"It wasn't so long ago that we ourselves were stupid and stubborn, dupes of sin, ordered every which way by our glands, going around with a chip on our shoulder, hated and hating back. But when God, our kind and loving Savior God, stepped in, he saved us from all that. It was all his doing; we had nothing to do with it. He gave us a good bath, and we came out of it new people, washed inside and out by the Holy Spirit. Our Savior Jesus poured out new life so generously. God's gift has restored our relationship with him and given us back our lives. And there's more life to come—an eternity of life! You can count on this." ~Titus 3:3-8 (MSG)I remember many years ago I was in a meeting with John Bevere and he preached, "The reason you haven't been delivered from that sin habit is you love your sin more than you love God!"
It sounded harsh but I knew it was true and I never forgot it. I also knew I couldn't make myself love God more; He would have to do it for me. For the next 17 years I struggled to get free from sin but I was never able to walk in victory for longer than a few days at a time.
In February of 2010, God suddenly showed up in my kitchen and began to speak to me very clearly about how I had been living and about the choices which were before me. He showed me that the sins I had given myself to were actually forms of demon worship and He revealed the ways these demons were ruling over my life and tormenting me and my loved ones.
He opened my eyes to see that I must forsake Self Rule and receive the Lordship of Jesus over my WHOLE life - this meant nothing was to be held in reserve - a complete abandoning of all rights to rule over my own existence. It was an impossible command; nothing in me was able to comply. I entered into a great anguish of spirit. His manifest presence departed from me and I was left shaken and empty.
A terrible, sweeping sorrow and numbness unlike anything I had ever known, seemed to break over me in a black wave and I glimpsed eternal separation from His love. The horror of those hours defies all human words. I came to understand that without His grace to empower me, I would never be able to obey Him, and without King Jesus ruling over every part of my life, there would be no grace.
The exchange had to be made; there was no other way to live. My thoughts, dreams, emotions, hopes, desires, plans, fears, strengths, weaknesses, understandings, perceptions, accomplishments, failures, victories and habits for HIM. For shining peace and fiery glory - for ecstatic hope and unbearable joy - for perfect victory and unbroken intimacy - for HIM.
The very instant I said "yes", my whole world turned upside down. That first "yes" catapulted me into a realm of revelation that utterly transformed my whole reality from the inside out, and EVERY "yes" after that has opened Heaven wider and wider to me. I learned that it is our agreement with God that changes our world THROUGH us. His dominion is advanced through our WHOLE life that resounds with the abandoned "YES" of our heart to His invitation.
All captivity to sin came to an abrupt end. It was so abrupt that it seemed to take my mind a few days to catch up with what had happened. I had lived and thought in fallen ways for so long that everything was raw somehow. Like all of life was brand new in a dangerous, exciting way. My spiritual senses were absolutely electric; it was very much like I had awakened from a long slumber in a dark place and been thrust directly into VERY bright sunshine without warning.
I kept waiting for it all to fade and days turned into weeks and months until finally I stopped waiting for it to come to and end. When I say 'it', I mean not just the incredible heightened spiritual sensitivity, but this impossible all consuming joy, like a HUGE torrent just under the surface of my daily life...a river that breaks out unexpectedly and throws me around.
One could use words like ecstasy, bliss, euphoria, gladness, happiness, drunkenness and such, but truly no human language can ever capture the wonder and splendor and majesty of His abiding glory. We are born to dwell in the unbroken glory of His presence. It is for this reality that every human heart aches, whether they know it yet or not, and it is the unspeakable privilege of those who are learning to navigate the depths of His glory, to ignite as many hearts as possible with the fire of His love.
"The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light." ~Romans 13:12 (NKJV)
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