Every month I receive scores of letters from believers who are distraught, despairing, depressed and disillusioned. Sometimes, this can become overwhelming and requires me to “go up higher” in order to get above the noise and the atmosphere of hopelessness to find truth and greater revelation of the goodness of God and His perspective.
His Dwelling Place
This morning as I allowed the Spirit to usher me into His tabernacle I began to experience the contrast between heaven and earth. Heaven is a realm where joy and peace are fully present; hopelessness and despair do not exist there. In the Lord’s dwelling place His people are washed in His love and renewed by His truth. Our hearts are softened to receive seeds of revelation.
As I spent time being revived today I felt heaven’s longing for God’s people to dwell—tabernacle—with Him so that they would receive breakthrough from depression and disillusionment and instead experience joy and peace.
There is a spiritual breakthrough that ushers in natural breakthroughs that many need. Often if we are merely provided natural breakthroughs, we miss what is most needed to truly steward and enjoy what God intends to manifest in our lives. He is jealous for our affections and for a relationship of mutual longing that draws us into intimacy. King Jesus desires His Bride and her affections!
Summoned to Come Before the King
Psalm 45 is a beautiful messianic song about the King marrying a princess. After describing the magnificent King, we then read about the bride:
The royal daughter is all glorious within the palace;
her clothing is woven with gold.
She shall be brought to the King
in robes of many colors;
the virgin, her companions who follow her,
shall be brought to You.
With gladness and rejoicing they shall be brought;
They shall enter the King’s palace. (Psalm 45:13-15).
We are being summoned to come to the place of His dwelling where our hearts are softened and we are made glorious by learning the ways of His Kingdom. We then share intimacy with Him and from that place our breakthrough comes, our requests are answered and our enemies are defeated by the glorious Mighty One who rides forth in victory (Psalm 45:3-5; Revelation 19:11-16).
The Softened Heart Receives the Seed
The enemy seeks to harden our hearts through disappointments and perceived delays but the love of Christ restores and softens our hearts so that we will never doubt His love and intentions toward us. The enemy always seeks to divide us from the One who loves us most but God invites us into the deep affections of His love that unites us with Him, His Kingdom, His promises and truth. This unity is not circumstantial but secured by love. Our hearts are kept soft in the tender place of His affections and love.
Sometimes we are troubled about the words “hardened hearts” because we immediately assume it always refers to a person in rebellion. This can certainly be true; but it also refers to lack of understanding. The disciples of Jesus were often corrected for hardness of heart. I love Mike Bickle’s perspective on this:
“…this does not speak of (the disciples) being rebellious, but of not properly esteeming the things that God said or did before their eyes and not holding on to the message intended for them in those events.”
When God speaks a word to us they are like seeds planted in the soft soil of our hearts. We are often thrilled momentarily when God speaks a word or does marvelous works in us and through us, but when trouble comes those “seeds” are easily plucked up if we allow our hearts to be dulled with care. As life’s trials and troubles come we must continually enter into the dwelling place (the secret place) with our King where intimacy keeps our heart soft. We do not do this to get a natural result but rather to enter into the mutual affections with our God. The amazing thing is that as we show honor and reverence God’s words and activities in our lives, the soil of our hearts is kept soft and watered by His Word, and we will surely see natural results follow.
Discerning the Activities of God in Our Lives
It takes spiritual eyes and sensitivity to discern the movements of God in our everyday lives. Our focus must be turned from “what isn’t” to “what is.” Sometimes His words come as a whisper and His movements like a gentle breeze moving through the branches of our lives, but as we seek first the King and His Kingdom we will discern His voice and His faithfulness through each day.
God is not late nor is He silent. When our primary focus is on our natural needs–even when they are good and necessary–then our discernment is tainted by what our natural eyes see and minds understand. This focus can rob us of the pure seed planted in our hearts by the Spirit.
We must trust God with the seeds that He plants in us. His words over us are wrapped in His faithful promises and never-ending love. They require the softness of our heart to grow deep roots and break through the ground of faith so that they will manifest in the earthly realm. We cannot demand how God grows the seed or when it will move from the soil of faith to the visible realm. We must allow the roots to go deep so that when trouble comes our seed will not be plucked up while still in its tender beginnings.
Do Not Worry
God knows your physical needs. We must trust Him with those details of our lives. He addresses this in His Word and God does not lie. Matthew 6 speaks so clearly His promise to care for our needs. Let these words wash over you and free you from the burden that is weighing you down and shifting your focus from the spiritual vision to natural concerns.
“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:25-34).
God is jealous over us, over the seeds He’s planted in our hearts and over the focus of our affections. He is our breakthrough; when we allow our hearts to be fully turned toward Him the doubts, fears, worries and despair fall away and the seeds of promise grow and flourish. The enemy tries to steal from us while the seed is still in the form of faith. It is in the secret place of intimacy and absolute trust that the “planting of the Lord” is protected and grows.
God is summoning His people into the chambers of His affections. From those chambers we will see breakthroughs first in the spirit and then in the natural. Joy will come!
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