“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes…and touched” 1st John 1:1 Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament 27th Edition
I have noticed something very beautiful happening to me the longer I walk with the Lord, and the tenderer my heart becomes. I have noticed that I am loving Him so much more than I ever did. I am consumed with this beautiful Man and what He has done. I am so deeply moved at the lengths He went to securing my salvation, but also the lengths He went to draw me unto Himself. This Lord Jesus Christ is so great to me today, He defies description.
In meditating upon this verse last week, I was deeply moved about just one portion of the scripture: I think many have heard the Lord (or at least about the Lord), and I think many have seen the Lord (in their hearts by faith), but I think very few have touched the Lord.
This “touching the Lord” is done with the heart. There are so many people in the New Testament who just wanted to touch Him. And for many different reasons. Let’s look at a few verses:
- The woman with the issue of blood in Matthew 9 just wanted to touch Him so that she might be healed.
- In Mark 3 many others touched Him so that they could be healed.
- In Mark 10 the parents brought children to Him so that He might just touch them. They weren’t after prayer or a blessing in this instance; they just wanted Him to touch them.
And the Lord touched them all, and He loved them all, and He wanted them all to come to Him.
But the Lord likes to touch people also. He touched Jacob in his thigh to teach him a deep lesson about the self-life. This touch from the Lord broke something…but at the same time it healed something in Jacob’s heart.
Jacob had to be touched in the self-life if he was ever going to go on any further in his relationship with the Lord. His life was changed that day, his heart was changed that day, and his name was changed that day. Have you let God touch you in this way?
It is my personal opinion (and the opinion of many testimonies of the deep men and women of God I have studied) that until a person is touched in this way, he will live his life unto himself…maybe without even realizing it. The self-life is so strong in some that it takes the Lord years of “wrestling” to get this part touched.
I know in my own life I was very much like Jacob. As a matter of fact I can remember kneeling down one day in the darkness to pray, and as I knelt I said, “Good morning Father” and as clear as a bell I heard Him immediately reply out of heaven, “Good morning Jacob.” I had just opened a brand new box of Kleenex’s that morning (175 in the box), and when the Lord said that to me it broke me to the core of who I was and I wept so profusely that I used up every Kleenex in that box that morning. I was so broken that I could not pray one single word, I just wept in heart-brokenness for 2 solid hours. He touched me. But then many years went by (just like it did in Jacob’s life) and then one day something happened that drove me to my knees for 3-5 hours a day for almost 45 days. Tens of thousands of tears were shed upon His feet and spilt upon His mercy seat.
And my life has never been the same since. You see, I got touched in the exact place I needed to be touched in…my heart. And I limped away a broken man. A man who now saw the beauty of being the last, the lowest, and the least. Jesus had touched my self-life so thoroughly that I was never to be the same man again. Just read the first forward of my book by Mary Ann and read what she says and you’ll understand. Her own words spoken to me being, “You’re not the same man I married, I don’t even recognize you anymore Robert.” The Lord touched me, but guess what? I was touching Him too.
What does this “touching the Lord” look like? It looks like the Shulimite woman in the Song of Solomon whose life started off as working, running, and avoiding Him. But in the end she was resting, walking, and leaning on Him. I encourage people everywhere now to read the Song of Solomon with something in mind. It is a book written of ones spiritual pilgrimage of becoming a newborn Christian and progressing through into full maturity. You can actually find yourself within its narrative to the very verse. And you will be able to see what is next for you in your relationship with Him. In the opening chapter she is just His friend, but in the end she is His betrothed.
For those of you reading this today desiring the deeper life, you will find it in the Song of Solomon. Two very good commentaries on the Song of Solomon that would really help you see so much more are the ones by Watchman Nee entitled “The Song of Songs,” and Jessie Penn-Lewis’ entitled “Thy Hidden Ones.” (I would probably avoid the one by Madam Guyon). The Song of Solomon is only for the deeper ones who want more of Him and are willing to give everything up to go and seek after this one.
Peter, James, and John were privileged to go with the Lord into the bedroom of Jairus’ dead daughter and watch Him raise her from the dead (and you’ll notice that the Lord touched her). These three also were asked by Him to go up to the mount of transfiguration where they saw His glory. They were the same ones whom the Lord asked to be with Him in the end in the garden.
Why these three? Because they believed on Him and in Him. And He knew that these three believed. Peter went to Him on the water during a storm and then in John 21 Peter jumped out of the boat and swam to Him just to be with Him sooner.
These men were touching Him with their faith and with their hearts. They loved Him so completely and so fully that their entire lives revolved around Him. Oh, dear reader, do you love Him this way? Is He really everything to you? Will you forsake all and follow Him? Can you bring your ships to shore, forsake all, and follow Him? The first thing He ever said to Peter was “follow me” and the last thing He ever said to Peter was “follow me.” I bet Peter was able to remember that and put that together. Can you remember when He said to you “follow me?” He is saying that to you now dear one here towards the end; the end of your life, the end of the age, the end of your self, and the end of it all.
Are you running to Him…really running? Are you jumping out of the boat just because you love Him so much that you just want to be near Him and touch Him? Are you holding Him so near as to never let Him go as Mary did after the resurrection? The woman with the alabaster box came in and touched Him. Another woman washed His feet with her tears and then dried them with the hair of her head. They touched Him with love because they were in love. I’m afraid that not many really love Him this way anymore. Is this you? It was me once. My heart had grown cold towards Him because I let other things come in and choke the word and I became unfruitful. But I ran back to Him screaming His name like blind Bartimeus did in Mark 10:48
Come love this Man again. Give time to ponder in your heart what He has really done for you. Are you appreciative and thankful? Jesus said that if you loved Him then you would keep His word and obey His commandments. Love has to be proved, not just spoken.
I know what has happened in my own heart. I am walking on the water to go to Him that I might embrace Him and show Him my love by my obedience to His word. I have seen the world for what it is and have turned my back on it. Abraham had his back towards AI (Hebrew: Heap of Ruins) at the altar that he built at Bethel (Hebrew: House of God). John said the whole world lies in darkness. And God has been very gracious to me and has put His fear into my heart. But not before I wanted Him with my whole heart and was willing to prove that by more than just mere words. My whole life changed…not just my words. The naked, crown-thorned Man of Galilee has truly become the King of my heart. The word has become flesh and is now dwelling within me. I heard His voice knocking and I ran to the door, tore the door off its hinges and then threw it into the fire and said, “Lord, come and go as You please, and arrange my house as you see fit – be the King of my heart, because I have proven again and again that I am unfaithful with it.”
It took many years, but now I really do understand that only a few are going to make it. Only a few will be able to enquire at His temple and behold His beauty. Be one of the few. Lose yourself in Him again. Turn your back towards Ai and repair the altar that you first built at Bethel when you were saved from your sins and washed in His blood. If you will do this, then (and only then) can you move to Hebron and there build an altar of an everlasting memorial. I’ll tell you exactly what He told me once: “Come to Hebron Robert…I’m waiting for you at Hebron, and there we will build an altar together.” Hebron means the place of everlasting friendship and fellowship with God. Oh dear saints, run to Hebron with me. Yes, it’s a long way from Bethel, but this is where He is taking us. See your life as a journey to Hebron. I encourage you to read my poetic prophecy entitled Stone-Builders, which can be found under my Poems section of my Blog. This was written amidst thousands of tears one morning as He revealed Himself to me through prayer.
The sum of all spiritual matters is this: how much did I really love Him?