Intimacy (12)


What is the wedding garment in the parable in Matthew 22:12? In the parable recorded in the first verses of Matthew 22, when those who would not come to the king's wedding feast were destroyed, the servants were sent out to bring anyone they found, good or bad, to the wedding feast. But when the king came in to see his guests he found one without a wedding garment. “Friend,” he said, “how did you get in here without a wedding garment?” And there was nothing the man could answer. The king commanded his servants to bind him hand and foot and send him out into the outer darkness where there would be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Jesus consistently uses this phrase for those who will be excluded from the kingdom of God. I believe it has to describe hell.

I think the wedding garment represents three things in our lives.

  1. I believe it must represent intimacy with Jesus Christ. In Matthew 7:23 Jesus said the problem with many who preached and healed and did miracles in His name was that He had never known them. I am told by reliable sources that the wedding garments may well have been supplied by the king himself. You did not get one because you were born into a wealthy family, or because you knew the best tailor in town. You could only get one from the King. Salvation is not simply affirming a creed or even mouthing a prayer. It is a relationship where in we know Him because He knows us intimately.
  2. I believe the wedding garment must also represent the transformation of life that intimacy with Jesus produces in us. Romans 12:2 calls us to be transformed by the renewal of our minds. And new birth must include such life transformation.
  3. Finally, I believe it represents the fruit of the Spirit produced in and through us. In Matthew 7:16-20 Jesus said we would know false prophets, and I assume true disciples, by their fruit. I believe this begins with love, joy, peace, and such in us. But it also includes such fruit in those we influence by the Holy Spirit of God.

Jesus applies this parable by saying, “for many are called but few are chosen.” I don't believe it is consistent with the gospel to say that those who are chosen are chosen because of their good works. In that parable we would assume that there were bad people who had a wedding garment. And we are not told that this man was better or worse than others at the table. I rather think Jesus is saying we will know those who are truly chosen by God from the fruit His personal intervention produces in our lives.



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Jesus said it in Matthew Chapter 7. “You can't grow grapes from thorn bushes.” This applies to every area of our lives from running a marathon to raising your children. And it especially applies to writing which is the fruit of your soul. I remember reading something Baxter Black wrote on how he began writing poetry. He told about writing a poem with a religious theme for an English class in college. He got the paperback with the words writ large and in red across the top of the page, “WRITE ABOUT WHAT YOU KNOW!” Who does not agree with this principle? You must write what you think. You write about what you care about. And yes, you write who you are. Your own character is the foundation of all your writing.

I recently read a quote by Danielle Steel, a secular writer, in a secular book on writing.

“Where do the ideas come from? I don't really know. I've always had a deeply religious feeling about my writing. I feel very unimportant in the scheme of it all. I pray a lot before I start a book and as I work through it. And the less important I feel the better the book goes.”

Let me deal briefly here with four aspects of prayer that are essential to writing.


We spend time in prayer to develop intimacy with God. The more time you spend in direct fellowship with God the more He shapes your character.


Character development is painful. We need to allow God to make changes in our lives. And we have to come to Him with a tender heart repenting of attitudes and actions that do not please Him.


To get the most nourishment we need to pray the word of God. We take prayer to the level of meditation by memorizing a scripture and then thinking about it over time, maybe several days.

Many years ago I pastored church in a rural community in Texas. I am convinced that during the five years I served there a man who died shortly before I came continued to have the most Godly influence of anyone in that community. His wife told me every morning as he began his day he would fix a Bible verse in his mind. Then he would repeat that verse over and over all day long. And God developed his character and multiplyied the fruit of his life.


Praise is sometimes a neglected element of our prayer life. And yet nothing that I know of develops faith, courage, hope, joy, or peace as thoroughly as praising God for who He is and what He does.


Do you spend time talking to God about His mission for your life? Sense of mission it is essential to the attractiveness and benefit of your writing. This is of course true in writing Christian non-fiction. But it is also an underlying foundation for all writing, fiction or nonfiction.


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Going Deeper in Intimacy with God

“Might we not set ourselves to learn silence, stillness, and solitude? It will not be easy to come by. It must be arranged. The Lord Jesus, available to people much of the time, left them, sometimes a great while before day, to go up to the hills. He could commune in solitude with His Father. Job, enduring his friends’ tiresome lectures and accusations, was very much alone in the ash heap, but it was there that he came to know God as never before. When Paul received God’s call to preach the gospel he did not consult anyone. He went into Arabia. The old apostle John, when exiled to Patmos, must sure have known a holy aloneness through which he received the book of Revelation.” 
Elisabeth Eliot

I like to write motivational books on prayer. One of my books is called Deeper Still: Secrets to a Deeper Prayer Life. As I wrestled with what to call this book and after finally deciding on a title, God gave me several confirmations that this was His choice. Within a very short time I saw the words “deep,” “deeper,” and “deeper still” everywhere—a street name, a magazine title, a song on a CD, an article title, and several other places.

God was showing me that depth is very important to Him as we learn the lessons of prayer. The great biblical characters like Job, Paul, John, and even Jesus had to learn this lesson. God wants to take each one of us deeper still—deeper than we have ever been before. And this requires an invitation to times of aloneness.

Going deeper in prayer is not always easy or fun.

Actually it can be quite difficult, especially when we don’t know what God is doing. We have to give extravagant time to God. When I wrote Deeper Still, God was wooing me into a deeper prayer life. I thought to myself:

“Haven’t I gone deep enough? Do You still want me to go deeper?”

That is exactly what He wanted. The difficulties of the end-times require it. You may wonder, “Lord, isn’t it about time that I take action? I’ve been waiting a long time.” But you may not realize the strength that is needed at the foundation of your life in order to stay consistently stable in hard times. Your foundation has to be strong so that no attack from the enemy can penetrate your firm trust in the Lord.

The word “deep” in Webster’s Dictionary means “extending far below the surface, descending far downward, profound, opposed to shallow, piercing a great way, not superficial or obvious, hidden, secret, heartfelt, intricate.” God wants to take us far below the surface in our relationship with Himself. This relationship must not be superficial—as so many are—but heartfelt, hidden, and of great depth.

The quality of our aloneness with God can actually enhance the quality of our time with others. Cultivate that deep, alone time with God and make it a holy aloneness. Make your relationship with God of prime importance because this is what life is all about. Someone once told my husband and I, “God is taking you deeper and working intricately with your life, so that you can work intricately with the lives of others.” I’ve often thought about how true that statement has been to us.

We used to live in Virginia Beach so we learned a lot about hurricanes. A few years ago we had a hurricane called Ernesto that swept through the area. I’ve written about this hurricane before because of its’ profound message. Ernesto was not a very forceful hurricane, yet many trees fell because of the strength of the winds. Many people lost one or more trees during that hurricane. It left Virginia Beach in a huge mess with trees and branches lying everywhere.

The stability of the trees depended on how deep the roots went below the surface. Shallow roots could not stand the force of even a small hurricane. In Virginia Beach in mild weather you could never tell how deep a tree’s roots extended, but in a hurricane the truth was exposed. Shallow roots meant a big downfall. The roots just could not sustain the tree.

Likewise, right now God is developing your prayer life and the depth of your personal relationship with Him. He is inviting you deeper for a purpose. He has great plans to use you in the coming days. You must not bypass this most important season in your life.

During the last several years, I have concentrated a large majority of time in writing books on prayer. This has called for a lot of root work. It has called for alone time with God and heavy concentration. I am an active person and like to be out in the nations, but God is inviting me to go deeper. I have learned to say “yes” to this call. I know it is perhaps the most crucial time in my relationship with God. I have learned that the value of this time of going deeper with God is worth gold. I need to be exceedingly grateful for it even though it takes effort and a prioritizing of everything I do.

God is inviting you to enter into deeper intimacy. As you accept this invitation, I recommend that you do the following:

  • Thank Him for what He is doing in you - Live a life of praise and thanksgiving. Choosing to go deeper with God will pay off in the end. Thanksgiving brings joy and contentment.
  • Refuse to listen to the devil - Just as those shallow trees fell in the hurricane, God does not want you to be shallow so that you fall in the end times. He wants to strengthen you now. Listen to God when He is calling you deeper, and accept His invitation.
  • Be patient and don’t complain - Watch your speech and guard it carefully. Be one who speaks positive words that bring joy and faith to others.
  • Be content with where you are - Thank Him for the depth He is developing in your life through your present circumstances. Let Him work intricately with your life.
  • Cultivate holy aloneness with God on a daily basis - Plan it in your schedule. Sacrifice in order to give God your time. Make Jesus central in all that you do.

Your depth with God now is of utmost importance. He knows what is needed. He is working intricately with your life. He is deep, and He is inviting you to go deeper into His heart through prayer. He knows how strong the winds will be howling in the end-times. He is very purposeful in what He is presently developing in your life. The devil will say it is not important. He will tempt you with these thoughts:

“Eat, drink and be merry. Nothing will happen. Live just for today.”

But God is developing this holy aloneness with Himself for a purpose. Every day of “root building” is beneficial. When you are building depth, often you can’t see anything happening on the surface. It can even feel that all is dead and lifeless, but actually the opposite is true—sustainable life is being built deep down where it really counts. Realize that your root development will one day pay off. Let His song be with you even during the midnight hour.

Don't miss the Intercessors Arise prayer webinar called: How to Grow in Intimacy with God. It's filled with free prayer material to help you grow in your relationship with God  - SECURE YOUR SEAT HERE!

“Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. By day the Lord directs His love, at night His song is with me—a prayer to the God of my life” (Psalm 42:7-8). 

By Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International

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Abba, Father

And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!"

Galatians 4:6


This is one of the most powerful statements of prayer in the entire Bible. It is a wonderful statement of intimacy. You may be aware that Abba is a Hebrew word. That is only partially true. It was, in fact, an Aramaic word. Hebrew was the language taught in the synagogue. It was the language of the Torah, the Old Testament law. But in the days of Jesus Aramaic was the language spoken in the home. Abba does mean father, but it might more accurately be translated, "Daddy." It could be translated, "Dada."

Before our first grandchild was born our family talked about grandparent names. Although I admit it is not as clever as some, I wanted to be called, "grandfather." My wife immediately said, "The poor little thing won't be able to say that." I answered, "I will answer to whatever she calls me." And sure enough, my grandchildren call me, "Gaga."

Abba would have been the first effort of a baby to say its father's name. The significance of Mama, Dada or Abba is intimacy. The baby saying that word is not asking for the car keys. She wants her parent's arms. She is clinging to your neck. The Holy Spirit inspires us to cry out for God's embrace.

Such a prayer is also passionate. You may note that the English Standard Version quoted above follows this statement with an exclamation point. That is because of the force of the word, "cry." The word Abba is only used once in the gospel accounts. In Mark 14 Jesus used this word to cry out to His Father as He sweated blood "with loud cries and tears" in the garden before the cross.

Abba is also used in Romans 8:15 which also says by the Spirit we cry, "Abba, Father." In the same context Romans 8:26 says the Spirit intercedes for us with groaning. We live in a groaning world. Romans 8:20 says creation itself was subjected to pain and frustration. The godly response to this world of suffering must include passionate prayer. And it is crucial to see that this verse is calling us to supernaturally inspired prayer. If the Holy Spirit is present in your life, He will inspire you to cry out, "Abba, Father," to our God. 

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In Ephesus 5:14-15 Paul writes, "For this reason I bow before the Father from whom Every family in heaven and earth derives its name."

The Lord's Prayer does not simply teach us to say the words, "Our Father which art in heaven." Jesus is calling us to bow our hearts to our Heavenly Father. The privilege of coming to God as our father represents ultimate intimacy and majesty. I remember my sister and I running out to meet my father and throwing ourselves around his legs as he came home from work. Jesus is telling us we have that kind of relationship with the God of the universe, the God beyond the universe who created heaven and earth.

In Matthew 23:9 Jesus told us we have one father who is in heaven. He is the source of our spiritual DNA. We are born again in Him. Have you ever seen a child who reflected his father's appearance? God is working in the lives of His children making us more and more like Him, like Jesus.

I also remember my father's deep quiet voice teaching and encouraging me. He did not always do it perfectly, but my heavenly Father does. God teaches and guides His children.

My father worked hard to provide for the needs of our family. But even my father's provision was given us by God. God provides our every need. In His arms we are blessed and comforted. He alone knows our deepest needs.

There were times when my children knew I was afraid. But I do not ever remember my father being afraid. I could not imagine being afraid when I was with him. If he was there we were safe. God is our ultimate rescuer. He is our Savior. More than a dozen times in Scripture we have the phrase, "God our savior." This of course includes Jesus as God the Son. Tutus 2:14 speaks of "our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ." Jude 25 reads, "To the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time now and forever. amen"

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Spiritual Hunger & the Legacy of John Hunter

More than 30 years ago, I received a call from an elderly man named John Hunter. Someone had given him my name, and he said he hoped I might be able to answer some of his questions about the new things God was doing in the church.

I agreed to meet with him, and after that initial meeting John and I got together often. I learned that he had already known the Lord for more than 50 years—much longer than I had even been alive at that point. He didn’t flaunt his credentials, but he also had many years of experience as a church leader and Bible teacher. John clearly knew Christ in a deep and profound way.

So why did he want to get together with me? That was something I always found puzzling. Was it that he had a fatherly concern for me as a young Christian leader? Yes, I’m sure he wanted me to succeed as a leader—but that was not why he wanted to get together.

Did he want to straighten out my theology? No, that was the furthest thing from his mind.

Still to this day, I’m shocked by John’s primary reason for wanting to spend time with me: He was so hungry for the things of God that he hoped to learn something even from a “youngster” like me.

This may not seem so remarkable to you, but it still challenges me to the very core of my being. Why? Because John Hunter was hungrier for the Lord than I was.

Let me explain…

Before I met John, I was pretty satisfied with the spiritual level I had attained. I felt knowledgeable about the Scriptures and in touch with the Holy Spirit—wasn’t that enough? But John exemplified the same kind of insatiable hunger for God that the apostle Paul wrote about:

   Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that    for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but        one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for        the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as are perfect [mature], have this      attitude (Philippians 3:12-15).

Until his dying day, John Hunter was still pressing on, not satisfied with the knowledge of God he already had. In his later years John developed Parkinson’s Disease, which made it much more difficult to “press on”—but he did nonetheless. His gait was more wobbly each time we met, as if his tall, lanky body might fall at any moment.

But he insisted on getting together anyway.

When we sat to have lunch, John’s hands shook violently if he tried to gesture or to bring a spoon to his mouth. Often his food spilled on his shirt, drawing the attention of those at neighboring tables in the restaurant.

As his final days approached, John’s words came out slowly and slurred. Sometimes he didn’t finish the sentences he started. But I could always sense the presence of the Lord during the times we shared.

It will be great to see John Hunter again someday. In heaven, I’m sure he has a fantastic new body, unaffected by anything like Parkinson’s. And I can’t wait to see how his childlike spiritual hunger is finally being satisfied as he dances in worship before God’s throne.

Let’s remind each other to follow John Hunter’s example, always yearning to go higher, toward the “upward call of God” for our lives. Let’s stay hungry until our hunger is fulfilled in eternity.

And perhaps the Lord would even have us invest ourselves in a new generation, as John Hunter did with me. Our lives will be changed when we do.

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9651011662?profile=originalDr. Alice Smith Allow me would like to share some thoughts with you today about intimacy with God. As the Bride of Christ, we will never experience a moment of life alone again. He longs to share as much with us as we are willing to receive. Not only do we have the joy of sharing in the Bridegroom’s victories, but Jesus often invites us to share His burdens. Suppose a mental picture of a family member crosses your mind. Most of the time we think about them, and then from our human perspective we ignore the reason why they came to mind. Instead, ask, “Lord, what about this loved one?”
            The Lord may tell you about a timely need they might have. If so, in faith agree with Him concerning this burden. He may also expose the enemy’s plans to harm your loved one.

For example, the Lord may reveal to you that the devil has designed an airplane disaster for one in your family. So with ambassadorial authority, enter spiritual warfare. “Powers of darkness, I now call your strategy to destroy my family member to a halt in the power of Christ.” If you do not know how to pray, simply agree with God. Pray, “Lord, preserve your purpose for my loved one’s life.”
            A more difficult intercessory assignment is when God places a burden on us without an attached assignment. In other words, we receive the burden from the Lord’s heart, but we have no idea what it concerns. In this case Jesus is asking us to bear His burden by faith and to intercede without knowledge (Rom. 8:26). Listen friend. This is another way the devil deceives us into aborting the process of prayer. We may wrongly assume it makes no sense to bear a burden for something about which we have no knowledge. A mature intercessor will be willing to bear the burden while God alone bears the knowledge. This is faith pressed to the limits!
            We Christians, who consider ourselves intercessory prayer warriors, godly Bible teachers or pastors, listen up! Beware of the trap of trying to acquire a bigger and better “high.” Whether it’s prayer, Christian service or spiritual warfare, this is nothing more than fleshly Outer Court striving. Experienced Christians willingly submit to the discipline of the dry times. Consider the seasons when the Lord is quiet in your life to be times of “spiritual tune-ups.” During transitions, when He chooses not to speak, your spiritual ears are being fine-tuned to hear His voice. In time, your spirit will learn to hear Him, even when He whispers.
            The Lord Jesus doesn’t have to be screaming at us. A secure relationship is one that sitting in each other’s presence without words spoken can be enough. Earthly thrills diminish once we taste the delicacies of this sweet relationship with the Lord beyond the veil.


For 43 years, Eddie and I have traveled the world sharing the good news of the gospel, and equipping believers in their relationship to Christ. Each year we’ve been blessed to have the support of fellow Christians who share our burden for souls.
            This year (2013), for the first time ever since we began ministry (for Eddie in 1960 and me in 1968), for reasons unknown to us, our ministry income has dropped 60%. This has forced us to make drastic changes in every area. A refiners fire has indeed pruned, refined, re-calibrated and restructured us. But the calling of God has not been rescinded (Rom 11:29); and like the Apostle Paul, we are confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to...” (Phil 1:6).
            Today we are asking the Lord to increase the number of those who share our vision and who are willing to serve as “senders.” There are those who are called to “go,” and those who are called to “send.” (Rom 10:15)
            Will you come alongside and invest in the U.S. Prayer Center ministry? We have daily opportunities for ministry and see victories both here and abroad. But we need to hear from you. You know us! We rarely suggest a certain amount, but this month, would you send $100 or more? If you can’t, please send your best gift! When you do, enclose your greatest prayer burdens too. We will be honored to intercede for and with you for breakthroughs.

Sincerely serving our King with you!


9651011281?profile=originalBy Phone:  1-800-569-4825  or  (713) 466-4009

Or make your check payable to:  U.S. Prayer Center

7710-T Cherry Park Drive, Suite 224

Houston, Texas 77095

Thanks you!

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Mystics in an Age of Metadata

On the surface, it would seem that God’s words in Hosea 4:6 are no longer true. Can we really say today that people are “destroyed for lack of knowledge”?


Let’s take a closer look…


At first glance, it might seem that the very opposite of Hosea 4:6 is true today. Instead of being destroyed because of our LACK of knowledge, our culture is literally drowning in it. We’ve even had to coin an entirely new term for this: “metadata,” which Wikipedia defines as “data about data.”


In the 21st century, it’s no longer good enough to have data or knowledge. We’ve gotten to the point where we must have data about data and knowledge about knowledge. (Note: In our Narcissistic Age, even the data has become narcissistic, in love with itself!)


In previous centuries, humankind mined precious commodities like diamonds or gold, but now our focus is on mining precious data instead. And make no mistake about it, it’s not just someone else’s data—it’s YOUR data!


Not content to follow obvious data like the clear warning signs leading up to the Boston bombings or Fort Hood massacre, the National Security Agency (NSA) is collecting the phone records and other information about millions of Americans (yes, YOUR records). Have you seen the pictures of NSA’s huge new $2 billion data storage center in Utah?


When our Founders attempted in the Fourth Amendment to guarantee that all citizens would be “secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures,” could they ever have envisioned what we face today?


Don’t be paranoid, but you really are under surveillance. Yet what did you expect? Did you really think you would find any privacy in the Age of Google, Facebook, and Verizon?


Yes, our world is drowning in knowledge, the kind of knowledge clearly predicted in Daniel 12:4 regarding the End Times:   I bet you never realized that metadata is one of the prophetic signposts of the Last Days.


In contrast with metadata, Hosea 4:6 is referring to an entirely different kind of knowledge. The NLT translation catches this well: “My people are being destroyed because they don't know ME. That’s the kind of knowledge we need above all, but it’s increasingly hard to find today.


You see, when you’re drowning in metadata, it’s not easy to have an intimate relationship with the true and living God. You may get a cell call, text message, or email right when you are starting to pray and experience His presence. So let’s be honest: God’s “still small voice” is just too difficult to hear unless we consciously unplug from the world and periodically get away to a solitary place.


Mystics are hard to find in an Age of Metadata. But shouldn’t we take steps in that direction in order to draw near to God amid our noisy world?

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Spiritual Intimacy With God is Alice Smith's life message.

Her best-selling book, "Beyond The Veil," now a worldwide bestseller
is available in many languages.

Her newest book, "Spiritual Intimacy With God" is the sequel.

Here, Alice shares two minutes of video instruction.


Spiritual Intimacy With God

Beyond The Veil


NOTE:  Alice is also available to speak to your church or group.

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Learn to Sing in the Desert

And the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose; It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, even with joy and singing" (Isaiah 35:1, 2).
Have you ever been in the desert? I’ve been in many deserts, both physically and spiritually. My husband likes to minister to people who live in the desert where there are miles and miles of sand. There are huge sand dunes with nothing else that the eye can see. Miles and miles of sand everywhere. We’ve spent a lot of time in Australia as well where there are vast amounts of unpopulated areas throughout the middle of the country. Vast wastelands.
We were given a desert rose from North Africa that was forged under heat and pressure in that vast desert area. Even in the driest of situation, toughest of places, there is life. I cherish that special rose made out of rock and sand. It is so beautiful and so meaningful to me. See a desert rose.

During those personal times in the desert you may feel like everything has shut down for you. You may not sense favor where you once did. You may feel that your relationships are more distant and may even feel that God has abandoned you. But I want to say to you, “Do not fear. God is in the desert. He is developing you into a rose."

God brings us into the desert in our spiritual life, often not because we are doing something wrong, but because He wants more of us. He wants our undivided attention. He may even take us out of a busy and fruitful time, and this may seem so inconvenient and unnecessary to the carnal mind. But always know this: your Father knows exactly what He is doing.
What are you leaning on for your support? Is it ministry, popularity, or money? God wants you to lean solely on Him. He will make you strong in days when everything else is shaking. He is always strategic and purposeful in all that He does. If you are in a desert experience, He has set you apart for Himself in this season for a purpose.

Learn to Sing
“I will allure her and bring her into the wilderness and speak comfortably to her, and she shall sing there” (Hosea 2:14).
In the desert we must learn to sing. Our natural tendency is to have a gloomy outlook and give up, but this is exactly when we need to learn to sing with all our heart.
When we are in this situation in our life, how can we get the most out of our desert experience? Here are some ways:

  • Fix your eyes on God. Walk in faith. This may not be an easy time. After all, you are in a desert where most things have dried up. But it’s you and God alone and this is most valuable to Him. He desires our intimacy. Jesus alone is your “Bread of Life”.

  • Resist the enemy. If the enemy is telling you that there is no way out and that your situation is hopeless, resist him and stand firm in your faith. This is a time when the enemy comes in with his relentless lies. He did this with Jesus in the desert (Matthew 4).

  • Embrace the desert. Embrace it wholeheartedly by the grace of God. See the tremendous value of this time in your life, and thank God for it.

  • Examine your heart and invite God’s purifying fire. During this time God will show you areas that need change. Cooperate with His Spirit and invite Him to change you deeply on the inside. Ask Him to remove every barrier that keeps you from Him and His purposes for you.

  • Get a journal and write down what God is saying to you. He is always speaking, and now you have no distractions from hearing His voice. By faith believe that He wants to share His secrets with you during this time and listen expectantly.

  • Study whole books of the Bible. Especially study the Song of Solomon because it is all about intimacy with God.  

  • Pray God’s Word out loud back to Him. This is God’s personal season with you. Personalize the Bible. Take a phrase and pray it. Listen to God's voice carefully throughout the day.

  • Learn to sing in the desert. Sing praises to God instead of complaining. Watch your tongue very carefully and keep from negativity. Become an extravagant worshipper.

  • Study the attributes of God daily. Worship God for who He is, not just for what He gives you. Dwell and meditate on His attributes. Sing and pray those attributes back to Him.

This is the time to learn to sing with all your heart. We must not only sing with our voice, but we must sing with our words, our eyes, our attitudes, our prayers, our writing, our praise, and everything else. 

We must come to the place where all that is within us gives praise to God.
Study the Song of Solomon
“Set me as a seal upon your arm, as a seal upon your heart, for love is as strong as death, its jealousy as ardent as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the Lord” (Song 8:6).
The desert is a wonderful place to study the Song of Solomon in the Bible. The Song of Solomon is an eight-chapter love song revealing the passionate desire of God for His Bride. If you want to understand how God sees you and feels about you, then this is a good book to study while in the desert. Nothing will empower your heart more than having a revelation of God’s affection for you personally. God will empower your heart to trust Him in this season of your life.
The Song of Solomon is Mike Bickle’s most popular teaching series here at the International House of Prayer. He studied it for 20 years. I recommend his teachings and am planning on writing more articles on it in the future. For a 24-part series by Mike Bickle, see Song of Songs.
It’s time to shake off the lies and begin to enjoy the desert. Sing! Sing in your heart and thank Him for this time. It is time for you and Him without any distractions. Waters will break out in your desert, and you will find streams that will water all those you come in contact with. Don’ despise this time but learn to enjoy it. What looks like an endless desert with no life will turn into springs of water. God is preparing you now for what He has for you in the future. He will bring forth flowers in your desert, and He has a plan for you. You are not forgotten but God wants to speak tenderly to you. You are His beloved and He cherishes every moment you are with Him in the desert. You are His desert rose.
“Then shall the lame man leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing. For in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water….” (Isaiah 35:6, 7)

Intercessors Arise News

Debbie Przybylski

Intercessors Arise International
International House of Prayer (IHOP) KC Staff

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Hearing His Voice?

"Hearing His Voice?"


Fairly often I encounter Christians who describe God “speaking to them.”  It is as if the Almighty actually verbalizes His unique direction right into their eardrums.  Frankly, I am skeptical.  I do not hear voices nor to do I see detached hands writing on the wall.  Yet, the Bible is clear that Christ is living and active among His people and He has commanded the churches to “hear what the Spirit is saying” (Revelation 2 & 3).


The Bible is prolific about the importance of hearing God’s voice – in both Old and New Testaments. Yet, how do we understand God’s pledge to speak to us without slipping into some kind of extra-biblical, subjective mysticism? Let’s try to understand.  


The Priority of Hearing God’s Voice


Throughout the Old Testament, the precursor to obedience was hearing God’s voice, most often through His commandments revealed in the divine Scripture. Dozens of times in Exodus, Deuteronomy, Joshua, and Jeremiah we find references to the voice of the Lord in connection with His revealed commandments. “Today you have proclaimed the LORD to be your God, and that you will walk in His ways and keep His statutes, His commandments, and His judgments, and that you will obey His voice” (Deuteronomy 26:17).  In Daniel 9, the sins of God’s people are described as a failure to hear and obey God’s voice (9:10, 11,14). The Psalms describe God’s voice speaking through His creation (18:13, 19:3, 29:3-9, 68:33, 77:18).


In the New Testament, Jesus announces that His sheep will hear and know His voice and follow Him (John 10:3, 4, 16 & 27).  He also declared that everyone who is of the truth hears His voice (John 18:37). He predicted that day when His voice will resurrect the dead from the grave (John 5:25 &28).  In Revelation 3:20 He calls on those within the lukewarm, self-sufficient Laodicean church to hear His voice as He knocks on the door, offering restored fellowship.  The book of Hebrews calls us to not harden our hearts when we hear His voice.


How Do We Hear God’s Voice?


His voice is contained in and consistent with His revealed word – Throughout the Scripture, hearing God’s voice is synonymous with obeying His commands.  The Bible is “the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).  In the closing verses of the New Testament we are warned not to add or take away from the revealed word (Revelation 22:18-19).  The sufficiency, authority, relevance, and transformational power of the Scriptures trump any individual revelation of the “voice” of God.


His voice is apprehended and applied by His Spirit – 1 Corinthians 2:9-12 says it so completely (read it well).


“But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’ But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.”


The indwelling, all-knowing life-tutor of the Holy Spirit gives us understanding to hear and apply the voice of God in His word.  Those who do not have the Holy Spirit do not hear or understand the instructive voice of the Holy Spirit.  First Corinthians 2:14 says, “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”


His voice is comprehended and confirmed among His people – The assembled church and gathered leaders in the Book of Acts heard  from God as He spoke to them by the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:2, 15:28) as they waited on the Lord and sought His will.  The confirmation of a community of godly believers is a necessary dimension of the voice of the Holy Spirit.


Characteristics of the Voice of God


When the Lord’s voice resounds it is precise, powerful, and penetrating.  God’s will is clear, not muddled or mysterious.  His voice brings the exactitude of His word to our hearts and minds in order to direct and confirm.  His voice is powerful.  By His command all of creation emerged and by His voice He rules over creation (see Psalm 29).  The voice of Christ was authoritative and powerful during His earthly ministry (Luke 4:26).  In Revelation, His voice is depicted as the force of “many waters” (Revelation 1:15).  God’s voice is also penetrating, cutting deep into the heart and soul of man, where real change occurs (see Hebrews 4:12).  The mouth of the risen Christ is described as a “sharp two-edged sword” (Revelation 1:16). 


Our Response to the Voice of God


We respond in obedience – The primary word associated with the idea of the voice of the Lord is “obey.”  (Even a casual search in a concordance will demonstrate this convincingly.)  As Mary said at the first miracle of Jesus, “Whatever He says to you, do it” (John 2:5).  The defining characteristic of those who “hear from the Lord” is a life of Christ-honoring obedience, not some irregular state of emotion or braggadocio.


We respond in trust – Psalm 29 is a dramatic depiction of the many aspects of the power of the voice of the Lord.  At the end of this Psalm we find a powerful application of what it means to recognize and receive the voice of the Lord: “The LORD will give strength to His people; The LORD will bless His people with peace” (Psalm 29:11).  When we hear His voice we rely on and receive from Him as our source of strength and peace.  The “peace be still” (Mark 4:39) of Jesus' voice is evidenced through a life of trust.


We respond in intimate surrender –The living Christ, walking among the churches, says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me”(Revelation 3:20).  This invitation to restored, intimate fellowship with Jesus requires our response of surrender as we open our hearts to His presence and Lordship.


Today . . . IF You Will Hear His Voice


Our ultimate response to His voice is very clear (Psalm 95:7, Hebrews 3:7, 15; 4:7).  "Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.”


Copyright © 2012 Daniel Henderson. All rights reserved.


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No Presence, No Power

I’m still reflecting on my commitment to spend more one-on-one time with the Lord. It’s one thing to talk about it (or write about it). It's another thing altogether to follow through and actually DO it.

I love Psalm 27:8: My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.’ And my heart responds, ‘Lord, I am coming.’” I notice David didn’t say, “Sorry, God, I’m too busy doing (and praying) all this other stuff for You.” He responded immediately to God’s invitation to come into His presence. Once he was there, David prayed, “Teach me how to live, O Lord. Lead me along the right path” (vs. 11).

David’s strength and direction for life, obviously—like Jesus’—came directly out if His intimate
conversations with God in prayer. In fact, Jesus’ amazing, supernatural ministry was absolutely rooted in intimacy and time spent with the Father (Lk. 6:12; Jn. 8:28, 12:49-50, 14:9).

Why on earth do I think I can get away with any less? I think I’m really finally understanding (and experiencing) the bottom line—that intimacy and power are intricately and inseparably intertwined.

How many times have we all prayed for wisdom, direction, strength, or provision … first? As for myself, too many times to count. The reality is that God's favor and blessing toward His people have primarily been demonstrated
first of all by His presence. And it’s His presence that results in manifestations of His power. Presence first, then power. Not the other way around. How many people (or ministries) have we all seen “go into a ditch,” as one of my friends like to put it, because they got it backwards? Again, probably too many to count. Yikes! Jesus flat-out warned us about that. When His disciples experienced some of the privileges of living in God’s power, Jesus reminded them not to rejoice in the privileges, but rather in their relationship to the One who granted them (Lk. 10:28).

Take Moses, for another example: as much as he had seen of God's incredible power, Moses knew he couldn't live without God's intimate and
personal presence in his life. He asked God, “How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth” (Ex. 33:15)? I appreciate the fact that he didn’t ask for more miracles. He asked for more of God Himself! And I love God’s response to Moses. He said, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name” (Ex. 33:17).

I need more of God’s power in my life—don't you? But instead of going for the power first—instead of asking for the strength, wisdom, direction, provision, or even miracles I need first—I am learning to go for the presence first.

Amazingly, all those other things seem to come a lot more easily after that ...

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