This past week has been rough. I've really struggled with finding true intimacy with the Lord. He has taken me through a process of learning where the callouses are on my heart. I've found that over the last few years I have put up wall after wall between me and God, and God is having to reveal those walls to me so that I can get rid of them and truly be free. Seeing all of the walls is painful. Most of them have so many layers that it takes awhile to figure out what the problem actually is. I had this vision of Jesus sitting on the floor in His throneroom with me. And He was explaining to me why He wanted me to see each wall individually. He told me that if I knew what I was being freed from, then I'd never go back. I needed to see what I was being freed from. What chains and what baggage I was losing. The weight that would no longer be on me.
During worship at Bethel on Sunday morning, I was still just really fighting to get close to the Father's heart. Of course it was Easter and I was thinking "Of all days to feel like I'm not at the heart of Jesus!" About halfway through worship, one of the worship leaders (Meredith) left the front of the room and walked straight to me. She said "I need to pray for you." So Meredith starts praying and singing over me, asking the Lord to come and meet me without me having to do anything. To remove all of the walls and barriers that were up around my heart. To tear through them and come to me. To take me deeper and deeper into intimacy. I was in tears because the Lord had spoken to her exactly what needed praying for. What a huge blessing.
It has been a struggle because I look at some people and their intimacy with Jesus is so readily available. It is so obvious and natural. Overflowing to those around them. To me it seems like I am always on the outside. I can't quite get into "intimacy." I feel like sometimes I can sit for hours with the Lord and never feel like I've really met with Him. Or that I've really encountered His presence. I want to know His heart so desperately and deeply, and I want to find that place so that I can rest there. Somehow there has to be a balance of seeking, but doing nothing and resting in Him.
One thing that has been such a blessing at Bethel is the fact that everyone there wants you to be free. They want any past issue of hurt, sickness, frustration, family problem...etc to be completely released and for you to be delivered and free. The army of God needs to be strong, free, and confident. They want you to be you, and to be strong in the person God created you to be.
There should be no feeling of jealousy, anger, depression or impatience in the life of a truly free and loved follower of Christ. Satan is empowered through our agreement. He only has the power that we believe he has. The people at Bethel constantly speak life to each other, rather than death. There is no complaining or built up tension. As a body, they are so close to the heart of the Father that they want to look exactly like Jesus. They want to heal the sick, raise the dead, prophecy, and love without an agenda. There is no room for the enemy in that place. Bethel is a place where God is establishing His heart. It is a place that dwells in the presence of God all the time. It is free. It is full of love and grace. It is full of authenticity. And it is full of the Holy Spirit. We would have no power if it weren't for the Holy Spirit.
"Religion is what you have once the Holy Spirit has left the building." -Bono