10. Does God Take Your Breath Away
And in a moment, I SEE Him inside of me; in a flash I KNOW that His glory fills me to overflowing. God takes my breath away!
10. Does God Take Your Breath Away?
Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him." John 14:23
We could reduce the entire Bible down to two verses and lose nothing. In doing that, we would not pick the most important verses of the Bible, that is, the purpose verses, but the most precious. Indeed, we will never see the purpose of God fulfilled in our lives or on this earth until we know the full meaning of these two verses.
But alas, the God who fills us full likes to talk. No one can shut Him up. The Pharisees tried, and the Always Talking of God rose out of the grave, having talked His way right through Hades, taking many who heard Him speak with Him.
The way to hurt God's heart the most is to tell Him to be quiet. He loves Jesus too much ever to do that.
You can see that the serpent's first words, "Did God really say that?" was the most painful thing God has ever heard, made far more painful by Christians who say the same thing. A part of intimacy with God is sharing His deep hurt.
I receive the largest number of responses when I write about the difficulties and the tears God has brought me through. So many ministers of the gospel say so many things about God and about the gospel, and for some that's all they want to hear. But when I share of a Jesus who walks with me through failure and pain and difficulty, somehow this Jesus reverberates most deeply with the hearts of those who are most precious to me.
And as they share with me the difficulties they have walked through and the hope that comes to them through what I share, I want so very much to speak the most important thing deep into their hearts - and mine as well. This letter is my attempt to do that.
I have said before that John 14:23 is my favorite verse in the Bible; I have used it to close out several of my series of letters. My title, Our Path Home, refers directly to the Father's Path and to the Father's Home. The Father is coming home! But these words of Jesus point directly to two things Paul said, among others, and it is Paul's words we will pick for our two verses closer than all others.
These two verses are my life, my stay, my foundation, my capstone, my center, and my periphery. I say them to myself over and over, day after day, and have done so for most of five years now. I speak them in the night watches when God feels far away from me. I remind myself of them when I am hit with failure and difficulty and abuse. If all other verses in the Bible were removed from me, still these two verses would most certainly take me Home.
That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith . . . Ephesians 3:17
Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:5
Paul never separates Jesus from Christ. This is my Savior, the One upon whose breast I lean my head. I'm no good on my own; by myself I am lost and frightened in a terrifying world with no way out. That's what hope means, the One upon whose breast I lean my head. Hope never disappoints; what an understatement!
The Person of Jesus, my Savior - dwells: dwells is a good word; it means much more than "lives"; it means home. Paul places the entirety of God's expression, the Father as Love, Christ the Son and the Holy Spirit, right there in our most important place - our hearts. Not our spirits, not our souls - our hearts. Our heart is the central organ of our body, it is the central organ of our soul, it is the central organ of our spirit; my heart is me.
Through faith. There are many kinds and levels of faith. This faith is the very simplest kind of faith, the most important, and, ultimately, the most powerful.
This faith has nothing to do with "believing" something. It has nothing to do with power. This faith is simply a decision, a personal, human decision, a permanent, irrevocable decision.
This faith is a decision that what God says is true; everything else is not.
I made that decision in my spirit at age 21; I made it again with my mind around my mid-40's. You see, having left the move, that in which I had "believed" for most of my adult life, I saw that many around me who also left were latching onto a number of differing things to "believe." It seemed to me they were doing exactly what they did in the move, going with what sounded good. I am much too insecure in myself to flop around like a fish out of water. I must have certainty; I must know Him who is Truth.
And so I made a firm and final decision. What God says is true. And what God says is known first through the gospel given to Paul, and then flows out from there. I stand forever inside that decision; I cannot be moved.
But let's make this practical. What does it mean personally and daily that Christ lives in my heart BY FAITH?
I look at myself. I may see doubt and discouragement, I may see accusation. I may feel no love of God. I may feel bitterness and the desperate need to "defend myself." I may sense that the heavens are brass and that God is utterly displeased with me. I may feel anger at others and frustration with myself. Christ may feel far, far away from me.
Big deal! So what! How on earth can any of that possibly be saying anything true. All of that, in every nuance and shadow of human sight and feeling, means exactly ZERO, zilch, nada, absolutely nothing at all. It means nothing up, it means nothing down, it means nothing in, it means nothing out.
It means nothing, and I give it no thought.
I look at myself in the middle of all those "feelings" and "seeings" and all I see is Christ filling my heart with His glory. I don't "feel" that He is; I know with quiet certainty that He is all there is in me.
God says, "Christ lives in your heart." Faith says, "That's it; nothing else."
This one word is sufficient to settle all reality, but because we are human and because we live in a complicated world - all caused by a God who just keeps talking, we then wonder, a little bit, about LOVE.
But I "feel" so very unloving and so very unloved. – "The love of God IS shed abroad in your hearts."
Did you notice the "is?" Not was, not shall be, not ought to be or should be or could be. IS. God says, "Is." Faith says, "That's it; nothing else." (The verb form “has been” is as strong as “IS,” it ispresent perfect, which means an event that began in the past – the resurrection – my born-again experience – and continues into and is made perfect in the present moment.)
I like the King James' "shed abroad." And then notice - by the Holy Spirit given to us.
It gives me this sort of a picture. The Holy Spirit is inside of me holding a paint-ball machine gun. Only the Holy Spirit is more spherical, with many, many little paint-ball machine guns all around His person, like many eyes. And He gleefully blasts the LOVE of God in all directions at all parts of me all the time - SHED ABROAD - more like blasted abroad.
Do I "feel" that He is? Sometimes. But oftentimes not at all. - I don't "feel" a thing. So what! Big deal! What I "feel," or what I "see" means zilch. What God says is the ONLY thing that is true.
Now, "shed abroad" is much more than being enthusiastically splattered with the Love of God in all places at all times on the inside of me. You see, this is the Holy Spirit - and He is rivers of living water.
You see on TV sometimes; and in Oregon in my youth, I saw long lines of biker gangs traveling several abreast coming up the freeway from California. Picture yourself behind a TV camera slightly above and slightly behind this several-abreast long line of leather-jacketed thugs on Harleys. Now, picture that it is not one line or freeway going out from your position, but many freeways radiating out in all directions filled with lines of bikers.
The Holy Ghost is rolling out from us at all times and in all directions. The love of God IS shed abroad within our heart and shed abroad without. Mighty, mighty rivers of living waters flow out of us.
BUT! I don't feel anything. I don't see anything. I am unmoved. What God says is true - a firm and final decision made long ago that I never ever ponder. Faith. I gamble ALL on those five words.
Now you might think here, "OK, Yordy, thugs on Harley's? The Holy Spirit?" It's just this. The Holy Spirit carries too much of an image of stained-glass windows and bright rays of light and fields of daisies. A long line of thugs on Harleys holds your attention, they mean business, they are doing stuff. That's the Holy Ghost moving out from us.
But here's the thing. The more I practice, practice, practice knowing that Christ dwells in my heart, that He, Jesus, is my life, that the Holy Spirit abounds all through my being with the enthusiasm of the love of God, the more I practice knowing this against all other voices, against all other feelings, against all other seeing, the more I come to know that God is REAL in me.
And then, wonder of wonders, there come moments, creeping up around the edges, catching you by surprise, when suddenly you SEE and you KNOW that it is true.
The God who fills me full takes my breath away.
And the God who fills me full loves to talk, His name is Jesus. You see, the accuser is God's excuse, as if He needed one, though it was God who put the guy there in the beginning. The accuser accuses, he comes along with QUESTIONS. "Did God really say that?" Which then gives God a very good reason to do what He likes doing best - talk some more.
In that day you shall know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. John 14:
When I look at myself, ALL of myself, regardless of whatever it is I might see or feel, I KNOW that the person and consciousness of the Lord Jesus Christ is inside of me and inside of all that is me and that my person and consciousness is inside of Him.
Sometimes I know it is true against what I see and feel - and sometimes I know it is true BY what I see and feel. God takes my breath away.
The same Lord Jesus Christ who walked this earth talking with His disciples, that same Jesus lives inside of me in Person. We walk together; He talks with me and I with Him in sweet communion.
So what if I don't feel it or see it. What I feel or see means nothing. What God says is the only reality there is. When I don't feel it and when I don't see it, Jesus in me and I in Jesus are always walking together in perfect intimacy, in sweet communion, in heart-shared knowing and delight in one another, side by side as equals. My lack of feeling and my lack of seeing are evidence that I am blind and ignorant. They are evidence of nothing else.
And when I do feel it and when I do see it, God takes my breath away.
Then we find that Paul's words in Ephesians 3:17, as mighty and incredible and all-encompassing as they are, are simply the preface, the opening lines, the prelude of a symphony far grander than all the heavens singing in unison.
THAT Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith, THAT you might KNOW the unknowable love of Christ that has seized you in its grip, THAT you might COMPREHEND the extent of the incomprehensible and the infinite, THAT you might be filled with all the fullness of God.Ephesians 3:17-19
If I did not KNOW that what God says is true, I would know that He has absolutely popped His cork, lost His marbles, flipped His wig, off to a padded cell with Him!!!
You can glimpse, here, the powerful electrical currents of hostility flowing all through the substrata of "Christianity" against anyone who would dare to imagine that what God says is true. Did God really say that? It doesn't matter what words you "think" you read; you may not imagine it has anything to do with now or with here or with you.
Think about this. If I, Daniel Yordy, am filled with ALL the FULNESS of God, then who's bigger, God who fills me full, or the human me who contains all of Him? If God sits upon the throne of heaven, which is bigger, the God who sits, or the throne big enough to hold Him?
Now, we understand that I am framing these questions with physical terms and that the realms of Spirit in which God's words are spoken are a very different sort of fabric or way of being than the dimensions of physical size.
I'm not trying to define God by the physical; I'm trying to help God take your breath away.
Next time you're walking through the grocery store, look at yourself, then look around you, then think this.
"Wow, look at me. Here I am walking through these aisles, filled with all the fullness, every particle and dimension, of the God who contains inside Himself all creation, heaven and earth. The PERSON of God sits here inside of me, inside my heart. Holy, holy, holy! The glory of the highest heavens, the essence of the throne room of the Holy, is just a little part of the God who fills me full. Hi God; how are you doing?"
"Hi, son. Doing real well. I sure enjoy dwelling inside of you, sitting upon My throne."
"Wow, God, look at You. Varoom, varoom, varoom, bursting out of me in RIVERS of living water. Wow, God, did you see that lady that looked so distraught? Did You catch her, as I stopped to let her go ahead, smiling caringly to her? Did Your Rivers flowing out of me catch her in their overwhelming love and power?"
"We caught her, son. We sure did; you and I together."
God in me, familiar, close, and personal. We walk together, Him and me. (Of course, don't think my thoughts; see the God who fills you full in your own way.)
Then, right on cue, the accuser steps into view. Let's see where he comes this time.
. . . behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, "Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this."
Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders . . . And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices. Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God
Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, andaround the throne, were four living creatures . . . Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying: "You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created."
Here is the context, the scene and stage to which the serpent comes, forcefully and directly. Can you believe his words, that he would dare to say what he says, here, in this place? He's an idiot; he doesn't care. And so the accuser stands in this holiest place in all creation, and he speaks to your heart and to mine, he speaks through the voices of thousands upon thousands of "Christian ministers," men who do not know the God who fills them full, whose breath has never been taken away by the glory inside their hearts.
"Steady now," he says. "Don't be fooled by anything you see here. Look at the throne. Pay no attention to the One who sits upon it, give no heed to the mighty words spoken before it, turn your eyes from the glorious beings falling on their faces. Hear only what I say to you. Look at yourself and be ashamed. The throne of God IS DECEITFUL above all things and desperately WICKED."
Have you never heard these despicable words directed towards you and towards the throne of God inside of you, the throne of all heaven, your heart? I once heard them, spoken at me over and over and over, inside and out.
Yet now we laugh. How mindlessly ridiculous, how patently absurd! You see, we know something Christianity thinks it knows, but doesn't.
Jesus was crucified, and He rose from the dead! Jesus, the Always Speaking of God.
We know that God creates and sustains everything that exists, heaven and earth, through the Words He is always speaking, through the Story He is always telling. Those words and that story is Jesus. The Words and the Story of God DIED upon the cross. That means everything died, everything.
And then we also know that the Words and Story of God rose from the dead. And thus we KNOW that what God says through Paul in 2 Corinthians 5 is true. What God says is true.
Old things ARE passed away; behold ALL things ARE made brand new . . .
We know that Jeremiah was speaking truth BEFORE the cross, and we know that Jesus said, "It is finished."
All creation, everything found in heaven and on earth, died upon the cross. The cross is larger than the entire universe. But far more than that, all things that exist now are found only in the resurrection, which is greater than the cross by all infinity. . . . And all things are of God.
But the accuser is persistent. God made him that way, so that we would ask the right questions, so that God could keep on talking, or, shall we say, "Jesusing."
FLESH! Oh dear, oh dear, the flesh!
For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Ephesians 5:29-32
There it is, plain and simple. I am the flesh of God. My flesh and His flesh are one.
This is not Jesus as He walked this earth, this is Jesus right now, ascended above all heavens - as much FLESH as He always has been from eternity. I am FLESH of His FLESH.
Now that the accuser has fulfilled his great purpose, bringing us to contemplate the full wonder of this incredible relationship between God and you and between God and me, let's allow the God who fills us full to take our breath away.
And You in Me and I in you.
Five years ago I was completing my book, The Jesus Secret. From then until now, I have spoken what God speaks about me - to my own heart and mind. I had sent a draft to a few for their comments and editing. One sister whom I had known for years responded well at first in her marks, but I slowly lost her. Finally, she wrote the comment: "This will not work; it will not do what you think it will do." Meaning that my speaking what God speaks about me to myself with my own voice will not cause me to be a part of that overcoming company of sons that sets creation free.
So, five years is a good assessment point. Outwardly there may be little difference, but outward appearances can change dramatically in a moment. God humbles the mighty and exalts the lowly on high.
Inwardly? How can words convey?
The Lord Jesus Christ in His cross, His blood, and His resurrection - my Life, has become so large, so very very large. I cannot see anything or anyone real (the "world" is fakery and not real) outside of Him.
Every sin committed from the fall of Adam to the Great White Throne, past, present, and future, is found inside of Jesus - dead upon the cross. It is ridiculously impossible for you or me to pry anyone's sin, including our own, back out of Christ to place on ourselves or on any other person.
I cannot see anything or anyone except through the Blood always flowing over my eyes. People who once offended me, people of whom I have been afraid and therefore hostile towards, I can no longer see in that way. I look at them now, seeing through all the smoke of their pretending right to their heart, hurting and lost, and I find compassion for them, and the knowledge that they, also, are carried utterly inside of Christ.
People want to talk about "sin," "sin," and I cannot see it. I cannot see of what they are speaking; all I can see is the Blood.
But infinitely larger than the infinite Cross, infinitely larger than the infinite Blood, beyond all things, swallowing all things up inside itself is the Resurrection life of Jesus filling me full to overflowing at all times. I am alive; I am alive!
This is real; it's real because God says. I catch glimpses of how real these things are as God takes my breath away.
But there is something else I have come to know over five years of speaking and writing that what God says is true. Something else essential to being part of that overcoming company of sons who set all creation free. It is something I now know with all certainty. I also know that this knowledge must come to anyone who is part of that company; it must come to you.
I am blind. And I am ignorant.
All the fullness of Almighty God in all of His glory, in the Holiest of the highest heavens, fills me full. And I do not have the present capacity to see what is true. I am truly blind.
All the power and might of the King of the Universe flows out of me at all times and in all directions in mighty rivers of living water, and I do not know it. I am truly ignorant.
You see, by speaking what God says over the last five years, a vague suspicion, an inkling of an idea has been creeping into my mind and heart around the edges. I have begun to suspect:
That what God says is TRUE!
I have begun to suspect that what God says is true and that the entire reason why I don't "see" it is that I am blind. And that the entire reason why I don't "feel" it is that I am ignorant.
Then, also creeping in around the edges, sneaking up on me unsuspecting, even as I rest in this incredible dichotomy of God speaking the truth and I being blind and ignorant, here and there, God lifts back the veil.
And in a moment, I SEE Him inside of me; in a flash I KNOW that His glory fills me to overflowing.
God takes my breath away!
I read a most incredible statement in a Facebook conversation. A statement I simply do not comprehend. Here it is: "i dont think we r christ in us and we in him just yet."
Now, God says that Christ lives in, that the love of God abounds in our hearts. He says that I have the mind of Christ, that I live always in the Spirit, not in the flesh, that my body is the dwelling place of the Holy Ghost. He says that Christ is my life, that I am complete in Christ, that rivers of living water flow out of me because I believe in Jesus.
Surely, surely, this brother has overwhelming evidence, then, that Christ is not, in fact, in him, and that he, in fact, is not in Christ - NOT YET! Surely he has incontrovertible proof that God is not telling us the truth?
Unless, of course, his first three words are the truth, "I don't think." Yes, it is true, anyone who uses blindness and ignorance as PROOF! that God is not speaking the truth is simply not thinking.
But when we know that we cannot see because we are blind, when we know that we cannot feel because we are ignorant, when we know that God, speaking through Paul's gospel, is showing us the only thing that IS true:
God takes our breath away!
When I read anything written by any Christian (or to me), I have one criterion of judgment concerning where the writer is in his or her knowledge of God. If I don't see what I'm looking for, I know they have no idea what they are talking about. My question is this. Does the God who fills them to overflowing with all of His glory and might take their breath away?
When I see evidence that He does, then I know that all they are saying is flowing out of the God who fills them full, tempered and molded by Christ as them inside whatever human messiness God has appointed for them: they are the flesh of God. And when I see no evidence of the God who fills them with all the glory of heaven taking their breath away, I know they are speaking words without meaning, no matter how many Bible verses and King James pronouncements they throw in.
Will it work for you?
Will speaking what God says about yourself to your own heart and mind ESPECIALLY when you do not see and do not feel, ESPECIALLY when you see horror and feel far cut-off from God, will God take your breath away when He lifts back the veil and allows you to actually see and actually feel what is ALWAYS filling you full and overflowing?
Is Jesus real?
God is utterly scientific. He says, "Prove Me."
God always takes our breath away!