As Heidi Baker discusses God’s “pruning” in her life, she writes, “God was calling me to come away with Him and spend more time in worship – more time in the secret place…I agreed with the Lord that I would give Him the most precious time in my day, no matter how much the world and the church and the people pressed in to take it away…I have learned that we are called to resist the unnecessary demands of the world. Sometimes we need to cry out to God to keep us from giving in to earthly pressures…I encourage you to be the one who loves first and does later…The Lord is asking you to give Him your time for the sake of love…one by one He is asking the whole church, ‘Who has the time to let me woo him into the secret place? Who will lie down until he is so immersed in My love and My glory that when he stands up again, fruit will spring up all around?'”*
Loving Him first – and “doing,” second…that’s a challenging motto to live by. It flips our “natural” sense of order and priority upside down – and perhaps that is why it is so valuable…it realigns the proper flow between “source” and “power,” and reaffirms that God is still God and He is still actively involved and moving in a world that denies it.
Jesus taught His disciples, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5, NASB) The Message translates the same passage this way: “I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing…”
Creating the perception of separation. It is totally impossible for the enemy to separate us – in any measure whatsoever – from God, or from His Love. But creating a well-crafted perception of separation and powerlessness….that is another thing.
The Message translates a portion of I John 5 as, “…The God-begotten are also the God-protected. The Evil One can’t lay a hand on them. We know that we are held firm by God; it’s only the people of the world who continue in the grip of the Evil One. And we know that the Son of God came so we could recognize and understand the truth of God – what a gift! – and we are living in the Truth itself, in God’s Son, Jesus Christ. This Jesus is both True God and Real Life. Dear children, be on guard against all clever facsimiles.” (I John 5:19-21, The Message)
I like that phrase, “clever facsimiles.”
The pressures from the world’s system are designed for exactly the purpose of creating “facsimiles,” for it enforces a rhythm of life that is relentless, never-pausing, never-resting. And that ceaseless pace often succeeds in giving us a “sense of accomplishment” while simultaneously preventing those of us who quickly admit to “loving Him” and “knowing Him” from stepping into and grasping ahold of the next level of spiritual reality. Heidi Baker describes it as immersion. That time when our communing with Him is genuine and passionate…and not hurried. Not on a schedule. Totally focused and open to Him.
I John 5:4 encourages us, “Every God-begotten person conquers the world’s ways. The conquering power that brings the world to its knees is our faith.” (I John 5:4-5 The Message) This would be consistent with Heidi Baker’s advice. She writes, “I pray that God will continue to immerse you in His love until the only thing you understand any more is His heart…I encourage you…to say, ‘God, I’m not satisfied. I cannot live ankle-, knee- or waist-deep. I must be completely immersed in Your Presence….I invite You to sweep me away to deeper places.”*
Amen. Let the sweeping begin. Let the immersion begin. Let my transformation continue… *Heidi Baker, Birthing the Miraculous, Charisma House