Experience is not the ultimate validation of the promise-God Himself is…
It has been quite the year- actually in my journal I have it written it has been more precisely one heck of a year- all hell seems to have broken loose and God has felt very far away- I know He isn’t, but still. A year of crazy warfare, loss, sickness, opposition.
In the middle of malaria lying in bed yesterday, His Presence came so so tangibly I realized how much I have not been feeling Him and somehow I took the lack of tangible experience of His Presence to mean He was displeased. It has been a year of very little sensation, very little encounter in the manifest sense, tons of warfare, hard stuff, voices even from loved ones shouting at times the exact opposite of what God was saying and all the while at times it has felt like He has been silent knitting on the backside of the universe a few thousand light years away.
Every promise I had from Papa about this year was about visitation. Had I heard incorrectly? So I was asking Him why His promise of visitation had not come to pass yet- I mean we are over half way through the year. His response- “why beloved what makes you think it hasn’t?”
Which led to a massive download in about 20 min- It has truly been a year of visitation- a year of Papa teaching me to live in the spirit apart from emotion, encounter, even encouragement at times. Unlike in 2001-2002 when I had a year when all sight was removed and much hearing, this season snuck up with no warning in advance, no promise. It just was and it has been HARD. This time even desire was dulled and hunger numbed.
There was nothing else BUT His promise to hold on to. Much of this year all I have been able to do is pray aggressively in tongues and declare His promises. But there has been no emotion, no sensation, nada- just blah flat, holding on because I can’t let go. Some days I did rather beat myself up feeling like a hard hearted passionless bump on a pickle. Some told me oh- it is burn out and suggested I go out to pasture. Others theorized I just needed more soaking.
What to do when soaking feels like choking cause all experience of the river has dried to dust?
Yet in the middle of it all Papa has been stripping the old sounds and unleashing a new voice inside me I did not even know was there- a fiery war cry of love. Deep inside me there has been a faith establishing- a solidifying of who I am. In this season of sight and hearing being dim, being all but shut down- I have realized I DO SEE. I DO HEAR. Last year God told me I didn’t really need another visitation at the moment- I needed to believe the ones I already had. It has been a year of silent fire burning out doubt- not doubt in God so much as doubt in myself and my ability to hear Him. It has been a year of learning to live in the reality of His Spirit, not only in the realm of my experience of His Spirit’s reality.
There is a deep knowing in my spirit about the absolute necessity of this past season and the amazing things Papa has worked into my heart preparing it for the next stage of grace. He has awaked this fire in my bones- a cry for holiness. Not miserable legalistic religious stuff- but genuine love that is pure- intimacy AND purity. Holiness, set apartness unto Him. A cry for a genuine joy filled call to abandonment.
His silence is not His absence! It is simply a season of realigning my heart to carry an expanded realization of the message of His love- a love that has teeth. A love that is not some passive paltry sympathetic fluff- but a love that is a call to war, a love that calls us to die to all that is unworthy of Him! Love and the message of intimacy is incomplete without a renewed call to purity (as a state of grace, of living in union with our Jesus).
It has been a year of testing and proving the motives of the heart. Yesterday for the first time in a very long time I actually tangibly felt His Presence-like I am so accustomed to. Yet even in the middle of the dark, silent fire of this last year, a still voice would whisper into my ear every night:
“beloved I am so proud of you”
Every night. I could not understand why because it felt like I was simply struggling to hang on for dear life at times. I wasn’t not feeling His Presence. I was encountering His PResence deeper than experience and feeling- I was having a different type of encounter, I just didn’t know it. He has been drawing me into His realm.
Living from heaven to earth means we have to die. Our hidden life in Jesus is a positional reality that requires a practical outworking in our lives. Living from heave to earth has nothing to do with feeling/experiential encounter in its roots- that is some of the fruit and how awesome it is! But our roots are planted deep in the unseen bedrock of the character of Who God is, where His reality is trusted even when there is no feeling and emotion seems to shout the exact opposite. There is a company, a generation of people who will live a love encounter deeper than experience alone.
Experience is not the ultimate evidence of the unseen realm- FAITH is. God Himself is the validation of His Word. And a lack of manifest encounter is not a lack of encounter- it is a different encounter because in our spirit man united with Jesus we live one with His glory all the time. We live in His glory. That is truth. Manifestation is one kind of encounter of the glory realm. Faith is another.
I spent much of yesterday rereading my journal from this year only to see EVERY promise God has given is being precisely fulfilled. How amazingly faithful is our Jesus. And I know regardless of feeling or not, manifestation or not, tangible encounter or not- my spirit is one with Him and nothing can shake that or take that away from me. What freedom is that! And I look forward to the seasons of crazy overwhelming heaven encounters, as well as the quiet encounters of faith. Because in both God is closer than my next breath.