At this present time, the Lord is especially dealing with those who have been seeking “something more” without understanding what they are searching for. Many of these are thinking “What is happening to me?” This is because they are being drawn away from any dependence upon, or satisfaction with, that which is less than the Lord’s best.
Many have been content with only knowing the Lord as their Savior, and are satisfied knowing that someday they will be in heaven. Some have gone further and know Him as the One who provides their needs and uses them in ministry. However, the Lord greatly desires to take us beyond these levels of experience. He is, through intervention, beginning to make Himself known to us as a person who desires both our fellowship and our cooperation with Him in the outworking of His present day purposes.
All too often we become satisfied with the “things of God” rather than going beyond this and coming to know the “God of the things.” All too often, we get so taken up with our involvement in working for the Lord, or in being concerned about our problems and needs, or, the needs of others, that we fail to notice when He comes to seek a time of personal fellowship with us.
We become satisfied with abiding in the fact of His Omni-Presence rather than taking time to seek His Manifest Presence. Our Lord is a seeking God who will draw us into a personal, intimate relationship with Himself, if we will respond to His seeking after us.
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, and he with Me.” Revelation 3:20
In the past, the Lord graciously allowed us to remain satisfied with our own ways. However, the hour is late and the need is so urgent that the Lord is moving in intervention to bring about a correction. In order to accomplish this, He may intentionally withdraw Himself from our spiritual activities, and stand in the shadows, outside of the “room” of our present spiritual experience.
“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. My beloved spoke, and said to me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.” Song of Solomon 2:9-10
It is important for us to understand that the (seeming) withdrawal of the Lord’s presence from us, and from anything that we attempt to do for Him, is a blessing meant to draw us up into a higher realm of relationship with Him.
In order to bring about this ability within us, the Lord will begin to make Himself known to us as a person, trusting that we will notice Him. He, the Lord of Glory, will reluctantly remain apart from us because He desires something better for us. He longs to manifest Himself to us and spend time with us in fellowship and communion. If we will notice and respond, it is here that we will begin to intimately know Him and come to understand His ways. Only then will we be able to rightly serve Him.
The Lord is grieved when we do not recognize and quickly respond to His desire to make Himself know to us. Many of us fail to respond because we are satisfied to remain within our past spiritual experience, sufficiently satisfied with all of the blessings that He has provided.
The Lord will patiently continue to wait without until we begin to recognize that we need something more than all these things that He has been amply providing, and invite Him to come within our spiritual experience to abide with us.
“Because you say I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and know not that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” Revelation 3:17
The Lord is not satisfied for us to be content with all these things alone. He longs to bring us into the experiential reality of personally knowing Him, and abiding in His manifest presence. This relationship transcends anything that He could ever do for us.
“He that has My commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves Me: and he that loves Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him.” John 14:21
This experience of “His manifest presence” is conditional upon our having and keeping His commandments. Only as we relinquish our self-nature to the cross, and come into an experience of oneness with the Lord, will our obedience be possible. As we die to our self-will and respond to Him in obedience, He will be released to manifest Himself to us, and then to others through us.
The word “manifest” means that He causes us to become aware of His revealed presence through one, or a combination of our five natural senses. His manifest presence begins at the point where we pass from the “letter” of the Word into the “spirit” of the Word. When we enter into His manifest presence, He will make Himself experientially known to us. He may lead us to quietly wait upon Him in His revealed presence. He may make known to us something that He desires to accomplish and our part in its outworking. He may quicken us in a special understanding of His Word. He may share with those who have experienced in some measure the “Fellowship of His Sufferings,” a specific burden of prayer or intercession.
The possibilities are manifold, and they are marvelous to experience. The Lord greatly desires to reveal Himself to us as a person having feelings and desires. “Manifestly” means that He does this, not in type and shadow, but as a present reality, made known to one or more of our physical senses. The Lord cannot remain satisfied with our continuing to relate to Him only as the One who produces within us a feeling of anointing, or power.
The Lord has been hurt so many times by those who take His presence lightly, that He is reluctant to openly reveal Himself. Therefore, He will approach us very cautiously to see if we are really interested. Those who are intently searching for “something more” will quickly notice when He has withdrawn His presence from them, and will urgently ask Him to return.
“My beloved spoke, and said to me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.” Song of Solomon 2:10
The Lord has something far better to offer us if we will respond to His call to “rise up” with Him into a higher realm of spiritual reality. To this urgent call, He adds a word of encouragement.
“For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land. Song of Solomon 2:11-12
We are living in the time of the birthing of a new day, as we are approaching the time of the return of our Lord. Herein is the cause of our wondering, “What is happening?” as we feel the birth pains of this new day. All that Jesus did in a single body during His first coming, He will again do through a corporate body. Presently, he is preparing those who have been called apart for this purpose
Winter speaks of a time of barrenness in our spiritual experience. It is a period of time during which the Lord is (seemingly) absent from us, and in which there is little or no moving or quickening of His presence within us, or in our ministry. The rain being over and gone speaks of the fact that the Charismatic visitation, as wonderful as it was in its day, has come to an end. The “winter being past” speaks of a present opportunity for us to be birthed into a new realm of spiritual life and experience.
The “flowers appearing” speaks of our spiritual growth with the resultant fruit of the spirit. Our repentant response to the withdrawal of His presence from us has produced a spiritual breakthrough within us – the initiative for our life and ministry has passed to Him. We are abiding in Him and He in us. Our lives and ministry are producing results that were never before seen, as we are being lifted from the gift realm into the spirit realm.
The singing of birds speaks of “worship” that flows up to the Lord from deep within us. The voice of the turtle speaks of our becoming “prophetic” and speaking forth His Word with substance and power. This especially applies to prophetic worship that will release the manifest presence and glory of the Lord.
This experience will not come through an intellectual comprehension or understanding of His Word alone. It requires the anointed impartation of His life to us, as we fellowship (sup) with Him.
He is presently without, looking through the window of our spiritual experience, waiting for us. We must quickly respond to His call to “Rise up, My love, My fair one, and come away.” It is essential that we invite the Lord to come within, and give Him full control over our lives and all that pertains to us.
Nothing that we could obtain, while remaining in a lesser realm could compare with this.
“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