Return to Your Intimate Place of Communion

written by J. A. Hart
(This is part three in the “Intimate Places” Series. Click here to read parts one and two.)

The following few blogs are an invitation to seek out your intimate place of communion with God. It is the same invitation God gave to Adam and Eve in the Garden east of Eden: Come and have intimate communion with me in the place I made for you and you for it.

In the last blog, I told you the story of finding my intimate place, and my heart is to help you find yours. Over the next few weeks, you will step into your story with God to discover those places God made for you.

How you step into this invitation is essential.  The enemies set against you, who want to keep you from walking with God, are the biggest challenge you face. Each enemy uses distinct strategies to keep you blind and unaware of the intimate places your heavenly Dad, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are calling you to. We need to begin by consecrating this space and our hearts to hear God’s voice clearly and receive his words.

Let’s consecrate this space:

Heavenly Dad, I invite you into this time. I invite you into this space. I claim this space for you. This space is your kingdom, Jesus. Here, I recognize your authority above all others. I acknowledge your love above all others. Father, be in my presence. Lead my heart to your heart, your truth, your life. I consecrate this space now. Holy Spirit, be here now. Speak to my heart in ways I know and understand. Set your angels around this space. Protect my heart from all attacks. I rebuke the enemies in Jesus' name. I bind them in Jesus’ name and put them at your throne for you to deal with. This space is Yours. In Jesus’ name, I pray all these things. Amen.

This space belongs to your heavenly Dad, but the enemies won’t stop their assaults. One strategy they use to attack is accusation and doubt; This is stupid. You are silly for doing this. All of this is just nonsense. What does it even mean to commune with God? He isn’t like a person in front of you. You can’t hold him or touch him. Is this even real? If your heart hears words like this at any point during this time, pray as Jesus did:

In Jesus' name, I command (insert what thought, doubt, accusation, or condemnation you are struggling with) to get behind me. I bind it in Jesus’ name and lay it at your feet, Dad. Show me your presence; continue to lead me through this time. My heart is yours. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

You may have to pray this multiple times to ward off an attack. The most belligerent enemies will not idly fall back.

Hands Down

Another enemy you face is your imposter voice and the voices of others. These voices keep us from hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit. Pray and release them. Put your hands out and open, facing down. Release

Heavenly Dad, I give you every thought on my heart today. I give you every concern, worry, doubt, frustration, to-do, person, performance, and decision. Specifically, I give you (name the specific things weighing on your heart. Be as honest as you know how.) to you today; with my hands open and down, I lay these at your feet in Jesus’ name. Take them from me and speak to my heart the words that may fill the space now vacant. Fill me with you.

Some question(s) to help:

- What is distracting me? (Tasks, worry, other voices, other sources, etc.)
- What is weighing me down?  (Fear, doubt, condemnation, etc.)
- What feels heavy this morning?

Spend a moment to sit in this. As things pop into your mind, invite your heavenly Dad into each one, and in your mind's eye, give them to him.

Now, let’s step onto the Path of finding our intimate place of Communion.
 
God’s Heart For Yours

As you step into this adventure today, know this: God has pursued you; he is pursuing you, and he will continuously pursue you. No matter how often it may seem his heart is amiss in your story, your heavenly Dad, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are with you in the brightest light and the deepest darkness.  

This truth is the key that unlocks the door to our intimate place of communion with him. Our eyes won’t see his fingerprints if we believe his rule and heart are chaotic and evil. We must open our heart’s eyes to the love and relationship he desires with us (remember The Story of Communion?). Yes, you will face the wilderness, but God makes a way through to the intimate places where he wants to be with you.

The search for these intimate places takes time (it took years for me). Remember, God doesn’t walk with every person the same. He created you with a particular Quality of his glory, so he knows what you need, and what you need in your story isn’t the same as any other human.

When you turn to him, God grafts you into his family tree, but your story looks more like the crown than the trunk. Humans are not robots with the same programming. We are people with intimate hearts and impacting stories, and no one story or heart is ever the same. The narrative of our lives may rhyme, but the intimate details never clone. As Aslan says in Prince Caspian, “Things never happen the same way twice.” This is good because the particular is where we see God’s intimate hand in our hearts and lives. He knows your intimate place because he intimately created you, and with a heart full of love, compassion, and desire, he desperately wants to lead you there to be with him.

Remember and Return

As I partook of my story to prepare for An Intimate Place of Communion, I recognized God's faithful involvement in my life. Yet, so often, I missed him. Stories brought my heart alive as a boy, but I never wondered if anything was behind the stories I loved. All of us have places in our life that we love where we experience the Quality and Longing. Maybe it’s a hobby you took up or a movie you return to repeatedly, or perhaps it’s a physical space where you find some peace and return to in frequency (forests, ocean, a lake, an attic, etc.). Whatever it is, the places in our life that hold your deep affections and desires often speak to and of the deep waters of your heart.

If you want to find the intimate place(s) God created for you and you for, you must remember and return to the intimate places he communed with you when we were young but missed. Before we experienced pain and suffering, vulnerability and hope were easier to live in as children. Indeed, our hearts are more open to the Quality and Longing when we are young. We lived with abandon and trust in ways our adult selves seldom do.

As our loving Father, God knew how to speak to us while we were young; he used the Quality and Longing to show us pieces of his glory in us. As adults, battle-worn and weary as we are, we must return to those places, gaining insight into the places God communed with us as children. We need his hand to show us what they were. Whatever it may be, What are the places you loved as a child that still bring your heart alive today or would if you let it?

Spend some time praying through that question. Make it first person: What things did I love that brought my heart alive as a child and still do today? Write down what appears in your heart.

Some question(s) to help:

- What activity do you constantly return to?
- If you had a free afternoon and you got to decide what to do, what would you choose?
- What story (movie or otherwise) do you constantly return to even as an adult?
- Is there a character in that story that you’ve always thought about?
- What songs captured your attention as a kid and still do today?
- What hobbies have always caught your time and attention?

Calibration


Now, I want you to do something that may be uncomfortable, but I encourage you to take some time and do this.

Find a quiet space, close your eyes, and rest your body (This is another good time to do the Hands Down from above). Now, see in your mind’s eye yourself as a child doing what you loved or being in a space that you loved or reading for the first time a story that you loved. Whatever came to mind above, imagine your young self there again.

Where are you? What do you notice about the space? What are you doing? Is anyone else with you?

Invite your heavenly Dad to be there with you:

Dad, I invite you to be here with me now, reveal yourself and your heart in this space. Show me how you communed with me even as a child. In Jesus' name, I pray.

Is he in the space with you now? Do you see him? What is he doing?


Ask him, What do you think about me? Look into his eyes while he answers you. Listen for his loving, strong voice. Stay in that place for as long as you need to; receive his words. (Remember, if you hear accusation or condemnation or any other words from the enemy or if you are getting in the way, pray against it. Ask your Dad to fight with you, then ask him the question again.)

Now, ask him, Why did this (name the place, story, or hobby) always speak to my heart? What were you saying to me?  Look into his eyes while he answers you. Listen for his loving, strong voice.  Stay in that place for as long as you need to; receive his words.

Write down what you heard him say to your heart when you finish.

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