Years ago I was reading the words of Teresa of Avila alone in a house. I was being greatly impacted as I sat on the couch and eventually stopped reading as I began to experience an awesome presence of God. I eventually leaned back and closed my eyes to fully take in the experience. Sometimes we see more when our eyes are closed.
I was caught up in a state of consciousness with God that words cannot describe but at some point a female voice audibly and firmly said my name with what sounded like “great delight.” I didn’t even flinch because I was so caught up in God’s presence. I slowly began to open my eyes and looked around to see if the woman from whose voice had spoken was there. I saw no one yet I was engulfed in a serene peace as my mental capacities were joyfully suspended in God’s presence.
I believe that voice was Teresa of Avila herself.
This is what it is like to experience the truth of Scripture that records we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. (Hebrews 12:1)
This was also one of those times when God was going beyond what I could think or imagine. (Ephesians 3:20)
While my experience may be foreign or even cause anxiety to a troubled mind, it would only be because the “cares of the world” as Jesus calls them, are the ruling agents of one’s perception. When we care more about the Reality of God than “earthly things”, our minds are able to experience the “things above” that the Apostle Paul encourages us to focus on. (Col 3:1-2) When we value these experiences they lead us to have renewed minds that are conformed to heavenly realities and not patterns of reasoning that reject them. (Romans 12:2)
The Way Our Names Our Spoken
The powerful thing about my encounter with Teresa in God’s presence was the way she spoke my name. And that is the key in all of this isn’t it? It’s the intention of how someone speaks your name and wants to influence you. It is how they say it.
Someone can call your name with the sound of great disappointment or a tone of questioning intention that makes you feel they do not have your best interest in mind. God, being seated above where we are asked to focus our minds, has no disappointment in His mind towards you. This immediately brings to mind something a friend of mine has said,
“It is impossible for God to be disappointed in you. For Him to be disappointed with you, you would have to do something He didn’t already know you were capable of doing.” –Randall Worley
Part of the reality of God being seated “above” is that He is seated above accusation and the things of the world that have no connection to His nature or reality. Things like fear, condemnation, doubt, complaining, gossip, bad intentions, hate, etc. And so we see why Paul encourages us to focus on things above where God is seated and where we are seated with Him! (Eph 2:6, Col 3:1-2)
Jesus sent out 72 disciples to proclaim the reality of God’s world with the authority to heal the sick & cast out demons. The 72 came back extremely excited because of all the miracles they saw and the demons that submitted to Jesus’ name. Jesus explained the authority they had in God but emphasized that it is not best to rejoice in the power that you have but to “rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:20)
I picked up Teresa’s book again today and read this,
“The soul understands they would do far more good in one day than in ten years if they thought a lot less about their authority and simply loved God.”
That is exactly what Jesus was saying to the 72.
Jesus went on to rejoice and praise Heavenly Father that these disciples were able to be impressed by God’s world of wonders & miracles but most importantly He was rejoicing in their slow realization that God loved them for who they were and not for what they did. All our experiences with God will naturally cause wonder and delight but most of all they remind us that we are connected to a God we can continually know as we are known by Him. He knows us all by name! (Eph 3:15)
The power of knowing that our name is written in heaven comes from experiencing the intention of the One who speaks our name. I described the tone of Teresa saying my name as one of “great delight”, which is exactly the tone of Jesus’ praise of Father revealing to us that our names our written on His heart. It is with Love and Great Delight that Father God speaks your name. Anything else is not from God and is from an accuser.
The substance of God’s name is often best understood as “Love” and Love casts out all fear & accusation.
Those who overcome accusations by trusting God is Love are able to experience the victory of living aware of God & Heavenly Realities. They can abide in Love with their minds being free from accusation as they are focused on “things above.” It is of the victorious ones that the book of Revelation records the following about our name:
“The one who is victorious will be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels.” (Rev 3:5)
It is fitting that the author of Revelation opens up with hearing a voice in the Spirit, which is where we are all called to live. We were born to be led by the Spirit of God in knowing our Heavenly Father is our Perfect Daddy and we are His unconditionally loved kids. The fruit of living from heaven (above) while on earth is one of Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, Self Control, Wonder, Mystery, Child-Likeness and more. These qualities truly bring heaven to earth as Jesus taught us to live and pray.
Be encouraged today that you are actually surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses that continually speak your name with great delight as they cheer you on to experience all that God has for you. Be encouraged to share your heavenly experiences from a place of having your worth firmly rooted in God, as the blood of Jesus and the words of your testimony encourage the hungry and thirsty to find their Reality in God. (Rev 12:10-11) Rejoice in knowing your Father knows and loves your name!
Father, give us ears to hear You speaking our name with Great Delight. Let us hear and experience the truth from above that we are your beloved Children in whom You are well pleased. We don’t just want to read it, we want to know it.
“Those who hear the word and accept it will bear fruit thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.” – Mark 4:20
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.” -Eph 1:3
- Teresa’s book I was reading is titled, “Teresa of Avila: The book of my life” as translated by Mirabai Starr.