I would like to share with you about uncommon Christianity. What I am going to share is available to you if you will pay the price. What I am about to share is about the place of dwelling He designed for us from the beginning.
I love to go for walks in nature near a stream, or by the ocean, or in a park where there is a lake. About twenty years ago, I was walking down a path with my secretary and friend. I used to take her out for walks probably five days a week. I would tell her, “You choose whatever Scripture or Scriptures you want to discuss, and we will discuss those Scriptures throughout our walk.” We would do this for about two hours daily. There were times when I would be walking with her, and the Lord would, by His Spirit, take my spirit up to Him in the throne room or wherever He wanted to take me, and there He would speak to me.
One particular time, while on one of our walks, He suddenly swept through me with a burst of explosive joy. It was so explosive that my spirit immediately left my body. If the Lord takes your spirit in this way, your soul can still conduct business on this earth, and Jesus also sends a heavenly guard to make sure you are kept safe until your spirit is returned. It is a unique experience in which the Lord makes provision to enable you to essentially function in two places at once. My friend was able to hear only my side of the conversation during this time when Jesus took me to His throne. My spirit was in heaven while my soul was here on the earth. My body was obviously responding tremendously to what was happening to me in heaven. The reason I am telling you this has to do with His purpose for taking me to heaven before His throne. He wanted us to know how much it means to Him to bring His loved ones into union.
As I stood before Him, He began asking me questions about creation while at the same time flooding me with light. He asked me simple questions such as, “Why do you think I created this?” I replied, “I don’t know, Lord.” I have learned that when He asks you a question, He is not really attempting to determine how much you know. He already knows what you know. What He is trying to do at that moment is to help you understand what you don’t know. Isn’t that sweet? Thus, He engages us while He heightens our desire for more of Him!
So He began, “Nita, do you know why I made the sun, the moon, and the stars?” I replied, “No, Lord. Why?” He responded, “So I could make the earth.” Then He asked, “Do you know why I made the earth?” I replied, “No, Lord. I don’t know why.” (Even now as I share this I can feel His Spirit again exploding in my heart with the very same love I felt that day.) What a wonderful Lord! Back to the visit! He said, “So that I could make the trees and all the plant life.” Then He asked, “Do you know why I made the plant life?” I replied, “No, Lord. Why did you make the plant life?” He said, “I wanted to create the ocean, fish of the sea and all of the animal kingdom. Do you know why?” All I could say was, “No, Lord. I don’t know why.” He said, “So that I could create the garden—so beautiful, so exquisite, and so fair.” Although this may not precisely relate His exact line of questions, I have given you a summary account of very close approximation.
While He was speaking to me, remember, He was washing me with a cascade of liquid light, filled with healing love. It flowed down directly from Him, repeatedly washing over me. It was not exactly like standing inside a water-fall as the cascade was inconstant. Instead of a constant rate of flow, these waters of liquid light and love cascaded down upon me like waves moving across the sea. What an experience it was!
He then tenderly asked, “Nita, do you know why I wanted to create the garden?” I replied, “No, Lord. I don’t know why.” He said, “So I could create man.” Painful thoughts raced through my mind. Thoughts, such as, “Why? Why would you want to create man who has given You so much trouble? There has been so much pain on this earth, and since You carry all that pain within You, why would You want to engage?” I wrestled with such unanswered questions at that time in my Christian walk. If I could only receive answers from My Father, it seemed they would heal the deep hurt I felt over what we as humans have done.
He heard my thoughts before they even entered my mind. He answered gently, “I knew before I created man what would happen. I knew I would have to send My Son to redeem man from sin. I knew! However, there was an aching and a longing so deep in My heart that only this one dream could satisfy. This dream was the hope of the day when a vast community of believers would come to love Me enough to give up everything to have Me living inside them in such a capacity as union with Me can give. And Nita, you don’t know passion such as Your God feels when He feels passion.” While He said this, the liquid light and love continued to flow over me. I felt completely overwhelmed.
He said, “I’m going to let you feel just one tear drop of My passion.” Think of how miniscule is the size of a single tear drop. He let the tear drop fall upon me. The amount of His passion for us contained in that single tear drop was so enormous, so magnanimous, and so forceful, that it felt like He had poured into me the whole of heaven itself. The love and passion contained therein caused my heart to hurt so much that I thought I was going to die. It was, however, a wonderful hurt that carried with it a divine longing and full expectation of the longing’s being met. It was not a longing that ached from a lack of satisfaction, but one which He fully intended to satisfy. So although my heart ached with such an intense pain, the pain was also filled with divine love and expectation. His longing was coming from the fact that He missed having a people of such caliber who would pursue Him above all else. It could be likened to the intense natural longing that forms in a mother while she is carrying a baby in her womb. She yearns for the baby to go from the womb into her arms so that she can embrace and love her child. In that same way, He just wanted to hold us. He intensely desired to be in us, not just in our spirit but on the throne of our soul in union with us. He longed for that link and connection. He was so hungry for each and every one. He longs for you with an unquenchable yearning that only union can satisfy. God knows and understands passion like no human being can experience. He wants you. The bottom line is that He brought into existence all of creation so that He could have union with us. Isn’t that amazing?
The hardest thing for us to give up is self. We want to have our way and do our thing. Some people like their personality so much that they think they feel they do not need the Divine Personality in them. We have so many reasons we do not want to give up the world. It may not be money, furniture, new trucks or cars, going first class when you travel, or anything like that. Maybe all that He needs to remove from us is love of self. We need to yield up the fruits of the soul and cling to the higher life of the Spirit.
Unless you have felt such a love, you cannot imagine how consuming and overwhelming it is. It is so wonderful to think that He had a plan, so great and so filled with divine passion that He would be willing to endure even the death of His own Son to bring it to fruition. He looked at the death of Christ, not for the suffering that it brought to His Son or to Himself, but rather, He saw in it the freedom to manifest Himself to us. The sufferings of the cross were nothing compared to the joy of what He would someday realize in His Church. Our God is so lovely, so wonderful, and so gracious. I am feeling His overwhelming love for these truths even as I speak.
In 1989, I was going through a terrible trial. It was probably one of the most difficult years of my life. As it would turn out, He chose that time to give me a tremendous blessing. On Thanksgiving Day, while I was worshiping, the Lord gave me the following experience. The Lord appeared to me, looking five hundred pounds fat. Now, do not get offended. I do not want you to be one of those great religious folks who think Jesus would never do something like that because He will at times do some strange things to get His point across.
So, He appeared to me, and He was five hundred pounds fat. I started laughing. Wouldn’t you? I exclaimed, “Jesus, You’re so fat!” He smiled, but He did not change a thing. What He was emanating from within was living truth. It was not mere rote memorized Scripture, but living truths from the Word, pulsating with the very life of God. He was five hundred pounds fat with the Spirit of Truth. It was His Spirit that I was beholding.
After a few minutes, that reality began to move to the hidden place in Him, and Divine Love came to the forefront. I do not know how to help you to understand what Divine Love looks like, but it does have a certain look and an essence which you can perceive. This love was not anything like you and I experience in human relationships. Even in church services, the love of God that we experience flowing down over our hearts is on a different level. That is a kind of mushy, “ooey-gooey” feeling that makes you feel good all over. The love I was now beholding was more like Mount Gibraltar—a solid mountain of rock. It was not that it was hard, but rather that it was firm and immovable. His powerful love could not be shaken. No one could approach Him in prayer saying evil things about you and cause Him heart change towards you. His heart of love was immovable, unwavering, and so strong that His tender care could keep you standing through the worst kind of trials. It was amazing.
Then the revelation of His love began to fade and in its place emerged His joy. It was so light and effervescent. This joy bubbled up with life. I said to Him, “When I see and feel Your joy, it’s light like the helium in a balloon. Lord, how could You keep Your feet on the ground?” Again, He chuckled. He too thought that was funny. To this day I do not understand how He could have touched the ground as He walked, with all that rapturous joy that He possessed.
Then His joy began to diminish to my understanding and His peace came to the forefront. He said that He would give a peace that was beyond worldly peace. (John 14:27) I am sure that many of you have experienced this peace when you are thrust into a major trial. The minute the trial makes its’ impact, this peace comes upon you. No matter what is going on about you, you are okay. Everything is okay. You feel peace, not as the world gives, but as only God can give. That is the kind of peace He walked in.
Sequentially He had allowed me to see His love, then His joy, then His peace, gentleness, kindness and so on, until He had opened my eyes to see each respective virtue listed in the nine fruits of the Spirit found in the book of Galatians. Each of these fruits has a different look and obviously a different feel. I was amazed and in awe.
Galatians 5:22-23a Amp. But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence).
Then He said, “Nita, come and stand next to Me.” When I stood at His side, He stretched out His arm and wrapped it around my waist. As He did so, everything inside me went down, down, down, and out from my feet until I was totally emptied of self. I felt it drain out like water out of a bottle. When I was completely void of self, everything that was in Him began to fill me until I was saturated with His living truth, divine love, divine joy, divine peace, divine goodness, divine gentleness—all of the nine fruits of the Spirit. He then spoke to me saying, “Nita, what you were feeling and experiencing was what John wrote about in My Word.”
John 1:14 Amp. And the Word (Christ) became flesh (human, incarnate) and tabernacled (fixed His tent of flesh, lived awhile) among us; and we [actually] saw His glory (His honor, His majesty), such glory as an only begotten son receives from his father, full of grace (favor, loving-kindness) and truth.
He said, “This is what it means to be filled with grace and truth—living truth, the Spirit of truth. What I have shown you, one after another, were the fruits that are living– alive, and exuberant in the Spirit of truth that overtakes and overcomes you. What you were experiencing was what John wrote about.” Then He spoke the Scripture in John 1:16:
John 1:16 Amp. For out of His fullness (abundance) we have all received [all had a share and we were all supplied with] one grace after another and spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing and even favor upon favor and gift [heaped] upon gift.
So what did He teach us through the revelation? That out of His abundance of grace and truth, He lets us appropriate all this power, according to verse 16, exactly as I had just experienced it. He looked at me, and asked, “Nita, would you like to live here?” I was stunned. I replied, “Live—here? Here?” I thought that until now I had already been experiencing the full heights of Christianity. Yet, I had just experienced my sin-nature being emptied out through my feet, only to be replaced with the life of His soul-filling Nature.. It was no longer I that lived, but Christ was living in me. (Gal 2:20) I was so shocked and stunned because this felt like I was living right in the middle of the Godhead. It was as if the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit were all holding hands, encircling me within their Presence. This was a completely different existence, unlike anything we feel here. I knew I was not the same person that I had been just a few minutes before. That person was gone. Feeling like I had been placed right inside the Godhead was just amazing to me. This was not to say I had become a god, but rather surrounded and filled with Him!
He had asked if I would like to live in that place with Him. “Was it even possible for me to live in such a blessing?” I pondered. You have to understand that when God gives you these outstanding revelations, you think you expect to react one way, but find that, instead, you act so human, usually saying stupid things. Of course, He was sure of what He was offering me. However, I could not, as the youth of today would say, “put my head around it.” The experience itself was something so high, so holy, and so other-worldly, I could not comprehend it even as I was experiencing it.
Graciously, He asked once again, “Nita, would you like to live here?” I said, “Lord, if it is possible for a human being to live here in this place with You—” Do you hear the doubt? I was so full of doubt! I know you would never go through that, right? (smile) I said, “If it is possible, You know me, and You also know that I want it so badly that I’ll go through anything to have it. Whatever You require of me, I will do.” Whatever you demand of me I will give. He simply responded, “Alright then, you shall have it.” Isn’t that simple? Isn’t that incredibly awesome? Isn’t that so amazing?
But I want to tell you something. What I am sharing with you is the way He intended for normal Christianity. Anyone can go therein. This is how He said it, “Anyone who will can have this place in Me.” So, this is the criteria, not that you want, but rather that you will to have it. That means that you are going to submit your will to His. He will be the Divine Owner of your will from that point on. You will to yield up whatever you must yield up. When He starts requiring that deep rudiments of sin be turned over to Him, you are not going to balk. You are not going to get angry, offended, and turn away. You are not going to complain that it is just too much or too hard. You are not going to whine, “Why do you make it so hard, Lord?” You must put your will into the race now. You must will to have that life in Him.
When your will is in a battle, you join your will to win Christ. This is a fight which requires you to wrestle to the end. Our sinful nature refuses to die easily. The things which we hate we will sometimes do. The things which we love to do, because He loves them, we will not always do. We will have to come back to Him again and again, to repent, apologize, re-grasp the vision, and stubbornly refuse to let go. Tell yourself repeatedly, “If this is available to me, I want it—whatever the cost.” Remember salvation is free, but, all other things in the Kingdom come with a price which always amounts to letting go of more of the world.
When Jesus begins to reveal those costs, sometimes we find they are a little harder or costlier than we expected. If you were to go into your back yard, you could easily cut down a little one or two year old tree. However, if you went to the California redwoods, and you tried to cut down one of those giant redwoods, it would take a much greater effort. How long do you think it would take to cut it down with an ax? The sinful nature is very strong. It has a very strong hold on your soul, as does the devil, through your sinful nature. Like a giant redwood, the sinful nature is not easy to cut down. California’s Sequoia National Park has Sequoias. A few of those fallen trees are so huge you can drive your car on their trunks. I have photos of my car sitting atop one of those grand old fallen trees. Some trees in our souls are very large and deeply rooted. They are not going to be easily torn down.
I am telling you this to encourage you. Although my words do not sound encouraging, I want you to remember them when you are trying to whack down that tree. You will think, “She said it would be like this, so there’s still hope.” Some trees have very spindly trunks which yield easily to the ax. Nevertheless, the bigger trees—the bigger rudiments of the soul—are not so easy to cut down. I shared earlier with you about the passion of the Lord. He will work with you relentlessly and never quit if He sees you mean business. He will hold your hand. You can walk around that same mountain half a dozen times. If He sees in your heart that you really mean to have freedom, He will help you cut down those giant trees. He will not do it for you, but He will help and strengthen you to do it. We are double-yoked with the Holy Spirit. On our part it takes prayer, fasting, obedience and determination.
Sometimes you can get so frustrated when, in His wonderful goodness and infinite wisdom, He takes you right back to something you were so sure had died ten years ago. Now you get to rediscover that old thing still lives. You think, “I thought this creature was dead. I thought I really had overcome this.” It can get so discouraging that you may want to give up. He knows that. He knows where your button is. He will take you right up to it, and He will press it. You say, “Why would He do that? If He does that, I’ll get mad and walk away.” The answer is: “Anyone who will!” When you finally reach the place where you are willing to go through whatever it takes to get you to Him, it no longer matters how many buttons get pressed. You will stand in the love of Christ and let Him do whatever He has to do in order to get the job done. It is worth it because every step of the way, you learn to love the fact that His is a holy way. You come to love holiness so much you only desire to be holy like He is holy. After all of the pruning and chiseling, and all that He has to do, you only thirst for more of Him.
There have been times when I have been without the sense of the manifest Presence for two or three years. The Presence is still there and the revelations are still given but, for whatever reason, He withdraws the tangible sense of His abiding presence. I can remember once when He took me through such a season. Some writers refer to it as the “dark night of the soul.” It is a lonely place quite accurately described as a dark night. On the very day that He touched me, restored the sense of His manifest Presence, and took me out of my dark night, I could do nothing but weep. I did not want to take one step away and risk losing His glorious Presence. I felt such desperation, so anxious to remain right there with Him.
What I learned during that dark season of terrible loss of His manifest Presence was that I was actually standing before the face of Jesus Christ in a higher way, closer than at any time before. The entire time, He was actually closer to me. During this time I was being filled with Him, notwithstanding it was all being accomplished in silence. I did not know it until after His manifest Presence returned. Only then did I realize how much I had grown and how much He had filled me with Himself during that time of silence. Many people, who start feeling the loss of His Presence, or who find things not going the way they think they ought, will pull away in offense. They will abandon the end goal. You cannot do that! Whoever will! The will must be captivated by the passion of the vision. It is the only way you can reach union in Christ.
Some people love to romanticize the concept of union with Christ. The style of their prose becomes very romanticized. You can read my book, Canticles of the Exchanged Life, and see that the entire book of the Song of Solomon is about the path into union. It is very much romanticized. When our Bible translator edited that book, he said, “You know, I am a man, and it’s very difficult for men to read this particular book in the Bible.” “Why?” I naively asked. Without further explanation, he simply replied, “Let’s just trust me on this one.” Even the Bible, then, could cause us to romanticize this quest for union. That is very good for the first several years of your walk, but after a certain point in time the Lord pulls you away from earlier romantic notions about what union really means. He impresses upon you, in no uncertain terms, the fact that the flesh must die; the sinful nature must be aborted. You must either choose life in Christ, or the loss of the promise by choosing the way of the soul. When He finally brings you to choose life, you discover that your quest and the way you perceive things are changed. Even the way the Bible speaks to you seems to change.
If you continue to hunger and thirst after union, you may find yourself dying to self in a strange place, all alone where no one cares. Some would rather that you simply go ahead and die. Others care not either way. No one is going to feel sorry for you. You must go through this alone. The thing that carries you through into union is the determination to reach it, which is well established in the seat of your will. You no longer romanticize your quest; you squarely face the truth of your situation with perfect visual clarity. This goal of reaching union does not follow an easy road. We thought everyone would love us for wanting to go into union when, in fact, they think we are real “nuts.” That is the truth. So there is no glory. No one appreciates it. No one is kneeling at their bed at night and saying, “Oh, what a glorious moment it is going to be when you bring Mr. John into union. Thank you, Lord.” No one is doing that. It is an inglorious life.
There is one thing about the journey toward union that is, however, different. The Lord Jesus Christ loves to manifest Himself to people who will pay the price. There are many things ahead that the Church and the world are about to go through. Union is where you want to live when these things happen. You want to be the fruit on the vine. You want to have the most direct contact with Christ that you can possibly get, and to live therein. Union is where you want to live. You want to pay whatever the price demands. Just ask me. I have been through most of the price. Sometimes in the midst of confusion, chaos, and all kinds of things that you have to go through to finally get out of the world, I am still saying that I am willing to pay the price. He knows that I am. If He knows that you are as well, then you will have union. If you are not willing, He knows that, also.
So I want to highly recommend that you set your heart like flint. Do not look back. Do not concern yourself over what He may ask of you. Do not go into this thinking that you will have to go through the terrible suffering of the loss of your children or mate. He is not interested in taking your kids or your mate. He is only interested in taking your sinful nature that keeps you from Him. Does that sound fair? Does it sound great?
Father, You are so wonderful. There is no life like walking with You. Help us to embrace whatever the price may be, Lord. Help us to die! Help us to learn to love righteousness and to hate sin. We thank You for it. We say, “Please do it!”
What a wonderful quality of love, that we might be called the sons of God. (1 John 3:1) John was in union when he wrote those words. You did not take the struggle out of it to make it easy, Father, but you did smite the sinful nature on the cross, now making union with You possible. We can reach that place in You if we want to badly enough. My Father, sitting upon Your throne, Your impassioned heart is so great that the human vernacular cannot find words to adequately describe it. Your love is so passionate, so deep, and so constant. The call is so strong.
Father, I can remember when You showed me the illustration of the salmon, fighting to get back to its point of origination. What that salmon went through was so painful to watch. Yet, at the same time, his determination was so strong that he would occasionally even re-form his body to force himself through the tough places he had to endure on his return. It was a marvel. The salmon fights many waters, but it is love that calls, it is destiny that tugs on his senses. When the heart truly wants You, Lord, the call of love will not dampen the fire, but will rather energize and empower it.
I pray, Lord, that You will put something in the hearts of the precious ones who read this. Do those things which man cannot do, and plant a seed in their heart where the tree of life may grow.
Dear reader, open your heart right now. Ask Him to plant the seed inside your heart and to secure it. Whatever You did to my heart, Lord, I ask that You would do to their heart right now.
There were times when the trials were so rough I would wonder how I could go on another month. Lord, knowing my heart, You would say to me, “Are you ready to move on?” Up, I would get, and off we would go. I realize that Your grace, Your strength, Your determination, and Your mercy is ever living in us. You will help us where we need that help because no one wants this more than You. I pray that You will captivate the heart of each one reading this, Lord, that their hearts will be so hungry to know You in this way, and that You will begin the journey with them. May they feel Your loving grace, Lord. In Your precious name. Amen.
In His Love,