I used to think that eternity started when I die.
I used to carry this feeling of wanting, always looking forward to the next thing. When I get "there," I'll know Him more, I'll really be living out my destiny, my calling. My heart was always searching, looking forward, peeking up over the horizon for what was next. Because maybe in the "next," there would be more.
And then I realized eternity started when I accepted Jesus. "Your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven." So I'm no longer waiting to get to heaven to be with Him. Although it's still true, that He's coming again, He'll make all things right, and there won't be any praising Him through pain anymore, because He'll wipe it all away. But knowing Jesus isn't just fire insurance. The Father sent Jesus not only so we can go to heaven when we die, but so that He could have His family back. So we could have abundant life with Him, now, like in Eden.
It's all of the sudden hit me that I don't have to wait anymore. I've realized that I can walk with Him now in the deepest intimacy, in the cool of the day like Adam and Eve. And the deepest desire of my heart here and now on earth is to get closer and closer to Eden. I want to be so connected to Him that when I die, I only change locations. Like it's not even a big deal, because of how deeply I will already know Him. I want to live so connected to Him, walking in such deep friendship with Him that Eden is here, now.
Growing up really traditional, this all sounded so strange at first. I know many of you reading this probably grew up a lot like me. You might start to feel your pits get sweaty, this will probably make you a little uncomfortable. Please don't stop reading, just hear me out. K?
I had this encounter with Holy Spirit back in March that completely changed my life. Don't get me wrong, when I accepted Jesus when I was five, there was evidence of Holy Spirit. He convicted me of sin, whispered His Word to me, and comforted me all of those years. But, I was so tired of preachers telling me to walk in power, yet I have known the Lord for YEARS and I didn't see this kind of power they preached about in my life. Also, Holy Spirit, up until this point in my life has been the most forgotten third of the Trinity. Father, Son, and yeah, yeah, yeah Holy Spirit. But Jesus said when He left there was One coming more important than even Him. So why is Holy Spirit given the short stick in our churches? Anyway, that's a whole different blog post.
Over the last several years, this deep hunger started growing. I knew there was more, maybe that's why I kept peeking up over the distance longing to see something I was missing. I would read stories of healings and hear of Believer's having dreams and seeing other children of the Father know Him differently than me. And I wanted that too, whatever it was they had. Before I knew it, in the middle of worship one night, that hunger for Him, for more of Him, for all of Him, left me on the ground with warmth surging through my body and the weight of His power like a thick blanket covering every part of me.
And I have walked in more power and authority in the last eight months than I have my whole life.
I'm so hesitant to share this with you, because here's the thing... If I read this years ago, I would've already stopped reading by now. I would've made up my mind that the author of this post is some looney tune with terrible theology, and I would've probably unsubscribed to her blog. But in the back of my mind, I would've wondered if what she was saying was true. And I would've studied it for myself and used the Bible as the basis of my theology instead of some person. I know you might not agree with me. And I'm okay with that. But there might be some of you, who like me, keep peeking up over the distance in their walk with the Lord, always waiting for more.
I’m kind of heart broken that I haven’t known about this before now. How have I gone almost 30 years of my life and I am just now experiencing the radical power of Holy Spirit? Why did someone not tell me all of those years ago just how close I could get to Father? How I could experience Eden now, washing dishes, cooking supper, rocking my babies to sleep? Why did no one tell me?
So, I'm telling you.
It’s become a deep passion of my heart to tell Believers this story. Because maybe like me, you grew up knowing Jesus but Holy Spirit was barely a thing. Maybe this post is being read by a thousand eyes who this is old news to or who completely disagree, but you, you’re the one, who is really hungry and wanting. Like me. And I’m going to be a voice to tell you there’s so much more than knowing Jesus just enough to die and go to heaven.
I have to tell you, this has been a journey, and I feel as if I'm still only at the beginning. I think we’ll always be on a journey with Father. There’s always more of Him to know, more of Him to explore, more of Him to find. I used to think our theology should never change, and in some ways shouldn’t. But the closer and closer I get to Eden, the more and more Spirit is transforming my mind and changing my idea of who I thought God was. I liked for Him to fit nicely in a few boxes. And my life made more sense to me (and others) when I could explain Him.
But I’m finding, living in Eden with Him now, that I don’t want to get to a place where He can be explained. Because what I’ve seen Him do lately doesn’t make sense and it can’t be explained. I’ve watched Him heal with my own two eyes. I’ve heard Him whisper things to me about other people that I would never know. I've had visions and dreams I know are only from Heaven. I’ve watched my two year old confirm things He’s told me only in secret. He can’t be explained.
Maybe you’re me a few years ago and you’re reading through a defensive lens. And that’s okay. Thank you so much for finishing to the end. Maybe it will spur you to study for yourself. Maybe you are me a few months ago, knowing there was more, frustrated with why you aren't seeing the things you hear happen only in Africa in your own life. Maybe, you’ve encountered Holy Spirit in your own experience, and like me, your journey to Eden is more beautiful than you could have ever imagined. And you're waking up each morning busting at the seams to walk with Him.
This kind of post really can’t be wrapped up nicely, because there isn’t an end. We’re all in some way or another on our journey to Eden. And I’m finding the closer and closer I get, the nearer I get to Father, and the deeper my friendship with Him, I just can’t stay silent about it. How could I? When you can experience the same?! Eden is for you! Deep friendship and intimacy with Father, Son, AND Holy Spirit is available to you.
He's holding out His hand, saying, “Come in a little closer and I'll show you Eden, all of it.”
Photos by Rachel Ackerman Photography