As I sit at my desk tonight I smile at the silence…sweet, sweet, silence. No television blares with conversations and commercials that seek to invade my thoughts. No radio sings tunes that long to coax or distract me to listen to the story that they want to tell. No phone rings to alert me to messages, or texts, or calls. Nope. There is just silence…sweet, sweet, silence.
Now to a lot of people silence might be a scary or even a lonely place to be. And in all honesty it can be those things. I have been there…felt that. Have you? I found that to be the case when we have no peace in Christ. Or, if we have hidden something in our heart that keeps us bound in secrets – where there can be condemnation, fear or shame. But listen to me – silence was not created to be silent! Truly! In the beginning when God created the world His Spirit was gently hovering over the face of the deep. It was a holy place where thoughts had the power to come alive. It was a place where the thoughts of God spoke life into the silence and the world heard and was. And the truth is that He still speaks!
I remember well when I received this epiphany…this revelation to hear Him in my spirit through worship, through meditation, through writing, through study and though listening. Do you hear what I am saying? The silence ISN’T silent! And this, my friends is where I will begin Up Close & Personal tonight. I will share with you what it has been like to embrace a relationship with the Holy One of Israel in ways that I never knew I could.
I am so excited!!! He has been so many things to me…so many. I know that many of you may have heard of the various names of God that get referenced in teaching, preaching or prayer. Personally, I began to make a list of them as He revealed Himself to me one step at a time. Or, should I say, one name at a time. It has truly been an intimate conversation between He and I.
In 2001, I began to learn how to access the Spirit of God…His Holy Spirit. Now before then I knew the Word of God, I was baptized, I knew church, I knew rules for Godly-living, I knew service, I knew bible study, I knew fellowship with the body of Christ, I understood the call to prayer…and I knew Jesus as the “King and boss” of all the world. I saw miracles in my life, I saw discernment rise up, I felt God’s creative call on my life and I truly yielded to the call to serve and know more and more about Him. I ached for a pure and a holy spirit within me. However, I knew that I still had a long, long way to go…especially when I left my second husband and got another divorce 10 years ago.
Looking back, I have learned that I have stuff. You have stuff. We all have stuff. We will have stuff. It isn’t about our stuff. The power is in learning that it is simply and powerfully…about Him. It isn’t like we can hide anything from Him anyway. Like He doesn’t know?
As my hunger to know Him became greater than my fear of retribution for my failures, I began to seek Him in new ways…to KNOW Him. Even if I stumbled as I learned, I got back up, trusted Him more and continued to open myself to Him entirely. My body, soul and spirit were His as I studied and learned to add vows, fasting, and sanctification for increased focus on Him. As I surrendered my life to Him spiritually He revealed and opened Himself spiritually to me.
I began to learn that He enjoys that I come to Him just like I am because I lay it all on the altar. Have you ever done that? I mean, really? I remember many nights pushing everything off my large coffee table and laying across it as a sacrifice – giving Him everything about me as I cried out to Him. I didn’t keep anything from Him. I asked Him to fix it. I learned that the secret was to give it to Him…not keep it from Him! Whatever IT might be.
The years of Word study and memorization that was on the inside of me began to rise up as the Spirit of God in me began to grow. We are body, soul, and spirit. All three need food to thrive and grow for their purpose. Rabboni taught me that. Rabboni is the Hebrew name for Master or Teacher. Jesus is my Rabboni and teaches me. Really He does!
Jesus is who He says He is…totally. He is ALIVE and not just a story. His heart beats. His mind thinks. His ears hear. His lips smile. His hands touch. And He desires a spiritual relationship with me…and with you.
This first night of my sharing is so that you KNOW that. My stories will mean nothing to you if you don’t grasp that. Even when I read the word of God, I am looking for specifics and inflections of the way He thinks and feels. I want His heart to beat close to mine. I don’t just want a relationship with Him from afar that is only to gain from the works of His hands with blessings and miracles. I want Him….Up Close & Personal….just as close as He will come.
I want my heart to hurt when He is rejected. I want to feel His love when He receives our touch. I want Him to share with me blessings or heartaches from His glorious life and being. I want to have eyes to see and ears to hear Him. If He whispers my name or has to raise His voice if I am stubborn….I want all of Him.
I see Him clearly in my spiritual eyes. I feel Him deeply in my spiritual body. He is ALIVE for me and in me. I so want Him to be ALIVE for and in you.
If my stories will encourage or inspire you to BELIEVE that there is more of Him aching for you…then your relationship with Him is about to change. None of us have seen anything yet. Of that I am certain.
And the story continues…
Introduction to Up Close & Personal
Patti Corbello Archer
June 3, 2011