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Posted on July 23, 2014 at 10:20 PM

Friday morning, Scott and I were sitting in a church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, anticipating another great session of the conference we were attending. We had been looking forward to being here for months and it was turning out to be all we had hoped: uplifting worship, inspiring teachings and a whole room full of people (mostly pastors) who were eager to "push the outside of the envelope" and transition the Church into the next move of God's Spirit upon the earth. We arrived early to secure good seats and visit with new friends we had met the night before. Since I had the iPad I decided to check Facebook and noticed a post from a favorite ministry that their new weekly TV program was up and available for viewing. I told Scott, "Hiles' new show is on in an hour; maybe we should run back to the hotel and watch it." Scott laughed at my remark because the reality was that Dr. Lynn Hiles was sitting in the pew two rows ahead of us at that very moment. Although I had made this remark "tongue in cheek" I began realize that this is how some Christians view their relationship with Jesus Christ. Many would rather experience Him from a distance than have a continuing face to face encounter through His Holy Spirit. As New Covenant believers we are granted access to the Father through the cross and resurrection of His Son (Eph. 2:18). This is much more of a present reality than the hope of going to Heaven someday. Jesus didn't primarily die to get us to a place, He died to get us to a Person! Heaven invaded earth through one man - the Son of God, the Son of Man. Once we experience this present reality, where we transition to after we physically die naturally follows. So my question to you is - how much of Heaven (His presence) are you willing to personally experience this side of the physical grave? My Life Verse is: "For my determined purpose is that I may know Him, that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person ..... continually transformed" (Philippians 3:10 - AMP). There are several meanings in the word "know" but the one that stands out to me the most is that this word often points to the realm of personal experience. It is bigger than head knowledge. It is beyond concepts alone - it is knowing through encounter! Living conscious of His Presence is one of the most essential components of this abundant life. He becomes much more tangible to one who looks to Him with reliance and expectation. As we lavish our affection on Him we discover new dimensions of God's Presence in our lives. Even so, He is the initiator - we love Him, because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). And the amazing thing is there are no limits to the Presence Journey. It's not a one time experience but continual - "progressively" becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him which brings me full circle back to our experience with Dr. Hiles - watching him on TV was great but spending time with him in person is even better! My challenge to you, as well as myself, is that we take the limits off and pursue the experiential knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May we live a life where Jesus enlarges our capacity to know and carry His Presence, ignite our hearts with passion, and transition us into new realms of Heaven as we are continually transformed into His image.

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