Soaking is not a new concept, but we are rediscovering it after so much of the modern life and contemporary noise has invaded
our church meetings and our church life. Over the past 10 years or so, our modern definition of Christianity has finally turned from works and performance,
to worship and intimacy.
Through the Renewal came to us a fresh revelation of the Father's Heart of God and the 20th century Church has been impacted
forever. And so we have learned to just stay put, open our hands, close our eyes, and receive prayer, experiencing the most amazing manifestations and
the deepest changes: forgiveness, healing, renewed strength, visions, commissions, confirmations, affirmation from the Father...
Taking time to simply be quiet for a few minutes in a day could demand planning and discipline. But what if we would
simply "show up" and be silent before God, letting Him pour over us His affection, letting Him reveal our own hearts
to ourselves, and as we do, finally learn to become familiar with God's language? In turn, we could just respond by whispering, "Yes Father, I receive,
I let go, I give you, I will do, work in me, heal, save, restore..."
In the wake of the Renewal, for a couple of years now we have coined the term "SOAKING" as being that which we do when we lay down
before the Lord, with no other agenda than to meet with Him, people praying over us in a non-interfering way, the sound of soothing music pouring
over the room as anointing is being released and experienced.
THE KINGDOM RULES!
Although it seems that ministry times are on the fringes of our weekly meetings, it has been my experience that those times
may be some of the most precious moments in our assembling together. They are packed with a blessed mixture: people share their needs in vulnerability,
others offer compassion, time and attention to pray for them, and the anticipation of faith draws them all to a place of meeting with the LORD in a way that
brings about noticeable and sometimes dramatic changes in people's lives.
To me, soaking is to be understood and approached as one way among many which translates our longings into an act of worship and
abandonment, something we can practice to bring us to a place of utter abandonment to God. As in faith, so in passion and devotion. Madame Guyon writes:
"We come now to the ultimate state of Christian experience. Divine Union. This cannot be brought about merely by your own experience. Meditation will not
bring divine union; neither will love, nor worship, nor your devotion, nor your sacrifice. Nor does it matter how much light the Lord gives you. Eventually it
will take an act of God to make union a reality."
"In the Old Testament the Scripture says, 'No man shall see God and live' (see Ex. 33:20). If your prayer still contains your own life, that prayer cannot see God.
Your life will not know the experience of union with His life."
"All that is of your doing, all that comes from your life-even your most exalted prayer-must first be destroyed before union can come about. All the prayers that
proceed from your mind are merely preparations for bringing you to a passive state; any and all active contemplation on your part is also just preparation for
bringing you to a passive state. They are preparations. They are not the end. They are a way to the end. The end is union with God!" (Madame Jeanne Guyon -
Experiencing Union with God Through Inner Prayer). "
Even as we enter the waters of soaking, we could imagine an act of baptism in which we linger... In that place, there is a time to see
what's at work in us, and silence will reveal that to us.
There's also a time to release to God the old ways He has opened our eyes to see, as He asks of us the sacrifice of abandonment. God's silence gives
us room for that. Then, there is a time where the veil of His mystery is wrapped around both ourselves and Him in holy intimacy... and words are not an
adequate mean of expression anymore...
In the Old Testament, the prophet Elisha asked for a musician (minstrel)
to be brought in his presence as he was about to inquire of the LORD for the king of Judah:
"But now bring me a musician." Then it happened, when the musician played, that the hand of the LORD came upon him.
And he said, "Thus says the LORD:..."
We also read: "Whenever the spirit from God came upon Saul, David would take his harp and play. Then relief would come to
Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him" (1 Samuel 16:23). Saul was plagued by a harrassing spirit and whenever David
would play the harp, the annointing would subdue the evil spirit.
We believe that God knows what He's doing. He gave gifted artists to each community of believers.... for a reason.
Please also encourage your local artists. Seek them and bless them. They need your support as much as you need their gifting. We are not to worship the
anointing in anyone, but rejoice when the LORD speaks through other means than words.
Just as surely as God, the First Artist, expresses Himself through such an extravagant pageantry of colors, sounds, forms, textures, life
forms, elements and substances. For the Arts are of a prophetic nature, revealing the hidden things and not only a cosmetic shine to support teachings and
Christian artists, living in and for the Presence of God, thinking corporately and networking, will bring about the greatest revival of artistic
creativity this world has ever seen. And we DO need redeemed creativity in our world, at all levels, so people will finally hear, touch, and see our experience
of the Gospel infusing life our cities, bringing a different content and purpose to the artistic stimuli that relentlessly bombards our senses.
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