Thursday, April 13, 2017

Take Yourself to the Secret Place

Dear Rachel,

What pictures of God are you holding onto lately that have helped deepen your experience of Him: his thoughts toward you, the world, and those around you?

photo by Kevin Rogers

What does it look like to experience God's presence? I've been thinking about this as I ponder my thought life about God - how am I picturing Him? The ways I picture God surely impact my ability to sense the fullness of His presence.
So I've begun, in a new way, to imagine myself in a throne room just the two of us. Not much else is there that I can see but He and I. We are face to face, sitting with a few feet between us. I find myself sitting and so is he, however he is a few stair steps above me. It's a deep dusty red color, the lights are dimmed, and the whole room is really one color. God and I have the same color skin. But as I amaze myself in beholding the throne room itself I realize that none of the aesthetics in the room even matter. I am in the throne room with God. I try to ponder what is happening to my spirit as I place myself in this throne room with God: how am I imagining God? Where is there disparity between how my mind, shaped by worldly philosophy and experience, and the Bible characterizes God?
I don't sit here having a bullet point list of how I have misinterpreted the character of God based on the convictions I've felt after my time in the throne room. It's more complicated than that - and that's lovely and endearing but also fatiguing and frustrating. When will I have figured Him out? I want to know God completely. But is that desire for complete knowledge of Him coming from a place of wanting to know Him so I can be in deeper intimacy? Or is it to know Him so I can have full control and understanding of my own circumstances?
Nevertheless as I backpedal from the questions swirling in my head I return to the throne room with God . . .
It seems that as I place myself in this throne room, truths are being confirmed and lies are simply leaving. The purity of the truth of who He is becomes more evident simply as I sit and imagine Him. A purifying fire burns as I awaken myself to the truth of who He is,

"a sovereign refuge, a prince of peace, a God of mercy and steadfast love, a redeeming and captivated King in love with his child"

It's becoming my favorite place ever. To imagine in my mind and reside there. Because I realize how it resonates with the desires of my spirit and the groaning of my soul. It changes my heart.
I am brought to God's presence and I finally have the courage to be present with myself - all my imperfections and irritations.
Why is this so?
Well, because, Christ, in all His perfection and patience, considers it a joy to be present with me. and He is always waiting there in that throne room. Ready to anoint my head with oil, ready to clean off the dust and the dirt from my feet, ready, willing, and able to embrace my body and speak to my soul.

So again I return to the throne room and I am present.
Being present with God who is present with me, here is where we are building intimacy. In this gracious space that by the Grace of God I can behold, I'm beginning to experience more truly who He is, as I let him repaint my thoughts, wash away my sins, and steady my focus on His goodness.


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