“Darling, if you want me to be closer to you…”

I never get tired of the hilarity and the absurd closeness of God. Try to picture this.  I have just come back from a mind-blowing week of listening to people who are movers and shakers in the Kingdom. (More on that later.)  My head and heart is like a whirring blender full of questions, resurrected dreams, and — numbness.


You heard me. Last week, I was so completely overwhelmed by the reality of God’s movement on the earth, so undone by the hugeness of God that my heart shifted into paralysis mode. I suddenly felt very, very small.  My efforts seemed so insignificant. My “risky” endeavors now seemed ridiculous and little.  Was I hearing from God at all? Did I have faith at all?

I told a friend at lunch yesterday, “One common theme from all the speakers was intimacy more than outcomes.”   Even my spoken revelation didn’t help me in this blurry moment. It did trigger a tough question in my spirit.

“Lord. Am I loving you well?”


The question surfaced in my spirit at the conference. Here in the quiet aftermath, it surfaced again.

“Lord. Am I loving you well?”

After my lunch, I asked the question out loud in private, as in, wanting Him to answer. I really wanted some grand ray of sunshine to pour down out of heaven, or an angelic chorus, or a neon sign. Anything. But nada. Nothing. Silence. And to be honest, His silence scared me.

All I could do was cry out to the Lord. So I spent the day praying, seeking Him.  As I was going throughout my chore list, I just kept saying the same thing:  “Touch me again. Tell me again you love me. I am listening. I will do whatever you want.”


So I reviewed my notes.  I tried to collect the stories I had heard at the conference. I worshiped and studied. Still, nothing. No response.

Finally, I threw up this simple prayer more out of frustration than faith:

“Jesus.  I believe everything you have ever promised me. I know you love me even if I don’t feel it. I am going to stand on the truths you have deposited. I am going to move forward in faith, with or without the warm fuzzies. I am not quitting. I stop comparing myself to others. I love you. No matter what.”

I buried my thoughts in my work for a little while. When it was time to pack up, I noticed this oddly familiar song over the intercom. I hadn’t heard that song since high school. Who is that? Seals and Croft? Wait, what are they saying?

Darling if you want me to be closer to you
Get closer to me
Darling if you want me to be closer to you
Get closer to me
Darling if you want me to love, love only you
Then love only me
Darling if you want me to see, see only you
Then see only me

The lady in the store looked at me funny when I busted out laughing. God knows that is one of the few albums I owned in high school. God knows I have hardly heard that song since high school. God knows how to capture my heart. Again.

 But trust me, I didn’t miss the instruction. Get closer to Me. Love only Me. See only Me.
That whole intimacy over outcomes revelation? That’ll preach. That’ll change your life.
I am still unpacking my heart and head. But this is a great guide. He is always, ever always, after my heart. And that is the model we are to follow. To be ever always after His heart.
It’s not the What that matters, it’s the Who. And when the Who is rightly placed, then the What falls into place. It’s not the great feats, signs and wonders, tremendous salvations, or heroic endeavors, that matter. It’s the Great God of Love being well loved by His people that matters. Those other things will follow.
Here is something the Lord told me on my last beach trip. “Jana, your obedience is precious to me. There are seeds I have planted in you that will only grow through your obedience.”  Sometimes “Yes, Lord” and “I love you” mean the same thing.
For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;
    you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Psalm 51:16-17



With Him, With His Daughters

“I don’t want to go be with a bunch of women.”

Does this sound like your first reaction when considering going to women’s retreats?  Especially Christian women’s retreats? It was what I heard this morning from a friend when I asked her about the upcoming Yes and Amen Retreat. Sigh.  And you know what? I know how she feels. I used to feel the same way.

But God.

I wish I could somehow convey that this retreat is NOT like other retreats. Yes, there are women. Even Christian ones. But “we” are not the focus. He is. Our comparisons, our insecurities and very real needs are not the focus. He is.

Yes and Amen is a time to really sit and soak in the presence of God. And what happened last year was each individual woman heard from the Lord in a no-pressure, no-performance kind of way, and we all got swept up into a much bigger story than “woman drama.”  We all got a glimpse of His Very Great Story in each woman. It was breathtaking.

It was so very refreshing.

Are you stalling? Are you quitting before you even begin? Are you thinking you are beyond this—I don’t know— notion of needing a bigger picture of God in your own life? Maybe think again. Take small steps in faith. I promise, if you come, He will meet you there.

And we will all be better for the revelation of who He is in you.

Battle Cry

I was going to take out segments of this article as fodder for the conversation about who are we battling and why. But as I re-read it, it is simply too rich to condense. Mull on the phrase, from victory not towards it. Intimidation is answered through intimacy. May the Lord grant you revelation of your authority as co-heir and may you walk in His power for His glory today.



by Graham Cooke

Jesus has disarmed both rulers and authorities, making a mockery of their power in the process and celebrating His own triumph over them by the cross (Colossians 2:15). Now as ever the battle is not ours but the Lord’s (2 Chronicles 20:15).

We serve a powerful King who loves to fight! He laughs at those who oppose him (Psalms 2:4; 37:13). In the Kingdom, we fight from victory; not towards it. Jesus has already won. In Him we partake of His overcoming. We are more than conquerors because we know the outcome before we enter the fray.

In Christ, our posture before the enemy must reflect our status in the Kingdom. We are an heir of God and a joint heir with Christ. We have been given power and authority through the Holy Spirit. In warfare, we rejoice before we pray. We give thanks for His majesty and supremacy. We are not overcome by our circumstances, we are overwhelmed by sovereignty. We are too busy being fascinated by Jesus to be intimidated by the enemy. We rejoice so that our praying can be powerful and effective. We praise because we occupy the position of an overcomer.

We stand in this space and we occupy our standing in Jesus through praise of His Majesty. The battle is won already; it is our partnering with victory that guarantees the outcome. We have the capacity to lose this battle only by default.

Lack of true rejoicing and thanksgiving will always embolden the enemy at our expense. The power of wickedness may increase in our perception if our worship is diminished and our focus on sovereignty reduced.

The only viable answer to intimidation is an increase in intimacy with the Lord. David was a “man after God’s own heart;” i.e., a worshipper. His intimacy gave him power over the intimidation of Goliath. He became a giant killer.

We can lose every fight if we have no focus. If our lives display a lack of worship we will never even show up for the fight. We will lose because we do not know how to stand. We will petition God for power when He has already given us authority in Jesus’ name. In rejoicing we receive revelation concerning the particulars of our overcoming.

Decide who you want to be and the Holy Spirit will empower you to become it.

Take a Deep Drink of God

No matter what I do to store up my intimacy with God – beach trips, revelations, journalling – my heart gets depleted. It is much like when I stockpile my pantry. Eventually all the food is consumed. It is the same with my “moments” with the Lord. Eventually the demands and needs of the day consume my warm God thoughts, my cups of His love, my bins full of truth.

But neither are futile.

This is why we must come again and again to the Table of God. You see His brilliance in the depletion because it is not the assurance of eating He desires for us, but the assurance of our hunger. He is glad when we hunger and thirst after Him. For then He gets to satisfy us just as He promised.

Take a long,  long drink of this song. It will slake your thirst. At least for today. Smile.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” Matthew 5:6

Divine Romance
The fullness of Your grace is here with me
The richness of Your beauty’s all I see
The brightness of Your glory has arrived
In Your presence God, I’m completely satisfied

For You I sing I dance
Rejoice in this divine romance
Lift my heart and my hands
To show my love, to show my love

A deep deep flood, an Ocean flows from You
Of deep deep love, yeah it’s filling up the room
Your innocent blood, has washed my guilty life
In Your presence God I’m completely satisfied

by Phil Wickham