Clouds and Fire

“Such as I have Lord, I give to this boy.”

It was a simple prayer. 

Inside the diner, I gently placed my right hand on top of the head of this little 3 year old, who, ironically perhaps, was also named Nathan (my oldest son’s name). His eyes were not set properly and when I asked the boy’s grandmother if I could pray for him, she was thrilled.

“He is actually going for surgery tomorrow.” She told me.

You don’t say? What are the odds of that? I disregarded that info, and spoke healing into his eyes, protection, and above all, that this tender little child would come to know His Savior personally. It was a simple prayer and when I opened my eyes, he was staring intently at me. Oh how I longed to scoop him into my arms and just hold him.. to let the love of God wash all over him. But you see, they did not know me. I was a stranger on the road to Jericho. So I had to keep all that in. I had to tame that passion. I had to remain … “normal.” That’s OK. We take what we can get, right?

Turning back to where my family was enjoying the remains of their meals, I was dimly aware that my children did not even think it odd that I was praying for a stranger… Perhaps amidst all the mistakes I am continuing to make, at least some aspect of His heart is printing on my two Sons of Thunder and my little Lamb. Perhaps….

It was then that I saw another couple, sitting at a table behind us. Neither of them were much older than twenty, if that, and they were quietly laughing. I knew immediately they shared a deep love for each other… a camaraderie that went well beyond the superficial platitudes of self-centered “friendships.” These two had each others backs. The girl’s hair was a dark blue, and his a matching shade as well, shaggy, with streaks of orange throughout. Their smiles were bright and countenance carefree.

But something was just itching at me. Not the agitation that I often get. Just…. something. I felt such love for them. I tried not to stare, but a passion for them rose up like a storm. The Fire Pillar within me that was fanned for the boy was now raging for this couple, and I could feel my eyes swelling.  I was vaguely aware I had stopped walking.

“What is it, Lord? What’s up?”

“I love them very much.” The Lord responded… “And they don’t know it.”

That… will never do.

“Hey, guys. Sorry to interrupt, but I just wanted to say…”

I spoke with them for no more than two minutes. I asked about their hair and shared with them how I could tell they were sweet, gentle people. She was in school for hair, and had in fact, done the styling herself on both their heads. After a moment more, I thanked them for their time, and rejoined my family.

Several minutes later I turned to see them standing right beside me. After a silence that perhaps might make even a dead person uncomfortable, she spoke.

“I wish you were my dad.” the young lady said… and for the first time in many, many years… I did not know what to say. I just… loved them both, so much… so… much.

So….I stood and asked them if they would be offended if I prayed over them. Collecting my composure, I blessed them with life, with hope, with joy and above all, they they would know how much the God who died to rescue them, also, in fact, loved them deeply. I gave them our number, and watched them walk out. I could spiritually see a deep, thick blanket of love placed upon them by the Lord. Almost like a cloud. That’s better…

I had forgotten about the event entirely, when I saw a text a few days later from the young lady.  She confessed to having considered ending her life that day, and added,

“….meeting you made me realize there are good people in the world…”

More than ever, this world needs the love of God revealed to them. Who dwells mightily inside us is Love personified. But how can we give it if we don’t actually understand it ourselves? 

That will never do….

We have all the power and dominion over the enemy. This means we have the power and dominion to set the captives free. I heard it once said that there is “a freight train living on the inside of us,” and He is raring to get out.  Get to know Him better. Choose to accept what His word says about how lovely He sees His children. We are accepted in the Beloved. We are beautiful in His sight. We have all dominion. We are given an open invitation to enter into the Holy of Holies. Jesus took the keys to all forms of death, including fear, anxiety, rejection, torment and shame. Forever. We have the ability to bring the kingdom everywhere we go… because it resides inside the reconciled child of God. He gave us eternal life. That eternal life is already inside us…. not sure exactly what that means?  Consider casting aside the worries, pleasures and fallen thinking of this world.

You are fully loved already. Meditate on these truths. We are called to think as He thinks. We cannot do this if we meditate on our own self-condemnation.  We are called to live holy (this means to express His nature inside us first.. And then out ). How can we do this if we choose to live lives that say we do not believe He loves us unconditionally and deeply?

“But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation–” Col 1:22

The greater we press into the reality of His love, the greater we will be motivated from His love, and in His love, to live lives consistent with His nature. This is where the fire pillar grows. This is where the rage of His consuming nature begins to consume His child. The blast furnace is within you. Holy Spirit is not idle. He churns and invites and longs to confirm the words of the Father toward Himself, you and those around you. 

“As Moses went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance, while the LORD spoke with Moses” Exod 33:9

“By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night.” Exod 13:21

The Pillar is the Holy Spirit manifested. That Cloud and that Fire is now within every child of God. 

That young boy and couple will never know, that by me being touched by Father’s heart, I will love them always, … but it has been my fervent prayer that through that encounter, they will know that the heart of the only One that truly matters, loves them passionately.

Theology and doctrine and expositions have their proper place in both the corporate body and our walk. But nothing… nothing…. replaces giving the love of God to others in all the varied forms that Holy Fire may wish to release it through His sons and daughters.  

This is a process. We must allow him to work from the inside out. Performing “dead works” (actions originating from the outside, in an attempt to change our inside)  to get God to love us more, is not only manipulative, it is also impossible. If we have personally accepted Christ as our Savior with all our heart, then we are already fully pleasing and loved and adored.  Father God longs for this intimacy, and the lost need us to be capable of carrying it and releasing it. It is all found with time spent “In Him.”

Oh, and by the way… the  more we spend time with Him, the more we will begin to feel His heart toward others. At this point we will never “feel” ready to interact with these individuals. LOL…. Just do it… and have fun.

 (Says the man who cries all the time)…

“Then Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? you have the words of eternal life.’ ” (John 6:68)

Now… what are we going to do about it, my dear family?

12 thoughts on “Clouds and Fire

  1. Armen! I added a couple of more words with this paragraph: ‘Performing “dead works” (actions originating from the outside, in an attempt to change our inside)  to get God to love  us more or become more spiritual, is not only manipulative, it is also impossible. We are already fully pleasing and loved and adored; We are called saints when we are in His son, Jesus, Christ. Father God longs for this intimacy, and the lost need us to be capable of carrying it and releasing it. It is all found with time spent “In Him.”’

    Thank you for Sharing!
    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

    • Amen Joanna. I tweaked that sentence. I sometimes forget that not all who read here may have yet accepted the free gift of salvation.

      These truths are TRUTH to those who have received His free gift of atonement for our sins.
      Thank you Sister 🙂

      David

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  2. Boy did this bless my heart to read with my coffee this morning. You are right, David. Whenever we spend more time alone in prayer with the Lord, the more it seems we absorb his character, the more he shares with us, and the more we begin to love the way that he loves.

    While reading this I was reminded of two experiences I had that blessed me and even changed my life. One was just yesterday. I was strolling through the grocery store when I passed a mother and her little girl, who was about 3 or 4, sitting inside the buggy. Beautiful little girl with long dark wavy hair and big brown eyes. She was being so good, though she looked kind of sad and bored. As I passed by I made eye contact with that little girl and smiled a warm smile at her. I thought she would just stare at me expressionless like most little kids would these days, but she didn’t. She lit up like the sun at midday. She smiled so big and this intense joy and brightness suddenly came over her bursting forth like the suns rays and she watched me the whole way down until I turned the corner to the next aisle. I was taken aback some when thinking about how giving away a random smile to a little girl could brighten up her day and fill her up with that kind of joy, and that the joy she received, how it blessed my heart so much and filled my heart with that same kind of joy. And I couldn’t help it, but I could not stop smiling the rest of my shopping.

    Another experience I had completely different than the above, was while I was at work just a few years back There was this couple who walked by some of our staff, who looked like they didn’t fit in or belong. They stood out in the crowd. They appeared to perhaps be somewhat poor and unpolished. The staff began to laugh among themselves at that couple as they passed by. And I nearly began to join them when suddenly, my heart was pierced with great sorrow. The Lord spoke to my heart in that moment. The way they were being laughed at and made fun of really broke his heart. And he let me know it. He broke my heart too. To him, they were a lovely couple. I came to realize that day how it broke his heart a hundred times more than it might have broken the couple’s heart had they have known they were being made sport of. That particular experience with the Lord in that moment changed me forever. I now can feel what he feels whenever he wants me to, and to the same degree and depth. Ranges of joy to sorrow. And I am glad.

    Love in Christ,

    Lisa

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lisa thank you so much for sharing! Maija and I are honored to pray alongside you and Dan and thrilled to walk this all out together. i think you will find the for yourself the burning will continue to get more intense as time goes on. 🙂 Thanks Sister

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  3. Brother, did this encourage my heart . I have never struggled with “transparency” and both as a child and adult it has been misunderstood by others many times. BUT I have grown to see this as a gift from our Father that He takes great delight in! I too weep over the broken and lost (much) perhaps we might be the only chance they have for a “touch from the Father” may we never shrink back over any opportunity that He may grant….thank-you for your TENDERHEARTEDness. Last week while shopping with a friend and her little 18 month old daughter J. she began to cry and fuss….while another little family with a small daughter was looking on . Happiness returned to J and as we rounded the corner I heard her daddy say “see her momma has made her happy again, it’s ok” I glanced up to see a peaceful look of relief flood the little girls face. Oh that we would have the careful concern/love of a child for others.

    May the Lord bless you and keep you. May He make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you, the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Wendy,

      AS always thank you for the encouragement. One of the most difficult things the Lord walked me through in my life was embracing the way HE made me. We all have gifts and images that are meant to reflect His nature… tenderness is the most attacked aspect of His Father’s heart and the one we are most willing to compromise as it attacks our false beliefs more than any other.
      Woman and man living on a false identity of what it means to be a man or a woman… He is tearing that all down in these days to come.

      Thank you for sharing so openly.

      David

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  4. Dear David,
    What a wonderful post and experience. I am learning how to “enter into His courts with Thanksgiving and into His courts with praise”. The latest Zeal..blessed me as well! I wanted to let you know that I am moving to Kentucky on July 1. Please keep me in your prayers for traveling mercies, etc. I am going by myself with a used van I just bought. That is where my daughter lives. I want to be near her so I can speak life into her life! Blessings to you and your family! Happy Father’s Day!
    Love, in Jesus.
    Tanya

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hey David. Reading a book at the moment called the “Jesus Fast” by Lou Engle. And am in a chapter entitled “Releasing Generations of Inheritance” Because of what you said at the beginning about your children don’t “blink an eye” at seeing you talk to and pray for strangers in public settings and how you hope “perhaps amidst all the mistakes I am continuing to make, at least some aspect of His heart is printing on my two Sons of Thunder and my little Lamb.”…it reminded me of what I had just read today in the book. “Certainly, Elijah was a fearless intercessor who moved in signs and wonders, but perhaps he is meant to exemplify a more difficult lesson that few in ministry learn. Your vision is insufficient. Your ministry is insufficient. You’re calling is insufficient. Your, your, your. Though it blaze with a glory brighter than Carmel, it will fade just as fast. No–gain sons & daughters. This is vital in both natural and spiritual ways. Be mothers and fathers in the home. Be present to your children, nurture them in prayer and love. Family. Loyalty. Investment. Sacrifice. Transfer. Likewise, be mothers and fathers of spiritual sons and spiritual daughters….” My point…Releasing to the generations God’s inheritance. That’s what you are doing! Your children are receiving your spiritual DNA because you as their father are praying, and walking and releasing it to them. And to strangers. God is moving in His church. The best is yet to come. I pray God’s grace rest upon your family profoundly.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I should very much like to have a chat with Lou. Please let me know how the book comes along too! Thank you as always for your blessings and prayers. Thank you for your encouragement also. We are ALL in the process 🙂

      David

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