Intimacy with Jesus

A few weeks ago I got an email from an outstanding young woman who seeks after the Lord with all her heart. She asked me 3 awesome questions. As I answered her, I thought the responses may be helpful for others too.  So here goes...

Define intimacy with Christ.

I would define intimacy with Christ in the same terms that I may speak of my marriage to Tricia. We are only intimate because we deeply KNOW and TRUST each other with all that we are. It is about sharing the deepest parts of who we are with one another. We only get there by communicating...openly, vulnerable, two ways, listening, sharing, waiting, failing, trying again...and in the same way that Tricia and I go in and out of seasons of deeper intimacy, so do Jesus and I.  The only difference is that it can get uglier with our marriage because TWO of us are running away. When things are cold with Jesus, I'm the one slacking and he is always waiting with arms wide open.

When do you feel closest to God? And is it even about a feeling, anyway?

Nope! Not about a feeling. It is about a deep knowing. Honestly, I feel closer to the Lord each year as I learn the TRUTH about how He made me, how He sees me and how He loves me. As I further comprehend grace as it was intended (which by the way is MUCH different from what I learned growing up in the church), I fall further in love with the Lord. The REAL good news (that it was FINISHED on the cross and I can't earn a darn thing now) is so good that it's almost tempting to dismiss as false theology. It's crazy. The Lord is totally and completely in love with us as we are...broken and all. It just feel insane to me. But the deeper I journey into grace, the more my identity is finally getting established. So in short, I feel closest to God when I BELIEVE what he did and what he says and what he has nothing to do with a feeling. It's a knowing. Feelings are nice from time to time, but they are emotional and temporary. Faith sustains us and stands forever.

Knowing what you know now, what do you wish you knew about intimacy with God as a teenager?

I wish someone would have drilled the following into me: do not waste your time searching for or earning a love and acceptance from people who will never do it for you. Instead just LOVE people needing nothing in return (including their affirmation). And instead....take hold deeply of the FULL love and acceptance of the Father that is ALREADY available to you in full and forever measure. Live out of the grace, love and acceptance of the Father and give it away generously to everyone around you. What a waste of energy and years to strive to impress and earn something I never needed in the first place!

Morning by Morning

SunriseTime with Jesus in the early morning hours is the single greatest key to how I live my life now. It was about 2 years ago when the lesson was lodged DEEP into my heart: If I don't spend time alone with Jesus in the very early hours of the day, I probably won't!! Period. So I decided to GO TO BED on time. It is the only way to GET UP early. For me. I need sleep. And I need Jesus. So, I plan my life around that. After finding that I was having profound encounters with God in the early morning, I thought I would look for Biblical examples of it. Here are some of the verses I found. I read through these often. I find them really encouraging. The point is not the time of day. The point is the SECRET PLACE! Me and Jesus. In Secret. We hide before everyone else is up. And we've had the best of times. He also gets to see me without my make-up on. ;-)

Be encouraged by these verses!

The Sovereign Lord has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me MORNING by MORNING, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught. Isaiah 50:4

In the MORNING, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation. Psalm 5:3

But I cry to you for help, O Lord; in the MORNING my prayer comes before you. Psalm 88:13

Satisfy us in the MORNING with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. Psalm 90:14

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every MORNING; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” Lamentations 3:22-24

O Lord, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every MORNING, our salvation in time of distress. Isaiah 33:2

It is good to praise the Lord and make music to your name, O Most High, to proclaim your love in the MORNING and your faithfulness at night. Psalm 92:1-2

Let the MORNING bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. Psalm 143:8

And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the MORNING star rises in your hearts. 2 Peter 1:19

For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the MORNING. Psalm 30:5

But I will sing of your strength, in the MORNING I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. Psalm 59:16

Sow your seed in the MORNING, and at evening let not your hands be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well. Ecclesiastes 11:6

My heart is steadfast, O God; I will sing and make music with all my soul. Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the DAWN. I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples. Psalm 108:1-3

Awake, my soul! Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the DAWN. Psalm 57:8

Before daybreak the next MORNING, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray. Mark 1:35

After telling everyone good-bye, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Mark 6:46

But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer. Luke 5:16

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matthew 6:6

After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone. Matthew 14:23

Who should change?

This morning I was in a prayer time with CPx Students (we kicked off this week with a GREAT group!) and one of the gals prayed a profound prayer.  She prayed:

Lord, grant us the humility to accept others and change ourselves.  And forgive us for trying so hard to change others, while (often blindly) accepting ourselves.

Wow! I had to grab my journal and write that one. And I wanted to share it with you. Isn't it amazing how easily we default to seeing others so clearly and ourselves so dimly. May Jesus continue to grant us that imperative leadership quality of self-awareness.

A Prayer Invitation

Something significant happened in our lives over the last week. The Lord made it exceedingly clear that he was asking us to substantially increase our prayer network and mobilize more intercessors! The stakes are getting higher. And the enemy attacks are not getting any lighter. God spoke to us and said: rally the troops or you won't win the battle!  So, we are responding.

We are placing this public invitation out for people to join us in a new prayer network and campaign that we are launching in the next week. To be very clear, here is what we are looking for by way of expectations:

1. Be on our prayer email list and receive prayer emails from us regularly (those with no email get a call from someone else we determine).

2. Pray passionately, intentionally and specifically for us, our family and our ministry at least 5 days a week OR commit to pray extensively for us 1 day per month (one or the other-- you tell us. If it is one day per month, we would like you to tell us which day). Sometimes we may need warfare prayer, fasting or other intense intercession. We are looking for people to stand with us at that level when we contact you.

3. Two way communication. Communicate back with us any verses, words from the Lord, visions or pictures from the Lord, warnings or encouragements. We also would love to hear prayer needs you have so we can remember you before the Lord as well.

Here is a video I filmed today telling you more of our heart:

If you would like to join with us in this way, simply contact me indicating so. Comment, email, FB, SMS...whatever you got.

In about one week, we will launch a new prayer list and prayer campaign. We are excited to see who the Lord will ask to join in with us. We are asking God for 100 serious people as a step one. Eventually, we know that we will need 10,000!

Mind Follows Mouth & Pen

Recently, I was listening to a friend of mine named Ken Primrose teach on intimacy with Jesus.  He was talking about the importance of fascination with Jesus and spending time with him alone. He then spoke a bit about how we can get easily distracted in our personal times with the Lord. He then made this statement:

Our mind follows our mouth. If you find yourself getting distracted or your mind wandering off during prayer or Bible reading, begin to pray of read out loud and your mind will follow your mouth.

So, I tried it. It worked!! I literally could not think of anything else other than what I was praying or reading aloud.

Then I told another friend about this discovery and he made this statement:

Your mind also follows your pen. If you find yourself distracted, you can also try writing your thoughts and prayers and you will stay focussed.

I tried it. It worked too!!

So, in my own times with Jesus for the last few weeks I have been going after the Lord with my mouth and my pen every day....and my mind is following!  And it feels like a major victory, because oftentimes in the past, my mind has messed a lot of Jesus times up!

Perhaps this can help you too?

What Jesus Could Not Do

For many years, I have failed at having daily time with Jesus. Personal quiet time has been the single hardest part of my faith journey. I have treated it like a diet. I go at it hard for a week or two and then fall off the wagon. I have heard the invitation to spend more time with God as far as 15 years back and STILL am not satisfied with how I have obeyed. That said, the need for me to have time drinking from the living water is more significant and crucial for me now than it has ever been.  I hear the Lord calling and I have promised him I am coming. I won't share here and now how that is looking....but I may someday.

But there is something that I do want to share...

I have many times told myself some of the following true lies:

1. I walk with Jesus all day, so it is ok if I don't spend specific time with him. He wants my whole day, not just 3o minutes.

2. Jesus is more interested in our devotion than our devotions.

3. I obey Jesus and live for him and do really important ministry, so he understands that I do not have lots of time for him.

While these things may have some truth, they are excuses that have been a part of the enemy's calculated prevention plan against me for over 10 years.

Here is the lesson I want you to share:


THAT should settle it. Period.

If you or I think we are holy enough to pull off something that Jesus could not, then we are deceived.

Prayers of Faith


In the last four days, I have seen four major answers to prayer.  This is not normal for me (wish I could say it was). This has been supernatural. And it has me thinking. 

I am afraid that I have prayed many, many prayers of doubt in my life. A prayer of doubt is when I pray for something with my mouth while believing and questioning the feasability of what I am saying in my head and heart. When I ask God for something in a way that makes plenty of room for it not to happen, if he would so prefer. Those are prayers of doubt. When there is doubt on the inside, don't look for results on the outside. 

But, I want to pray prayers of faith! I want to believe what I am saying and believe what I am praying. I want to call upon the Lord with no excuses and no questions. Just faith. Faith that he will do what he has promised. Faith that He is always the greatest advocate for redemption, restoration, mircales and healing! 

Join me!  Pray in FAITH!

"This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us - whatever we ask - we know that we have what we asked of him" (1 John 5:14-15).

Kids Prayer Strategy


I stumbled upon something too cool not to share.


We pray with Davis every night when we put him to bed. It is a great thing to do and I am thankful for it.  However, lately I have been kinda unimpressed with the routine...same thing every night. Same basic words, same basic prayer, same basic mechanics. Might be ok for some, but not for me.  I want Davis to learn to express his heart to Jesus out of sincerity, not habit. I want to teach him early to pray with passion and intentionality. 


So, about a week ago I old him that we were going to take turns praying, alternating back and forth, kind of like popcorn popping back and forth...and that we would pray for whatever Jesus brought to our hearts.  


We did! And it was super special.  Now, every night, we employ our new popcorn prayer strategy.

  • I prayed for Mom.
  • He prayed for sister.
  • I prayed for Family.
  • He prayed for Masi.
  • I prayed thanks for the day.
  • He prayed safety for tomorrow. 
  • On
  • And on
  • And on

It is totally rad to hear my son pray like this and it has significantly increased the value of our prayer times together.  I feel like we have stumbled upon a fairly good prayer strategy. I encourage you to try it a few times with your kids (or adults) and see what happens.