by Wade E Taylor
The greatest asset we have is our spiritual sensitivity and hunger.
“Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife has made herself ready.” Revelation 19:7
The Lord greatly desires that we choose Him above all else, so we might become a part of the corporate “Bride” with whom He desires to be fully united – which He is yet apprehending and making ready.
As we respond and begin to make ourselves “desirable,” He will respond and make Himself personally known to each of us who have a “single eye” toward Him, and the desire to intimately know Him.
There is far more available to us than just maintaining our salvation. If we will prayerfully ask Jesus to increase our desire to personally know Him, we will be both quickened and enabled to “press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14). This “prize” is our being chosen by Him – in that day.
“His wife has made herself ready.” It is essential that we take this step of “preparation” to develop our spiritual “sensitivity” so we will be able to hear Jesus “knocking” upon the door of our heart, and have the “determined willingness” to turn aside into His presence, no matter what the obstacle or hindrance may be when He comes to commune with us.
As we respond to His knock and open the door, we will become “one” with Him as we “partake” with Him in fellowship, and in the outworking of His purposes.
“Come, My beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages. Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grape appear, and the pomegranates bud forth: there will I give you My loves.” Song of Solomon 7:11-12
The level of our spiritual hunger will greatly affect our seeking the Lord, in order to more intimately know Him, and to enter with Him, into all that He has for us.
“My Beloved is like a roe or a young hart: behold, He stands behind our wall, He looks forth at the windows, showing Himself through the lattice.” Song of Solomon 2:9
The Lord waits for us to notice that He desires a “personal response” from us – to invite Him to come within. When we respond, He will bring us into His “manifested presence.” It is here that He will reveal many things to us, both about Himself, His burdens, and also, His calling and purpose for us.
“My Beloved spoke, and said to me, Rise up, My love, My fair one, and come away.” Song of Solomon 2:10
If we will pray – “Lord, I desire to intimately, personally, know You. I will turn aside into your presence, if you will draw me.” This prayer will turn the heart of our Heavenly Bridegroom toward us, and will set the stage for all that follows in the development of our relationship to Him.
Our “desire and determination” to turn aside from all other things, in order to enter into His presence and spend quality time with Him, must overcome and rise above all of the natural “urges of life.” These motivate our actions in relation to our self-life, and will push us to become busy in other things, and also, to shorten the time we spend in the presence of our Lord, unless we soundly reject and crucify these soul powers upon the cross.
“Then said Jesus to His disciples, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” Matthew 16:24
As we lift our desire for the Lord above all other desires, and determine that He and He alone will feed and satisfy our “spiritual hunger” and our “longing to go beyond our present experience,” we are truly ready to be brought into His presence.
A primary means to accomplish this is to present ourselves before the Lord, and then actively “wait upon Him,” by quietly holding ourselves before the Lord, so this spiritual hunger can be created within us. As this hunger begins to manifest itself, and we cry out for its satisfaction, the Lord will respond in anticipation of making Himself known to us.
As we welcome His presence, and begin to “feed Him” with an outflow of “worship,” and with the “vocal expression of our desire to be in His presence,” He in turn will “feed us,” fully satisfying our hunger with the very “substance” of all that He is, so we in turn can feed others.
“For My flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He that eats My flesh, and drinks My blood, dwells in Me, and I in him. As the living Father has sent Me, and I live by the Father: so he that eats Me, even he shall live by Me.” John 6:55-57
Our Lord is a seeking God who is both desirous and anxious for our fellowship. He will, as we seek to more fully know Him, create within us the spiritual hunger that will lead us into His presence, that we might intimately, personally, sup with Him.
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him (we feed Him), and he with Me (He feeds us).” Revelation 3:20
This “dining with Jesus” has to do with our partaking of His very life, thereby becoming a part of Him.
“For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones.” Ephesians 5:30
As our spiritual hunger increases, we will be motivated with desire, and moved upon by the Holy Spirit to wait, in anticipation with heart desire, before the “door” that leads into His manifest presence. We do this only as we set aside all that is earthly, that we might enter into the intimacy of His presence.
“Blessed is the man that hears Me, watching daily at My gates, waiting at the posts of My doors. For whoso finds Me finds life, and shall obtain favor of the Lord.” Proverbs 8:34-35
Only as we enter into this relationship of intimately knowing the Lord will we find the completion that was intended in our original creation. Here, the out-working of the “process” of our growth into the fully developed Bride that our Lord desires, will bring us progressively closer to Him, and to the unfolding of His purposes for us in our union with Him.
This increased “sensitivity” within us, and our “responsiveness” to His desire for our fellowship, will induce our Heavenly Bridegroom to knock upon the door of our heart more often, as the “approbation of God” (divine favor) begins to rest upon us and draw us into His presence.
“I sleep, but my heart wakes: it is the voice of my Beloved that knocks, saying, Open to Me, My sister, My love, My dove, My undefiled: for My head is filled with dew, and My locks with the drops of the night.” Song of Solomon 5:2
The Lord had been out in the “night” searching for someone who longs to be with Him. This expression of desire to be with Him – “My heart is awake,” moved the Lord to respond.
The next step begins with the declaration of our commitment to respond if the Lord will come to sup with us. We must be certain that we have “counted the cost,” and that we are fully determined to “run after Him” because the Lord will respond to this commitment. He will begin by causing the “letter” of His Word that is within us to become “experientially” a part of us.
As a result, our understanding of the Word, and of our spiritual experiences, will become so alive and real within us that we will see Jesus at the center of them, and we will begin to personally know and love Him as never before.
The Lord will arrange all of the necessary circumstances to make this possible. We must be careful to recognize that there is “spiritual purpose and value” in the things that we experience in our daily pattern of life. There are no “accidents” in the life of one who has made this commitment.
The Scripture says concerning Jesus:
“The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us….” John 1:14
The Word of God is never ours until it has been personalized in our life experience. Only then can we, with authority, witness to its truth and power. As Jesus was baptized by John and came up out of the water, the heavens opened and the Spirit of God descended as a dove, settling upon Him. Then the Father spoke:
“…This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:17
This was a tremendous blessing, but there was something more for Jesus to experience before this Word that He received from His Father could become “power” within His life.
Jesus came up out of the water “full” of the Holy Spirit. He had received the impartation and blessing. Now, the Word that had been spoken over Him had to become personalized, or made “flesh” within His life experience. The next thing the Scripture says is that Jesus was “compelled” by the Holy Spirit to go into the wilderness (Mark 1:12).
There, He was tested for forty days – “forty” being the number of testing. By the end of this time, Jesus had overcome every temptation, and had defeated Satan. Then Jesus came forth from the wilderness in the “power” of the Spirit.
“And Jesus being full of the Holy Spirit returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness… and Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee….” Luke 4:1, 14
The “fullness” had become “power” because truth had been personalized in His life through experience.
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10
We are the “product” that the Lord is producing. He is working in our lives with the specific goal of making us “conformable” to the image and likeness of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, that we might become the “expression” of His life in the earth in our day and time.
“For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son….” Romans 8:29
The Lord is bringing forth a people who are willing to be tested and proven in order to become all that He has determined them to be. To do this, we must buy of Him “gold tried in the fire.” (Revelation 3:18). He is searching for those who are not spiritually lazy, nor content to rest in the blessings and gifts of the Spirit which they have freely received, but desire to go further.
These are willing to go into the wilderness and face intense hunger until they are fed by the Lord Himself. Afterwards, they will come forth victorious in the power of the Spirit to rise into this higher realm of identity with Him in the outworking of His purposes.
If we will sincerely pray the following prayer and make this unconditional commitment to the Lord, He will accept our prayer and begin His work within us. We will be given the “Baptism in the Holy Spirit,” the “gifts,” and the “blessings” that follow, and all of the “divine arrangements” that are necessary to accomplish our time of wilderness testing. As we faithfully pass through these, His presence within us and His Word to us, will become more than just a blessing, or a testimony that we share. It will become “spiritual power” that has been personalized within our lives.
“Lord, in the totality of my being – my spirit, soul, and body; my will, intellect, and emotions; all that I ever was, all that I am, and all that I ever will be; Lord, I will respond to your hand upon, and your activity within my life. Lord, I ask that the Word which you have imparted and quickened within me, will be incorporated into my life experience so I will be in harmony and union with you. In submission and obedience, Lord, I will cooperate with You as you accomplish this, and Lord, please do not pay any attention if I complain.”
As I enter this place of “intimacy” in personal communion with Jesus, I will receive, as a result of my overcoming victory in being tested and proven, the “enabling power” that will strengthen and guide me through the steps that will prepare me to become His Bride. As I ascend into the “deeper” realms within His chambers, I will experience increasing degrees of fellowship with Jesus as my Heavenly Bridegroom, knowing that I can trust Him to gently lead me through these experiences.
“He gives power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall. But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength: they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:29-31
Herein is the secret: Our Heavenly Bridegroom desires to bring us into “His chambers” to abide with Him. Here, as His Bride, we will experience joy unspeakable, unknown to others.
During these times of intimate fellowship, we are brought into a closer union with Him. In the closeness of this communion, we will receive of His life and strength and come into a deeper understanding of spiritual principles and truths, which will draw us yet closer.
Only then will we have the spiritual energy to face the challenges, testings, and problems of life, and have the spiritual strength to “go into the vineyard” with the Lord, in the outworking of all that we have received.