Tag Archives: friendship with God

Roses Have Thorns: Allowing God to Refine Us

Sometimes our journey of friendship with God isn’t all roses. Roses are beautiful and lovely in appearance and fragrance. They are given to show love, that we are held dear to the heart of the Giver.

But roses also have thorns. When we pick up a rose, we are careful to avoid grabbing the stem where a thorn resides, so we are not stabbed by it. At the same time, we know the thorn is there as we acknowledge it by our making room for it.

When we pursue the Lord, we cannot ignore the hard things. We know they are there. God knows they are. He sees our hearts and all we go through, and He wants to touch our lives even in these areas. But if we pretend these things don’t exist, it can hinder Him from fashioning us in those areas.

Impurities must be brought to surface for the revealing of the fine silver that is us.

It is in the refining that the beauty is able to come forth. Ashes before beauty. The coal before the diamond. But if the pressure upon that coal is hindered, the diamond will not fully come forth.

It is painful at times, but He is worth it, and His glory to be revealed in us is worth it.

Let Him bring the fullness of His character forth in your life. He makes all things beautiful in His time. You will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

God’s Presence: What Is It Really?

As Spirit-filled believers, we are accustomed to hearing the phrase “God’s presence” or “the presence of the Lord,” but do we truly know the meaning of this phrase? Have we even pondered it?

In order to truly seek God and worship Him, we must know what, better yet, who we are seeking. I have a sense that some in the Body of Christ think of differing things when they think of “His presence.”

Is it a feeling? No, but at times we can tangibly feel His presence or our physical bodies are touched in an obvious way by His Spirit. Is it something “oily” (the anointing) or electric (dunamis power of the Holy Spirit) in the atmosphere? No, but there can be tangible manifestations of God in the atmosphere.

So what does the phrase “His presence” actually mean? It’s so simple. :)

His presence is His Person. It is God Himself! Profound, I know.

(This post is not meant to be an ethereal, deep devotional about God’s presence, but about the simplicity of what that means so that we can truly experience a closer, more intimate relationship with Him.)

If we are seeking a feeling or some tangible experience that we see as defining the experience of His presence more than we are seeking Him in intimate fellowship, we may completely miss the true depth of connection and communion we can have with Jesus.

He definitely encounters us and tangible things can happen. We see things in the Spirit as He opens our eyes and we hear Him speak within our spirits internally or He shows us what He is saying through a vision. However, this is not our basis for defining the experience of His presence anymore than for example, someone hearing me sing means we have had quality time together as friends.

You’ve heard, felt and/or seen with your spiritual or natural senses, but have you actually connected to God and interacted with Him intimately?

Think of it this way: Say you call a friend on the phone, and they say they can’t talk at the moment because they’re visiting with a guest. This means that they are in the room with the guest, and even more so, it means they are with the person spending time with them, talking to them, complimenting or encouraging them, etc.

Furthermore, in thinking along the lines of having guests stay overnight, it means you are sharing your home with them, giving them a place not only to interact with you in close quarters, but they also eat with you and rest there in your home.

Jesus wants to have His home in our hearts, and us to have our home in His. The Lord wants companions and friends, not simply distant acquaintances who just want to feel the good vibes in the room because He is there. Jesus wants to be our Best Friend and Highest Priority, just as we are His. He wants to be with us, and He wants us to be with Him.

As we worship together as the Body of Christ or have our time alone with God in the Secret Place, I pray that Father God will help us to realize and live out the experience of His presence that is mainly about being with Jesus, our Bridegroom and Best Friend, the Lover of our Souls. In this, we can truly enjoy His presence, and allow Him to enjoy fellowship with us.

When you pursue the Lord’s presence, remember what you are truly seeking: to spend time with Him. Ask His Holy Spirit to teach you to fellowship with God.

Remember that the tangible, manifest presence type of experiences may come and go, but God’s Spirit dwells inside of our spirits all the time. His indwelling presence is always with us. We can encounter God’s presence at any time, even when in the midst of our daily tasks we can turn our minds and hearts toward loving conversation with Him. Learn more about fellowship with God’s Spirit.

Know that because of Jesus you can come boldly into the throne room of grace to spend time with your heavenly Father! He loves you so much. As you seek His presence with this understanding, you will find that your connection to Christ becomes even deeper and your friendship with Him grows more and more.

You will show me the path of life;
in Your presence is fullness of joy,
at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.
Psalm 16:11 (AMP)

Meditating on the Truth of God’s Heart for Us

During my house of prayer internship, our assignments included meditating on specific passages from God’s Word. I thought I would share some of my gleanings from one of these, to give you a look into the process and benefit of meditation on the Word.

“O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, In the secret places of the cliff,
Let me see your face, Let me hear your voice;
For your voice is sweet, And your face is lovely.”
(Song of Songs 2:14)

This passage from Song of Songs reminds me of the first time I realized the depth of God’s love for us and His desire for intimate relationship with each of us.

Regardless of the kind of day we’re having or how we feel, He wants to spend time with us. He wants us to freely voice our feelings to Him and desires to minister to us wherever we are in every moment.

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Growing in Intercessory Prayer

During our internship we have been learning about intercession, a type of prayer that is focused on praying for others, situations and issues. I finally saw clearly how God’s government truly works through asking in prayer for Him to do His will and for His Kingdom to come in the earth as it is in Heaven. I see the tremendous value of prayer more than ever before, especially in praying God’s heart versus our own agendas.

In prayer we are partnering with Jesus Christ—the ultimate Intercessor and High Priest. Our intercession is to remain rooted in the place of intimacy with Him and co-partnership as ambassadors of reconciliation.

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