We would almost all agree that the most outstanding characteristic of two people in love is the quantity of quality time they love and cherish to spend with and in each other’s presence. This spending time together becomes the highlight and all-consuming focus of their day. It is perhaps, the only worthwhile thing they think about and look forward to. It literally takes over the predominant concern of the day as they look forward to it with joy. Equally true, is the place or environment they choose to spend their time and how they spend it qualitatively. You know as well as I do, that that time must be spent alone without the least interruption and that time, also, is spent gazing into to each other’s eyes. Oh how at that moment, nothing else in the world matters and, time itself is eclipsed by the sheer joy of being in one another’s presence. The hardest part is leaving that place because you would want it never to come to an end. In a perfect world, you would wish to spend the rest of your time and life this way. But alas, part you must but never in spirit: for the memories of what you shared in that secret place lingers and you can’t wait to experience it all over again.
Now, hear me well; no matter how you try to explain it away, if your relationship and fellowship with Jesus is not like this or even with your spouse, something somewhere has gone wrong. Most marriages have truly settled for average. It is like those women and men who settle for spouses just for the heck of it, even though they know deep down in their hearts that this is not the one. How many times have I heard a lady say, “But am willing to settle down with him, although …” Isn’t love suppose to grow stronger and stronger? Why settle, really? The message here is: you don’t have to settle. Now, wait a minute, don’t go divorcing anyone because I am primarily addressing your relationship with God.
If only you knew the real secret to Jesus’ life
“But that the world may know that I love the Father …” – John 14:31. His secret was His love for His Father. Simple right? But there you have it. Oh how we have complicated Christianity! And that love towards the Father can be seen in how often Jesus spent in His Father’s presence. Spending time with the Father was to Jesus what oxygen is to life. But it was a fellowship driven and born out of love and not of duty. It was love for the Father and the Father’s love for Jesus that made Him to spend quantity of quality times with the Father.
“But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer” – Luke 5:16. Withdrawing from the world to be alone with God was not just something Jesus did but it was how Jesus lived. It ranked high on the list of His life’s principles and values. Being alone with God as a way of life was Jesus’ secret to life and ministry.
“And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and the evening was come, he was there alone” – Matt. 14:23. He went up to an isolated place away from the hustles and bustles of life to be alone in communion with His Father. All alone, rapt up in the Father’s love. The least distraction would break that communion and Jesus would not have it. It was away from the world and its cares; away from ministry and its demands; away from His own disciples; away from the illusions and deceptions of worldly comfort and pleasure into God Himself. Jesus knew that a wilderness saturated with God’s presence was 10,000 times more a better place than all the most prestigious places on earth and in heaven. Nothing was more important and no one was that important to take up His time with God.
The secret place with God was the secret place of His power
“And great multitudes came to unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus’ feet; and he healed them” – Matt. 15:30.
How often do you see the raw manifestation of God’s power in the church today? Miracles, signs and wonders are the norm of any real New Testament Church. Listen now, dear saint, “God lives in a man to the degree a man lives in God.” Jesus said, “But the Father who dwells in me does the works. Then He adds, “Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me and believe me for the proof of the manifested works” – (John 14:10-11 Paraphrased). Therefore, it is the Father’s active indwelling presence that does the works.
Jesus was driven into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit of God – (Luke 4:1). The wilderness was God’s choicest place to confer upon Jesus and to anoint Him with power without measure. God endorsed the wilderness as an environmental principle. It was here that Jesus came out of Jordan with power.
Notice the characteristics of this environmental principle:
- It is a place with absence of comfort or pleasure
- It is a place of complete solitude
- It is a place that necessitates 100% focus on the goal at hand
- It is a place that requires commitment and sacrifice
- It is a place without the distractions of the world
- It is a place without people
- It is a place of nothingness; non-the-less, it has always been God’s place.
How many Christians do you know love the wilderness or plan to spend their vacations in a wilderness? My friends, this is where God baptizes with power to cause changes. What a paradox to what Christians give their time to in these last days – comfort, pleasure, the movies, chatting and vanity!!!
Power with God before power with men
“And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day – Gen. 32:24.” When Jacob got alone with God, his destiny changed. When he got alone with God, he became a prince rather than a pauper. Here, he obtained power with God and power with men – “For as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed – Gen. 32:28.” To prevail, we must have power with God, which comes from spending quantities of quality time with God.
The Martha versus Mary principle
Many in these last days have become overly busy as workers for God. Like Martha, they love to serve. But few are like Mary who never did substitute her walk with God for her work for God. I see this craziness among the Christian leaders of this generation. Everyone, somewhere, always trying to prove something and many others find their validation in all their external works and accomplishments. I am convinced that our daily walk with God and the quality of that walk will count more than all of our accomplishments on the judgment day.
Do not confuse the anointing upon with the anointing within
- The anointing upon is a gift of grace. The one within is a grace to cultivate.
- The anointing upon is without repentance. The one within can be frustrated.
- The anointing upon is for service; the one within is for you.
- The anointing upon is for Charisma; the one within is for Character.
- The anointing upon are the gifts but the one within are for the fruit of the spirit.
- The anointing upon can work while living in sin but the one within gets quenched.
- The anointing upon requires the hunger and faith of others to work; the one within requires obedience to God and a life of purity.
Many ministers have fallen from grace because they got the two confused. Focus more on the one within that grows through spending time with God.
What value do you place on God’s presence?
Moses knew the value of God’s presence – Ex. 33:15-16. I ask you now in the name of the Lord Jesus to become a carrier of God’s presence. The bible says, “And Moses was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights …” – Ex. 34:28. Many times, Moses was called away by God for some alone time. A friend of mine told me it takes about 5 hours to climb Mount Sinai but that was a place where the distractions of the world lost its power and where Moses could communion with God uninhabited. Do you love God’s presence? Do you want power with God? Would you like to actually live in God? Then live in Him by living with Him as a way of life. The world is crying out for a true manifestation of God and the church yearns for men and women with some real character anointing. Everyone is getting tied of superficial Christianity and a cosmetic gospel without the energetic and explosive life of Christ Himself.