We were hiking in Colorado's high prairie south of LaJunta. Back then I could carry Chris piggy-back while the younger two boys scrambled up small cliffs and down canyon walls. We found lizards and tarantulas, hawks, and this day, something that took us totally by surprise.
With Chris on my back I climbed a mesa (flat topped hill common in the US west) while the others followed - not too steep that Barb and the boys couldn't make it but enough that two boys ages 4 & 7 would be challenged. Out of the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of a black speck low on the horizon coming towards us fast. It was a B-1 bomber with wings swept back. The B-1 can sweep its wings back for high speed flight, and they use south east Colorado as a training area for high speed ground-hugging flights.
"Boys! Look! A B-1 bomber is coming right at us!" We'd laughed and joked as we climbed, imagining buffalo (bison) herds, Indian war parties, prospectors and settlers in covered wagons, so when I said a bomber was heading towards us, their reply was 'Ha ha dad'.
I said, "No really, look!" in an urgent 'hurry, hurry' voice that finally got them to look up. We were near the summit of a mesa just off the road which seemed far below, and just as we looked up, almost eye to eye with us, a B-1 bomber flew by - with not a sound until it passed. Then suddenly a deafening, bone rattling roar shook us it continued along its zig-zag path between the mesas. We were dumbfounded, and thanked the Father for allowing us to experience such a thrill, amazed at His sense of timing.
Believing His Word and Spirit instead of popular church culture
And so it was I was telling a class at the World Prayer Center in Colorado Springs they already have an open heaven, and the then-current fad teaching was error and not what the Father thinks about it. At first they sat in stunned silence when I told them the Father says we already have an open heaven.
I told them - You have peace with God the Father! He is at peace with you. He not only loves you, He likes you. He recreated you, birthed you, then adopted you all in one motion. He thinks He is at peace with you and you have full access to Him, why do you think otherwise? I quoted this passage: "Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ...by whom we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand." Romans 5:1-2
Then someone said, "Ha, ha, right John", as if I had just said a B-1 bomber was coming at us.
"No really! Look!" I insisted they follow me through the pages of the New Testament, and as we read verse after verse one lady got angry as if the B-1 had just flown by and she got blind sided by the shock wave.
She took it personally, saying, "Are you telling me I'm wrong!?" as she stood up with a 'You want to fight?' stance and all the finger pointing you would expect. "That I've spent thousands of dollars going to conferences and airfare and hotel bills and offerings and cd's and you are saying you are right and all of them are wrong? No offense, but who are you?"
I told her it wasn't that I was right and they were wrong: "I am telling you what your Father thinks on the subject, and you are unknowingly committing idolatry by elevating man's teaching above His thoughts and His ways as revealed in balance of the Word." That didn't go over real well with her. I can't imagine why.
What He thinks
As long as I was offending religious spirits masquerading as cutting edge charismatic revelation, I thought why not continue. "You think you have to yell and scream and gather thousands to convince God to open the heavens for you because that's what you've been taught, making Him your adversary. Imagine His surprise that He has been wrong this whole time and ____ _____ is right."
"Funny Father God! He thinks He has blessed you with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ. He thinks He has adopted you by Jesus so that you are His kids and part of a royal family, having full access to all that is His. He thinks He has seated you together with Him in heavenly places in Christ. He thinks you are a new creation in Christ and you now have access into this grace." (Ephesians 1:3-6, 2:6, I Peter 2:9, II Corinthians 5:17, Romans 5:1-2)
"All you have to do is just turn a thought towards 'Father' and you have His ear. He is in you. So who do you believe, your favorite teacher and church culture, or what our Father thinks and says on the subject?"
What really bothered her
After a coffee break she calmed down and returned to class. She told me what bothered her is that I was speaking with authority, as if I really knew what I was talking about. She said I wasn't talking about Him like the others, I was talking from Him. She felt fooled by the hype, but now she could see the truth in the verses.
She 'got it' - A light dawned, and for the first time she knew she had been believing doctrines of demons and/or man, and now she had great peace and joy, "The Father really likes me, not just loves me, but likes me, and He lives in me as proof...wow. I can rest in what I have in Him. I know now I live in an open heaven."
Lighten up - the art of knowing
In the same way Jesus turned water into wine but said nothing about it to draw attention to Himself, so too is He working today, humbly, meekly, with a lowly heart - but people's flesh want the spectacular so they tune out His thoughts as they run for the spectacular. His thoughts are just that - thoughts - unseen, quiet, revealed to us personally in our spirit - so that is where we must look for them.
Hebrews 4:6 lists several elements of Christian life, the first 2 being: - "...enlightened (Had the revelation from the Father that Jesus is Lord), have tasted the heavenly gift (born again)..."
Enlightened. Also translated as illuminate, in Greek this is 'photizo', from 'phos', meaning "light". It means down inside a person 'a light goes on' to shine revelation into their spirit and soul. This happens before we are born again and leads us to Christ, and it should be a way of life after we are in Christ. My life revolves around enlightenment - this is where communion with the Holy Spirit is found.
Peter's exclamation in Matthew 16:16 that "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God", was the result Jesus said, of the Father showing Him that fact. Revelation came first, then the act of confessing it.
Jesus spoke of 'enlightenment' in John 6:40: "And this is the will of Him who sent me; That all who (1) sees the Son and (2) believes on Him, will have eternal life." First you see Him inside, then you act on it, believing. That 'seeing' takes place in your spirit & soul, and we all went through that time of enlightenment.
Jesus continued in verse 45 saying, "Everyone (1) who has heard, and learned of the Father (2) comes to me." The Father first starts dealing with you inside - enlightenment - and THEN you believe.
I live for and in illumination - revelation. It is the single most important element in my walk with the Father. I want to know His thoughts on all things. Paul prayed for 'enlightenment' for the Ephesians and Colossians:
"For this cause I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, that He would grant you the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation in the knowledge of Him, that the eyes of your understanding would be enlightened to know..." and "That you be filled with spiritual wisdom and spiritual knowledge..." (Ephesians 1:15-18, Colossians 1:9)
These are the 2nd most common prayers I pray for myself, the 1st being: "Who or what do you want me to pray for Father?" and "What do you think about it (anything in my life) Father?" and/or "What are your thoughts Father?" (When someone expresses an opinion). These are by far the most common 'thing' I pray.
Forsaking our ways and thoughts and accepting His invitation to come up to His higher ways and thoughts in Isaiah 55, means enlightenment and then taking that revelation and changing our thoughts to His. It means change, rearrangement of what we believed and why. It means going against the grain of popular church culture if that culture thinks contrary to His thoughts.
This cannot happen as a matter of just book knowledge. Knowing His ways and thoughts comes from personal revelation - actually knowing Him, letting His Life change us from the inside out...next week, how to do that, as I'm out of space for today...until then,