Taking a step back and thinking to myself "how can life be this good" has become a daily occurrence since living in Redding and being a part of the Bethel community.
Last night, this was especially true as I stood under a cloud of God's manifest glory with eyes full of tears and a heart full of child-like awe.
I was sitting in the overflow room at Bethel worshipping and adoring the love of my life and I had a vision of God, but all I could see were whirlwinds of colour surrounding him. This was a high energy vision with lots of sound (that I could hear with my 'spiritual ears' only); sounds of thunder and swirling winds, and the image seemed to be rapidly changing and evolving although I couldn't quite make out any distinct images amidst the blur of colour.
I then had a vision of Bethel church as it stands upon the hill, and I saw it as being a supernatural airport. There was much spiritual activity surrounding the building and a wide open heaven over it's entire area. There were heavenly beings and substances ascending and descending and it were as if the membrane between heaven and earth was nonexistent.
I was then 'awakened' from this vision by the sounds of cheering coming from the sanctuary. I knew in my spirit that the glory cloud was here again, and so it was.
Without thinking twice, I rushed into the sanctuary and began to sob as the overwhelming peace and manifest presence of God filled the room.
I looked above me and saw what can only be explained as a blizzard of a gold glitter-like substance hanging thick in the air. This 'cloud' was seemingly alive and active, it was moving, growing and swirling. As we began to sing out "Our Father in Heaven" the glittery mass increased as if positively responding to the praise of the people.
Why He chooses to reveal himself in this way is beyond human reason, but what I do know is that there was not a being in the building that wasn't captivated and awestruck with the wonder of God.
I felt Him say to me that we need to expect the tangible, physical manifestations of His Glory and Goodness if we have any hope of revealing him to the world. The days of empty words are done. Now is the time of undeniable invasions of heaven, whereby experiences trump arguments and analytical reasoning. I also felt the two words "glory" and "power" and that we are in the days of God's glory and power being realized by our generation unlike any successive generations that have gone before us.
The membrane between heaven and earth is thinner than ever and to be alive and part of an army of radical lovers of God at such a time as this is the highest honor.
2012 is the year of heaven meets earth, and His will being done in the here and the now.
I get chills down my spine at the revelation of His goodness and how he delights in revealing his glorious self to the eyes, hearts and minds of his bride.
And do you know what the best part is? This is only the beginning. Glory to Glory is our inheritance. Heaven on earth our reality. His presence our continual companion.
It is a joy to be alive and truly living.
Monday, January 16, 2012
Saturday, January 14, 2012
Here is the post that I wrote for Phil Drysdale's blog. I wanted to share it on my own page as well because I feel that this encompasses so much of what the Lord has been speaking to me about lately.
Jesus, Our Doorway To Bliss:
Blood gushes from the wounds of a scorned King and stains the wood on which his tender body hangs. The curtain tears violently, along with His flesh. Through his wounds, lost children run into the open arms of their Father, Creator. Through the torn curtain a Royal Priesthood shamelessly enters the Holy of Holies, their eternal dwelling place. A divine exchange. Separation for union. Striving for rest. Desert for Eden. He became the new and living way, the Ancient doorway unto the Everlasting God, and invited all to step through the curtain of his broken flesh into a new life, real life. As I lifted my feet in faith and walked through the cross-shaped door, who I once was gave way to who I was created to be.
A few years ago I had a head-on collision with the real Gospel that had been hidden under the illusion of freedom that was once my reality. This marked the start of a radical pendulum shift in every avenue of life, every thought process and every once warped view of Father God and myself. As if I had been born-again, again, I began to see everything with new eyes through the lenses of Grace. I traded in my do-it-yourself morality program for a life of embracing all that he had already done for me. His blood purchased in a moment what a lifetime of human sweat and tears never could.
Ever since, Jesus has swept me off on an adventure of discovering the sweet and intoxicating dimensions that lie like secret passageways behind the cross.
For the most part of my Christian life, the cross meant forgiveness of sins and this was the pinnacle of its purpose, until Holy Spirit opened up the world behind the John 17 prayer for union. Jesus prayed “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am.” At the core of God clothing himself in humanity, was an unquenchable desire to not only be with the ones he loved, but to have them inside him, and he in them. As the sinful nature was the only thing that stood to prevent this, through his death, he changed the genetic code of everyone who would come to him by faith and through a divine transaction, replaced our sin with his own holiness. Like the mixing of two colors, we have become one new substance in Christ, and the Father cannot tell where we end and Christ begins. “I have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me.” (Galatians 2:20)
The mystery of “Christ in me” is one I have been blissfully freefalling into since the day he revealed this to me, and I know I will never see its end. Life as a new creation means that we not only have access to Christ, but we have his DNA and have been grafted into the bloodline of the trinity. Wherever we go, the holiness in us diffuses out into the darkest parts of the atmosphere that are most thirsty for the reality of true light.
As new creatures in Christ, we are his dwelling place, the contact point between heaven and earth. We live with one foot in time, the other in eternity whilst our entire being is saturated in his presence. Christ doesn’t live in one compartment of our hearts, but all of Him dwells in all of us. Every cell, every atom filled with all the fullness of God. We haven’t merely come into the tabernacle, the tabernacle has become us. Living, breathing vessels of the presence of God, a bride that with one glance of her eye captivates her beloved. He has created us with the ability to take his breath away, to mesmerize Him with our flawless beauty as we sit at his banqueting table adorned with jewels of purity and draped in robes of righteousness. The King swept us off our feet and carried us into the bridal chamber, the innermost place of intimacy where he is eternally delighting in us. Whether our consciousness realizes it, we are ever being adored by the King, ever feasting on the bounty of His house, and ever drinking from the torrent of divine pleasure. His presence is not something we come in and out of as the ancient priests once did, but is a constant state of being that is both in us and around us. Whether in solitude and on our knees, or in the midst of chaos and confusion, we are the target of all the Beloved’s affections and all his delight is in us, his bride. (Song of Solomon 7:10).
“The Kingdom of God cometh not with observation, the Kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:21). Our walk of faith is not about lifting ourselves up onto our tip-toes trying to reach to the top of heaven’s closet and pull the nearness of God towards ourselves. The Kingdom has been placed within, this is where the King is enthroned, and this is where he can be found. Distance from his presence exists only between the ears. To assume we are still separate from the King and can know distance from his presence is to assume Jesus failed on the cross. Intimacy is the height of his desire. Oneness was His mission. Union is the trophy of the cross. He in us and us in him. We walk to the rhythm of the beating of His heart. Our spirit dances with His to the Song of Songs. This life is a marriage of wills, a harmony of desires and an infusion of two things, that have become inseparably one.
Some people travel the world to find themselves. I find myself hidden in him
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
My vision for 2012 is that I have a vision that goes beyond myself, my own needs and wants and my own haves and have-nots.
This year my vision is to see my life change the lives of those around the world through the power of genuine love, honor and service.
Life is too short to live it just for yourself, and this year I am choosing to lend a helping hand to the world at large, in the big and small things alike.
If you would like to get on board and help me fulfill this vision, here's how:
Here's the link to my Bethel profile in which you can donate towards the mission
Monday, January 2, 2012
"Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. 19 For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous. 20 Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased,grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." - Romans 5:18-21
How many sins does it take to become a sinner? None.
We were once called sinners not because we committed a sinful act but because we were born into the bloodline of Adam. Through one man's sin, all who would be born upon the Earth would possess the same nature as their forefather, a nature prone to sin. It was not what we did that made us unrighteous but who we were. Birth always determines identity. You are given your father's last name and it is His blood that pulses through your veins. You didn't become a part of your family by mimicking their actions and gestures, rather you were born with their DNA, and just as you did nothing to receive their genetic code, so you can do nothing to change it.
How many good deeds does it take to become righteous? None.
We have been made righteous not because we did any amount of good deeds but because we were born again into the bloodline of Christ, the last Adam. Through one man's life of righteousness, holiness has been imputed to all who simply believe that he died for us, and with us, so that he could ascend to the Father carrying us in Him. Birth always determines identity. We were not adopted into the family of God by trying to mimic the life of Jesus and climb the ladder of the law hoping to someday make it up to heaven, but by our simple faith in Christ's accomplishment's on our behalf, he gave us his DNA, for we died with him, a death to the nature of Adam, and were raised with him to a life of righteousness. We did nothing to deserve this, nor can we do anything to change this.
Now that's amazing grace.
This week I had the honor of writing a guest post for my friend Phil's blog entitled "Jesus, our doorway to bliss." Click here to read it.