IN YOUR FACE
Eph. 2:18 for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.
I’ll never forget my ministry trip to Manila, Philippines in May of 1995. I went to minister at Cathedral of Praise where David and Bev Sumrall pastor. The Lord came down in a sudden and surprising way in that large congregation. The church building was under construction and I remember hundreds of people stuck to the dirty concrete floor for hours as they began to experience the incredible intimacy found in this heavenly access we have in Christ. By the end of the week the Philipinos had coined a new phrase. They called this the “in your face revival” because God had invaded their “area” and was “in their face”. They were experiencing waves of supernatural joy, the joy that only comes from being loved, the joy that is found in this intimacy with God.
The word “intimacy” can cause people to feel a little bit uncomfortable, especially when we are talking about spiritual things. We all like our space, we become nervous when someone invades “our area”. That is what was so surprising to me when I first began to experience the phenomenon called “spiritual intimacy”. I had no idea the Lord could be so real, come so near, and become that personal and available to me. He had always seemed so detached from man and just part of our religious or philosophical beliefs. He is way more than that. The Lord is after our heart’s affection, nothing less will do for Him and nothing less will ever satisy and sustain us. A.B. Simpson spoke of this intimacy which he called communion and access, check out his comments.
“Having seen the glory of our ascended Lord, we are next admitted by the Holy Spirit, in access and communion, into His presence. “For through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” The door is open now, and we can go in and out with the freedom of children, gazing upon His glory and drawing from His fullness, strength for weakness, and grace for grace. This is by the Spirit. It is He who gives to us the sense of need, the spirit of prayer, the confidence to come, the witness of acceptance, and the blessed fellowship of constant communion. We are to “pray in the Holy Ghost, “and as we follow His suggestions, and breathe out His groanings, and aspirations, our God-given prayers will reach the throne and come back to us in blessing.”
Have you ever tasted this kind of love? At first we are all afraid of this closeness, we are not sure of what it will cost us, we are not sure of His expectations. I remember being afraid of letting the Lord get too close in my life. I wasn’t sure I could forsake my sinful pleasures of choice. When I let Him come near, I was hooked, amazed at His love, captured by His kindness. Was it hard to walk away from my sins, not for me. In the light of His nearness the foolish pleasures lost their attraction, they couldn’t compare to this new joy I had found in Christ.