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By Graham Cooke
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As you begin soaking in God's presence, ask Him to forgive you for being so busy and distant. Ask Him to help you silence your heart and mind so you can hear His voice. Covenant with God to seek Him and enter into the secret place. Now it is time to be marinated in God, to be saturated with the Holy Spirit. Here are some steps you can take to start a new incredible journey of sweet fellowship with God.
Wait in a position of receiving, not giving. Lie on the floor in an attitude of total surrender or wait in a private place without distractions. It's usually difficult to soak at church because there's too much going on around you.
Quiet your mind. You must overcome the busyness of your mind to enter into the spirit realm. The mind is the biggest hindrance to fellowship with God. When your mind wanders (and it will), just pull it back in.
Focus your attention on Jesus. Your spiritual eyes live in your imagination. Just relax and think Jesus, Jesus. If you feel you aren't connected, then pray just enough to get focused and then be quiet again. When we stop praying, God is still with us.
Worship and adore Him. Just worship Him for a short while, or occasionally with little phrases such as: "You're beautiful. I love You. I welcome Your presence.
Repeat steps 1-4 for the rest of your life. Don't give up. Don't get discouraged. Keep pressing in. Your intimacy with the Lord depends on it!
Where does Jesus Dwell?
According to Paul in Colossians, Christ dwells in you. "The mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints... Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:26-27). The kingdom of heaven is within you. How close is the kingdom? Jesus said, "Repent for it is at hand (Mark 1:14, 15 author's paraphrase). Where does Jesus sit? In heavenly places. Where does Christ dwell? Christ in you the hope of glory. Here is heaven? It's within you. Think about that!
Do you want to go to the throne? Close your eyes and go to the throne of grace. Before you try to get God to take you up or get heaven to come down, develop a consciousness of heaven within you. Change your worldview. Start thinking: I am carrying heaven with me when I walk into the coffee shop. I am carrying heaven with me on the airplane. I am in heavenly places right now. Hallelujah!
You may find that you're in the presence of God and then something distracts you. The telephone rings, and suddenly the presence is gone. Does God really leave that quickly? No, we leave. The door into and out of the presence is our minds. Are you ready to ascend Jacob's ladder? Jesus is the ladder and He gives you an invitation to come boldly. Just close your eyes and focus on Him. There He is - He lives inside you. It's time to think like a spiritual being: Heaven is within me. There I am at the throne. I carry heavenly places and I rule and reign from here. I can access every spiritual blessing from here.
Tasting the Power of the World to Come
If heaven (the kingdom of God) is within us, perhaps we should further examine the characteristics of this kingdom. Scripture clearly defines our kingdom inheritance: "But if I cast out demons with the finger of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you" (Luke 11:20). According to this verse, the kingdom of God is casting out devils and setting the captives free. Wherever Jesus went He told people that the kingdom of heaven was at hand; wherever Jesus went, God's kingdom rule touched earth.
What did that look like? The kingdom of God, through Jesus, turned sinfulness into holiness, poverty into wealth, sickness into health, and darkness into light. Christ in us wants to manifest the kingdom in power in the same way.
The Lord also tells us that His kingdom isn't of this world. "Jesus answered, 'My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here'" (John 18:36). As a Christian I am a citizen of heaven; I am not subject to the laws and limitations of the world in which I dwell. Though I live in my body I am really an alien. I'm from "planet heaven" and I live by another law and another order. The restrictions of a natural body don't limit me. God has made me a representative of His government and His world. The kingdom of heaven is with me and the kingdom of heaven is at hand. And remember, God's kingdom is not in word only, but the kingdom of God is in power. Because of that I can taste the power of the world to come.
God wants us to become still and quiet, turn our hearts inward, and use our spiritual eyes. Since the kingdom of God is within every believer, entering into the Spirit can happen as quickly as we can turn our hearts to the Lord and allow faith, to speak to us through promptings, word impressions, our sanctified imaginations, visions, dreams, and spiritual experience. We are God's children and He wants to speak to us; it is His will. He will give us heavenly encounters when we access and receive them by faith.