I love it when Jesus steps in the room and shifts the atmosphere. My goodness I love it so much...
I love it when He touches my heart and suddenly tears well up and I am aware of His probing, loving gaze resting on me. I absolutely adore Him and how He so expertly orchestrates the exterior circumstances - the music swelling, the attuned psalmist extemporaneously releasing the oracle, a body of broken saints corporately pressing in - a seamless crescendo of passion, culminating in the softening of my heart. My soul becomes strangely warmed by the unmistakable presence of my Creator... goosebumps erupt all over my arms... the heaviness of the Holy Spirit's Presence resting on me feels tangible and His kind words lightly tickle my deepest longings and desires. It is an indescribable dance of intimacy with My First Love.
Words are clunky and incompetent when I find myself aching to accurately express this transformative experience of intimacy with Jesus.
Maybe a parable would help, I hope you excuse the rawness of it...
It was through friendship with my husband that I fell in love. Going on dates, talking on the phone through the night, eating meals together, seeing him interact with his mom and siblings... I loved all of this and through it, I learned so much about him. Who he was, how he talked and thought... I learned that HE was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. It was such a sweet time of falling in love and then it went to a WHOLE NOTHA LEVEL.
We were wed and with it came the sweet, pure, honeymoon-bliss of intimacy, pleasure and deep enjoyment of one another... words cannot adequately convey the beauty and preciousness of this union.
Oftentimes this level of intimacy is BEST conveyed by sacred silence. Honoring and respecting the covenant marriage bed by NOT using cheap words. It is a beauty that is mostly communicated by the gentle tenderness of a husband toward his wife, covering her weakness and serving her with his strength. Likewise it is beautifully put on display in the contented confidence of a wife who knows she is adored and pursued. The fruit of such life-giving intimacy takes form in the way each lay down their lives for one another and... the children! The literal fruit and blessing of covenantal intimacy is the children who spring up like little trees of righteousness around the table! This is the fruit of intimacy in marriage. What a beautiful picture and helpful parallel of our life in Christ.
If you know such a couple, rarity that they are, you know the wonder and pleasure of taking part in simple conversation or home life. Just sitting in that kind of cultivated atmosphere is so freeing and welcoming, you feel home, you catch a waft of your true home, the place for which you long... heaven. This is the power of intimacy.
It begins with two, multiplies into a family and then ripples out to touch the neighborhood, community, nations, etc.
Does this make sense? Oftentimes, words feel cheap in the presence of such intimacy.
I understand words have a place, however, especially when used to reinforce what actions and life-fruit are already there. What do I mean?
There's been a whole lotta cheap conversation about revival in light of the outpouring of worship at the unplanned, extended chapel-service at Asbury right now. Perverse, worldly and selfish ideologies bubble out of believers whenever God comes near, and that is normal, but it is also wrong. I am by no means an expert on "revival", but I have tasted and seen that HE IS GOOD, drinking deep of His love that is hands-down-better than wine. Enjoying the indescribable joy and contented peace found in His awesome presence. Oh friend, I wish I could better describe to you His beauty and worthiness - songs of praise do much better, but I'll leave that to my husband! LOL
Revival looks like intimacy with Jesus.
Tenderness, sincerity, worship, adoration and it births forth good fruit like reconciliation, repentance, humility, and bringing in new believers into the Kingdom of God. I want to encourage you to use discretion with your words, and to not despise the small beginnings of a transformed life!
Lord, we thank You for what is happening at Asbury right now and all the ways it is birthing hunger and a God-given reach for Jesus in churches, colleges and homes all over the world. We are humbled by Your kindness and tremble in Your Presence. We love You and long for You. Come Lord Jesus. More, Lord Jesus. Give us wisdom and birth within us the fruit of the Spirit so we would not vomit our fears, insecurities and unredeemed mindsets on what You are desiring to do in the hearts and lives of young people - all people - but especially young people who are reaching for You. Help us Jesus.
Keep an eye out for my upcoming post, REVIVAL IS MESSY... I'm super excited about it and hope it makes you laugh and encourages your heart!
Peace of Jesus.