the Lord invited me to take His hand and go for a walk with Him. The ministry team lady already had my right hand, so I reached out my left hand in what I thought was a symbolic gesture. Just then someone took my left hand. I remembered thinking to myself that this was a neat prophetic symbol -- someone from the ministry team taking my hand at just the percise moment that I was taking the Lord's hand. I cracked my eyes open to see who it was who'd taken my hand just then. There was not anyone there. I did a doubletake because I could still feel the pressure of the hand holding my hand. I looked at my left hand and no one was holding it. I said to myself "Oh, wow!" and then I closed my eyes. This is when I realized that I was having some type of deep supernatural experience with the Lord.
The Holy Spirit spoke to me and told me that He was going to take me for a walk. In my mind's eye, I pictured Him taking me to a grassy meadow or something like that for a neat time of intimacy with God.
"No, it's not like that, Teresa. I'm going to take you for a walk through the Bible."
I remember feeling a tad disappointed. I really had my heart set on some deep intimacy type of thing with Him. But before I had a chance to react to what I'd been told, we were walking. He was leading me. I really couldn't see much of anything. I was still mildly aware of laying on the floor with my eyes closed. Yet at the same time, I could feel the pressure of a hand holding my left hand and leading me. I had the sensation of walking along, following where I was being led.
After not very much time, we stopped. I had a sensation of standing before someone, but did not really physically see this person. I started to feel alarmed and began wondering what was going on. The Holy Spirit asked me if I trusted Him and I told Him that I was afraid I was either imagining this or going off of the deep end. I wanted Him to reassure me that what was happening to me was really from God. I asked Him to please make it stop if it was not from Him. He told me that this was a vision and that He was quite involved in it. I remembered thinking to myself that this could not really be a vision because I wasn't seeing much. The Lord responded that this was really a vision from Him and that He was trustworthy to stop this if I called out to Him and it was not really from Him. He explained that He was taking me to meet 6 people from the Bible, 3 from the old testament and three from the new testament. This seemed really weird to me and yet His peace started to wash over me. I could continue to sense His presense around me. I flashed out a quick prayer asking Him to be in charge of all happened to me right now and to not allow anything that was not really from Him. He told me that He heard my prayer and that this really was a vision from Him, even though it did not work the way I expected visions to work.
Then I was again aware of standing before a person. I could not really see the person, but I got a quick mental flash of a very hairy person. This person was wearing a hairy bathrobe like thing and had hairy arms and a big frizzy beard. I remembered thinking to myself that it must either be Elijah or John the Baptist.
"This is Elijah." The Holy Spirit said.
I remembered thinking to myself, "I can't really be talking to Elijah, he's not alive."
"But I never died." It was as though he could hear my thoughts. "In fact, it is 'easier' for me to talk to you than for the others to do so since my time on earth is not yet complete. Technically I am still alive."
Then it hit me. I was interacating with one of the most powerful men of God that ever walked the earth; someone who I admired tremenously. Elijah is one of my "heros of the faith". In fact, I'd heard a sermon once about how our vision is not big enough. The main illustration had been how Elijah was a man who walked in an incredible level of the Lord's power. Elisha could have been content to pray for the same portion of anointing as Elijah, but instead he prayed for double Elijah's anointing -- and God gave it to him. Since then, I'd often mimiced Elisha's prayer for double Elijah's anointing -- only I'd asked for double Elisha's anointing. But I don't think I ever really expected God to answer that prayer.
My mind flashed over that background. It seemed totally amazing to actually meet this person who I'd admired for so long. I wasn't really sure what to do, so I just stood there.
"Teresa, I am sent to impart into you double my anoining." I had a sense of him throwing something like a cape over my head. I was instantly reminded of how Elijah had thrown his mantle over Elisha as he plowed his father's field. Yet, these words caught me by surprise. How often I'd prayed for this, but I never really expected God to answer my prayer. Could this really be happening? I was so astonished that I did not know how to respond, so I just stood there. Shortly after that he left and I no longer sensed him or the thing he'd thrown over my head.
I was startled and the intensity of the vision seemed to diminish. I was more aware of being on the floor at TACF and could hear Ian Ross's voice in the background.
"Lord," I prayed silently, "This is really weird. Are you sure it's really from You?"
"Yes, Teresa, it is really from Me. Do you feel the pressure of My hand holding yours? This is really a vision from Me."
"If it is a vision, how come I'm not seeing much?"
"Because it is a vision in your spirit, not a vision in your eyes."
Oh. That made sense to me and His peace washed over me. I began to think about the encounter with Elijah. Was that really him? Double Elijah's anointing. Wow! Then I began to remember my prayers from before. I'd been praying for double Elisha's anointing, who had double Elijah's anointing. That meant I was praying for 4 times Elijah's anointing, but I'd only been given two times it. Yet that was so much more than I ever dreamed God might consider giving me.
"Are you ready to go on?" You have two more Old Testament people to meet and then three new testament people to meet."
"Oh, can one of them be Jesus!" It was a plea more than a question.
"Yes, one of them will be Jesus. But first you must meet the other old testament people."
We walked a little farther and I was standing infront of someone else that I could not see. I sort of expected it to be Elisha, since I'd just met Elijah.
"No, this is Isaiah," the Holy Spirit said.
Isaiah? Passages from the book of Isaiah started running through my mind, particularly the sections that so accurately paint the Messiah. The clarity of prophetic flow that came from this man was incredible. How was he able to see so clearly what the Messiah would be like and what would happen to him? Oh, how I wished I could see in the prophetic like he did.
"That clarity of vision comes from deep intimacy with God. That is what I have been sent to impart into you.... the intimacy with God from which the prophetic clarity flows."
Then he was gone. I never had any type of mental picture of what he looked like. But I mulled over his words and they seemed to make such sense. Deep intimacy with God... of course it requires a close relationship with Him to be able to flow so accurately in the prophetic. Once Isaiah mentioned it, it was so obvious. Why hadn't I seen it before? I've been desiring deeper intimacy with God for a long time. I'd also been desiring an increased anointing for the prophetic. Now I find that the two are related. What a wonderful thing for him to impart into me!
The Holy Spirit took my hand again and led me to stand infront of another man. This time I had a fairly clear picture flash in my mind's eye. It was a short man, stocky and balding on top. His remaining hair was redish- brown and very curly. I had no idea who this could be.
"I am Amos."
Amos! One of the most successful intercessors in the Bible! Someone who I really respect. My mind flashed over Amos 7, which I had memorized. This man had been able to single-handedly turn back plagues with his intercession. He was a simple layman until God called him into prophetic and intercessory ministry. He had no formal training, yet he had such a powerful intercessory ministry.
"The reason for that was because I had a deep and sincere love for those who God given me to minister to." It was as though Amos could hear my thoughts and was answering my unspoken question. "That is the secret to successful intercession... a genuine love and concern for those whom God places in your care. And that is what I have come to impart into you -- the ability to sincerely and deeply love those who God has given to you to minister to. This love is not something that you can work up from your own emotions or from your own being. It is a love that comes from God and which God Himself plants in you as you allow Him to. This is what I am imparting into you... the ability to be full of God's love for those who He has assigned you to minister to."
Then he too was gone. But the Holy Spirit remained by my side, still holding my hand. He let me stand there for a few more minutes, pondering Amos' words and then lead me gently to the next person.
I never got a mental picture of this person, but I had a sense of conviction wash over me. Then the Holy Spirit said, "This is John the Baptist."
I stood there speechless.
"What I am imparting into you is the ability for deep and sincere repentence. You and the Church have repented as best as you know how, but it does not even begin to touch what is necessary. I am imparting into you the ability for the depth of repentence that is necesasry to prepare you for the remaining days. I am also imparting into you the ability to impart this repentence into others."
Then he was gone. I remained standing there.
After a little bit, someone walked up and stood in front of me. I had a fairly clear picture of this person and was able to recognize him as Stephen, the first martyr recorded in the New Testament. I was amazed by how young he was -- he looked like he was in his late teens or early 20s. I had always assumed that he was much older than that.
Immagine this! Standing before me was the man who had laid down his life so well for the Lord. He has always been one of my "heros of the faith." I have always looked up to him and admired him. For years I have believed that some day I might be called to lay down my life for the Lord, too. And my passionate hope has always been that, if/when my time comes, I will be able to do so as well as Stephen did. I have always had a deep admiration for Stephen since I first read Acts 7, twenty-five years ago.
"Teresa," the Holy Spirit said, "Stephen's claim to greatness is not in how well He laid down his life when he was called on to die for Me. But his distinction comes in how well He lived for Me before I asked him to lay down his life. He had a servant's heart, a passion to obey and honor Me, and great faith. He learned to walk in My power and to do with Me what I was doing to build My kingdom. That is what made him a great man of God. And that is why I allowed him the priviledge of being the first to chose to lay down his life for Me."
Then Stephen spoke to me. "I too have something to impart into you. I impart to you the ability to stand firm in the face of incredible adversity and to be fearless regardless of the consequences. I also impart into you the ability to die well for the Lord when your time comes."
Then he was gone.
I was so overcome that I almost could not stand it. I sort of wanted to withdrawl from the intensity of this thing. Then I became aware of my surroundings. I was on the floor near the platform. No one was near me now ... I guess the ministry team lady must have stopped praying for me and taken her seat. The worship team was playing and it was a very joyful and exuberant praise song. I flicked open my eyes. I was laying sort of under of one of their video screens and could make out what the video camera was showing. Alot of people were dancing in the asiles and others were clapping and bouncing to the music. There was great joy on everyone. Ian was saying something into the microphone about receiving the Father's blessing.
I asked the Holy Spirit if I could take a little break from this vision and just worship along with the praise music. He said that was ok, so I did. My heart was just bursting with praise and I simply could not contain it. I wanted to get up and dance, but I could not move. It was as though I was stuck to the floor. But my heart was full of joy and I was worshipping Him for all I was worth.
After about two songs, the music toned down to quieter praise. Then it stopped and Ian began to give an altar call for folks to accept Jesus. They began to get out of their seats and come up front (to the same area that I was laying in). The intensity of the Lord's presense increased very dramaticly as they were coming forward to accept Jesus. The intensity kept increasing until He seemed to be tangibly present among us.
In previous visions, I'd always seen Jesus a certain way, which was probably how He looked when He was alive as a human being. But this time He looked very different. His hair was white and very curly. His face and clothes glowed with a white light, so brillent that I had to squint. Even squinting, the light that emulated from Him was so bright that I could not make out the details of His features. In fact, it hurt my eyes and I squeezed them shut. Even with my eyes closed, I could still sense an intense brightness of the Lord's presense before me.
One time when I'd been in the Lord's presense before, I'd been so overwhelmed with a sense of His holiness (and my lack thereof) that I became like a blubbering idiot. The other times I'd been in His presense, I'd felt very afraid. I expected that I should either feel terrified or be overwhelmed by His holiness as I caught a glimpse of His glory. But neither of these things happened. Instead there was an overwhelming sense of peace and love. I knew beyond any shadow of a doubt that it was safe being close to Him and that I was loved.
We had a brief discussion where I got to ask Him some questions that had been troubling me about the Holy Spirit. He answered them for me. But even with His answers, I had trouble comperhending what He was saying. So He said, "Here, let Me show you."
Then He took His hand and placed in on my chest, like we often do when we are praying for someone at a renewal meeting. Only His hand did not stay on the outside, it reached right into my chest. He gently took my heart and wrapped His hand around it. It felt SO good to be under His touch like that.
"Lord," I prayed, "it feels so good to have Your hand inside of me. Please leave it there for a while and let me bask in it."
"Teresa," He said, "that is exactly what My Holy Spirit is -- My hand inside of you. That is what I wanted to show you."
He let me stay there with Him for a while. It felt so wonderful to be in His presense and under His touch. I wished it would never end, but knew it had to end sometime. Eventually He withdrew His hand. Yet that wonderful sensation remained. "That is My Holy Spirit in you. He will not leave you. He is My presense within you."
I don't know how much longer I basked in His presense. But eventually I began to become aware of my surroundings. The meeting was over and they were doing ministry in the back of the auditorium. The worship team was still playing. I decided that maybe it was time to get up now, since the vision seemed to be over. But I was still unable to get up.
"Teresa," the Lord said. "What I have shown you is for you and I have imparted things into you that you don't understand yet. But the vision is not just for you. It is also for My Church. I am imparting these same things into My church. I want you to tell it to them. In fact, I want you to recite it back to Me clearly and several times before you get up. You must share this accurately. You must not embleish on what you were shown and you must not leave anything out."
So we spent the next 15 to 20 minutes going over what had happened. I recited it to the Lord several times. Occasionally I would leave something out and He would remind me of what I left out and then have me try it again. One time I threw in a little "expansion" (or my own interpertation of what I'd expereinced). He corrected me and told me I must not add to what I'd seen. His presense and His sweetness remained on me as I recited the vision back to Him again and again. I was becoming more and more aware of my surroundings as we did this. Eventually it became a bit hard to concentrate because someone was standing near me and holding a conversation. I opened my eyes and glanced at her, then I closed my eyes again. The worship team stopped playing and they'd put a tape on. The intensity of the Lord's presense around me began to fade. Eventually the Lord told me I could get up, so I did.
I glanced at my wristwatch and it was after 10:30. I figure I'd probably been prayed for about 8:00 PM, so that meant I'd been out under the power for over two and a half hours. It certainly had not seemed anywhere near that long.
I walked to the back of the room, where the prayer lines were. But I felt so full to overflowing that I had no desire to get in a prayer line for more prayer. The Lord had met me so wonderfully. I stopped to silently thank Him for what He'd done in me. Then He replied, "I have imparted many things into you that you can't even begin to comperhend yet. But these are not just for you. They are also for My Church. Be sure to tell them what I have shown you."
[ To Walking Index Page ] [ To Previous Article ] [ To Next Article ]