Posts Tagged ‘adoration’

There is coming a day – and is already here – when others will look to us with an expectation that we lead them to safety. It will be a time where we will already be dressed and ready to serve the needs of many. I call us “First Responders.”

“Be ready for service and have your lamps lit” (Luke 12:35-4 HCSB).

Who are the first responders? These are the ones who have been trained, equipped, ready to go into any situation and rescue the injured. In Israel, the first responders were everyday people who went about their jobs; but in an emergency, they were easily identifiable and ready to move into their trained position – night or day.

We are spiritual first responders. We will be those who have practiced living as victors and not victims in each and every crisis exercise that we have walked through thus far in our life. Our mindset is well established so that no matter what comes along – economic or political shifts, natural disasters, wars, earthquakes, famines, floods, “accidents,” illnesses – our eyes are fixed upon the Lord and we are full of faith for His salvation, healing, deliverance, provision. We know that we live in a different Kingdom, under the economy and provision of Heaven that sets us apart from earthly kingdom’s circumstances.

With recent world events, many of us feel that we have been called to a special “high” alert in these days.

“Those servants the master will find alert when he comes will be blessed…If he comes in the middle of the night, or even near dawn, and finds them alert, those servants are blessed” (Luke 12:37-38 HCSB).

Seek the Lord!

About three and a half years ago, I had an urgent appeal in my heart from the Spirit of the Lord: “Seek the Lord while He may be found!” It was an urgency that came with a sense that I needed to drop everything and be shut away with the Lord to hear what He had to say to my heart. I did that, and the results were nothing less than transformational in my heart and life. I dealt with many issues of my past and present that made way for the future God was moving me into. It was an intense transitional phase of my life.

I got the sense then that only as we heed His urgings to come apart for awhile to seek the Lord will we be adequately prepared for what is ahead that we cannot see, but He can. Whenever the Lord says “Seek my Face!” it is because He intends to show us something valuable in His character that we desperately need. As we see Him with more clarity, this revelation of His character has the ability to transform our heart and be established deep within our core to alter the course of our life by changing our ways, and not simply modifying our behavior.

I have found that a season to seek the Lord opens my spiritual ears to hear Him with a new clarity and opens my eyes to see him as He is. I have come to appreciate a fresh, daily revelation of who God is to me, which fuels a momentum towards His Presence.  Faith to trust Him in today’s impossible situation will be strengthened as we measure it against the greatness of our God.

Called Into His Presence

One particular night in recent weeks, I did not sleep well. I kept waking up about every 2 hours. I was curious about that because normally I sleep very well. But I have come to learn that in such times, I simply commune with the Lord and am drawn directly into His Presence as I worship Him. I was taken by surprise at the intensity that I felt in God’s presence all night long. I got little sleep this night, and when I did fall asleep, the dreams were about the Lord. I awakened with such a sense of the Presence of the Holy Spirit that through many tears, I rededicated my life to Him as I lay on my bed. I was still puzzled about this amazing night in the Presence of God as I got up at 6:30 that morning.

Passing by my office, I noticed that my phone had messages waiting from my eldest daughter in Hawaii. That’s odd . . . Her text from around 1:00 am read: “Evacuating up to the highest point of the island!” My mind could not take in what would have happened that she was being evacuated on Maui! I rushed to my laptop in the living room and read the news headlines about the 9.0 earthquake in Japan and the Tsunami warnings issued all around across the Pacific. Oh no!! There was no cell reception as I tried to reach my daughter.

In that moment, I understood my night. There is a posture that we take in the Presence of the Lord 24/7 that allows God access to our spirit where we come into agreement with Him. Most times as we pray, we really have no concept of the power that is going forth as we are postured before the Lord. I have come to realize that God will intentionally draw us into His presence into a deep season of worship, adoration, and intercession, and only later do we understand the significance of that time spent alone with God in the secret place. In such times, the shalom of God settles upon our hearts that holds us through the stress of the unexpected.

Upgrade Needed

I determined to receive an upgrade from the night of the Japanese earthquake when I laid awake in God’s presence. I would like to have much more sensitivity to what is on God’s heart. So, I came up with a list of questions to ask the Lord in a future similar situation:

What do you have for me at this time?

  • A specific family member?
  • A nation? A city?
  • Is there something you would like to speak to me about?

In this way, we are more intentional as we wait in God’s presence to see the focus He may lead us into. I have learned that a period of adoration of Jesus, and exalting Him above all earthly kings and kingdoms establishes an atmosphere of a high level of praise that is productive against the plans of the kingdom of darkness – routing the enemy of our souls, and our families – without me even being aware of anything specific.

I have had times where God awakened me with a clear impression to pray for a specific family member, only to learn the reason the next day – or days following. He’s just good that way.

In this moment, however, I felt I was in need of an upgrade. I truly want a keener sensitivity to the Spirit of God – with ears to hear, and eyes to see (Revelation 2:29).

The Nations

Following the initial news of the catastrophe unfolding in Japan, I began to move into my familiar pattern of praying for a nation in crisis. Having lived in Israel 20 years, I learned how to “watch and pray,” which often meant, watching the news live, while reading my open Bible with my spirit engaged praying. I prayed this way through countless bus bombings in Israel, wars on Israel’s borders, the Iraqi war, 9/11, etc. In addition, maintaining a 24/7 vigilance in the presence of God as we pray for a friend or family member through a crisis or illness is a solid way of standing for them. Praying in faith means that we often pray opposite of what we see with our eyes! We are crying out for God’s mercy and for Him to work miraculously in the midst of distressing impossibilities.

I have a particular interest in Japan. When I was 18 and in Bible School, I became best friends with an Okinawan girl and since we were both musicians and singers, we often sang together. She went on to become a well-known Christian recording artist in Japan. My friend invited me 3 times to minister and sing with her throughout Japan. I also traveled with her on the West Coast and Hawaii ministering and singing in the Japanese churches. So, this earthquake in Japan was not just statistics for me, but rather, I had specific people I was concerned about. I continued my vigilance every day praying as God led. I’m still praying for Japan, and I know you are too. God loves the Japanese people and I believe they are about to experience His manifested presence in a powerful way. Let’s continue to pray for God interventions on all fronts – spiritually as well. That has been the heart cry of the Japanese for decades as they have never experienced a national spiritual revival.

I believe God wants us to have a heart-engagement with the nations. He loves the people of these nations and we are His connection to them. There have been numerous times when God has given me dreams about nations – prior to some catastrophe, disaster, or war – and I realize it is to bring a prayer focus for the people of that particular part of the world. Weeks before Egypt erupted, for instance, I had two dreams – one about the sun exploding. Around the same time, I had a dream about a huge tidal wave that broke over a coastal city. I’m learning to pay closer attention as God continues to show me things about nations, cities, and families. And, I’m going for an upgrade.

Friends of God

As we mature in our relationship with the Lord, our intimate communion with Him in the secret place as the friend of God allows Him to impress upon us the urgent needs on His heart. We can train ourselves to become very responsive to the Lord. By turning our hearts towards Him 24/7, we are telling Him: “Here I am . . . just to be with You.” God longs to share secrets with His friends in the secret place.

His friends become the first responders.

And, how desperately the world needs expressions of God’s merciful compassion as the first response to disasters, famines, earthquakes, and injustice.

This is dedicated to all the silent heroes who are selflessly serving those in desperate need . . .



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Adoring God (photo: Heather Cantrell)

I have been teaching praise and worship for quite some time now, but it is only this year that I have come to appreciate the level of worship that happens as we adore God. It is a much deeper place of worship that I have come to discover engages my whole being in a way I never experienced before.

There is a significant difference between praising God and adoring Him:

Praise expresses  thanksgiving for what God has done; adoration revels in who God is.

Praise focuses on God’s deeds; adoration focuses on God’s character.

As we commune with God in adoration, we are declaring back to Him Who He is . . . describing His very nature, really. And, as we behold Who He is, we are transformed into His image. Thus, adoration is a vital part of our worship.

Adoration of the Lord often happens spontaneously after a season of praise and worship, but not necessarily in that order.

Anyone can praise God; but only lovers of God can adore Him.

Adoring someone is only possible because of an intimate relationship where love is exchanged and a trust has been developed over time; it has been proven and tested.

The Kiss

A kiss is an exchange between two people, and in most cultures it is still a common greeting. Consider the various kinds of kisses:

  • Kiss of a Family member or friend: This is a warm and friendly exchange of greeting, affirming love and/or a common bond.
  • Kiss of a Servant: This is a kiss of obeisance where the servant is vowing to serve his master and be faithful and true.
  • Kiss of Betrayal: This is a kiss such as Judas gave Jesus when he was turned over to the guards.
  • Kiss of Intimacy: This is an exchange between two lovers where each receives pleasure in the exchange of their love.

Contrast the kiss of Mary when she washed Jesus feet with the kiss of Judas. One was incredibly grateful for receiving forgiveness and mercy, while the other was deceitful, selfish, and pretentious.

Perhaps you are familiar with the kiss of betrayal by a family member or friend even. It left a painful scar that may have caused you to be cautious in trusting others to come close to you. Jesus knows that betrayal, and He is the only one who can heal that scar and remove it forever.

One day, everyone will “Kiss the Son;” but not everyone will kiss Him in intimacy.

I always want to be one who is responsive to the Lord and pursues a deep intimacy with him all the days of my life. And I will kiss the Son in intimacy . . . because I know Him and He knows me.

Adoration by Definition

Adoration can be simply staring at the wonder and awe of God Himself and expressing what we see in Him. Mostly it is the delight to be with Him — in His Presence  — full of joy, as He fills us with His love and hope that stimulates adoration.

Adoration can be birthed out of a heart exploding in release from a long-awaited prayer finally answered. For me, it often happens when I see God’s direct engagement in my life — even in small ways — and it is then that I recognize, “Wow . . . You are right here with me!”

I never cease to marvel at His presence with me and in me.

Often, in times when I am seeking the Lord in a season of prayer and fasting, I will enter into adoration after revelations of His Word and His character have been made real to my heart. I find when I am unhurried, alone, and in peace, I have a much better environment in which to enjoy God’s delightful presence where I will experience a saturation of communing and adoring Him.

Adoring His Person, The Wonder of Him

Adoration is being taken up with God Himself as we find ourselves lost in His beauty and character, recalling His faithfulness in my life.

The Psalms are filled with passages of the worshipper adoring the Lord as they are examining the many varied facets of God’s character. Praise erupts in the heart of the Psalmist and spills out in joyous descriptive songs of adoring praise. Psalms like these are taken up with the wonder and awe of God Himself.

My Secret Weapon of Choice

I discovered the power of adoration in my life one day by accident. I remember I was in a lot of pain in my body. But, at the same time, my heart was flooded with thanksgiving to God for His presence, His engagement in my life, and so my praise went up another level . . . into deep adoration of God. I was soon captivated as the Holy Spirit was revealing the depths of God’s love to me, and my emotions were spilling over in response. This went on for quite some time.

Somewhere in that period of adoration, the pain in my body completely left . . . it was dramatic!

Eventually I fell asleep . . . adoring God.

In another instance, my emotions were in great agony. I was overcome by sadness and grief over a family member I was praying for. I felt as if my heart would break and I was quickly sinking down into a very dark place. The Holy Spirit suddenly burst through my misery and suggested I employ my “secret weapon” of adoration.

It was a moment of brilliance for me really as I recalled my previous joyous experience. So, I began to adore the Lord — even though I could hardly speak for the grief and pain I was feeling. Before long, however, the grievous pain of my soul left completely and soon I was once again taken up with the glory of God’s beauty and Presence. His peace washed over me and I was once again at rest in His love. All traces of my agony . . . gone. I was stunned, and overjoyed.

Over the next weeks, I began to enter into periods of adoration whenever I was in any kind of physical pain, emotional grief, mental anguish, or satanic attack. Each and every time, I was delivered into freedom from pain and sorrow.

The secret is this: The mind cannot have two opposing thoughts and emotions! One will displace the other.

Adoration Displaces Obsessive Thoughts

The Lord said to me one day when my mind was ruminating and overanalyzing a recent conversation that involved an unresolved and difficult situation:

“Enter into adoration!”

Once I did, I discovered the impossibility of entertaining two conflicting thoughts at the same time. Once I began to exercise adoration of God, I was taken up with His beauty and the truth of Who He is and was immediately consumed with Him. All else faded away . . . the issue had lost its importance.

Adoration Replaces Misery

In fact, adoration replaces all negative emotions and concerns.

When I am overwhelmed by grief, regrets, sorrow, sadness, worry, shame, discouragement, I can begin adoration of Him and it immediately displaces everything else.

You just cannot have two competing emotions. One will replace the other.

This, then, became the key for me to overcome mental and emotional anguish from past memories that would arise now and then.

Adoration takes away Physical Pain!

There are times when my body is wracked with pain, and I have opted to enter into a season of intense adoration — alone with Jesus in my secret place! — and I have discovered that my physical pain goes away!

I take much less Tylenol for pain relief now.

Adoration Sees God For Who He Is!

Seeing God in the midst of my situation will cause me to trust Him even though I do not see evidence that God hears me or that the answer is on its way. Adoration trusts His love and recalls the generous and miraculous blessings received by Him. This worshipper will not accuse God during the long wait. Rather, she will say, “I trust Your love Jesus; for You have been faithful to me all of my life.”

Let us adore Him!


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Embraced by Abba

November 2, 2010, Election Day

Sometimes I wake up in the night and it gives me the opportunity to commune with God even for a few minutes. Last night I awakened and moved in close to the Lord in adoration. I felt the embrace of the Father  . . . I call Him “Abba.” In that intimate moment of feeling embraced, I felt the Lord ask me:

“When I embrace you, what do you feel?”

It was an important question, and one I had never before considered. I thought for a moment and then it began to flow out of me . . .

In this place, I feel . . .

  • Safe –  There is not fear here
  • Secure – nothing can harm me
  • My future is in good Hands
  • My past is all forgiven
  • I am greatly loved and highly favored
  • Like I want to come closer  — and hold Him tighter
  • I want to respond to His embrace with all the love expressions familiar to me
  • Determined to lay down all that keeps me from a deeper relationship with Him
  • Weepy
  • Explosive with joy and gladness
  • Sorry for those who do not know Him as their closest Friend
  • Overwhelming compassion that pours out in a flood pleading for that one far from Abba
  • Expectant – for, I am confident tomorrow will be great!
  • I have no pain in my body or soul
  • There is no sorrow in me
  • I am accepted, included, desired, chosen . . . I feel special
  • Like a first born child that was highly anticipated and planned for
  • Completely Healed inside and out
  • All of my concerns are of no concern here
  • My children will one day find His embrace and be fully and completely satisfied – and healed!
  • It is finished.
  • I have finally come home.
  • At complete peace . . . dwelling in His shalom shalom forever.

Be embraced by Abba today and at peace . . . Let’s worship Him . . .


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