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Friday, June 17, 2016

"Come Up Here!" -- Learning to Climb God's Lookout Tower

“What is the ancient key, Lord?”

I had read a prophetic word Chuck Pierce posted, about God bringing us into victory through an ancient key. However, the text of his word had no explanation of what that ancient key was. I knew in my spirit that there was something Holy Spirit wanted to tell me through my brother Chuck. So I did what I always do when I can sense He is initiating communication with me. I inquired of His heart, and then I leaned in to listen.

I am voraciously hungry for the words that come from the mouth of God. Out of the overflow of His heart, His mouth speaks. I have come to habitually posture my spirit in an attentive, listening position. I don’t want to miss His whispers! Like the prophet Habakkuk, “I…stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I…look to see what he will say to me” (Hab. 2:1, NIV). Habakkuk intentionally arranged his whole being -- body, soul, and spirit -- in such a way that would best facilitate hearing his Creator’s voice. “Stand at my watch…station myself…look…see.” All of these verbs portray a man watching and listening with eager, rapt, focused attention. He had purposefully closed out the rest of the world to meet with the Lord.

Habakkuk understood that prayer was so much more than a monologue pointed vaguely towards the heavens. He needed to get God’s perspective about the matters pressing on his heart. He needed an ANSWER. He knew his Master well enough to know that He would indeed respond. He would show up! He always does. He would come to the meeting. He would eagerly and lovingly enter into the dialogue. He would satisfy Habakkuk’s longing to hear His words.

I love the Message’s rendering of this verse: “What's God going to say to my questions?...I'll climb to the lookout tower and scan the horizon. I'll wait to see what God says, how he'll answer…” Climbing the watchtower is a spiritual picture of true prayer: Habakkuk was moving up into the realm of the Spirit. To effectively connect with Heaven, we need to act on His invitation to “Come up here” (Rev. 4:1). Far too often, we stay on the earthly plane in our attempts to pray. This happens when our inner eyes are more focused on our circumstance than on the reality of God. One of the most important elements for growth in prayer is learning to climb the lookout tower in spirit. This happens as He teaches us to quiet our busy minds and move our focus onto Him. As we learn to gaze on Him, we naturally begin to move up into the realm of His Spirit. We transition into the place where we can stand on our watch to receive His personal rhema, or message to us.

One of the best ways to train your mind and heart to focus in on the Lord’s nearness is to start out your quiet time with praise and worship. Make sure your phone is off and your door is closed, and that you have carved out enough time to not be in a rush. Put on one of your favorite worship albums, close your eyes, and really listen to the words. Then begin to use the eyes of your heart to actively look at the Lord.

How does one look at the Lord? I explain this to my children as using their imagination under the anointing. I tell them that what we are doing is not pretend; on the contrary! This exercise is more real even than what you can take in with your five physical senses. However, “imagining” is one of the best terms we have in English for using the faculty of your inner sight.  You know that screen you have on the inside of you? The one where all of a sudden you see a pink elephant because I just used the phrase pink elephant? The one where you can easily call up the facial expressions of the ones you love? The one where you remember your most delicious moments and imagine more to come? That one. On that screen, picture the Lord smiling at you. This is not pretend! He really is so very, very glad to see you. Now you are tuning into His love and the warmth of His welcome.

Continue to listen to the lyrics as you look at Him. Now begin to sing them, directly to Him, as you lock eyes with Him. Don’t worry if you encounter some inner resistance to this activity. As is the case with getting in shape at the gym, the movements don’t necessarily come naturally at first. The more “reps” you push through, the more you will find your stride. Encourage yourself with this truth. It truly will pay off! It will be incredibly worth the price you are paying to grow in Him. You will overflow with joy when you find that your eyes have learned to stop focusing on your problems and have truly begun to gaze on the beauty of the Lord! He is breathtaking. Then suddenly you will glance down and realize you have ascended. You are soaring on wings as eagles! You are up in His realm!

Again, the Message version words God’s invitation so beautifully: “Ascend and enter” (Rev 4:1). Habakkuk responded. He climbed. He entered. He then scanned the horizon and waited. This was an active, alert waiting, engaged with the nearness of the Lord. It was in that place that His word came to him. No, you don’t have to be a prophet for this same principle to work for you. As you climb up into His presence, you will encounter His voice. He cannot resist those that draw near to Him. Your desire for Him undoes Him completely. Enraptured by your eager heart, He will draw near to you. His words will begin to flow. Be ready to write them down.

Returning my attention now to the question I asked Him -- what was the ancient key He was referring to, in the prophetic word I read? I was zapped with an electric charge of excitement when I heard His answer. But I am out of space! You will have to tune in next time to hear more about that…

A prayer for today:

Daddy God, my spirit hears Your invitation to “Come up here,” to “Ascend and enter.” I am stirred to respond. Teach me to move up into the realm of Your Spirit. Train my inner eyes to focus intently on You, my sweet Lord. Right now, I look up into Your eyes of love. You are Love, and You are gazing at me. I drink deeply of the devotion in Your eyes. I am beginning to climb!

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