Over this past weekend I went on a trip to Cincinnati, Ohio for a wedding. The entire Michael family was present. Andrea, my sister-in-law, recently had an incredible encounter with the Lord in a vision where He took her up to Heaven. She told all of us (me, Josh, Nate, and Jo) about this and we were really excited to give it a try. Andrea told us to close our eyes and try to picture Jesus. On the edge of my seat I closed my eyes expecting big things and some elaborate journey through heaven with God. Walking on the golden roads and the seas of glass, flying around and meeting the apostles etc.
Immediately I pictured an empty white room. Nothing around at all. Stark and quiet. Then I tried to picture Jesus. The stereotypical Jesus in Jewish garb popped into the white room and stood there looking at me. I said "Hey" in my head to Him. He said "Hey" back. I asked him, "Are we going to go to heaven now?" and he replied "Not Yet." I said "Well, what do you want to do?" and he responsed "Just wait."
At this point on earth, Andrea asked us if we were getting anything. Joanna and I both said yes. Joanna then went on to share what she was seeing and it was this amazing adventure the Holy Spirit was taking her on. My white room started to look pretty boring. When it came my turn to share I said "Well, mine is pretty lame...I am just in a white room with Jesus."
All at once everyone in the room started to laugh. I realized how bad that sounded once the words left my mouth. Hanging out with Jesus is totally lame....(sarcasm). The spirit of diminishment was trying to negate this amazing experience I was having with the Lord. I rebuked that and moved on quickly.
I ended up staying in the white room with Jesus the whole time. I hugged Him. Asked him questions. Walked around the room with him. I held his hand. I talked to him and realized that He wanted me to know that I only needed him and nothing else. He wanted me to know Him more. I spent a while in my vision just studying the lines on His face, the color and emotion in His eyes and the waves of His hair. It was an incredibly intimate encounter with my creator and savior.
I plan on doing this "exercise" (for lack of a better word), often. Encountering God is amazing. We are always trying to do the "right thing" in our Christian walk. Have quiet time. Pray. Give money. Read the Bible. But, as Brennan Manning says in his book Signature of Jesus, "I spent so much time doing the things that would please God that I had no time left just to be with God." Keeping our focus on Him is important. We should not always strive to complete a daily checklist of things that we think will make God happy. Sometimes God just wants to hang out. Just resting in His presence and letting him love on you and you love on Him is one of the greatest things we can "do."
If this post tugged at your heart and you to want to have an experience with Jesus like mine I encourage you to close your eyes right now. Close them and picture Jesus. What is He doing? What does He want to tell you? Where does He want to take you? Let his love and presence go deep and rock you to your core. Trust me...it's not lame.