Who is Jesus to you? When you think of Him, think about Him, do you see Him as something specific?
I was at work one day when my best friend's mom sent me a text asking if we could get together for lunch. I remember thinking, whatever this lunch was about, I was never going to be the same afterward. I was right.
During that lunch I learned that my best friend had been diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. Life changed drastically after that.
Over the course of the next 5 years, I spent time praying, bargaining and pleading that the Lord would cure her illness. One month after her 30th birthday, she went home to be with the Lord. I wasn't sure who I was going to be without my best friend. I felt like I had lost a limb, and I was heading into the future completely handicapped.
The day after she passed, I walked out of work and I said to the Lord, "what do I do now? Who will be my best friend?" The presence of Jesus was so palpable, like He was walking right next to me as I headed to my car. I haven't heard the Lord's voice audibly that often, it's pretty rare that He speaks audibly to believers today because we have the Holy Spirit to lead us and guide us. But on this day, I heard Him audibly whisper to me, "Will you allow me to be your best friend?"
I remember hesitating for a second before responding, because I knew the weight of what He was asking of me. I knew that if I said no, I would regret it for the rest of my life; but if I said yes, I would be moving into a future that would stretch me and test me. I knew if I said yes, that I wouldn't be able to plan my future for myself, and I would be submitting to the Lord whatever His plans are for my life and future. I knew it would be scary, and I knew I didn't have any other choice. I said yes.
That yes has radically changed my life.
A few months ago I was listening to a sermon one morning and the pastor was sharing a story of something that happened with his daughter. She had lost something and they couldn't find it, and the pastor was going to give up on the search when the Lord said to him, "are you willing to let this go?"
In that moment, something that I had been praying about for months bubbled to the surface of my heart, and I said to the Lord, "I'm not willing to let this go!"
As I said those words, I was suddenly transported in the Spirit to heaven. In the vision, I was looking at myself through the eyes of someone else, and I could see myself standing before the throne of God.
I was wearing a crown of gold, dressed in silk finery with slippers of silk on my feet. The floor I was standing on was made of pure gold. As I looked at myself, dressed as a princess in the courts of heaven, standing before the throne of God, I realized that's how God sees me when I pray. He sees me as His daughter, His princess, His child dressed like royalty.
As I watched myself through the eyes of another, a boldness filled me that I hadn't had before, and I said to the Lord, "Father, I'm not willing to let this go! I'm not willing to give up on this dream You have given me!" As I said those words I was suddenly in my own body, dressed in finery looking up at the throne of God.
I knew I had a crown of gold on my head, but I didn't feel the weight of it. I looked down at my feet and the slippers were soft, they fit perfectly. I stood on solid gold, and the steps before me were made of pure gold. I looked up at the throne and it was completely shrouded in white light, yet I could discern through the light that the Father had a shape. My natural eyes couldn't see His figure, but my spiritual senses understood He had a form.
I looked up at the throne and I said to my Father, "Lord, I will not give up this dream You have given me. I will stand and I will fight. If I have to fight for years I will do that!"
As I spoke, I discerned in the Spirit that the Lord shifted His weight and leaned forward to hear me better. He cared about what I was saying. He desired to hear me. Obviously the Lord can hear me without me even saying a word! But He wanted me to know, without the shadow of a doubt, that He desires and yearns to hear from His children. He wants us to come into His presence! He wants us to pray, to talk to Him! He cares about what we have to say!
I lifted my hand to the throne, and as I did I noticed my arm was covered in gold bracelets of different thicknesses, and there were many of them. My vision ended with me staring at these bracelets, and I knew it was significant but I didn't know why.
And then I was back in my body, and the sermon was still playing.
When You Make Jesus Your Person...
Your life will never be the same. There will be hard seasons, because God will ask you to go places you've never been before.
When you walk with God and you give Him everything, all of you, there will inevitably be a wilderness season that He brings you through while He's crafting you into the person He wants you to become.
Yes, there will be hard seasons with the Lord. But there are hard seasons without God too, and it's much better to walk those difficult times with God.
When you make Jesus your person, He also gives you an indescribable joy, a peace beyond anything our natural bodies can understand, and moments of incredible glory that far outweigh the hard seasons of life.
Receiving a vision from the Lord is better than any movie man has ever made. Receiving a dream from God is better than any waking moment on earth. Receiving a word of knowledge from the Spirit is better than any novel we could ever read. And these moments of glory are what Paul spoke about when he said "And we all, with unveiled face, continually seeing as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are progressively being transformed into His image from [one degree of] glory to [even more] glory, which comes from the Lord, [who is] the Spirit." (2 Corinthians 3:18)
When you make Jesus your person you will have the most glorious moments of your life. He will transform you and cause you to look more like Him, and as He does that you will get to experience incredible things from Him, from heaven. You will have the chance to hear His voice, experience His presence.
You Are Royalty
The Lord let me see myself as He sees me. When we pray, we are standing in the presence of our Father. We are royalty.
Beautiful beloved reading this today, you are a prince! You are a princess! The blood of Jesus bought you the RIGHT to stand in the heavenly places with our Father! When you pray, you are dressed in royalty, crowned in gold and righteousness! (2 Timothy 4:8) You are dressed in silk, standing on floors of gold. And God shifts His weight to hear you better! He yearns to hear from you. He wants you to come into His presence and ask for what you need. He longs to hear your voice!
You don't have to be formal about your prayers, you can pray whenever you have a need. As you wash the dishes, lift your requests to heaven. When you're driving your kids to school, pray for their day and for yours. As you clean the house, talk to Jesus as you would a friend. He loves that! I know for a fact that He does, because He asked me to be His best friend. And I know He wants to be yours too.
And when you pray, pray with the knowledge that the Father yearns to hear from you.
The Gold Bracelets
I mulled these bracelets from the vision over and over in my mind throughout the next day. I asked the Lord over and over, "what does this mean? What is the significance of the bracelets?"
As I was in the middle of asking the Father the next morning, a full 24 hours after I received this vision, suddenly God gave me a picture of a tree trunk. He showed me how the tree trunk has rings for each year, each growing season, and each ring shows the type of conditions that happened during that growing season.
As He revealed this picture of a tree trunk and what it means for a tree, the Holy Spirit then explained to my heart, "each bracelet represents hard experiences and challenges in your life. The harder the experience, the thicker the bracelet. When you give your hardships to the Lord, He spins them into fine gold, and they adorn you."
I immediately understood this to mean that every thing we go through has a purpose. Pain has a purpose in the kingdom of heaven. When you experience something extremely challenging, and you invite Jesus into your pain and hardship and walk that journey with Him, He shapes you and molds you and changes you until you are refined like gold. Your character becomes more stately and polished, and you come out of the challenging season with far greater patience and perseverance, strength and determination, beauty and loveliness. You end up walking taller and more assured of who you are, because you are more assured of who Christ is in you. It's a difficult process, with a worthwhile end.
The Lord explained this all to my heart, but what He also wanted me to know is this: He knows everything that we have gone through and our difficulties are not cast aside. He ensures that we are adorned with our hardships, that we are rewarded for walking through painful trials with Him. He doesn't cast aside our tough seasons, instead He gives them places of honor and we wear them as a badge. How beautiful is that? How wonderful is our God?
Today, know this: whatever hard things you have experienced are not for nothing. God has a purpose and plan for everything under the sun, including your difficult experiences. When you give Him your pain, give Him your wounds, He binds them up as a physician and heals your hurting places. "He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds [healing their pain and comforting their sorrow]." (Psalm 147:3)
Not only does He heal your broken heart and bind your wounds, but He does it perfectly. In fact, He does it so perfectly that in a year or two or three, you won't have any lasting pain or side effects, but instead you will look back at your painful memories with a fondness when you remember how Jesus was your God in the midst of your suffering.
Perhaps today you aren't in a challenging situation, but maybe you went through something challenging in the past and never really got over it. I want to invite you today to let Jesus into that space with you. Talk to Him about your past and pain, and invite Him into that place in your heart that is holding onto the difficulties. He will fill your hardships with His grace, and you will get to see the goodness of the Lord. He will heal the places that are still broken. It's amazing what He can do when we let Him.
My friend, make Jesus your person. Invite Jesus into every area of your heart, and ask Him to be your best friend. I pray that you will experience the unbelievable life and amazing grace that only those who have fully surrendered to Jesus know and understand. It's so worth it.