The Lord gave me an encounter, that - though quite vulnerable in some ways - I feel very strongly that I am to share with the body of Christ. Even as I type this out, I still feel the weight of this encounter and such a reverence and awe in it. Here is what I recorded, straight from my journal. May it impact you the way that it did me:
Last night while in prayer, I was taken into an open vision where I saw a gift box in front of me. It was not wrapped with paper, but was white and had a lid that was easy to remove, and a big, red bow on the top of the lid. It was handed to me by a pair of hands, and I could not see who the hands belonged to.
I was excited to open the box! I carefully slid the lid off and peeked inside. The gift box contained the Presence of the Lord. It was beautiful and glorious.
Here's the vulnerable part: For a split second, I was confronted by slight disappointment. I supposed that I wanted the gift box to hold some sort of "destiny prophesy," or a key to breakthrough, or even some exciting prophetic symbol to work out with the Lord. But it was God's Presence in the box...so I looked again, just to be certain.
And then I heard Him speak.
My Presence is not cliché, and it is not CHEAP! My Presence came at a great price. Many have died for my Presence. My Presence is not cliché, and it is not to be overlooked.
I came out of the vision, and with quaking knees and a sunken heart, I recorded what I had just seen and heard. As I pondered this, I used my sanctified imagination to go back in and I imagined myself opening the gift box again. This time in my humility, I reached down to touch His Presence, but the Presence reached back and grabbed me, pulling me back into the waking vision. He held me tight like a lover, and I felt a satisfaction in my heart like nothing I had ever experienced. And again He spoke.
There is an encounter coming for my people, says the Lord. An encounter with My Presence; with my very being. It is the very thing that many long for but overlook.
My Presence is a gift, says the Father. It's not to be held in a box, regardless of how decorated the box. It is to be experienced and consumed like a feast! And you are not to go anywhere without it (Exodus 33:15).
My Presence is not cliché! Do not treat it as common or trite. My Presence is LIFE ITSELF and my own Son died and rose again so that you could be restored to compatibility with it (2 Corinthians 4:14).
I AM THAT I AM (Exodus 3:14)! I AM destiny. I AM prophesy. I AM breakthrough. I AM the perfect, priceless gift.
And I have chosen to give Myself to you.
When I came out of the vision, all I could do was weep in repentance.
As a lover of Jesus, I have direct access to the incredible gift of His Presence any time I want (Ephesians 2:18; John 14:6; Mark 15:38; Hebrews 10:19-22). And many times, I have taken it for granted.
When He held me, I felt his heartbeat - I felt both His sadness as well as a sense of frustration.
Sadness for those whom He yearns to commune with. Sadness for what they are missing out on when they do not choose Presence first. And frustration over the fact that many pursue everything BUT His Presence. Everything a child of God needs is found in Him.
He showed me that at the turn of this new decade, His Presence is essential. "Being in God's Presence" or the "Secret Place" as some also call it, can no longer be seen as a religious ritual, a task or an obligation, and it most certainly cannot take second place. Obedience in this part of history is imperative; and obedience comes most freely within the realm of loving His Presence (this absolutely includes reading and marinating in the Word of God). It comes most powerfully when we burn for Him.
" Jesus replied, “Loving me empowers you to obey my word. And my Father will love you so deeply that we will come to you and make you our dwelling place." - John 14:23 (TPT)
The Bride of Christ cannot afford to chase after cheap counterfeits. For the people of God, the Presence is honored above anything else. It is never, ever cliché or common. We cannot go anywhere without it.
“...If your presence doesn’t go with us, don’t make us go on from here..." - Exodus 33:15