It is a simple exercise, you simply say, “Lord, help me to perceive you,” then when you see where he is, you say, “Lord, help me to perceive you more clearly.”
Then you quiet yourself and enjoy being with him. After all, Jesus is always with us, even if we do not believe in him, so the sense that we are alone is a matter of our perception, not reality. He is there. With me. With you. All the time.
The other night I was watching a DVD with my family when a memory flooded back—losing my new red bike to my brother. Before you conclude that my parents are heartless, let me explain. I was the second of five children and had received a new bike, a rarity, for my birthday. I eyed the shiny wheels and frame and my heart sang.
Then a few months (or was it years?) later my older sister got a new bike for her birthday, so all the bikes bumped down the peaking order: I got her old one, a used blue heavy thing with fat, slow tires and my bike went to my younger brother. I remember well the sting, the sense of outrage. It was, after all, my bike!
So I prayed silently, Lord help me to perceive you. All at once I saw Jesus in the garage with us kids, he was sad, too. He understood. Then I saw myself on the red bike, my bike, and was astonished to see my arms and legs akimbo. Was I that big? Was the bike so small? In the next scene, Jesus and I were racing down the hill that was our driveway, side by side shooting out on to the street then cutting right then left over to the dead end where we kids often rode. The dead end! I had forgotten that the side street did not go through when I was young, but there it was! We were laughing out loud, ear-spilting grins plastered on our faces.
Where there had been sadness, now there was only peace and joy. I laid back, resting my head against the back of the chair, as my body relaxed and the tension and pain flowed out of me. There is nothing like connecting with Jesus to restore the soul.
But what if, when we ask Jesus to help us perceive him, we feel shame or anger?
I’ve seen this over and over again in my office when I ask someone to picture Jesus standing in front of them and then next thing I know they are sobbing. “I feel so unworthy,” they say. Or, “I feel so angry! Where was he when I was being abused? I cried out to him and he did not rescue me!”
The answer is ironically to turn to the very one you are angry with, to tell Jesus just how you feel. Once you vent, then ask him for his point of view. Listen with your heart. Ask him to help you identify any barriers and ask him what he wants you to know. He is very good at uncovering the lies that block our relationship with him.
We were meant to live in joy. The kind of joy that comes when we know we are the apple of someone’s eye. Jesus’ eye! Feeling blocked? Confused? Angry? Check out ways to connect to him such as Theophostic Prayer Ministry or the Immanuel Apporach here: Theophostic.com, especially the recording of a live session, or read my article in Charisma (http://www.charismamag.com/site-archives/511-features/inner-healing/2412-hope-for-the-wounded-soul-) Or go to http://www.immanuelapproach.com/ for more on the Immanuel approach.
Join us for our annual conference with Life Model leaders David and Jan Takle and Ed and Maritza KhouriJuly 17, 2014
We will be learning how to journey Further in and Further up into the heart of God as we engage with him to change us from the inside out. Ed Khouri will be focusing on using the pleasure of eating to bond with God and the ones we love instead of attaching to the food itself. Something we all could learn to do so we eat with true freedom as God intended.
What I love most about the Life Model is that you learn the concepts then do simple exercises to rewire your brain so that your instinctive response is healthy and full of joy! You have to experience it to see how it works as it engages both hemispheres of your brain.
I hope you can make it. Details at GodHealsToday.org.
July 31 to August 2
Are you a leader? Join us for our Leadership Advance, July 31 as we learn from the Takles how to lead from rest!
On page 63 Takle writes about gratitude. Gratitude is a wonderful bridge to seeing Him in our life. We can practice gratitude intentionally. “We can open our heart to Him in a spirit of gratitude for His abiding presence. As we do so, we can begin to take notice with our spirit that He is closer than our own breath.
Lord I am grateful for a warm house on a frigid day (we just bought a new heat pump and the house is so much warmer)
For my husband Sam who is loving, even while sick with a bad cold.
For good health
For helpers! Cheryl, Roxy, Deborah, Louise, June, Sam
For peace while I work and for fulfilling work.
For friendships and family.
There is so much to be grateful for, even when we suffer there is always some consolation!
On page 60 Takle writes, “We have so little experience of God’s love by his children that many have come to believe he is either too distant or too angry . . . for us to ever think about being close to him . . . Only when we discover how much God truly delights in being with us can we have any hope.”
Lord, how do you delight in me?
As soon as I asked that question I felt the presence of God strongly, right in the front of my brain. Peace. Lightness. As if all my burdens were gone.
G-d: I delight in you! Delight yourself in me and I will give you the desires of your heart.
Lord, what does that look like?
G-d: It looks like what you are doing now. Interacting with me! Spending time with me, gazing at my beauty, receiving my love, resting in my presence. Letting me love you and lift your burdens off you. Cast all of them on me, I care for you!
Thank you Lord!
On page 59 Takle writes, “How many of us have received the love we truly needed?” This makes me ask, “How many of us have received the joy we truly needed?’ How many of us had parents who delighted in our unique existence, rejoiced that they had been given a son or daughter from the Lord? A child made especially for them? Who wanted to discover the person they had been given?
I am reminded of the study at Duke University where Dr. Maselko looked at the relationships between mothers and their children for over 34 years. The researchers rated the mother’s level of maternal affection as extravagant, normal or very low. Ten percent of the mothers offered their children very low levels of affection. 85 percent had offered “normal” degrees of warmth. Six percent showered their child with very high amount of maternal affection.
The researchers concluded that maternal affection promotes healthy bonding and emotional attachment, which helps the child develop social skills that are key to coping with general stress and anxiety.
Several things struck me with this study. The first was the labels. Mothers were labeled as normal, low and extravagant. I suspect the researchers initially expected the children of extravagant moms to be spoiled brats, hence the label “extravagant.” When I was young there was great concern about spoiling children. Now we know that the healthiest adults comes from those extravagantly affectionate moms, who make up only a teensy six percent of the study group.
Takle writes, “How many of us ever felt entirely safe when in the care of another human being?”
“Our truster gets broken and we become highly guarded, highly protected individuals . . . Instead of seeing ourselves as broken and in need of healing, we tend to see others as untrustworthy.”
Oh Lord, have mercy on us for surely our truster is broken and we can’t fix it. We see you based on our experience and the thought of engaging with you is pretty scary! But we know that you love us beyond measure. Help us to recognized your love and to come a little closer.
In Jesus’ name,
He chose us in love for adoption as His children . . . according to the riches of His grace that He lavished on us.
Imagine God is thinking about you. What do you think he is thinking?
I imagine He is thinking, She’s behind. She had better get going! There’s a lot to be done. I’ve called her to great works and I don’t want her to drop the ball!
G-d: My dear little one! Let’s look at David together. I molded and shaped him. I made him a shepherd knowing that a humble beginning would shape him in a good way. It gave him a humble heart. Being outside, alone with me drew his heart to mine. I surrounded him with physical, natural beauty. Landscapes, clouds, stars. I gave him the wisdom, cunning and strength to kill a lion and a bear. This gave him courage. His love relationship with me gave him the experiential knowledge of who I am. He was offended for my sake by Goliath’s blasphemous words and HAD to stand against him. He said with confidence, The Lord who delivered a lion and a bear into my hands will deliver this giant into my hands. He knew me as savior and deliverer. Hew as confident that I would deliver him. He ran toward the giant and when he killed the giant everyone ran after him. He was annointed King. His reign was the high point in the kingdom because he had my heart towards me and the people.
I know your dreams. I gave them to you. I am a God of justice. To take a big leap forward, you need to take a big risk.
Lord, you know my weaknesses. I know that You want to be with me, that You are mentoring me. You want me to join You in what You are doing.
I read on page 56: “His love is the will and effort to rescue us from the power of sin, to reconnect with us, and change us from the inside out.”
Lord, root out whatever darkness is in me!