Priscilla Shirer: Deepening Your Intimacy with God
Join Priscilla Shirer in this powerful discussion on cultivating a deeper relationship with God through intimacy and surrender. Discover how to let the Holy Spirit guide your daily life, leading you to a more profound connection with the Creator. Embrace the transformative power of faith and experience the love and guidance that comes from truly knowing God.
“We pray because our own solutions don’t work and because prayer deploys, activates, and fortifies us against the attacks of the enemy. We pray because we’re serious about taking back the ground he has sought to take from us.”
― Priscilla Shirer
Even if you do not have a lamb, you might be in the perfect position to make sure you have intimacy with the lamb who takes away the sins of the world.
And can I tell you that sometimes it is our affluence that keeps us from having the lamb of god in our grasp intimacy and fellowship with him like never before?
It occurs to me that those of us who live in this western part of the world where the presence of god has been so lavishly given to us where on every street corner, we see another church with a pastor that preaches the good news of Jesus Christ where we can turn on Christian radio stations or go across town to the Christian bookstore where we live as women in a day, an age, and generation, where there have never been ever in history, so many bible study resources by women, for women.
What could it be? That we’ve grown so used to the blessing of the presence of god that when the train of god’s glory fall, When god’s presence comes and marks and and and permeates our presence, that we don’t even recognize it anymore.
That god has so blessed us that we’re too blessed for our own good.
That we don’t see the fingerprints of god in our lives that when there’s even just a hint of disappointment or discouragement or frustration or irritation in our that we are blinded to the fact that even when things are dark, the light of god’s presence can still be found if we’ll just open up our eyes.
May we never be desensitized to the presence of god?
And if you have your bibles and you wanna look with me at a passage of scripture, I’ll just read it
to you that I wanna point out today if you still, you know, actually use a Bible with paper pages like I do, or your iPhone, your iPad, any manner of INass is fine.
In Luke chapter two. There are a group of
people who are about to be in the presence of god, and they’re not even going to recognize it.
I will tell you, as you turn to Luke chapter two, that the author Luke wrote this gospel and recorded these stories really to show us how to have an encounter with Jesus, to not miss him when his presence is near.
And by the way, this is goal as believers.
This is the reason why he died on the cross of calvary so that we could not just know about him but so that we can encounter him.
We’re not just supposed to read in the old testament about how he divided the red sea or caused the walls of Jerichoo to come tumbling down or met with a man named Moses in the form of a burning bush or showed up as the angel of the lord in a winepress while a fearful timid gideon was beating out wine, uh, thrashing wheat rather in that wine press.
We’re not just supposed to read about others that had an encounter with Jesus.
We’re not just supposed to see and applaud and experience the testimonies of other people.
They’re supposed to encourage us to realize that if regular folks like that can encounter him, so can we?
And Luke comes along and he writes story after story and his gospel to show us that we can have an encounter with Jesus.
These people that he is writing to and that he’s writing about we’re in
a time of national decay. There is chaos happening and swirling around them morally and socially you and I can relate to that because they were not just in a time of national decay.
So are we? Our country is
in a state of more social decay and decline than we’ve ever seen before, and the more god is marginalized and segmented to the periphery of society, the worst things are gonna get.
The more he has completely ignored and disregarded the more we’re gonna see the influx of chaos and destruction.
But today, I don’t want y’all to worry about the White House. I wanna get to your House.
I wanna talk about the destruction and the decay happening maybe underneath the roof of your own home.
Luke is writing not just then.
But now to people who need a savior, folks who are waiting on a hero to show up and rescue them,
from the plight of their own circumstances.
Luke was writing to them, but by the Holy Spirit, he is writing to us today.
For any of you who are
in a state of decline in some area of your life where we’re seeing against the backdrop of darkness, this need we have for the savior to manifest himself for us to not just know about him from afar, applauding him in the testimonies of other people.
But if anybody wants to experience him themselves, then Luke is writing to you. And I want somebody to
know this today that sometimes sometimes your difficulties are less about the enemy being against you and more about god wanting you to show wanting to show you what it looks like when he is for you.
Sometimes it’s about him finally wanting his daughter eyes to be open so that when he shows up, they’re sensitive enough to see him.
Luke chapter two verse twenty five, says, and behold.
There was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simian.
This man was righteous and devout, and looking for the consolation He was looking for some hope y’all.
Looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.
And he came in the spirit, into the temple.
And when the parents brought in the child Jesus to carry out for him the custom of the law, he took Jesus.
He went over to this couple, grabbed this forty day old child into his arms, and he blessed god and said, now, Lord you can let your servant depart in peace because according to thy word, my eyes have seen your salvation.
You have prepared your salvation in the presence of all the people, a light of revelation, the glory of thy people, Israel.
And Mary and Joseph, they were amazed at the things that were being said about their son, Jesus Christ.
Here on this occasion, Mary and Joseph have come into the temple for, um, the purification ceremony.
It was traditional. It was ceremonial.
That about forty days after a baby was born and the purification process had taken place, that the parents of
a new baby would bring their baby into the temple, to offer specific sacrifices of burnt offering, a sin offering, um, and just to present their child to the lord.
Now, traditionally, when folks came into the temple, they would bring sacrifices.
And if you look back into the book of Leviticus, the details of those sacrifices are given, They would need to have a pigeon for a particular sacrifice.
They would need to have a lamb for another sacrifice, and there is a caveat.
I’m just gonna take a little rabbit trail for second, because I love
that y’all like rabbit trails.
There’s a little caveat given in Luke leviticus chapter twelve that says that if someone is not wealthy enough.
If they do not have the resources to actually purchase a lamb for this sacrifice, that they actually can just bring two pigeons.
And I didn’t read all the details here, but a few verses earlier than where we started in verse twenty five.
It tells us that Mary and Joseph come into the temple with two pigeons or two turtledoves.
They they don’t have a lamb, which indicates to us that they have expended so much of their resources, that they are in a state of poverty, at least enough that they were not able to afford their own them.
They’ve got two pigeons. It’s all they had to bring on this occasion as they bring their new baby into the tabernacle to present him to the lord.
They’ve got these two pigeons, which means that when they walked into the temple, people would have looked at them and recognized them as a couple that was, um, in that had insufficient funds as a couple that was lacking as a poor couple.
They would have been looked down upon.
People would have marginalized them because they did not have the accoutrements of wealth that everybody else in the building had.
So they did not have a lamb, and yet they have in their possession the lamb that takes away the sins of the world.
Can I just say anybody who is in the room, and you felt like an outcast because you don’t wear what everybody else wears?
You can’t afford to draw what everybody else drives.
You don’t have the resources to live in the neighborhood where everybody else lives.
Listen, my friends, even if you do not have a life You might be in the perfect position to make sure you have intimacy with the lamb who takes away the sins of the world.
And can I tell you that sometimes it is our affluence that keeps us from having the lamb of god in our grasp, intimacy, and fellowship with him like never before?
The people that I have met that have more of an integral, intimate, ongoing, fervent, passionate relationship with Jesus Christ.
They not the people sometimes that live in the mansion on the hill.
It’s the people in a hut, in a village with thatched roofs and dirt floors who have in their desperation had an encounter with Jesus Christ.
And y’all, I have met people in third world countries who pray for us.
Oh, they pray for us. They feel bad for us.
Because they say we pray anemic, self centered prayers.
They listen to our prayers that are so focused on having more comfort than we already have.
Where in their desperation, they have with Jesus, they have seen him with their own eyes.
They have been marked by the presence of god.
They have watched god show up in so much splendor they want that for us.
So sometimes when we can afford our own land, It pushes out the opportunity and the margin that should be reserved for the lamb.
Comfortable people pray anemic prayers. It’s desperation. It’s insufficiency.
It’s lack. It’s emptiness.
When you find yourself in that state, we’re like Mary and Joseph, you don’t have enough to buy your own lamb anymore.
That might be the perfect setup for your encounter with the lamb of god.
And so they are coming into the temple with the lamb. He’s in their arms.
They walk in to the temple. Y’all, they’re at church.
There’s a group of people including religious leaders, pharisees, and sadducees that have all gathered around.
Probably hundreds of people all carrying their sacrifices that have joined in on this occasion.
And they’ve been waiting. All of these people have been waiting on the Messiah.
They’ve been waiting for the kingdom of god to be at hand.
They’ve been waiting on a king to ride in on a white horse and to redeem them from all that has been lost at how they’ve lost as a nation.
They’ve been waiting for somebody to rescue them from the oppression of Rome they have been looking for a hero.
And the hero comes in, and they do not recognize him. They are at church.
And they do not recognize the presence of god.
The reason why is because he has come in a package that they do not prefer.
He has come in a package that does not align with their expectations.
And so because he does not look like what they wanted him to look like about what they had in their own estimation prepared as the package that would be their estimation, the best package for the king to arrive because their circumstance does not look like and he has not appeared the that they prefer, they downplay the Messiah when he arrives.
I wanna submit to you that Jesus is there.
In this difficult moment in your marriage, in this trying moment in your finances, in this struggle on your job, in this difficulty, in this relationship, your rubbing corners with your boss or your spouse or the struggle you’re having on your university campus or
in your high school campus. This hard time that you were having He is there.
He just may have come in the package you don’t prefer.
And that oftentimes, the fingerprints of god are not recognized, not because he’s not there.
It is just because the expectation we have set up about what he looks like and how he will speak and how he move the prayer request, the solution that he will bring doesn’t align with the prayer request that we have prayed.
We boxed god into the way we want him to answer instead of believing that his ways are not our ways, and his thoughts are not our thoughts as high as the heavens are above the earth, that’s how high.
His thoughts are above our own.
And so we box god in we say, lord, answer my request in this particular way.
Do you know that you limit, not god, but you limit unlimit our experience of god when we say lord answer my request exactly this way.
I have learned to pray here, Lord is my request. You said that I can make it known.
Here’s how I would like to see you move in my circumstance.
Thank you, Lord, that I can come boldly and make my request known. So I’ve made my request.
But at the end of that prayer, I’ve learned to pray lord, do it, or do something better.
Because do you know there are categories of options that our brain doesn’t even know available and accessible to us.
And if we limit god to what we can think and what we see as the way, we have not even considered The categories of opportunity that this divine, holy, almighty being, has accessible to him.
Y’all, he’s not just thinking about he’s thinking about your children and your grandchildren and your great grandchildren and those that are to come and
how his kingdom purposes are gonna be outworked in this generation. Oration.
And so on this occasion, the Messiah shows up, and nobody recognizes him except, somebody say accept.
Except a guy named Simien.
He had been told and promised, just like we have.
That we he would see the manifest presence of god. He’d been told it.
He’d been promised, just like we’ve been promised because of our relationship with god through Christ Jesus and the holy spirit indwelling us that we will see the fingerprints of god working in our lives.
This is called the manifest presence of god. It is unique to omnipresence.
Omnipresence means that god is everywhere all at the same time. I’m so grateful for god’s omnipresence.
Because god’s omnipresence means that when I fly back to Dallas, where I live, when my new friends that I just met from Uganda, fly back to where they live, um, that when you all fly back to wherever ever it is, you’ve come from, whether all over different areas of California or afar, it means that no matter where we go, he is as much with me as he is with you because he is omnipresent.
But if you’re anything like me, you’re grateful for his omnipresence, but you want more than that.
You want the manifested presence of god I’m talking about where you can look back over your circumstances and realize that his fingerprints were all throughout that thing.
I’m talking about where you can see footprints in the sand
as you actually recognize that god was walking beside you the whole way.
I’m talking about what other people call coincidence encounters, you see the sovereign hand of god that was aligning your footsteps and setting you in the right place at the exact right time,
the manifest presence of god. I wanted to know what made Simien’s eyes open to recognize what nobody else in this scenario did.
I figured whatever opened up his eyes might open up our eyes as well. Are you ready?
Three things that I wanna point out to you.
It says in verse twenty six about simeon, it says that it had been actually verse twenty five.
I wanna start there. There was a man in Jerusalem whose name was simeon He was righteous, devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, we could spend a whole lot of time in those three, but here’s where I wanna heart.
The holy spirit was upon him. The holy spirit was upon him.
It says that he
came into the temple verse twenty seven in
the spirit. Verse twenty six says, it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit.
Look the presence of the Holy Spirit permeating this text look at how the author has over and over and over again highlighted the work of the Holy Spirit in opening up Simien’s eyes to be able to recognize the manifested presence of god before him in the person of Jesus heist.
Luke, here he is just in the second chapter of this book.
And by the way, just in these first two chapters, he is already alluded to the spirit.
Ten times, the work of god’s spirit is so powerful and so needful to a fruitful experience in the life of the of the believer.
That even before the book of acts, even before pentecost, even before the spirit has come, Luke points out the movement of the spirit here in the of Simien.
This shows you how important the spirit’s work is, how critical it is to making sure that your spiritual senses, your spiritual radar is heightened so that you can detect the presence of god.
The Holy Spirit was upon him. Now I want you to see the work of god’s spirit.
This is just the first, uh, characteristic of simeon, but
I want to just just take some time for just a few moments on it.
The work of god’s spirit is so important. We it deserves a little bit of our attention here.
There are three ways that the Holy Spirit is described as relating to simeon in these few verses, just just
a few ways that the holy spirit relates to simeon in these few verses.
The first thing it says is that the Holy Spirit was upon him.
Now listen, I want you to know that if you have placed faith in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit lives on the inside of you.
Afhesians chapter one,
says that the moment you believed you received the Holy Spirit, you were sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise.
I want you to know that at the moment, you became a believer in Jesus Christ.
You received the most incredible gift you will ever receive this side of eternity, and that is the very presence of god living on the inside of you.
The Holy Spirit is not a ghost or a wind or a fire or a dove.
He is often symbolized by those things, but don’t minimize him. That ain’t who he is.
The Holy Spirit is the third person of the trinity, not third because he is least in value, just third because he’s the to be revealed to us in the pages of scripture, but all of the power, all of the glory, all of the authority, all of the grandeur God the father is in the person of the Holy Spirit, which means If you’re a believer in the Holy Spirit lives in
you, that means all of the grandeur and all of the greatness, all of
the authority of God, him now lives on the inside of you. So if you
are a believer, you have the Holy Spirit. You are not waiting on more of the Holy Spirit. All of
the Holy Spirit you ever gonna get, you got the moment you got saved.
Now, you do need to be filled by God’s spirit.
So that his influence in your life grows
and grows so that you operate under the gifting of the spirit so that you can live according to the fruit of the spirit.
That means living beyond your natural capacity.
It means when your patience runs out, you can still have more patience with that person.
Means when gentleness has long since left the building.
You still find you got a little gentleness for that when self discipline mean, you just don’t have no more self discipline in that area.
We need the fruit of god’s spirit.
So we need to be filled by the spirit as we yield human obedience.
We are filled, which means he influences us more. Our mind is renewed and transformed.
We are sanctified into the image of Christ Jesus. So the Holy Spirit is in you.
But Simien, his relationship with the spirit is not described in that way.
It doesn’t say that the spirit was in him, It says that the Holy Spirit was on him, which means there is a difference between the Spirit being in you.
And the spirit resting on you. Listen to me.
The gift of god’s spirit in you Oh, this brings tears to my eyes.
The gift of god’s spirit in you He will never leave you nor forsake you.
There is nothing you can do to work yourself out of a relationship with the Holy Spirit. K?
But him being on you, you gotta live a life.
I I wanna live a life that is a magnet for the presence of god to rest on me.
We can sit in this conference until we’re blue in the face applaud the truths of god
and say amen to the truths of god, but if we leave this room and live in a way, that is out of alignment with the truth of God.
We will not have
the spirit resting on us.
If you want the mark of god’s presence on you, I’m talking about where other people can see you operating in your gift moving about in the assignments that you have been given where they can just see there’s a unique favor on your life toward that particular task or that particular endeavor where you are marked by something that gives you favor, that gives you his grace for a particular area of your life, then you must live.
I must choose to live in a way that honors god so that god’s presence can rest upon.
Us, because he will not force himself on you.
He offers you this resting of his presence and his grace upon your life, if you will choose to live in a way that does not uh disturb his presence, that does not keep him from being able to be near you because you have chosen.
Here it is to be.
Holy. Listen to me. Are you listening?
Y’all, we live in a day and age where we have become more interested in being impressive
than being holy, where we are more interested in making sure we have likes.
And friends and the applause of people more than just being flat out. Holy.
By making sure that political correctness is not our main goal.
That we’re not after the applause of people. We’re after the applause of heaven.
You gotta choose to be ye holy.
And so I implore you sisters by the mercy cease of god to walk in a manner worthy of the calling by which you have been called.
So the spirit rested upon him. Let me just show you quickly.
Verse twenty six says that the spirit revealed to him.
So that means the spirit not only rested upon him.
The spirits revealed to him, old preachers called this illumination. It’s shining a spotlight.
It’s when you’re sitting in church on a Sunday, and your pastor opens up the Bible to preach.
And, man, he just reads or she reads that first two verses that they’re gonna be preaching from, and you sit straight up in your seat because you feel like, it’s all about you.
Anybody know what I’m talking about.
It’s where you’re trying to figure out how did did the church bug my house?
How did they know?
That’s the illumination of the spirit.
It’s when he it’s when that the old truths of scripture leap up off the page.
And for lack of a better way, word, it’s when they grip you in your soul, where you see how that intersects with something you are personally facing today.
That is the revelation of the Holy Spirit. This is what the Holy Spirit does. He reveals. He illumins.
He shines a spot simeon was there that day because he had been promised by
the revelation of god’s spirit. It wasn’t just a random promise. It was his promise.
Oh, you’ve had that happen over the course of these days that we’ve been gathered.
You probably have had that happen where something that has been said. It wasn’t just great to hear it.
It gripped your soul. You knew it was an assignment for you. It was
a conviction that you knew the lord was gonna send you out here with that assignment because the Holy Spirit revealed it to you.
God’s spirit rests. He reveals, and then he ruled simeon.
Because it says in verse twenty seven that he came in the spirit to the temple.
Meaning, the spirit told him on this day to go into the temple, and it says that he came into the spirit, under the, into the temple, under the conviction of the Holy Spirit.
When the Spirit said go, Symion said, yes, sir.
He submitted to the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
And he was in the right place at the right time to run right smack dab into the Messiah because he was submitted to the leadership of the Holy Spirit.