Finances/Wealth Principles 

By Jane Johnson – Founder of the Ecclesia Framework

Here are some principles that I see in heaven:

  1. We don’t give out of debt.
  2. We give from a mandate generously without compulsion may even be more than or less than 10%. What we desire and feel led to. Any giving religiously does not please God.

  3. We are called to support the poor and not church leaders salaries, buildings and hand over delegation of our giving to others.

  4. We don’t charge for praying , court sessions, bloodline cleansing. Donations can be received but if we mention that it is sort of like charging. The person has to want to reciprocate.

  5. If we receive it is good to give back . We reap what we sow.

  6. Full time Christian workers can cause a professional clergy/laity situation and become experts which body rely on so not encouraging priesthood of all believers. Not seeking to be a burden or negatively trading spiritual products is biblical. See books as a bit different.

  7. We don’t receive benefits and not work even voluntarily.

  8. We don’t buy on credit that which we can’t afford to repay.

  9. Gatherings can ask for reimbursement for rooms but not for accumulating assets. If individuals want to give to an asset that is good but collecting for an asset starts the traditional church model again.

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Professional Pictures 043CEO. Jane Johnson B.Com Grad Dip LD, Dip Coaching.

Founder of the ECCLESIA framework in 2013, and the Heavenly Realms Support Group. Jane has worked in many different leadership capacities from being a professionally qualified Christian Leadership Coach for 13 years to many Christian leaders, to leading a ministry with the Navigators, to being a Senior Learning and Development Manager of a multimillion corporation, advising the management team on strategic approaches to get the best out of their people. She has developed considerable experience with Investors in People taking several companies through to successful accreditation and training as a consultant for them. Hence she understands the amazing impact a tool based on this principle can have.

Connect with her on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/profile/viewid=287940854&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile

 

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Subscribe to the Ecclesia Framework YouTube Channel for videos and updates.

Join our Facebook page: Ecclesia Framework to receive regular updates and daily updated content.

Click here to sign up to the Heavenly Realms page. 

………………………………………………………………………………………………

Professional Pictures 043CEO. Jane Johnson B.Com Grad Dip LD, Dip Coaching.

Founder of the ECCLESIA framework in 2013, and the Heavenly Realms Support Group. Jane has worked in many different leadership capacities from being a professionally qualified Christian Leadership Coach for 13 years to many Christian leaders, to leading a ministry with the Navigators, to being a Senior Learning and Development Manager of a multimillion corporation, advising the management team on strategic approaches to get the best out of their people. She has developed considerable experience with Investors in People taking several companies through to successful accreditation and training as a consultant for them. Hence she understands the amazing impact a tool based on this principle can have.

Connect with her on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/profile/viewid=287940854&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile

s.

Biblical Argument for Believers Not Attending Church

By http://www.ecclesia.org

[Note. There are many godly people who attend church, and there are many positive things about attending church. Many people have discovered and accepted Christ in a church. This article is not putting down churches as far as a place to gather and hear the word of God, because it does not matter where one hears God’s Truth, as long as they hear it! However, this article deals with the topic of “how” we are to worship God, and addresses the belief that one must worship God in a physical building called a church. There is a difference between going to a place to hear God’s Word, and going to a place to worship God.]

Dear reader, did you know that there is no command in scripture which says that a believer in Christ must attend a church building in order to worship God? This is true. Also, there are no examples of any follower of Christ going to a church building to worship God. They worshipped God by their obedience to Him in every area of life, every day of their lives. They did not worship Him by giving only one hour of their time every week to some temple made with hands.

A “Church” is basically a temple made with hands. Does God dwell in temples made with hands? Scripture tells us:

Acts 7:48, “Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands;”Acts 17:24, “God…dwelleth not in temples made with hands;”

Keep in mind that the real question we seek to ask is not whether we are to worship, but how we are to worship. Perhaps the question is also where we are to do that. Are we able to do these things only in a building whose mortgage payments are being paid by a State-incorporated ecclesiastical institution, or may we obey them in our homes, or in a context of decentralized, informal, voluntary gatherings? The question before us is, need we “attend church?” Need we hear the “sermons” of special priests in order to obey the Biblical commands to exhort one another and discuss the Scriptures? Can we obey these commands if we only “attend church”?

Hebrews 10:25 gives a straightforward command: Do not forsake the gathering together of ourselves, and exhort one another. It would seem, then, that the question, “Is it our moral obligation to attend church?” receives a fairly straightforward answer: Of course! How, then, can somebody assert that one should not “attend church”?

The command in Hebrews 10:25 (namely, to “exhort one another”) is also found in Hebrews 3:13, where it says we are to “exhort one another daily. If we claim to obey Hebrews 10:25 by “attending church” one day a week, do we also fulfill the command to exhort one another daily, when we see other believers only once a week?

Moreover, do we even obey the basic command to exhort one another when we simply listen to the polished oratory of a philosopher? Are we really obeying the Biblical commands concerning exhortation, community, and mutual accountability by once a week watching the performance of a seminary-trained entertainer?

Everybody who reads Hebrews 10:25 realizes that isolationism is contrary to God’s Spirit. A family which locks its doors to people, withdraws from the world, and neglects the poor, which spends its time alone in reclusive introspection, is violating the clear commands of the Bible concerning hospitality and the communion of people.

But the real question is not whether believers should exhort one another daily, but whether it is required of believers to engage in a certain kind of meeting, with certain credentialed officers, to expose themselves to a specified ritual of acts which are called “attending church.” Is this a scriptural command?

Here are four main points that will be covered in this article

1. “Worship” is a service, not a ritual. Those who “attend church” and imitate Old Testament worship patterns generally neglect the New Testament commands to exhort one another daily (Hebrews 3:13; 10:24-25).

2. The Old Testament looks forward to the Age in which all men would worship God everywhere, and not just in that “place which the LORD your God shall choose” (Deuteronomy 12:11). The New Covenant priesthood is decentralized and universalized, not restricted to the “ordained” and the church traditions of men.

3. Exhortation is conversational, not sermonic. Preaching means dialogue, not a monologue. Rather than being equipped by New Testament-style exhortation and service, church-goers can become impotent and dependent upon a credentialed “professional” who engages in statism.

4. Fellowship is best accomplished in homes, not in pews. In “church” the “dignity” of priestly pomp and “worship” is substituted for the personal, house-to-house communion pictured in the Scriptures (Acts 2:46). A military-style symbol of a meal, and a view of the back of someone’s head, is substituted for a genuine meal and a time of face-to-face fellowship.

These four points are very plainly at odds with most every church in the country. But the point is not simply to be different, nor to insult all other churches. The purpose is to analyze apparently “obvious” traditions in the light of the Scriptures (Acts 17:11).

What is “Worship”?The basic meaning of the word “worship” is service. To “worship” God is to put every area of one’s life under the His Law. Worship in the generic sense is the devotion we owe to God in the whole of life. God is sovereign, He is Lord, having sovereignty over us and propriety in us, and therefore in all that we do we owe subjection to him, devotion to His revealed will, obedience to His commandments. There is no area of life where the injunction does not apply (1 Corinthians 10:31). In view of the lordship of Christ as Mediator, all of life comes under His dominion (Colossians 3:23,24).

In the Old Testament there was also a more specific usage for “worship,” namely, the observance of the ceremonial rituals. These ritual observances typified worship in every area of life. Animal sacrifice, the burning of incense, attendance at temple, and other rigors were imposed on the people of Israel, and were but shadows of the worship of the New Covenant.

Jesus spoke of the New Covenant form of worship in John 4. The woman at the well, having been confronted with the ethical demands of the Lord Jesus (regarding her adulterous life), attempts a “doctrinal” diversion: she asks Jesus about “worship.” Putting words in Jesus’ mouth, she claims that worship occurs in a certain place (John 4:20). Jesus denies that worship occurs in any place, and says, “true worshippers shall worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:21-24).

In the common, specific sense, “worship” means attending to the ceremonial requirements of the Old Covenant, going to a certain place. But these acts only symbolized true “worship,” and were necessary to prod a Spiritless people to that worship which means obedience to God in every area of life, in Spirit and in Truth.

Can you find one occurrence in the New Testament books of “worship” in the ceremonial/specific sense (going to a specific place to worship) being required of bondservants of Christ? The answer is no. Or are the occurrences of “worship” speaking of obedience in every area of life? The answer is yes. Do any of the Greek words used for “worship” occur in any sense requiring bondservants of Christ to go to Jerusalem, or to any specific “place” to “worship” God? No, they do not. Would we expect centralized ceremonial “worship” to be required today in light of the fact that Jews were doing this because the spirit of God was not yet given them (John 7:39)? In light of the fact that in the Old Testament, God only dwelt in temples made with hands because the Spirit was not yet inside of the people, but today, God says He does not dwell in temples made with hands, because the Spirit of God dwells within our bodies? If you “attend church,” have you been trained to search the Scriptures to find the answers to such questions as these (Acts 17:11), or do you need to ask your “pastor”?

The Enduring Old Testament Law – The Mosaic law commanded God’s people to gather for worship and to hear God’s Word (Deuteronomy 12:5-12; 31:11-12). The Old Testament required travel to a centralized location to hear a special priesthood. The reason is that the Spirit was not yet given to the people under the Old Covenant, and since they had no Spirit to communicate with God, they had to go to a physical building and hear a physical priest to understand what God’s Word was. Do we still have to hear God’s Word from a special priesthood? Or does the Spirit of God dwell within us today? Compare these commands with Jesus’ conversation with the woman at the well (John 4:20-24). Do we still go to Jerusalem? Must we listen to Moses or the priests to hear God’s Word?

Obviously, we do not “bring an offering” or “come before Him” in the same way we did in the Old Covenant. Nor do we “hear God’s Word” by going to the typological temple and hearing a priest. Scripture says we are all priests now (1 Peter 2:5,9; Ephesians 2:19-22, Revelation 1:6; 5:10; Isaiah 61:6), and God’s Word has gone out through all the world (Romans 1:8; 10:18; Colossians 1:6,23).

Old Covenant believers would be astonished at the scope of publication of God’s Word in our day. This is guided by the powerful work of the Holy Spirit Himself. Thus, publishers should labor as priests under God, and see their work as having great and special Spiritual significance.

This massive outpouring of Truth works to enable every believer-priest to know and study God’s Word and to proclaim it to his neighbors. And it all takes place outside the walls of institutional churches. In fact, the “church” has historically opposed the free dissemination of Scripture and its exposition. The Roman Catholic Church burned Christians at the stake for doing this.

All of this should be understood as the true Spiritual meaning of the Old Testament prophecies. Joel 2:28 is an example of how the world-wide decentralized spread of the Gospel was spoken of by the Prophets. Similarly did Moses speak, when he prayed that God would make all of His people prophets and preachers (Numbers 11:29). Acts 2:17 is a fulfilment of Joel 2:28, when the Holy Spirit was finally given to His people. So you see, we are all prophets, priests, and kings today (Isaiah 61:6; 1 Peter 2:5,9; Revelation 1:6; 5:10).

Thus, no building can be said to be the place to worship simply because of the presence of the special “ordained” priests. Every Believer is a Priest. We need not “go to Jerusalem”, or to a temple made with hands” (Acts 7:48; 17:24). This is why, when Jesus died, and confirmed the New Testament, the physical temple was rent in half (Matthew 27:51, Mark 15:38, Luke 23:34). This is why New Testament believers worship “from house to house”, in homes (Acts 2:46), and not in temples made with hands.

Does the Bible say Believers must go to a physical church?Churches commonly quote Acts 20:7 as a precedent for Church worship, but the whole impression of Acts 20:7 is rather that of a family meeting together in a home than of a modern congregation met in a church. “Family” meaning a group of believers and friends. Is it possible that we may have lost the sense of the congregation as a real family in God?

Psalm 22:22 is also quoted, and it is cited in Hebrews 2:12, as referring to Christ. How does Christ stand in the midst of his congregation and declare His Name? Only in certain buildings at certain times? Matthew 18:20 spells doom for those who would so assert: “For where two or three are gathered together in my Name, there am I in the midst of them.” His Presence with us is through the Comforter, the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-17), who fulfills Moses’ wish that we could all be prophets and not have to be dependent upon special priests to teach us (1 John 2:27). God’s Presence is not localized “in temples made with hands” (Acts 7:48; 17:24). Our body is now the temple of God, and the Spirit of God dwells within us (1 Corinthians 3:9,16,17; 6:19-20, Ephesians 2:20-22), just like Jesus referred to his own body as a temple (Mark 14:58, John 2:19-21). And as believers exercise dominion over the entire globe, Christ is correspondingly present (Matthew 28:18,20).

Does Scripture require this “special” place of worship in addition to “everywhere”? One of the burdens of the first century was the corrupt worship among the Jews, and scripture says in God’s advent, that will be replaced with pure worship among the Gentiles in every place (Malachi 1:11; 3:3-4). Worship would no longer be limited or tied to Jerusalem, or to the outward shadows of the Old Covenant, or to a centralized Church. Because once the Holy Spirit is given, shadows are no longer necessary.

How do we worship God in the New Covenant? Do we need an institutional priesthood? Must we journey to a certain centralized location? Must we “attend church”? It is virtually implied that those who do not “worship” in a certain place (subordinate to a priest) do not believe in “assembling” together, or with any appreciation of the Community we have in Christ. This is false. The question is not, “Are we to ‘gather together'”?, but rather “How are we to ‘gather together'”?

The Judaizers told believers in Christ that unless they observed the ceremonial requirements of the Old Covenant they weren’t being faithful. Their purpose was not to make obedient patriarchs out of the new converts, but to gain power over them (Galatians 2:4).

We should not localize God:

Acts 7:49, “Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest?”1 Kings 8:27, “…behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?”

What does “Preach” mean?Believers are to Preach God’s Word (2 Timothy 4:2; Acts 20:7-9; 1 Timothy 4:6-16). Also mentioned is “exhort” and “teach” in these verses. Far more significant, however, is the entire notion of “preaching“. There were no one-man lectures (monologues) in the early Church until Greek philosophy was imported into the Church. The traveling philosophers (peripatetics) were popular in the Greco-Roman world, and were too easily imitated among Believers. What passes for “preaching” in our day has absolutely no Biblical warrant. Nowhere in the New Testament is there an example of a “sermon” in the Christ’s assemblies.

We need to emphasize this point. If the Apostle Paul were invited into one of our meetings and saw only one man give an oration patterned after the Greek philosophers of his day, with absolutely no interaction with the “laymen,” Paul would demand to know “What’s going on here?” This modern pattern bears no resemblance to the New Testament pattern, although it is unwittingly patterned after ancient Greek itinerant moralists. The “sermon” is an unscriptural tradition, imported from Greco-Roman paganism. Some preachers, of course, fail to meet even the standards of the Greek philosophers. Their “preaching” is pure entertainment.

Acts 20 is used to establish many modern practices of the church, and yet it supports none of them. Consider “preaching.” The Greek word for “preach” in Acts 20:7,9 is word #1256, dialegomai: it’s a “dialogue” not a “monologue.” Dialegomai means “to converse, discourse with one, argue, discuss”. It comes from the word “di” which means “a combining form meaning ‘two‘, ‘double’.” We do not have “dialogue and discussion” in most “churches,” and therefore do not obey Acts 20:7. Does the church really believe that Paul gave an uninterrupted lecture — for twelve hours?!? Dialegomai is also translated as “reasoned” in Acts 17:2, where Paul “reasoned” in the synagogue out of the scriptures. Paul reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath” (Acts 18:4,19). In church, the preacher doesn’t “reason” with anybody, but simply talks with no chance of interaction with those in the audience. Dialegomai is also translated as “disputed” in Acts 17:17, where Paul disputed he in the synagogue”, and in Acts 19:8 where he was disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God.” In Church, the pastor does not give anyone the chance to “dispute” or “question” him. Is this biblical?

For now, note the inescapable fact that there simply was no “preaching” or “sermon” as we popularly conceive it today. When we proclaim the Gospel to our neighbor, we engage in “official and professional instruction” as priest-kings of Christ! The gates of hell are assaulted and overcome by our “informal discussion”. Modern churches have replaced the discussion and animated conversation of the New Testament with “sermons,” an invention of the Greeks, and a man-made tradition.

As a result, I cannot obey the Scriptural commands as cited in 1 Corinthians 14:26,31 when I “attend church”; I cannot edify and prophesy. Neither can I obey 1 Timothy 4:13 and 2 Timothy 4:2 when I “attend church”; I cannot exhort, I cannot “teach”, except through hymns (but not of my choosing). Only one person exhorts in a “church”; the whole congregation violates Hebrews 10:24-25, at least when they are “attending church.” Perhaps they obey these commands later in the afternoon, when in colloquial discussion they bring all thoughts captive to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5), but certainly not during Church services.

Who is a Pastor or a Priest?While the Apostle could claim to be a “steward of the mysteries of God” (1 Corinthians 4:1), we wonder what Churches mean when they claim the same thing for themselves, after the age of the Apostles, and denying the duty to all other (“non-ordained”) believers. Perhaps they dispense mysteries only when speaking ex cathedra. No, surely whenever any believer shares the Word of God with another, he dispenses mysteries in the same sense as the churchmen might legitimately claim for themselves.

It seems that church preachers are sometimes not as interested in exalting the Apostles or the Gospel as much as their own ecclesiastical power. This seems to be a fairly significant issue, one that underlies the issue of preaching and this entire article: The ecclesiocrat works to “mystify” his “office.” He wants a “mystique” to surround his position. He seeks not to exalt the Word of God so much as to intimidate and impress the “laity.” Many are unable to think of the work of the elder as attainable, practical, or understandable, because it is invested with an aura of mystery. The every-day function of nurturing younger believers and watching over them, concerned for their Spiritual growth, is converted into a high and lofty ecclesiastical “office” resembling an inscrutable, occultic link between god and man. Rather than rooted in Biblical Law and practical competence therein, this ecclesiocentric authority is esoteric, shrouded in mystery.

In the Priesthood of All Believers, all believers can strive to be mature, wise, and Godly. In denominational churches, the “uninitiated” can never be “mysterious.” They are qualitatively (not just quantitatively) inferior. “Religion” is thus removed, and the rest of us must read Ann Landers for “practical” guidance the rest of the week.

In sharp contrast to this mentality, the Bible wants us to think of every believer as one who must dispense divine mysteries (Isaiah 61:6; 66:20-23; 1 Peter 2:9). In fact, the “mystery” which was hidden in the Old Covenant is the fact that all men shall be a part of God’s Kingdom of priests, and they shall function fully, obediently, and spontaneously (Ephesians 2, Revelation 1:6; 1 Peter 2:5,9; Hebrews 8:8-12) without the rigors of the Old Covenant ceremonial priesthood (Colossians 1:26-27; Ephesians 1:9-10; 3:5-6; Galatians 3:19 – 4:11) and without fear of the principalities and powers which held sway over the nations during the Old Covenant (Revelation 20:1-3). Everyone engages in an extremely significant and special act when they bring the Word of God to bear on a neighbor’s problems. The New Testament tells us that this conversation has cosmic significance; the very gates of hell itself are pulled down and Christ’s Kingship extended (2 Corinthians 10:4-5; 1 Corinthians 15:24-25). By virtue of our priestly and kingly office, it is an act of official and professional instruction, and yet this shepherding of another believer or this preaching to an unsaved neighbor should be an “ordinary,” every-day occurrence. The hocus-pocus of a clerical religionist is not demanded.

The Godly father does not dangle fatherhood over his son’s head as an unattainable “mystery.” He seeks to display and explain fatherhood, helping his son to become a Godly father. The Godly “Pastor” does not mystify himself or an ecclesiastical position of power. He models a life of service and obedience to Biblical Law in a practical way, demystifying competence and Godliness so that it might be imitated by all (1 Peter 5:1-3).

ConclusionTo say that we are violating Scripture unless we also “attend church” in the building of an ecclesiastical corporation with a credentialed seminary graduate in the spotlight, is simply preposterous, a remnant of Roman Catholic teaching. There is not a shred of evidence to support such an ecclesiastical requirement, and the whole of Scripture seems to go against it. The movement in the Bible is away from ceremony and limited special priesthood, and toward decentralization, an every-believer priesthood, and a return to direct communication with God through His Spirit.

Our failure as believers to implement this truth comes from our friendship with the world, and conformity thereto (Romans 12:1-2; James 4:4). It seems strange to us to think of a household communion. In our culture, Grandparents live in their own house, Aunts and Uncles are likewise separated from their Nieces and Nephews, and it is “trendy” for children to move out of their parents’ house as soon as they possibly can. In our day “the Family” has been described as one or two working parents and (maybe) 2.2 children (recently down to 1.8).

If we were to take a first-century believer (or even a modern-day member of a number of non-western cultures) up into an airplane over Southern California, and showed them city after city of single-family dwellings, all packed in like sardines, row after row, with parents in one house, children in another, grandparents in another, aunts and uncles in still another, and the poor and homeless wasting away in the abandoned section of industrial parks and urban ghettoes (where the suburban dwellers have coercively zoned them) our passenger would cry. Then he might become enraged: “This is sick! This is an abomination! I could never have imagined such atomism and selfish isolationism!” Little does he know that even among those houses where parents and children dwell together, it is little more than a motel, with students and commuters simply dropping in to sleep at night. In this land there is no property — genuine property — over which fruitful, honest dominion can be exercised unhindered by banks or landlords. It is a nation of slaves. Where in our land is an Abraham, with hundreds of adopted children, hundreds of domestic apprentices, hundreds of the poor and needy receiving shelter, hundreds of illiterate orphans being educated and brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and several generations of Family in blessed contact and harmonious community? Well, if we believe the churchmen, that ideal is clearly unattainable: we live in the New Covenant, and we do not have the Spiritual resources which Abraham had under the Old Covenant. Right?

Does Ephesians 5:19 – 6:24 command anything that cannot be fulfilled in “informal” Family-gatherings? The idea of Family communion is in our (atomistic, self-centered) day rightly ridiculed. We are not Patriarchs; we are children. How we cherish the churchmen, who only require us to “worship” in their church one day each week, and then dismiss us to watch our TV’s in isolated silence.

We should always be conscious of Christ’s Presence “where two or three are gathered in My Name.” Whenever we obey the command to assemble together for praising God, Scripture reading and study, exhortation and comfort, prayer and singing, and remembering the Lord’s death in the communal meal, we are clearly engaging in a very special activity.

Remember, the “Church” does not save anybody, only our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ can save us (John 3:17; 10:9, Acts 2:21; 4:12; 15:11; 16:31, Romans 10:9,13).

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Professional Pictures 043CEO. Jane Johnson B.Com Grad Dip LD, Dip Coaching.

Founder of the ECCLESIA framework in 2013, and the Heavenly Realms Support Group. Jane has worked in many different leadership capacities from being a professionally qualified Christian Leadership Coach for 13 years to many Christian leaders, to leading a ministry with the Navigators, to being a Senior Learning and Development Manager of a multimillion corporation, advising the management team on strategic approaches to get the best out of their people. She has developed considerable experience with Investors in People taking several companies through to successful accreditation and training as a consultant for them. Hence she understands the amazing impact a tool based on this principle can have.

Connect with her on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/profile/viewid=287940854&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile

 

Ideas for Growing in Intimacy 

By Jane Johnson – Founder of the Ecclesia Framework

Pray through First Love Gateway prayers and by faith ask Jesus to walk through your gateway with you and cleanse and open it wide. Pray in tongues, visualize the gateway and see Jesus pour His river of life and cleansing blood through it. You should feel a renewed passion for Him as your Beloved. You should have a pain in your heart that keeps you from things that grieve Him.

Seek to write your Ketubah out, your bridal agreement with Jesus. See Ian Clayton’s teaching on Ketubah. Ask Jesus to show you in your wedding garments.

Ask Jesus to garden with you in the garden of your heart. Speak to Him in your garden. Plant what your heart desires with Him. Journal out conversations with Him. Ask Him what He thinks of you.

Spend time with Him around beautiful Heavenly waterfalls. Let Him take you on adventures with Him simply to spend time away in heaven with Him. This may be swimming together, exploring beautiful places, walking around mountains or flying. Set your desire on a place you want to go with Him. Enter in through Jesus the Door.

Envision the throne room and your Father seated there. Come boldly before His throne of grace as the Scripture says and sit with Him, present your heart ask Him to show you how He sees you and to give you the affirmation and encouragement you need.

Ask the Father to reveal His heart of love to you and your identity in Him.
By faith and your imagination visualize yourself stepping into Jesus and then into His heart and being entwined with His heart and transformed
Jesus can give us His heart. Ask. Ask for His seal on it. Ask for molding and shaping of your desires.

When you are in painful circumstances visualize Jesus putting His arm around your shoulders and remember He never leaves you. Remember that at any moment you can bury your head into His shoulder and release the struggles and burdens to Him. Every stress, pain or temptation can be a trigger or spring board to something let the pain drive you to Jesus as your safety and comfort.

Establish a “Trysting” or date time every day that you get away to be with the Lord and enjoy His company. Rest in His presence, be refreshed and be still before Him. Let this be a time He refreshes you and you surrender yourself anew to Him.

Let your time away with Him be a delight and a treasured time. It is a sacred tryst and it is not as religion names it a time to “read your Bible” or get your prayers said. Be led by Him for how He wants you to spend the together. Remind yourself that you are meeting for a date with Your eternal Bridegroom who is worthy of a top priority time in your day. Not the left overs. Give the best portion of your day to Him. When you have the fewest distractions.

Refrain from judging your alone times with Him, remember the times when it is hardest to press into Jesus, He is not judging you and He delights that you are seeking His face even when it’s not coming easily or your feelings are off. His love for us does not change based on our spiritual “temperature” that day or how many things we ‘see’ there are times we may see less or more. He is there and He is communing with us and His love does not shift. We must meet every day in faith knowing He is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Do not strive to “do” more and more in your time away with Him. Seek His face and then let Him lead you into the responsibility He wants for you that day but let it flow out of rest, love and desire. The enemy wants to make us think we must do more to “please” Him. Truly He is looking at our hearts and for a pure heart that does out of rest and love. All of our responsibility flows from that intimate place. As Heidi Baker says “out of intimacy fruit is born.”

You may feel led to journal some of your times or most of your times alone with Jesus. Journaling is a way you can remember sweet times you’ve enjoyed and also can be a tool to help curtail wandering thoughts and keep your attention on what you are hearing and seeing. At times you may need to lay it aside to just be still before Him.

Deep encounters are often silent and can be in one of the four chambers of God’s heart. Set your desire upon and go by faith to the soaking room, bridal chamber of union with Jesus, the dancing floor where your DNA is changed, God’s garden. By desire go and allow the Lord to refresh you and draw you nearer. He will show you how to as you set your desire on them. Let Him guide. Just enjoy. Silence in His presence soaking in the chamber of His heart is transforming! It’s like a heavenly oil beauty treatment.

Sit and be with Him in complete silence. No need to say a word. Look on the screen of your heart and remember He is delighting right there in just being with you. He waits for us to gaze at Him and just focus our hearts on His love. Gaze at His face within you. He dwells within you. His presence never leaves you.

You are the ark of the Most Holy Place and carry His rivers of life. Begin to practice opening up and releasing the love and peace of His presence from yourself. Neville Johnson talks about how we are completely transformed by gazing at Him inside us over time.

When you are overwhelmed or in pain take your heart to the Father or Jesus and cry with and before them. Let the Father hold you. Jesus may cry with you. His comfort is beyond words. Some of my most intimate times have been in tears with Him.

As you cry pray in tongues. If you feel a well of tears filling up your heart or spirit do not stuff it down. Let it flow out and cry in tongues. We can have deep fellowship with Him in suffering. Never cry or suffer alone. Suffering and tears are a deep invitation to draw nearer His heart.

Make Jesus a priority over your spouse if married. Let the Lord know He is your first Love and your spouse comes second. Your spouse will be blessed when you put Jesus’ love first. This means choosing to make time with the Lord even when time is tight. This doesn’t mean we neglect our spouse as the Lord wants us to love them second in place to Jesus but it does mean we do not make marriage an idol.

Ask the Lord to increase your hunger and thirst for Him. He promises to fill the hungry.

Repent for any pride or religion which blocks intimacy with the Lord. Ask for a pure heart. He delights in this prayer. The pure in heart are friends of God and enjoy a depth of intimacy that the proud cannot access. If coldness has crept in ask for the mantle of humility and for repentance.

Those who are intimate with God go through a process of brokenness with Him. Do not be discouraged when you see this. Realize He flows through the cracks in us. We learn intimacy often through the brokenness. He becomes all we need. We learn to depend on Him as our strength rather then ourselves. The broken have learned to not look to themselves but Him.

Realize His longing and desire for us is far beyond our longing for Him. This should spur us in confidence He is wooing us in love and calling us away. Visualize Jesus knocking on your door. Ask for hunger. It is a gift.

Remember Jesus is a person and that the ways we form intimacy with another person are also the ways we form intimacy with Jesus and the Father. Spending quality time, doing things together, sharing our fears, burdens, desires, hopes and tears. Including Jesus in every part of your day and acknowledging His presence with you throughout the day not just at your set aside prayer time.

Let your daily activities be done with Him beside you. Focus your thoughts upon Him through out the day. Set your eyes back on Him during key times as you wash dishes, or drive or other activities let there be triggers to see Him with you. Especially ask and seek to set your eyes on Him as you drift to sleep so that your heart engages Him all night.

Be brutally honest with the Lord. He sees all, so open and unburden your heart as you would with your closest friend. Know He understands your heart and situation better than anyone. That one thing of the Lord understanding so perfectly has drawn me close a thousand times to Jesus. It is precious when we feel so misunderstood by others to know He never misunderstands us! Talk to Him out loud when you can. Or pray in tongues while your spirit speaks to Him.

Ask Jesus to sit with you on your mountain and teach you His ways and the Beatitudes. Which are the bench marks of the kingdom and intimacy with Him.

If we have a sense of being distant to God remember that our feelings often can lie and the enemy often tries to use them against us. Remember that Jesus’ love for us does not change whether we are having a “good” spiritual day or a “bad” spiritual day. His love is just as passionate. So we can come before Him and find rest.

Never let your feelings be the bench mark of your relationship. Let faith and the knowledge of His unchanging love for you be the under pin and what upholds you within the trials and turbulence of life. Keep coming back to the constancy and goodness of His love and how you are His own. You can fully surrender to Him. Intimacy is all about trust and surrender. A living sacrifice which is our spiritual worship daily.

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Professional Pictures 043CEO. Jane Johnson B.Com Grad Dip LD, Dip Coaching.

Founder of the ECCLESIA framework in 2013, and the Heavenly Realms Support Group. Jane has worked in many different leadership capacities from being a professionally qualified Christian Leadership Coach for 13 years to many Christian leaders, to leading a ministry with the Navigators, to being a Senior Learning and Development Manager of a multimillion corporation, advising the management team on strategic approaches to get the best out of their people. She has developed considerable experience with Investors in People taking several companies through to successful accreditation and training as a consultant for them. Hence she understands the amazing impact a tool based on this principle can have.

Connect with her on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/profile/viewid=287940854&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile