Cling To Jesus Like Mary DId
CLING TO JESUS LIKE MARY DID
New Orleans Revival Services
What will happen to the human race if God does not come to help His Church? It is a very disconcerting thought. How many of you know that you cannot make it through what is coming in the present grace in which you are walking. The Bible does tell us to get ourselves a heart of wisdom and to number our days (Ps 90:12). Unfortunately, there are many who do not know that they need more grace and wisdom than what they currently have.
Jeremiah 29:12 Amp. Then you will call upon Me, and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear and heed you.
Isn’t that a marvelous promise? Ponder it. It is not like calling a friend and saying, “I’m in trouble. Can you drive all the way down here to NOLA and help me?” Your friend says, “Sure. I’ll be there as soon as I can.” You ask, “Okay. So when do you think you’re going to arrive?” Your friend replies, “Well, how about August which is several months away?” In contrast, God says, “And I will hear you, and I will heed you.” God is speaking that. It is not just anybody. It is the God of heaven and earth.
Jeremiah 29:13 Amp. Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me [as a vital necessity] and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.
Does it say part of your heart? Some of it? Most of it? Usually when we are seeking the Lord, we are seeking Him with only a small part of our heart. The rest of our heart is very busy.
A pastor friend told me about a remarkable experience that he had. He used to go away every year up into the mountains for about twenty-one days to fast and pray. It was his custom during such times to drink only water and juice. So that particular year he went up and was fasting on water and juice as usual, and he was sitting in his comfortable chair, seeking the Lord. He had been there for about a week. He was getting very upset because he had not had any supernatural manifestation from the Lord, nor from an angel, nor anything else. It was as dry as unbuttered toast. He was getting very offended. Aren’t we funny? We all do it, right? He started talking to the Lord about his offense. “I left my Church. I came up here alone with just my water and my juice to seek Your face, and You don’t even pay attention to me!” He was, you might say, discussing things with the Lord, and the Lord put up with that for a few hours.
Suddenly, the Lord came. And when He came, He came in His majesty. In an instant, my friend found himself flat on His face, not even knowing how he got there. The Lord said to him, “When you seek Me with all of your heart, I will be found of you.” Then the Lord said, “I want to show you something.” As He said that, my friend suddenly could see the universe, everything from the vastness of the galaxies down to cells, molecules, atoms, and their nuclei, and the simplest things of all of creation. He could see the universe and the starry heavens which surrounded him. Everything that he laid his eyes upon was worshiping God. Then, God zoomed him in to where he could see everything in the mountain cabin living room. He could see the molecular structure of the walls worshiping God. The lampshade, lamp, and the chairs—everything that he looked at—was worshiping the majesty of His Presence as he stood in the room. He saw that all living and non-living things worship God continually. He was amazed and speechless. He did not know what to do.
Finally, the Lord spoke to him. He said, “All of creation worships Me. Everything created worships Me, except the hearts of the human beings whom I created in My image. I am majesty; will you not worship Me?” My friend felt so ashamed and dumbfounded that he did not know what to say. He felt so sorry for his bad attitude. When I heard this story, I told him, “I’m sorry that you felt so bad, but at the same time I’m glad. Isn’t it wonderful to know what it means when the Bible says that He is majesty?”
Isn’t it wonderful to know that we do not have to live like those who do not know that truth about Him? We all have such attitudes, don’t we? A tiny bit of our heart seeks Him, while the rest of our heart is busy having attitudes. We have attitudes about how we are living, attitudes about how He is giving, attitudes about how He is not giving, and attitudes about the people in our world. We bear the fruit of all of those attitudes, just as we would bear the fruit of godliness if we remembered that He is majesty.
Things today are intensifying in the world. There is coming a darkness which is greater than the world has ever known. Jesus declared that in one way it will be as in the days of Noah. Yet, in another way, we know that what occurred in the days of Noah is not going to compare to the coming of the man of sin. So there is an evil coming that is much greater than the world has ever known. There will be troubles, perplexities, and tribulations. Because of what is coming, the Lord wants you to draw near to Him. He wants to elevate His Presence in the earth. He wants to reveal Himself to His Church in ways that He has never done before.
Up on Mount Sinai, we saw Him reveal Himself in such majesty to the people of Israel. That was so astounding. What He did in Egypt and what He did on that mountain was so staggering that it shook the tribes all over the Mediterranean. Everyone heard about the God of the Hebrews. Everyone! They trembled before His name. Isn’t it amazing that Israel was out in the desert in His Presence, and much of the time they did not tremble? The surrounding nations who heard about Him were not in His Presence, but they trembled at His name. It makes one wonder, doesn’t it?
God is again calling His people, desiring to separate them unto Himself, but the people of God are not trembling. They are not comprehending the hour. The people of God are not lusting for God. They do not have passion for the things of the Spirit because they are still loving Egypt. The Lord told me that America was Sodom, and Canada was Gomorrah. The people of God in America are still like Lot’s wife; they love Sodom. Because they love Sodom, they are not trembling before the Presence of God. Oh, I feel the fire in the Lord’s heart regarding this. Many in His Church are going to awaken and understand the foolishness of their behavior, their thoughts, and their desires. But there will be those who in this hour will know certain judgment, even severe judgment, because they refused to acknowledge the God whom they say they love.
We have been given the most glorious invitation any human being could ever receive when the Lord says:
Jeremiah 29:12-13 Amp. Then you will call upon Me, and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear and heed you. Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me [as a vital necessity] and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.
What an invitation. So where is my heart divided? David said, “Unite my heart to fear and honor Your name.” (Ps 86:11) It is frightening to think that we could live, walk, and play while having a divided heart against God as though He was not holy or worthy. What divides our heart? Can I be honest? Self-love. We have a lot of that, don’t we? Only those who live in a dream world think that they do not have it. Self-deception. I can be honest with you because you know that I love you, right? Self-love is the biggest. Everything else revolves around it, doesn’t it? Maybe we love our businesses. Maybe it is our profession, our desire, or our ministry. Maybe we love our family more than the Lord. For some people, it is their problems. For other people, it is their successes. But we let it divide our heart.
What is at the core of it? The Bible says that the love of money is the root of all evil. Wherever the heart is divided, you will find the love of money. Now, it may not be what you can actually put in your hand. Money is a force; it is a power. So perhaps we could say that it is the love of power. A covetousness sinks deep into our heart. The root goes deep into the very bottom of our heart, and it sets up a dividing wall between that which loves God and that which loves the world. The amount of work you have allowed God to do in your heart will determine how much the love of money rules you. Where the love of money rules, God cannot rule. That is why Jesus said you cannot love both God and mammon (Mt 6:24). Think about that for a moment. Someone may say, “I’m not rich; I’m poor. How can you say that I have the love of money?” The amount of money you have has nothing to do with the love of it that is in your heart. Another may say, “But I don’t go chasing after money.” That does not mean you do not love it. I would not even address it, except for this promise:
Jeremiah 29:12 Amp. Then you will call upon Me, and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear and heed you.
What is more important: to have money or the Lord our God heeding you? Do you want money and material blessings, or do you want the Father above hearing you and heeding your prayer? Money cannot buy everything; in fact, it cannot buy a lot of things. But when God hears your prayer, and He heeds you, He can do what money cannot do. Not that money is entirely bad. However, it needs to be put in its proper perspective always.
Jeremiah 29:13-14a Amp. Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me [as a vital necessity] and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord
What an incredible promise. If you go to hell, He is there. If you go to heaven, He is there. If you go into the sea or up to the mountains, He is there. He is everywhere, but to be made manifest to you in your hour of need is what you need.
Furthermore, it is not enough to just know about Him—you need to be in Him. There is more than just being saved. Some theologians will get in a huff if they hear you say that there is a second or third work of grace. They say, “No. Salvation is the only work of grace.” They can stick with their ideologies and silly doctrines if they want, but a person with an experience stands heads above those who have head knowledge of what they only think they know. Tell someone who has been baptized in the Holy Spirit that there is no second work of grace. Tell someone who has been brought into union with Christ that there is no third work of grace. They will look at you like there is something wrong with your head. Tell someone who has had extraordinary visions and visitations from the Lord that Jesus does not visit today. They will just smile at you.
I am writing to you about these things because of this promise:
Jeremiah 29:14a Amp. I will be found by you, says the Lord
How long are you willing to live in the status quo? How long are you willing to stay locked in the world when God is calling you to move on? How much do you want to fight the workmanship of the Holy Spirit because you do not want to let go of temporal things, temporal ways, temporal attitudes, temporal doings, and temporal beings? Some of the things that we hold onto the hardest are the most obnoxious in the eyes of God, yet we do it with zeal. We are like one of those Sumo wrestlers. It is true. Our flesh stinks. I thought it was very kind of Martha to remind the Lord that her brother stank. Our flesh does stink, but oh how we want to pamper it. We want to treat it like a prince or a princess.
Are the things that you fight for really more important than Him? Are they? People say, “Why don’t I have experiences like that? Why don’t I see Jesus the way you do?” May I tell you why? Because we have many veils between us and the things of the Spirit, and those veils consist of the things in our heart that make our heart hard. Things such as: stubbornness, selfishness, and self-centeredness—the list goes on and on (see Gal 5:19-21). Maybe you have lustful passions, and you know better than that. You know you are not to lust after another person that is not your mate. You are not even supposed to lust after your mate, but rather love your mate in Christ. We know that this is true. We know that we are not permitted to allow anything to stand between us and the Lord. He said that He is the door to the Father. That is the only door we should know. God already tore the veil to the Holy of Holies. Our job is to continue ripping away our own veils that separate us from the love and knowledge of God.
My dear brothers and sisters, your life consists of one call:
Jeremiah 33:3 Amp. Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things, fenced in and hidden, which you do not know (do not distinguish and recognize, have knowledge of and understand).
Someone says, “Why don’t I see great and mighty things?” When was the last time that you called? I can remember when I was living in Michigan. I grew up there, and in Michigan, we have a lot of tornadoes. One time, I had taken my daughter to one of the Great Lakes. The radio announcer warned that a tornado was ripping through the area, and he said to get away from the beach. So I packed everything up. We got into our car, and we went out on the highway. I was looking in my rear view mirror. I am telling you the truth before God—the tornado was coming right down the street behind us. It was scaring the living daylights out of me. I turned left as fast as I could, and we went as far away as we could possibly go from those winds. Over and over, I was thinking, “I just have to protect my daughter.” I was scared.
Many years later, I was in Omaha, Nebraska, and I heard that a tornado was on its way to Omaha. I was sitting on the steps which led down to the basement. If you have a two story home, that is where you go, right? You go into the basement like an intelligent person. I was sitting there on the steps, and I was scared. I was thinking about what had happened so many years ago in Michigan. I also recalled another time when I was a young child, perhaps about eight or nine years old. I was standing at the door talking with someone, and I looked up in the sky. There was a tornado. I saw it form and touch down three times. It terrified me. My mother called my name, but I did not hear her because I was so wrapped in fear over this tornado that was heading towards our subdivision.
As I was remembering these things and was siting on the steps of the basement trying to hide, the Lord said to me, “What are you doing here?” I said, “I’m doing what every reasonable person does in Omaha when a tornado is coming, Lord. I’m hiding.” He said, “Take authority over the tornado.” I said, “What?” He did not answer. So I thought, “Okay. Well, how do you do that?” So I did it in my simplistic way, and it disappeared. Since then, I cannot tell you how many times I have stopped tornadoes. They no longer frighten me because I have authority over them. I taught my daughter how to do it. It is easy; all you need is faith.
Jeremiah 33:3 Amp. Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things, fenced in and hidden, which you do not know (do not distinguish and recognize, have knowledge of and understand).
You do not have to be overwhelmed by what is happening in the world or by the elements of nature. There are people that sometimes doubt my stories, but if they spend any time with me, and these things happen, then all doubt is erased. What is the difference in what I do, know, and understand from how most Christians live? The difference is that I know Him. That is why when He gives me what seems to the natural mind to be ridiculous assignments, I am not afraid. I know that if He is telling me He is going to do something, and He is going to reverse what is happening in nature, then I can stand on it. I will call to Him, and He will show me great and mighty things. My dear brothers and sisters, the hour is here where we need to know these great and mighty things more than we have ever needed to know them before. We need to know the God of those great and mighty things. Our faith needs to be in a place where we can believe Him for anything.
This is a very simple story, but it is an important story. Many years ago, when I was about thirty-two, I went to a Bible House store. I was looking for something for my sister’s mother-in-law who is Japanese and who had just accepted the Lord as Savior. She had removed herself from idolatry, but she still could not get rid of her idol—her Buddha statue. Even though she was saved, she thought that she needed to keep the statue so that no one got upset. God was so kind to her. One day, she went to her little closet to pray only to discover her Buddha statue was smashed to pieces. No one could have done it except for the angel of the Lord. Now she no longer fears devils; she fears the Lord. So I wanted to get her something as a special gift from the Lord because she finally turned away from that last stronghold.
As I was looking for a gift for her, a young girl came up to me. She was probably about twenty years old. She asked, “Are you looking for something?” I replied, “Yes. something for my sister’s mother-in-law.” She said, “Well, let me show you a picture. Come here.” She led me over to a picture of Jesus. It was a beautiful picture unlike anything I had ever seen before or since. She said, “Don’t you think she would love to have something like this?” I asked her, “How did you know that this picture was here?” (It was tucked in between two display cases.) She said, “Well, I put it there.” I asked, “Why?” She said, “Because I really want it for myself, but I can’t afford it. I don’t want anyone else to buy it until I can afford it.” I said to her, “You just became the wonderful owner of this picture.” She asked, “How?” I replied, “Because I am going to buy it for you.” So I took her up to the counter, and I bought it for her. All the time that this was going on, she was beside herself. As soon as I bought it for her, she cried out, “Are you an angel? You’re not even human, are you? You must be an angel! I can’t believe you’re doing this for me!” I said, “The Lord loves you. Just don’t worry about it. Just be on your way.”
As soon as she left, I went back, and I found exactly what I wanted to buy for my sister’s mother-in-law. But it took the last of my money. When I got home, my sister said that we needed something for groceries. She asked, “Do you have even ten dollars?” I said, “No. I just spent the last of my cash, so we’ll have to do it another way.” She replied: “I am sorry, but we need it now.” I reasoned, “Well, I don’t have any cash.” She asked, “Would you please check your wallet? Just check it, please. Maybe you accidentally have ten dollars left.” I said, “I just spent the last of my cash. I can promise you. Here, let me open it up, and I’ll show you.” What was in my wallet? Ten dollars! The Lord put that money back into my wallet. I bought that picture for that young girl, but what I did not know was that she was backslidden.
Approximately a year later, I was up in the mountains, when our car broke down. I was trying to figure out how we could get the car back to Fresno. I was making many phone calls, and on one of the calls, I got an operator. She said, “Who do I need to reach for you?” I explained the situation to her, and she said, “Your voice sounds so familiar.” I said, “Really? Why? What is your name?” She told me her name. I said, “You’re the girl in the store.” She said, “Are you the one who bought me my picture?” I said, “Yes.” That was when she told me all about what had happened in her life. Because she thought that an angel bought her the picture, she gave her life back to Christ. She began to share her miracle with people, and she led many people to the Lord. She also started going to Bible school. It was all because of this picture. She said, “I thought you really were an angel, but you’re not.”
There is more to this story that I will not go into, except for one other exciting piece. She helped us get in touch with someone from a towing company so that we could have our car towed back to Fresno. We sat in the front seat, as we road back with him. I was thinking that this man needed to know the Lord. I told my friend who was with me, “Start praying, because I want to try to win this person to the Lord.” So I asked him, “Have you ever heard about Jesus? Has anyone ever talked to you about Jesus?” He replied, “Well, yeah. Why?” I said, “Because, you know, He would just love to make you His son.” On and on, I began to talk and share with him how wonderful it would be to be saved. He started crying. I said, “That’s beautiful. Is the Lord touching your heart?” He said, “I’ve got to tell you. For many, many months, about once a month I’ve been having dreams about getting saved, but I haven’t known how to do it. It seems to me that you’re the person to help me.” So he gave his heart to Jesus. What a trip it turned out to be.
Call on Me, and I will show you great and mighty things. Seek Me. Seek Me with all of your heart, and I will be found of you. That is His promise. He wants you to quit worrying and fretting about what is coming, but He does not want you to forget it is coming. He wants you to remember just how powerful He is, how much He loves you, and how much He wants to reveal Himself to you.
I want you to understand something about revival. I do not want revival because I desire it; I want it because He wants it. God has used me twice in revival in the past, so I know what revival is like. I know how powerful and wonderful it is. You never want to sleep because God is doing such great things. You do not want to eat. You do not want to do anything except to be involved in what God is doing. Being involved in a true, deep, and powerful revival is the most exciting time. But I do not want revival because it is my desire. I want it because He wants it, and He wants to give it.
He wants to meet us and reveal Himself to us in that way. He wants to unmask His glory to us in such a way as only can be done in revival. He wants you to know what it feels like to feel the electric life of God flowing through your soul and flesh. He wants you to know by experience that there is life beyond the flesh. He wants to own your soul. He wants you to take away all of the hindrances, take away all of the veils, open up all of the doors, and say, “Jesus, come and take this flesh.” He wants you to come to the altar. I feel His holy fire right now. He wants you to come to the altar. He wants you to stand there, and He wants you to say, “Lord, I want to be on the altar. I will go on the altar, and I will stay there until my flesh is burned up because it is not beautiful to You. This life of my soul is not beautiful to You. No matter how I try to make it beautiful to others, it stinks to You because it deprives me of the life of Jesus. It deprives me of the knowledge of You. I want the flesh gone. I want this soul life gone. I want the life of the Spirit to enliven my very being. I will stay on this altar until it is accomplished.”
Jesus said, “I’m constrained, until it be accomplished.” (Lk 12:50) He knew He was going to the ultimate altar, and He did not run from it. He ran to it. Peter begged Him, “Lord, don’t do that. Don’t go there. Don’t even think that way.” Jesus said, “Get behind me, Satan!” There is a call.
Do you know why people are so apathetic about revival? It is because it demands something. It means you have to change. It requires something, and people do not want to pay the price. They want the glory, the fix, and the fun—that is it right there. They want the fun, but they do not want to deal with the One behind the fun. So they are apathetic. They will stand around and say, “Oh, God is not going to come here with a revival. We’ve been waiting for one for twenty years.” The problem is that you have been waiting instead of pleading, crying, and travailing. You have been waiting instead of beseeching, taking hold of the horns of the altar and not letting go until God comes, and crying out like Rachel did, “Give me revival lest I die!” You have not been like John Knox, who cried out, “Give me Ireland, lest I die!” That is why revival has not come. That is why God has not been able to manifest Himself. It takes a passion that churns and yearns in the heart of man. You have to decide that you want God more than anything, and that you will pay any price to have Him.
Have you heard of the book called Pilgrims Progress by John Bunyan? Are you aware that before he wrote that book, he was locked up in prison. He spent about three years in prison, rowing a boat in an underground river. He was assigned to do that for eight hours a day, every day. While his flesh was dying, his soul hungered for more of God. When he came out of prison, God used him in revival. Are you willing to pay the price to let your flesh die and to let that which hinders you in God be eaten up by the power of the Holy Spirit? We want the comfort of our flesh—the joy of our soulish life—and a little bit of God, too. It would be great if we could have just a little bit more of God than we used to have. But when He calls, and He says, “I will give you as much as you want, but you will pay a price”—will you pay it?
Charles Finney was used wonderfully in revival. When he was young, though he was not saved he was a choir director in his Church. Isn’t that interesting? That was the Church of his day. It sounds a bit like the Church of our day, doesn’t it? God began to deal with his heart. He began to think, “I’ve got to do something about this. Everyone thinks that I’ve already made the plunge. Here I am, the Choir director in Church, but there’s something stirring in my heart. I need to do something about this. I don’t think I’m where I need to be with God.” God kept pressing him, and dealing with him, until he decided, “I’m going to get saved. I’m going to find out how to get God.”
I will not go through the whole procedure because it would take too long, but it took him days of separating himself more and more, until finally he had to say, “I’ve got to separate myself completely from my law practice. I’ve got to go out into the woods. I’ve got to find God.” There was a deliberate decision of withdrawal from Egypt. He was not going out just to make life a little easier; he was going out to die a death. He was going to make his life very uncomfortable. He had already decided that if he got saved, he was going to preach the Gospel. He was about to make a commitment that was going to bring about a complete upheaval in his life. He did not run from the cross; he ran to it.
When he went out into the woods, he found that he could not even pray because his heart was so lifted up in pride. As God began to show him the pride that was in his heart, he began to weep, wail, and cry out to God. But he did not know how to get saved. He thought that certainly his pride had ruled him out. I am going to share with you what this man experienced, in his own words, before it was over. He was not like the average believer today who goes to Church because someone asked him to come. He hears the altar call and he thinks, “Well, that sounds like a great idea. I think I’ll do it.” This person is not looking for any life-changing experience or great transformation to take place in his life. He is just going to make life a little better. That is not what Finney did; Finney went to die.
In Finney’s own words: “There was no fire, and no light, in the room; nevertheless it appeared to me as if it were perfectly light. As I went in and shut the door after me, it seemed as if I met the Lord Jesus Christ face to face. It did not occur to me then, nor did it for some time afterward, that it was a wholly mental state. On the contrary it seemed to me that I saw Him as I would see any other man.”
You have to realize that this was the early 1800’s. Visions were rare. So he did not really fully understand what he was experiencing. Yet he knew that he had just met the Lord face to face.
“He said nothing, but looked at me in such a manner as to break me right down at his feet. I have always since regarded this as a most remarkable state of mind; for it seemed to me a reality, that He stood before me, and I fell down at His feet and poured out my soul to Him. I wept aloud like a child, and made such confessions as I could with my choked utterance. It seemed to me that I bathed His feet with my tears; and yet I had no distinct impression that I had touched Him, that I could recollect.
“I must have continued in this state for a good while; but my mind was too much absorbed with the interview to recollect anything that I said. But I know, as soon as my mind became calm enough to break off from the interview, I returned to the front office, and found that the fire that I had made of large wood was nearly burned out. But as I turned and was about to take a seat by the fire, I received a mighty baptism of the Holy Ghost. Without any expectation of it, without ever having the thought in my mind that there was any such thing for me, without any recollection that I had ever heard the thing mentioned by any person in the world, the Holy Spirit descended upon me in a manner that seemed to go through me, body and soul.
“I could feel the impression, like a wave of electricity, going through and through me. Indeed it seemed to come in waves and waves of liquid love; for I could not express it in any other way. It seemed like the very breath of God. I can recollect distinctly that it seemed to fan me, like immense wings. No words can express the wonderful love that was shed abroad in my heart. I wept aloud with joy and love; and I do not know but I should say, I literally bellowed out the unutterable gushings of my heart. These waves came over me, and over me, and over me, one after the other, until I recollect I cried out, “I shall die if these waves continue to pass over me.” I said, “Lord, I cannot bear any more;” yet I had no fear of death.
How long I continued in this state, with this baptism continuing to roll over me and go through me, I do not know. But I know it was late in the evening when a member of my choir—for I was the leader of the choir—came into my office to see me.”
Charles G. Finney, Memoirs (NY: A.S. Barnes & Co., 1876)
Then he tells what the effects of this experience were. Finney went from that experience into such a hunger for the Word. He had such a hunger to see the lost come into the kingdom and to see the Church saved. He left his law practice, and he went into ministry. His hunger was so intense that he needed with all of his heart to know the truth. I am feeling the fire of God regarding that. He did not want what the Presbyterian Church was preaching or teaching at that time, but he wanted the truth. He wanted the experiential knowledge of God. He wanted to know what God was all about. He wanted to know what truth was. And so he would go into his room with a friend every single night. He would weep, pray, and travail that God would give him the truth out of His Word, until Finney was lifted up in the knowledge of truth beyond anyone in the ministry. That is why God used him so powerfully. What does His Word say?
Jeremiah 29:13-14a Amp. Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me [as a vital necessity] and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.
We have to want God more than the Church presently wants God. You can find Him. He will reveal Himself to you, but you have to want Him more than the average believer wants Him.
When I got saved, it was rather a supernatural experience. To be very honest with you, it was an unbelievable experience. My younger sister, whom I was raising, was saved and filled with the Holy Ghost. Do you recall the Jesus Movement? If you were not in it, you thought that everyone who was in it was a little unbalanced. This is what I thought of my baby sister. But I decided that I wanted to get saved. I had so much pride that I did not ask anyone how to go about doing that. We are living in America. I could have called any one of a hundred Churches, but I had so much pride that I had to figure it out by myself. So I took a dusty Bible off the shelf and took it into my room. I decided that I was going to find God. I had to get saved. Now, I could have sat down and said to my sister, “Val, you’re saved. You’re filled with the Holy Ghost or something. Tell me what to do. How should I get saved?” I could have, but I did not. Too much pride.
So I went into my room with my Bible, and I fasted and prayed. I swore to myself that I would not eat until I got saved. But I could not figure out how. I cried and confessed everything that I could think of to repent for, and it turned out to be quite a lot. My eyes were so swollen from crying that I could hardly see out of them. I tried to read the Bible, but because I was not saved, I could not understand a word of it. I remembered that someone said to read the book of John, so I tried to do that. I could not understand that, either.
Finally, I got down on my knees, which is a great place to meet God. At this point I was seeking the Lord with all of my heart for about two days. I said to Him, “I can’t understand Your Bible. I want to get saved, but I don’t know how. Lord, I know that I’m supposed to love all the people that You put in my world, but I don’t. I love my daughter, but I don’t love anyone else. I should love my Mom and Dad, but I don’t. I don’t love anyone except for my daughter, Ricci. Lord, I don’t even love You. If you want me to love You, You’re going to have to put that love into my heart because I don’t know how to love You.”
The reason that I am sharing this with you is that I had the same experience that Finney had. Immediately, liquid love began to pour down over my being like electrical, liquid love. As I knelt there, it flowed into my head, down my body, and out my feet. This happened over and over again until my entire being was filled with His liquid love. At that point, I knew that He was inside of me. I said to Him, “Lord, outside of my relationship with my daughter, I have not ever known love.” That was true. That is why I did not love anyone. I said, “But if this is what love feels like—and if this is what You are—I will chase after You until I go home to be in heaven. I want to go as deep in love as I can possibly go this side of heaven. I want to know You as close as anyone can know You this side of heaven. I never knew that love could feel like this.” That is the way I have felt for thirty years.
The Church is so apathetic about their walk with God. They give every excuse and every reason for all of their refusal to change, seek, or to have passion. I look at the Church, and I feel so much sadness in my heart. It breaks my heart. I think about it sometimes during the day, and I start crying. I think of how foolish it is because you are giving up so much. You do not even know what you are missing out on. You think that you have to have all of the things that you’re chasing after, but you are giving up the greatest—the One who is love. He is the One who is wonderful. He is everything. You do not need all of the stuff that you are chasing.
Some people do not want change in their character, so they do not want to get close enough to God to the point where they have to change. You can choose to keep your stubbornness, your rebellion, your self-idolatry, your hate, your jealousy, and all of the things that you want to hold onto, but you will lose what you could have had. Who then is the fool? He is so wonderful, and He wants you desperately. He loves you so much. His arms are wide open to bring you in as deeply as you are willing to go. Pray for revival, but pray that in the revival, you will be transformed. Do not just seek the healings, the miracles, and the fun. Desire revival for the reality of God to be made alive to you and for you to be transformed.
There was a member of our team named Luzy, who is with the Lord now. Some friends talked her and her husband, who is doctor, into going to the revival in Brownsville. She said that when they walked into that building, they felt something in God they had never known. She said, “I didn’t know that you could feel God. We were Methodists. He put such a hunger in me and baptized me with such a passion for Him that I thought I was going to explode. I didn’t even go to work. I just stayed home and sought Him in prayer, day and night. I sought Him in the Word. I wanted to know why this reality of God existed, and I never knew it. I had been saved my entire life.” How much of the Church is out there in the same condition?
Later she came to be with me in New Orleans. We would go home from the services, and she would go straight to her bedroom and cry until the wee hours of the morning. I would say to her, “Luzy, why are you crying so much?” She said, “I’ve just wasted so much of my life. There is such a reality of the Presence of God in these services. It’s shaking everything inside of me. I want God like I’ve never wanted Him before. Not even in Brownsville. He has become so real. I can’t believe I’ve spent my whole life without Him.”
You do not know what you are giving up by not chasing after Him with all of your heart. Pray for a revival that will shake everything inside of you and bring you into the true reality of what it means to be saved. Some people think that the height of your Christian walk is to see a vision. You are wrong. The height of it all is to know Jesus Christ, experientially. It is to have His passionate love flowing and vibrating in your heart, undulating in your soul with life. Pray for a revival that will put you into such a state that your life will change, never to return to the old way again. That is what you need.
Once you press your way into it, do not ever leave it. Just keep going deeper. Cry out to Him day and night, “I want to know You, Lord. I need You. Come in revival, and revive me in the knowledge of God. Transform me with Your ever-living truth.” If you only knew how much love awaits you—how He loves and desires you. He wants to reveal Himself to you. If you only knew how much He wants you to experience Him. He wants to allow you to walk in the manifest Presence that only comes upon the Bride. It is worth whatever He asks you to give up.
Finney went out to the woods, and he found God. After he found Him, his soul was so revived—so exploding in the love and the life of God—that he had to take it to the world. Revival fell in every place he went. He was a man of prayer. He pressed his way into salvation through prayer. Once he got there, he kept going deeper. He pressed deeper and deeper through veil after veil, until he came into union with Christ. He outlived three wives. He preached so much that he lost much of his voice, and he had to begin writing. He could not preach enough because he had found truth. He found the living God. He was like a modern day Paul in that he had found the One who was worth leaving everything behind in order to possess.
Will you continue to deny yourself the great life that you espoused the day you got saved? Chase after Jesus, and carry the fire wherever you go. You might say, “I’m afraid I’ll lose friends.” Who cares? He is the greatest friend you could ever have. “I’m afraid I’ll go through trials.” Who cares? He said, “I have sent you out into the world, but behold, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) You do not have to worry. You might say, “Well, I could do it too if I had seen His face like you.” It does not work that way. You do it, and then you see His face.
Call to Me, and I will answer. Seek Me with all of your heart, and I will be found of you. There is no promise like it. You could read ten thousand books, but those few words are enough to hang the hat of your life on. There is nothing else in the world that can satisfy. When a certain manifestation of His Presence comes upon me, I cannot even bear to read the word “then” in the Bible. The Word of God is so filled with life that it makes my soul feel like it is going to explode. I feel as if I am going to go up to heaven. I cannot bear the weightiness and the power of the life that is in the Word. It is a living truth—a living Word. It will change your life forever when you experience what that means. Do not stay in the status quo. Press on, press in, and press deeper. Ask for more. Expect and desire more. Be passionate for more. The days of the charismatics exclaiming that they have visions every day, when in reality they have never even had one vision, are over. It has just become empty words. God wants a relationship with His Church where you can live in the life of truth. He is wonderful.
Jeremiah 29:11 Amp. For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.
I want to remind you who wrote this Book. This Book was written for you. It is intended to invite you into the greatest journey you have ever known. It was not written to tease you, but rather, to incite you to passion.
Lord Jesus, how great and wonderful You are. How exciting and marvelous You are. There is none like You, Lord. There is none like You in all the earth. Lord, who is like You in all the heavens? There is none like You. Your eyes are flames of fire. Your face is white with the glow of the glory. Such love, Lord, as would melt the heart. How great and how wonderful You are. Lord, I do not ever want to be away from You. I want to be like Mary, clinging. That is what you are calling us to—to cling like Mary. She saw You, and she threw herself down at Your feet. She reached out and clung to You. Everything inside her was doing exactly what she needed to do. Cling to Jesus. For Lord, when we cling to You like that, we are going to take Your glory back to those who have not seen. I do not want the world. I must have You. No more of the world. You alone, Lord.
In His Love,