“But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.” Luke 5:16
It was the third day of a week long business trip and I was tired. As many executives can attest, the real business negotiations are hammered out after hours around elaborate fire-pits, 4 star restaurants and the bountiful watering holes that are all attached to the hotel main lobby. It was very late. I was tired, and a bit weary of the atmosphere to be completely honest. Three days to go…
The thought that I should not get so drained at these professional trips was gnawing at me. Still so much for Jesus to teach me. Still so many principles I have yet to apply. I could think of nothing more than to get alone with Father for a few minutes before sleep overtook me.
Stepping into the elevator, I prayed for a speedy ascent. Instead, I was joined by two others who snagged the door just as it was closing (note to self: press that button faster next time!) I could tell the two were business associates of some sort; him in a nice suit and she in a smart-looking tailored outfit. I liked his shoes. I liked his hair more. Mostly because he had some. They were in their late 30s to early 40s. Both of them easy on the eyes and they knew it.
Let me pause for a moment. I am often asked how I can tell if a stranger is a Christian. First let me say it is not a gift. It is a fruit of communion and available to every child of God.
As we continue to spend time with Jesus, He will ask us for permission to take our fears and the lies that they are rooted in. Leonard Ravenhill would call this the “die, wait, and get alone” practice. Sounds ominous to be sure, but in reality it’s filled with kingdom Life, deliverance and joy, if not mingled with some equal portions of pain and tears during the process. Oh, but the reward!! One of the by-products is that we will begin to feel His heart more and more intensely. We will also become more keenly aware of His kingdom, which of course, is rooted and established in Love. The more we allow Him to change us, the more deeply we get to abide in Him.
This is how we begin to feel the presence of the Holy Spirit and the kingdom of God to varying degrees around us. Spirit calls to spirit. Always. The most back-slidden and hurting child of God has Father’s love inside them, even if its trapped in their spirit-man, waiting to flood their own soul with that same Life and Joy.
Now, back to the elevator and my poor reflexes…
I gazed at the woman and saw that warm glow of Jesus that abides in every believer, as well as a tenderness that weaved so beautifully with how Father designed her. She was a gentle soul. She had a special gift to impart peace and comfort to others.
“David, was this word of knowledge?” Not at all. I simply felt her giftings silently ministering to me. Just being in that elevator I felt the drain of the lobby begin to wash away from me… and she had no idea.
So, I asked Father for anything that might bless her. Was there something He has been trying to speak to her about in her own prayer time that wasn’t breaking through to her? Was there something in this season of her life that was time to be looked at?
“Excuse me, guys. This is going to sound really weird to you, sir, but not at all to you, miss.”
I continued with a smile. In fact, I felt so honored to share I must have looked a bit crazed as I turned with bloodshot eyes to speak directly to her.
“You have been given great grace to speak into peoples’ lives that are hurting, hungry and seeking Truth. They will listen to you. Father has given you that grace. Stop being afraid to step out.
“You don’t need to be afraid. There is nothing you need from man. You are deeply loved by your Heavenly-Father. You are complete in His love. Stop caring what others think and begin to accept how much He loves you.”
Her mouth hung open a bit and her eyes filled with tears. She just stared at me. I let her stare. I smiled back in silence. None of us so much as twitched. Eventually, the elevator stopped at my floor and I paused between the doors.
“We all have our part to play. I did mine. Now… you are going to have to explain to this young man how I knew you are a born-again christian. Have a great night, you two!”
Neither moved or uttered a word, and I often think on how that conversation went after the doors closed behind me. I had my hopes, and she had my prayers.
Family, we live in a lost generation that is pleading for God to make Himself known to them. They want to see real power from children of the Living God. We are moving away from religion in this hour. It is part of what Father is doing in this season of grace. Are we moving though, into Him? Are we allowing Him to deal with our thoughts of shame, pride and self-preservation?
“Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.” Heb 5:13
There is a kingdom living inside us that is an open portal to the throne room. Anyone who says its not work, or more criminal still, refuses to discuss our part in this covenant, is selling something else.
It is work, for sure. But it’s also pretty tiring to be fearful and hurting. Fear attempts to grip us at every encounter of every day. It is all rooted in the subtle lie the church has yet to reject at our core. That lie is that our worth is determined by things we do or don’t do, and the approval or rejection of others.
Righteousness is the doctrine that we are holy, blameless, and fully loved by our Father, our Redeemer and our Great Counselor. (scriptures here- you are LOVED!)
Step into that place of solitude with Father. It was good enough for Jesus. It’s good enough for us as well.
Here is a vital key:
We can only come away with an increased portion of the Kingdom
equal to the amount of this world we give Him in that time of intimacy.
Next time we enter in with Him, let us each consider asking Him to show us something He wants from within our soul.
He will, in exchange, begin to pour into us more of His Love and glory. Eventually, we will stop praying for revival. We will be the revival.
Love to you all.