“Someone has rightly said that if you want to give God a good laugh, tell him your plans” – Steve McVey
Whilst I have many different ideas buzzing around my mind of things to write, I feel I need to start somewhere near the beginning of this adventure that I find myself on.
As I write I feel the presence of God lingering around me. I feel a weightiness in my heart – the burden of His love. My mind is not quite in this room. Though I know and see the things around me, its like they’ve become slightly less physical, I’m less aware of my surroundings and more aware of a place I’m being drawn into.
Why am I telling you this?
Because about 10 months ago this would have been a very rare experience for me, and if it did happen it was in a church meeting. But even then, it wouldn’t be like it is right in this very moment. Right now my mind is on other things – like writing this post (although still tuned into God’s voice), but even so, this encounter is so radically different from any other encounters that I had previous to that 10 month mark.
What’s the difference?
So let’s rewind to 10 months ago..
I’m a christian, a red hot christian. I’m passionate for God, probably more than I ever have been up until now. At this point I have been following Christ for nearly 18 years, faithfully pursuing Him and not having backslidden at any point (Praise God!). At this point I am also serving my church (Church of Christ the King, Brighton) on a voluntary ‘FP Impact’ year. Throughout my life I have experienced some incredibly powerful times of encounter. I’ve been growing in my prophetic gifting from a young age, I think my first prophetic picture I had was around 12 or 13 years old. I have always been hungry for God and have pursued every opportunity to grow in my relationship with him, which has meant I have found myself in some very interesting places such as conferences where I don’t have a single friend – which for me is a massive deal as I hate being in new places surrounded by a crowd when I have no one to cling to. I had been to prophetic conferences and a prophecy school, and each time I was aware that there was such a deeper level of relationship with God. I had just been to a ‘glory’ conference where they talked about devotional times in the glory, and being familiar with the glory so we can minister from that place.
All these things made me hunger for more but I also had a growing recognition of a lack in my life. I was hungry for God, but something wasn’t connecting. Something hadn’t sunk in because I could hear these things and be very hungry for God but nothing would change, I still wouldn’t find the motivation or even the want to spend time with God when I was alone. I had no devotional life. I always found something ‘better’ that I would rather do.
At this point I need to quote myself from my journal… dated 13th October 2012, part of my psalm written for the redemption course.
“I’m frustrated God, I’m frustrated by myself. The constant battle, between my earthly wants and spiritual desires, is tiring. I can see my life as it could be, fully devoted to you, and I want to be there. But I’m not, and feel like I never will be. I’m thirsty but I’m not thirsty enough. I want to want you, I’m hungry for a hunger for you”
I knew there was more, but I couldn’t see how to get to the greener grass on the other side. I knew there were people who had something I didn’t. I knew that life should be more fun, there was more joy, more love, more peace… there was more that I hadn’t experienced. Or if I had they were small tasters that whetted my appetite then left me disappointed, and wondering what it was that I hadn’t grasped. Hearing about the tent of meeting in Exodus 33, where Moses met with God face to face was yet another demonstration of something I was missing out on but didn’t know how to get there.
I was out of options, I had tried a lot of different things and found myself tired and still very hungry.
It was then that I found myself on a Tuesday morning (20th November to be exact), but I can’t share all the details because it would just be too long! But essentially I found myself actually needing to spend time with God, but without the time as I was attempting to get out of the house and to the offices for staff prayer on time.
God then took things into His own hands…
Due to my housemate’s alarm not going off, and therefore oversleeping and not able to drive us in, I couldn’t get into the offices on time. And so it was that God set me up for an encounter.
What can I say but that God broke in!!
God radically met with me in a way that I had never experienced, and it completely changed me! In that place God dealt with a whole lot of disappointment I had inside of me, and whilst crumpled on the floor under the power of the spirit, God whispered so clearly into my ear “Have you not seen what I’ve been doing? See, I do things in the private place”. It was that point where I realised that I could encounter God in my bedroom in the same way that I could encounter him on a Sunday or in a meeting. In that place of worship I discovered that I could encounter God’s manifest presence in the private place where it was just me and God., that God wanted to meet with me and deal with things in that place, that in those times He wanted to draw me close, to experience intimacy, and to live from that place.
I was radically changed by a single encounter.
God did a lot more then I could ever realise in that encounter. I thought he was dealing with disappointment, which he was,but he did so much more. He placed inside of me a holy, insatiable hunger for himself that would turn my world upside down.
The beginning of a journey into deeper intimacy
That moment for me really marked the beginning of a whole new adventure.
I don’t know if I have the words to explain what has happened happened in these past 10 months, but God has been rapidly working in me and I have experienced an acceleration in my walk with God. My passion and hunger only keeps growing and the only thing I can really tell you is that as I spend time in the presence of God I come away changed because I’m drawing close to him, from a place of intimacy and total surrender, where he reveals the secrets of his heart
I can’t find the words to write about how I’ve changed and I think that’s deliberate, because I want this blog to reveal some of the journey I’ve been on and the revelations God has shown me and continues to show me.
Somehow in this journey there have been people looking in on my life and seeing the radical difference and therefore asking me questions out of their own hunger… and I just know that my story is not one to be kept private, but to be shared. So I hope the things I write will be an encouragement to you, if you’ve you’ve experienced a similar ‘awakening’ then to be spurred on to pursue more, and if not then I hope you find the encouragement that you are hungry for a purpose – because God wants to fill you, and you too can come to a place where God opens your eyes to see his glory and be released into a deeper level of intimacy and freedom!!
Let me finish with a quote that has become a resounding truth in my life, a demonstration of a hunger that thirsts for intimacy above all else.
“In the end, the heart longs not for any of God’s good gifts, but for God himself. To see him and know him and be in his presence is the soul’s final feast. Beyond this there is no quest. Words fail. We call it pleasure, joy, delight. But these are weak pointers to the unspeakable experience” – Piper