I had a vision a few years ago that Jesus danced with me.
It was a beautiful scene. We were gliding through a sea of anointing oil, bathed in the Presence of God. A holy dance if you will. I was wearing an elegant, stunningly sewed wedding dress: pearls and diamonds woven within the material. It was breathtaking. I looked beautiful. My hair was long and full. If you’ve ever seen Frozen, my hair looked like Elsa’s. I loved it. Jesus held my hands and spun me around like His princess. I was adored. Treasured. Passionately marveled in. Captivating.
Every night I spent with Abba whether in devotions or just in devoting my time to Him, I could very vividly see us dancing. Hand in hand. Face to face.
I knew my Lover. He was charming. Bold and vulnerable. Powerful and passionate. A protector. My lover and I were one. Our hearts were connected, each beat in holy rhythm.
Like a groom and His beloved bride, we were One. In every way. Every move we made, we were in sync. He guided my feet, and I followed. Deep in His shadow step. Every night, we grew closer. More in sync. More deeply acquainted. More enveloped in each other, falling in relentless Love.
Then, it all just kind of… stopped.
Like a ghost watching my past, I watched my heart slowly lose its focus. I watched my soul begin to rust like an old screw in the floorboards of an abandoned shack. I saw my eyes change. What once was a twinkle in my eye, became a soulless stare.
He lost His lover. His beloved bride.
How did this happen? How could I have been in pursuit of Jesus and a few short weeks later find myself broken, lost, and lonely.
Like a fugitive, I ran away from Love, and I didn’t even know I was. I was completely clueless.
You see, Satan is a master of disguise. He comes in many forms. I couldn’t see this until.. well.. 2 days ago.
The devil is disguised overcommitment. You’ll find him in busy-ness, deadly relationships, and impatience. He may been known for attacks like depression and anxiety, but he also surfaces in justification and procrastination.
Master of disguise. If the devil went to college, that’d be his major.
As humans, it’s impossible to find Satan in every disguise he comes in. We aren’t capable of discerning such- BUT the Holy Spirit in us equips us to sense when he comes.
How awesome. I love the Holy Spirit.
Its so easy to tap into that Holy power Jesus sent to us in His place. But it’s all a matter of choice, and that’s where I went wrong.
I’m now involved in two small groups. I’m involved in my Youth and Music Ministry at my church. I go on lunch and dinner dates with everyone I know. I just got asked to work at a teenage Christian retreat (that I usually LOVE to be a part of). I teach piano and guitar. I do a little photography on the side. Not to mention I’m about to start my first year in college.
And in the midst of all of the God-glorifying ministries, retreats, and side jobs through the church that I’ve found myself involved in, I can now see clearly how the devil has used all of that against my walk with Christ.
Every night, I’m exhausted from my day. I keep myself so busy that I completely neglect my time with God.
Devotion isn’t reading a passage from the Bible at night. Devotion isn’t saying a quick prayer at night before you close your eyes. Devotion is a passionate desire to know Him more daily. Devotion requires your undivided attention. Devotion requires surrender in every area. It is the most important part of anyone’s Christian walk. To know Your lover. To know Your Creator.
I had given up the one thing that keeps my entire faith on a solid foundation: relationship.
Face-to-face, soul-healing time with my Jesus.
One of the biggest examples in the Bible of this is Thomas. Now, this poor man hasn’t lived down the name doubting Thomas. Bless his heart. But I think there’s a very specific reason that the passages in John are in the Bible. If anything, it teaches us to have faith, but I want to take it deeper.
Why did he doubt? He spent countless hours with Jesus. Day and night preaching His gospel, living under His leadership, and knowing the ins and outs of Jesus Himself. When Jesus predicted His death, He knew. When Jesus told them that He’d send an advocate in His place (the Holy Spirit), He knew. This man had no reason to doubt Jesus. He saw Him raise the dead, heal the sick, and open blind eyes. Jesus is known for doing the impossible. So why did he need to stick his fingers in the holes in His hands and feel the wound in His side?
For two days, Thomas did not see or hear from Jesus. Not a word. He wasn’t walking hand-in-hand with Him anymore. Jesus had died, and Thomas’s doubts had already begun to overtake him. Naturally, when he heard that Jesus had done the impossible, he couldn’t believe it. He hadn’t felt Jesus for awhile, so he began to doubt.
It’s the same way with our relationship with Jesus. Even if we miss two days, we find ourselves drowning in a pool of doubt because we can’t remember the last time we heard His voice in the mess. We find ourselves just wanting to put our fingers in his side and to just feel it. Then we’d know.
Can I tell you.. Jesus held Thomas’s hand and placed it in His side. Jesus took Thomas’s finger and placed it in the holes in his hands. Just as he took his hands, Jesus says, “Stop doubting and believe” (John 2:27).
Until Thomas was face-to-face with Jesus, he didn’t believe. I think that’s where a lot of Christians stand today. I’m guilty of it as well. We almost threaten Jesus to show up in our lives or we won’t believe. If He doesn’t give us this big emotional encounter, He’s not real.
And that’s really messed up. If our relationship is based solely off of emotion, we have a big issue. How would a marriage ever work if love was gauged by how you felt each day.. if you weren’t in love every second, your marriage was failing. How childish!
It’s time, for me as much as for you, to start getting in His presence. It’s time to start knowing Your Jesus. It’s time to start believing without having to put your fingers in his side. It’s time to start prioritizing your marriage with Him. It’s time to start pursuing your Groom. Our groom.
Get face-to-face with God. Stay in His shadow step.
I love each of you so much. You are chosen. You are hand-picked. You are captivating.
Shadow Step (Acoustic): Hillsong United
God, I am so sorry I haven’t been the bride I was when you danced with me months ago. I’m sorry I lost my focus. I’m sorry that I abandoned our marriage.
More importantly, thank you for choosing me still. Thank you for Your passionate, overwhelming grace that sweeps me off my feet. Thank you for calling me Chosen and Your princess. I want to pursue You as You pursue me. I want to love you deeply, Abba. I want to know you as Lovers do.
Most of all, I pray that You’ll still dance with me.
I love you, Jesus.