Sunday, July 23, 2006

Have You Dwelt Within the Cloud?

In this season, God has really been dealing with worship. What is true worship? What type of worship does the Father want? How can we please Him with our worship and our praise? Early, this morning, the Lord gave me yet another vision...still concerning this worship. In a message God gave me, not many days ago, He began to show me that worship acceptable to Him requires true sacrifice...complete holiness...100% surrender unto the Father. Our bodies and lives must be a complete sacrifice if we want pure worship to go before Him.

In the vision, God began to show me that pestilences and the trials that are to come, just as many of them are described in the Word of God. I saw hunger and crime. People were angry, looting, and fighting. Many who once walked in a form of godliness began to deny the Father and His Son, in exchange for their pain to be relinquished. As I received a birds' eye view of the earth in turmoil and shambles for those who called on the name of Jehovah, the Father turned His attention to me. Simply, He asked, "Would you deny me?" Then, the Lord began to show me all the subtle ways I had denied Him in the past...sometimes it was something as small as accepting a prophetic word from someone, and not debating it because it was the "wrong place" or the "wrong time." Yes, I allowed protocol to keep me from standing for what God said. At other times, it was my job or a family member. They needed me when God called for my attention, yet I made the decision to do what "seemed" right, and I simply called it simple responsibility. Yes, God is dealing with my heart concerning Him. He is preparing me to be able and equipped to truly profess, "For God I'll live and for God I'll die."

As the vision moved on, the Lord had me to face a few of my biggest fears. First, let me explain that I am very claustrophobic, but praying even that God will lift that from me. I've also always had fears of dying by fire or drowning. In the vision, the Lord showed me the government of this very country taking my family into captivity. In an effort to make me deny Christ, they took my daughter, and dropped her down a tube that was only 1 foot in diameter. I was told the tube was 50 feet deep, and that my daughter would die on impact. In the vision, God asked, "Would you deny me?" I saw my family and church members all whispering and talking...some even praying that I would do the right thing. I cried until I was nauseous, but I kissed my 2-year-old daughter, and anointed her then as a martyr for Jesus Christ. In my mind, at least she would die quickly. Oh, how my heart hurt when heard her body hit the bottom of that tunnel. To my dispair, though, she kept crying and screaming for "Mommy." To intensify my pain, she had lived through the ordeal, and could not be pulled out. These same people, then informed me that my husband and son had already been killed, and that I would be next. My body literally felt broken and I thought of how tiny the tunnel was. I prayed that I would not get stuck and sufficate, but that I would somehow pass away before feeling anything. The guards told me that I would crush my own child, and told me I had murdered my daughter. They pushed me in headfirst, and my body broke in many places. They then dropped a torch behind me. The fear and pain were unbearable. I still heard my daughter's cries, but couldn't see her. Suddenly, I was overcome with a peace that I never felt before. I looked up and I was holding my daughter. "Well done", I heard from my Father.

I began to ask God why we had to suffer such things. Even before He could answer, I "woke up" from the vision. This morning, God began to speak to me again concerning this vision. I explained all that to speak forth the Word God has for His people.

Many of you are going through trials and tribulaitons as never before, and they will get even worse before they get better. A time is coming when we will all have to make "HARD" decisions for God, for our Father. We must let go of religion and the mentality that God will remove the obstacles. He never said He would take away the troubles, but that He would always offer a way of escape. As the Lord was speaking to me, He reminded me of this vision. He reminded me that while I was in pain and hurting, I KNEW I was pleasing Him. While others questioned my decisions, and while they seemed so cruel, He gave me a peace to bear witness in my Spirit. That peace, the Lord explained, is one that passes all understanding.

Over the last few months, mamy things that used to concern me no longer take the precedence they once did. My relationship with the Father has been exalted in priority. I desire to please Him more than anything. I love my family, I love my Church, but I realize what is best for them - God's best! I am truly being broken and reprogrammed by the Father, Himself. God is doing the same with so many of you. The world will begin to think that you just don't care - that you're simply not responsible. They will begin to question your humanity when seem numb to some of the things that shake others. PEACE. No, the problems will not disappear, but God will keep your countenance. Perfect worship relies in complete sacrifice and obedience. Yes, it's a journey, but we are well on our way.

Yet, there is a warning. When true worship goes before the Father, His presence dwells therein. The Scriptures tell us that our God dwells in the praises of His people. The Lord said that some of us will begin to experience His presence like never before. I am not talking about in a church service or a revival, but in personal prayer and worship time. Some will begin to receive visitations that cannot be shared or explained, simply because no on else will understand. We will learn, in this season, to keep some things between God and ourselves, because the eperiences will be that shocking, that abnormal, that life changing.

From the Scriptures, we understand that when the priest entered the Holy of Holies to worship and care for the temple, a string was attached to the ankle in case the priest was found with any sin. If so, the presence of God would strike Him dead. Because only God's chosen priests were able to enter the sanctuary, the rope was provided as a way to pull the body out if judgment fell. God's presence will be seen in the same power.

The Lord is sending His Shekinah glory. He desires to be among His people, but must first find those who worship Him in Spirit and in truth that the people will not be devoured and perish. Oh, how I long to feel the CLOUD of the Father. How I desire to dwell in His presence, with a cloud so thick that I am literally struck dumb. I want my praise, my worship to be that real and that pure to the Father. I want God to feel He is first in my life. I desire the peace that only He can give, that I'll be able to endure the trials and persecutions that are to come.

The Lord gave me a song to dance to this morning, and the words were simply:

This is my desire, to honor you
With all that is within me, I give you praise
Lord, I give You my heart
I give You my soul
I live for You alone
Every breath that I take
Every moment I'm awake
Lord, have Your way in me

This should be our cry. Our desire should be to honor the Father, to please Him. Ministry is not about what we can get. It's not about who likes us or not. It's not about money. It's not about having services. It's not even about jumping around, singing or shouting. At the end of the day, is the Father pleased, or has comprimise crept in again?

Where is the glory cloud? Shouldn't this be our goal - to honor the Father with such a praise that He desires to fill the room? To worship God to the point that our flesh is consumed? Ah, if I can invoke His presence here, I know the Lord will welcome me there!

Ex 40:34 Then the cloud [the Shekinah, God's visible presence] covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle!
Ex 40:35 And Moses was not able to enter the Tent of Meeting because the cloud remained upon it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.

1 Kin 8:10 When the priests had come out of the Holy Place, the cloud filled the Lord's house,
1 Kin 8:11 So the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord had filled the Lord's house.

2 Chr 5:13 And when the trumpeters and singers were joined in unison, making one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord, and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and other instruments for song and praised the Lord, saying, For He is good, for His mercy {and} loving-kindness endure forever, then the house of the Lord was filled with a cloud,
2 Chr 5:14 So that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God.

Ezek 10:3 Now the cherubim stood on the south side of the house when the man went in; and the cloud [the Shekinah] filled the inner court.
Ezek 10:4 Then the glory of the Lord mounted up from the cherubim to stand over the threshold of the [Lord's] house; and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of the Lord's glory.

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