Soaking: The Key to Intimacy with God

Draw Near

Intimacy with God begins when we radically pursue Him with our whole heart. King David wrote:
"When You said, ‘Seek My face,’ my heart said to You, ‘Your face, O Lord, I shall seek’" (Psalm 27:8).

God invites us in James 4:8 to "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you."

God is saying to us, "Seek My face! Draw near!" Our hearts are crying out, "YES!" but our flesh is screaming "NO!" The sad part is our flesh usually wins.

We are instructed in Psalm 46:10 to "Be still, and know that I am God." The wording "be still" literally means to cease from striving. It means to let go and relax, to turn down the volume of the world and listen to the quiet whisper of God. It’s getting still and coming into a place of rest. It means "soaking" in His Presence. The result is that you will know He is God.

The word "know" is literally an experiential knowledge of God. It’s not being still and knowing about God. It’s being still and knowing God experientially. You will experience God. You will know the Presence of God.

As we focus our heart, spirit, soul, mind, and body (the whole person) on His manifest Presence, we become oblivious to the natural physical world around us.

The key is where your focus is – on the things of God or on things of this world.

Bible reading and prayer are not enough. We must take time alone with Him, not asking for anything but more of Him, more of His fullness, more of His Presence in our everyday lives.

God releases power through us as we dwell in intimacy with Him. The natural outworking of His Presence is miracles.

How to Soak in God’s Presence:

How do we "soak"? We soak like a sponge. Put a dry sponge in a bucket of water and slowly the water permeates the sponge. This is the same as soaking in God’s Presence. The more we soak, the more we become filled with His Spirit.

I’m often asked, "What do you do in your time of seeking His Presence?" I don’t have a set formula. In my life, it varies from time to time, but the basic components are as follows:

First, I go into a private room, lock the door, and get on the floor before the Lord. It doesn’t matter whether you sit or lie down. What’s most important is the attitude of your heart.

Second, I repent of any sin in my life and I receive God’s forgiveness.

Third, I worship the Lord in both my native language (English) and in the language of the Holy Spirit.

Fourth, I do the vital prayer of Romans 6:13 that has transformed my life: "…present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God."

Fifth, I begin to recall experiences with the Lord (i.e., healings, miracles, provision) where He has manifested Himself in wonderful ways. This creates more of an expectancy and awareness of His Presence as I relive these times.

I tell the Lord: "God, I want more of You, more of Your Presence, more of Your fullness in my life. Fill me with more of You." I may repeat this statement many times as I wait on the Lord and focus on Him.

Then, I get quiet and that’s when I begin to hear His voice. Many times, I begin to have visions and supernatural experiences.

The key here is learning to wait in solitude. I cannot overemphasize the importance of waiting on the Lord until I experience His manifest Presence daily. I don’t come out of that private room until I have experienced His Presence.

During our soaking times, we position ourselves to receive impressions, nudges, quiet whispers, pictures, angelic visitations, and supernatural revelations. Here is a partial list of what to expect:

– Dreams (Job 33:14-16; Genesis 28:10-16)
Job 33:14  For God speaks in one way, and in two, though man does not perceive it.
Job 33:15  In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on men, while they slumber on their beds,
Job 33:16  then he opens the ears of men and terrifies them with warnings,
Job 33:17  that he may turn man aside from his deed and conceal pride from a man;
Job 33:18  he keeps back his soul from the pit, his life from perishing by the sword.

Gen 28:10  Jacob left Beersheba and went toward Haran.
Gen 28:11  And he came to a certain place and stayed there that night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place to sleep.
Gen 28:12  And he dreamed, and behold, there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven. And behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it!
Gen 28:13  And behold, the LORD stood above it and said, "I am the LORD, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. The land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring.
Gen 28:14  Your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and in you and your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
Gen 28:15  Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you."
Gen 28:16  Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, "Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it."
Gen 28:17  And he was afraid and said, "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven."

– Visions (Daniel 7:1-3,9; Acts 16:9-10)
Dan 7:1  In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel saw a dream and visions of his head as he lay in his bed. Then he wrote down the dream and told the sum of the matter.
Dan 7:2  Daniel declared, "I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea.
Dan 7:3  And four great beasts came up out of the sea, different from one another.
Dan 7:9  As I looked, thrones were placed, and the Ancient of days took his seat; his clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames; its wheels were burning fire.

Act 16:9  And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing there, urging him and saying, "Come over to Macedonia and help us."
Act 16:10  And when Paul had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.

– Trances (Acts 10:9-17, 11:5)
Act 10:9  The next day, as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the housetop about the sixth hour to pray.
Act 10:10  And he became hungry and wanted something to eat, but while they were preparing it, he fell into a trance
Act 10:11  and saw the heavens opened and something like a great sheet descending, being let down by its four corners upon the earth.
Act 10:12  In it were all kinds of animals and reptiles and birds of the air.
Act 10:13  And there came a voice to him: "Rise, Peter; kill and eat."
Act 10:14  But Peter said, "By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean."
Act 10:15  And the voice came to him again a second time, "What God has made clean, do not call common."
Act 10:16  This happened three times, and the thing was taken up at once to heaven.
Act 10:17  Now while Peter was inwardly perplexed as to what the vision that he had seen might mean, behold, the men who were sent by Cornelius, having made inquiry for Simon’s house, stood at the gate
Act 10:18  and called out to ask whether Simon who was called Peter was lodging there.

Act 11:4  But Peter began and explained it to them in order:
Act 11:5  "I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision, something like a great sheet descending, being let down from heaven by its four corners, and it came down to me.

Out of body experiences (2 Corinthians 12:2-4)
2Co 12:1  I must go on boasting. Though there is nothing to be gained by it, I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord.
2Co 12:2  I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven–whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows.
2Co 12:3  And I know that this man was caught up into paradise–whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows–
2Co 12:4  and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter.

– Angelic visitations (Luke 1:57,11-17; Acts 12:7-10)

Luk 1:11  And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.
Luk 1:12  And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him.
Luk 1:13  But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.
Luk 1:14  And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth,
Luk 1:15  for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.
Luk 1:16  And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God,
Luk 1:17  and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared."

Luk 1:26  In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth,
Luk 1:27  to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary.
Luk 1:28  And he came to her and said, "Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!"
Luk 1:29  But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be.
Luk 1:30  And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
Luk 1:31  And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.
Luk 1:32  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David,
Luk 1:33  and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end."
Luk 1:34  And Mary said to the angel, "How will this be, since I am a virgin?"
Luk 1:35  And the angel answered her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy–the Son of God.

Act 12:6  Now when Herod was about to bring him out, on that very night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison.
Act 12:7  And behold, an angel of the Lord stood next to him, and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, "Get up quickly." And the chains fell off his hands.
Act 12:8  And the angel said to him, "Dress yourself and put on your sandals." And he did so. And he said to him, "Wrap your cloak around you and follow me."
Act 12:9  And he went out and followed him. He did not know that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision.
Act 12:10  When they had passed the first and the second guard, they came to the iron gate leading into the city. It opened for them of its own accord, and they went out and went along one street, and immediately the angel left him.

– Being transported in the Spirit (Acts 8:39-40)
Act 8:38  And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him.
Act 8:39  And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing.
Act 8:40  But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he passed through he preached the gospel to all the towns until he came to Caesarea.

Experiencing the true intimate Presence of the living God will radically change your life.
People describe His manifest Presence in different ways. To some, it is heat, electricity, or shaking. To others, it is lightness, peace, or weeping.

Experiencing the manifest Presence is not the goal but the gateway to the supernatural realm. It’s the beginning. We go into the spirit realm where we can see Him, hear His voice, walk with Him, and be empowered by Him.

Isaiah 64:4 says God "acts for the one who waits for Him." The Amplified Bible states, "God…who works and shows Himself active on behalf of him who [earnestly] waits for Him." He’s waiting on us to wait on Him.

The Cumulative Effect

Sometimes we may feel our soaking time has been unproductive. We ask, "Is it worth it?" because we see no immediate change or benefit. I realized some time ago that there is a cumulative effect that takes place when I spend time in the manifest Presence of the Lord.

From this cumulative effect, God is making a deposit into my innermost being. As I begin to give out, that anointing flows out of the deposit He had been making all along.

We must learn to come quietly into His Presence just wanting more of Him in our lives. We need to "soak in His Presence," extracting more of His fullness into those places where we are barren. The cumulative effect of spending time with the Lord will produce an increased anointing in your life. The release of that anointing will serve as a springboard to a life of miracles.

The apostle John offers Believers a mind-boggling statement in 1 John 4:17 (NASB): "…as He is, so also are we in this world."

The implication of this verse is clear – Believers should be like Him. That is next to impossible without spending quality time in His manifest Presence. We will never even understand His compassionate nature for a lost and wounded humanity without regular, daily times with Him.

Conclusion

Intimacy with God is the simple means by which we access living in the miraculous. Spending time in His manifest Presence is the discipline we must develop to access all that God has for us. And, the cumulative effect is what happens in our anointing (or gifting) to function in healing or any of the supernatural.

God’s timing has come for greater works to be accomplished among His people. Press in for more of God’s Presence in your own life!

Gary Oates
Gary Oates Ministries

Email: info@garyoates.com

Gary and Kathi Oates: During thirty years of pastoral ministry, Gary and Kathi Oates have planted five churches. However, their lives and ministry were dramatically redirected several years ago when, in separate experiences, both Gary and Kathi were caught up into the Presence of the Lord and began seeing the ministry of angels in the realm of the spirit. Following those experiences, they were launched into worldwide itinerate ministry with an overwhelming abundance of supernatural results. The focus of Gary’s ministry is intimacy with Jesus, how to experience the manifest presence of God, impartation to see in the spiritual realm, as well as healing for the whole person. Kathi has a powerful inner healing and prophetic ministry.

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