Yesterday morning in my church there was the most beautiful Presence of Holy Spirit.
I mean, our pastor was talking about being filled with the Holy Spirit, but even before that, in the worship, in the prayer time, in the communion, in the fellowship… There was the most beautiful Presence of Holy Spirit.
I wanted to linger for longer than time would allow.
It was one of those times that leaves you… A little more aware that all that you have ever experienced is only a tiny taste of the glory and wonder of God.
Jenn Johnson sings it on Bethel’s new album, ‘I have come to this place in my life, I’m full but I’m not satisfied, this longing to have more of You, I can feel it, my heart is convinced, I’m thirsty, my soul can’t be quenched. You already know this but still, come and do whatever You want to.’
And yeah, as I left church to go and visit a local ice festival for the rest of the day with a load of my school’s students, that was the prayer that was left circling my brain.
And that prayer has continued into today.
I’m actually left mulling over some Tozer.
Because when you read Tozer he talks about ministering out of the Presence of God.
About needing a ‘breaking heart’ before God.
He talks about prophets and scribes.
A scribe, who talks about what they have read.
Or a prophet, who talks about what they have seen.
And there’s a big, big difference.
Because prophets are people who have been in the Presence of God, and who then report what they see there.
They speak a hard message with a tender voice, because they have gazed upon something of God and live in the continual Presence of the Holy Spirit. We are tender as He is tender. We become like that which we behold.
A scribe is not tender. A scribe may sometimes be right, but they are not gentle. Because they talk about what they have read, about what is solely understand in the mind, rather than what is nurtured and learned in the act of resting and living and being in His Presence.
That which cannot be forced and cannot be hurried and cannot be faked.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m a reader, and I think God wired us to learn about Him. To explore Him. To fall more in love with Jesus as we grow our understanding.
But I long to be a prophet.
To learn more of what it means to love Him with all of my heart, and all of my soul, and all of my mind and all of my strength, and for that to be the tenderness that pours out of me.
To speak about that which I have seen and continue to see.
To live in a place of fellowship with Holy Spirit where we go deeper than we can stand and deeper than we can swim.
To see with eyes that know the ugly can become beautiful in the resurrection power of Jesus.
Because you can’t fake realness.
I was visiting a really stunning ice festival yesterday. It was super beautiful. And it was SUPER cold. Freezing-till-you-can’t-feel-your-hands-cold.
And in the experience you get the whole deal.
You get the real life beauty. You get the real life adventure. You get the real life laughter. You get the real life cold. You get the real life hot-udon-that-warms-your-bones. You get the whole experience. And it makes you tender. Because you don’t talk about a beauty you haven’t seen, and haven’t sacrificed to see. The cold keeps you grounded. It makes it real. It means you can share it with others fully.
You could check out photos of an ice festival from the warmth of your house and tell others about that experience… But it wouldn’t be complete. You wouldn’t know the bitter winds that hit you in the waiting. You wouldn’t know the sounds and sights and smells. You wouldn’t have journeyed with others.
And so, I think, it is with God.
I long to be a prophet.
Once who sees, and then speaks. And one who is tender, because He is tender.
And with that… Here are some photos of yesterday’s adventures!