This is the cry of the Lord to the Church and to all those whose hearts are bound up and don’t even know it, unable to access the fullness of the Father’s love.
We just finished a 21-Day Community Fast and the Lord took our group to a very deep place of His presence. It wasn’t so much the “sins” that we confessed in repentance, but the heart issues that He dug up that brought us to our knees. Though our prayers were for community transformation, this journey became very personal. Our desperation was no longer focused on the economic, social or political chaos, but on the depravity of our very souls. Once faced with the huge spiritual void within, our longings became much deeper. Our lack of love and true intimacy became our focus as we longed to know this ONE who was drawing us, calling us, and inviting us into the Secret Place with Him.
The first week helped us get rid of distractions – media, social networking, food addictions, entertainment fixes, the need to be busy, etc. We had embraced the revelation that Fasting without Prayer is simply starvation. Therefore, we pressed into the Lord’s heart. Our focus was on pursuing Humility, Holiness and Unity. God did much in the first two weeks as He peeled off layers of compromise, spiritual apathy and misplaced priorities. He exposed unhealthy patterns and habits that were simply keeping us from making HIM our priority. But, it wasn’t until the 3rd week that things hit the fan. It appears that God is fairly passionate about unity and intimacy being entwined and I didn’t realize just how close this hit home.
It was in my own marriage that the Lord seemed to illustrate His heart for so many in the Church. Though our marriage is solid and our covenant uncompromising, there has been a lack of intimacy. We have known it but haven’t known how to get past it. Our differences in personality and giftings have been a constant challenge both at home and in the ministry. The strongholds became glaring and I began to feel overwhelmed at things ever changing. The Holy Spirit was revealing the things that were holding our hearts captive – faulty mindsets, ungodly beliefs, inner wounds and spiritual blindness to our true identities in Christ. I knew that no gift, no level of anointing and no amount of ministry experience was going to “fix” this. It was only an infilling of Perfect Love that would heal our hearts and set us free to truly know one another – and Him.
As I cried out to the Lord one afternoon in prayer, I heard myself say, “I want a Lover that’s Bound to No Other!” I said it over and over and each time I did I realized it was not just my cry, but HIS. I was feeling the passion, the longing, the grieving of the Lord Jesus who was calling out to His sons and daughters. He so desires to be the Lover of our souls, but we have been bound up by other things. Ministry responsibilities, preoccupation with family or career, busyness, distractions, addictions and other counterfeit crutches that have filled our hearts as we have sought to heal ourselves. In our need for affirmation and validation, we have sought to fill our hearts with lesser things and have thus bound ourselves to idols. There has been no room left for Him.
“This is what the LORD Almighty says: “I am very jealous for Zion; I am burning with jealousy for her.” (Zechariah 8:2)
This revelation became our theme for the last week and it was the truth that set my own heart free. My husband and I not only went through some deep deliverance from long-held strongholds, but reached a place of unity and agreement like we’ve never had before. As we took the strongholds to the cross and invited His truth to come in, His perfect love cast out the lies and replaced it with His glory. I experienced a peace and infilling that went to the core of my being. I felt like I got plugged in to an entirely different power source! Not only did I experience this personally, but the entire community group experienced an increase of God’s glory as we yielded to His work. We met Him not in the Shout or the Praise, but in the Whispers of His presence. His glory settled on us like a warm blanket as we allowed a Divine Exchange to take place. As we let go of those things that held our hearts captive, He replaced it with His peace and His presence. He was teaching us how to become lovers – totally captivated by Him and free to receive.
In the midst of corporate prayer, I saw a picture of a hot-air balloon that was all ready to sail. The balloon was full, the passengers were ready and the sky was clear. But, it was still tethered to the ground with several ropes. I saw the Lord’s hand begin to cut the ropes, one at a time. As the last rope was cut, the balloon catapulted to the sky without effort, free and unhindered. This is what He was doing with our hearts – setting us free from those things that bound us up and tied us down, in order for us to be lifted to the heavenly places with Him. Our Lover was bringing us to Himself.
Many communities are pursuing God’s heart. In Psalm 133, He promises that when we dwell in unity He can’t help but command His blessing. Unity and agreement will open the way for intimacy and you can’t have intimacy without unity. It will always start at home and will always be personal before it can be corporate.
I pray that the Body of Christ can hear the cry of the Lord. He wants a Lover that’s Bound to no Other; a Lover that has been set free from every imitation so that He can fill us with His Perfect Love. He is looking for individuals, couples, families, congregations and cities – who are willing to take the journey to the cross to be set free from every hindrance and bondage in their hearts in order to become abandoned Lovers of the Lord.
When He finds one, nothing will be able to hold Him back. He will come with a vengeance and an unbridled passion that will shake the world. I pray that day comes soon.