Chapter 04 - The Face-to-Face Relationship With Jesus
Introduction - It all Starts With a Relationship
Being an amiable, my husband Craig knows everybody and everybody knows him. I remember when we were first dating, it didn't matter what part of town we went to, it was almost a given that he would bump into somebody he knew.
They would say, "Hey Craig! How's it going?"
I would stand there next to him feeling uncomfortable and unsure of how to handle this situation as the "new girlfriend".
And so most times he would introduce me to them. Other times, however, he didn't. Those were usually the times when he forgot the person's name and was too embarrassed to proceed.
Over the years, nothing much has changed. We can still go anywhere in town and there will be people that recognize him and he recognizes them. We pump gas and the attendant breaks out in a big smile to see him again.
The security guard at the local store makes a special effort to give him a toothless grin and hello when he sees us driving up.
So if there is anybody you would like to meet there is a good chance that if you get a hold of Craig, he can organize it. He knows them in some way from some place and so they got a relationship.
When I look at this, I see the perfect picture of what the prophet is meant to be in the body of Christ. So far we have covered a lot about what the prophet does.
So now, let me ask you this one question: What is the most important thing you have to accomplish in your training to call yourself a prophet?
The answer is a face-to-face relationship with Jesus. You see, when you have a face-to-face relationship with Jesus and He is somebody you know closely, you can then fulfill your mandate as a prophet. A vital part of that mandate is to introduce Him to the body of Christ.
Time to Grow Up!
We have already looked a bit at the maturity of the prophet and what it takes to mature the body of Christ. We saw how the Lord gave the fivefold ministry to the Church for the maturing of the saints.
Let's go a little bit deeper now and look at what it really means to mature the saints. Does it mean that everybody has to fast and pray? I don't think so.
So then, how can you fulfill your mandate as a prophet if you don't really know what it means to mature the saints?
Let me make it easy for you. The answer to this is found in a powerful and familiar passage of Scripture. Take note and memorize this passage. It is one of my favorites.
1 Corinthians 13: 10 - 12 But when maturity has come, then the limitations will be removed.
When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
For now we see through a mirror, a puzzling image; but then [we will see] face to face: now I know partially; but then I will know just as I also am known.(AMIV)
Apostle Paul goes on to even say that there will be visions and there will be all the gifts of the Spirit. However, after all that he says "Let me show you a higher way. There is a better and greater way! There is something more magnificent and that is the power of love!"
When you have that face-to-face relationship with Jesus and you come into that love walk with Him, the visions go away, the prophecies go away and you enter into a higher dimension.
"You mean to tell me that giving prophetic words is not the beginning and the end of prophetic ministry?!"
"Oh man! How will I survive? How can I call myself a prophet?"
Take it easy. Slow down and take a deep breath... I am here to show you an even more exciting way.
You Ain't no Michael Jackson
Have you been looking for that higher realm of spirituality? This is where you will find it. People think, if they want to become more spiritual that this means that they must read the Word more, speak in tongues more and fast through more.
Let me burst that bubble for you quickly so that we can get on with it. This is not the way to impress the Lord.
In Mexico it is not uncommon to see a performer at the traffic lights trying to get your attention with the hopes that you will put something into his donation tin. The best I ever saw was a 60-year-old man doing a perfect impersonation of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" moves.
He had the moonwalk down pat. The tilted hat finished it off with his cool white suit and glove. Boy could he swing his booty around that tarmac. Even if he did not have all his teeth, his face wrinkled by the harsh sun was set in a permanent grin, which added to the charm.
You could give him 100 points for trying! However, no matter how much he slid across that intersection, he would never be Michael Jackson. No amount of effort would make that happen for him.
How often though do we think that to become something for the Lord, we need to put on a good show? There is a better way to get the Lord's attention than by pulling all the moves that we think will impress Him.
If you want to enter into a higher realm of spirituality, if you want to become a spiritual giant, the secret is in 1 Corinthians 13. I want you to go read that chapter and let it sink into your spirit until you get the rhema word of God enlightening and shaking you.
You want that spiritual maturity? Do you want to become the mighty warrior that you are not right now?
You will get it in a face-to-face relationship with Jesus. You will become that warrior when you come to the point where you know as you are known - in other words when you know Him as He knows you.
When you come to that place then He is more real to you than anybody else in this world... then you would have reached that higher level.
It's Really Simple
It starts with a simple friendship. It is just like in the illustration I shared at the beginning of my husband Craig. He was just so open to have friendships with people. That is exactly where it all begins.
I don't know what kind of friends you have but the kind of friends I have are the kind you have fun with!
They are the ones I can share my heart with and take anywhere with me! Now those are some real friends. Those are the ones that you develop the closest bonds with.
If you have to perform for a friend, if you have to do things to impress them, then I am sorry to say this, but they are not a real friend.
The Lord Jesus - Your Very Best Friend!
The Lord Jesus is one of the best friends you could ever have in this world. You don't have to perform for Him to make Him want to be with you and have a relationship with you. So, if you want to make it through prophetic training, this is your starting point.
Sure, the gifts are there also. However, consider that your dating phase. How to prophesy, using your Urim and Thummim, journaling... all these things help you get familiar with the Lord, but all the gifts in the world are not enough.
I am so sad to see so many prophets stopping right there. They say, "Oh, I can prophesy! I can have dreams and visions!"
You're not moonwalking yet! You just got started. There is a whole new dimension that you are about to step into.
Flowing in the gifts of the Spirit is great but it is just the starting point. It is just dating, not even good honeymoon yet...
The real crux of your prophetic ministry lies in your face-to-face relationship with Jesus! From there you can go from height to height, from maturity to maturity.
Then when you are at that place and only when you are there, are you ready to fulfill your mandate as a prophet to the Church universal. You can go around prophesying to everybody and giving them grand revelations, but you are not fulfilling your mandate.
Your mandate as a prophet is to introduce the bride to the groom. If you don't know the groom, then you will have a real problem introducing Him...
Remember, "What's His Name"?
Just like when Craig and I came to somebody whose name he couldn't remember, he couldn't introduce us, could he? Nope, instead he left his girlfriend standing there with a fixed, pained smile on her face and a look in her eyes that said, "You did NOT just do that to me again!"
How many prophets do we see in the body of Christ today who can't introduce the bride to the groom?!
They can't even hear the voice of God for themselves. They have to go find another prophet to prophesy over them...
If you are going to complete your training and really do the things that God has called you to do it is time to put away childish things and to change your mindset - it is time to bring the body of Christ to maturity!
So it is time that you come to that place of maturity for yourself! The only time when we will see real change in the Church is when every single believer can enter into a relationship with Jesus for themselves - when every single believer can hear the voice of God for themselves and are not reliant on the prophet. It is your job as a prophet to make that happen!
Howdy Prophet! Great to See You!
When you are doing that you are being a prophet! Will people recognize you by the things you have done for them in their lives or by the grand prophetic words you gave?
When you leave a place, what have you left behind that the people can hold onto? Just a few words from the Lord or have you given them the Lord Jesus Himself in their midst?
How are the prophets going to come to a place to judge?
Apostle Paul says that the prophets are subject to the prophets. So how are you going to come to that place?
"You need to know the Word of God", you say? Yes, of course. It is a great place to start. It is your foundation and I preach about that plenty in our prophetic school. However, you need to be able to recognize His voice through the Word and through the Spirit.
Hmm, He Said That Did He?
There is one way that I have really learned to perfect that in my marriage. I have kids... I am sure you know it well. Kids are the same around the world. They will come to me and say, "Hey Mommy - Daddy said this and this."
I know my husband well so I say, "Did he really?"
They reply, "Yeah, Dad said it was okay. He said we could go now to play. He said we didn't have to finish our chores."
I am sitting there thinking that this really doesn't sound like my husband!
So I get a hold of him and I say, "Hey Craig, did you tell the kids that they could go and play right now?"
And he says, "No. That is not what I said!"
You know how kids are. They will try it more than once. You see - I know my husband. I know his voice and I know how he thinks. I know what decisions he is going to make and that's why nobody can come to me and say, "Craig said this and this!" I will know right away whether they are talking garbage or not.
Well, do you have that kind of relationship with the Lord Jesus where a prophet can stand up and say, "Thus says the Lord..." and because you know the Lord you know that this is not what He sounds like?
In many of our prophetic courses we ask our students to submit their journals as part of their practical projects. When we look at those journals we can normally go through them and clearly highlight the parts that are God and the ones that are not.
How can we be so sure, you say? It is because we know His voice. We hear His voice all the time. I know what He sounds like. I am in a relationship with Him. When you are in a relationship with somebody and intimate with them, you know what they think and what they will say.
The Key to Judging Other Prophets
Couple that with your knowledge of the Word and you have such a foundation that will enable you to judge other prophets. It gives you the wisdom and the spiritual discernment to be able to see what is of God and what is not.
Do you want to understand deception and avoid it? If you want to be able to identify what is of God and what is not in your life, this right here is the key!
Entering into that face-to-face relationship with the Lord Jesus is like the key that opens the door to your whole prophetic walk! Right here you reach a new level of spirituality. You break through the plateau.
You are going way beyond what you have known and what you have understood so far. You are going way beyond works here. You are going to the level that you always dreamt about but never quite got to.
You have been trying to go around the mountain, up and down the mountain but have actually held the key in your hand all along. All you have to do is to enter into a relationship with Jesus. This is a vital part of your prophetic training! Without this phase you are not reaching the end.
How About That Honeymoon Now?
Perhaps for a time you might feel that you are out in the middle of nowhere. Well, there is a reason couples go on honeymoon It is so that they can be alone and that is exactly what you need with the Lord.
When you come to that place of knowing Him, everything becomes more natural. It would be much like my husband and I walking down the street and then we meet somebody that I haven't seen in a while and that he hasn't met yet. I say, "Hey Lovey, this is an old friend of mine... "
I say to my old friend, "And this is my husband Craig!"
How hard is that? When I am in love with my husband it is so easy for me to shine and to express that love outwards so that people from all over can see it. They look at us and say, "Wow. I wish I could have a relationship like you guys have."
Well, imagine if you had a relationship like that with the Lord. You are walking along and you meet an old friend of yours. It doesn't matter whether they are a believer or not. You meet them and say, "Hey, have you met my friend Jesus?"
You are so passionate about Him and He is so real to you, it really is no problem. He is such a vital part of your life they can't help but see the excitement and joy in you. You know, that is the gospel. That is the good news! It's what they need and are hungry for.