When I was in Asia recently and looking into the faces of my two grandson’s Jonah and Hudson, I encountered total unconditional love and unspeakable joy. I observed how they cling to their mother when they are tired and hungry, but aren’t afraid to explore and be themselves in the presence of their mom and dad. When they are alone with their daddy and they run, jump, and get a little more daring in their exploration and play adventures.
They haven’t learned about the dangers and pitfalls that are outside their walls of protection. Whenever they do experience bumps, bruises or sickness, they know their mom and dad will be quick to gather them and soothe their hurts.
As one who knows the loving face of God, my desire and prayer for them is that they will grow up and experience the joy of salvation, healing and unconditional love of God.
You have been so, so good to me
Before I took a breath, You breathed Your life in me
You have been so, so kind to me
Oh, it chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine
I couldn’t earn it, and I don’t deserve it, still, You give Yourself away
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God, yeahRead full Lyrics Reckless Love by Cory AsburyRead full Lyrics Reckless Love by Cory Asbury
Recently Pastor Dennis, of Northgate Alaska church was teaching on the Face of God and told a story about his granddaughter Heidi, He said, “One of Heidi’s first words was Agoo.” Even though no one exactly knew what this word meant, her joy and laughter was very endearing. She recognized that she was able to totally engage and capture the hearts of her loved ones during these face to face encounters, especially with her grandfather.
Every person is born with a “joy center” in their brain. These types of exchanges between each of us launches waves of joy and excitement and creates unforgettable memories. Face to face encounters provides a sense of love, safety and security that all children need, especially in the formative years. Both science and God’s Word tells us how important it is to stimulate and train the “joy centers” of our brains which can only come through face-to-face encounters.
During these face-to-face times of communication Jonah, Hudson, and Heidi knows they are the objects of complete panim and shalom.
Train up a child in the way he should go,
[a]And when he is old he will not depart from it.
Right-hemisphere-to-right-hemisphere communication requires face-to-face interaction between two people. Right-hemisphere-to-right-hemisphere communication is so fast it completes six cycles of communication every second. Read More
Brain’s Control Center Overview – LifeModel.org
The Matsu Valley in Alaska has been recorded as the worst place to grow up in Alaska, and perhaps the State of Alaska has one if not the highest rank as being one of the worst places in the United States to bring up a child.
Northgate Alaska is one of the churches in the Mat-Su Valley who has declared war on this statistic and has made it part of their local and global mission to create a community that is actively constructing a face to face pathway to train up and raise their children to experience a face to face relationship with the living God. They have been meeting for 18 years for a time of worship, praise, prayer and intercession for their community, state, nation and world. The group called Northgate Burn meets face to face with God each week.
Peniel, panim, is Hebrew for face or faces of God.
Scripture tells us God and Adam and Eve would meet face to face. Adam and Eve had been walking in the garden God created for them to live and meet until one day Satan disguised as a serpent came and tempted them. Genesis 3
Sin (doubt and unbelief) entered into Adam and Eve and they felt ashamed of what they had done (their sinfulness) and they hid from God. Genesis 3:8 says,
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
I thought about Heidi and how innocent she was when she was communicating with her granddaddy, saying Agoo! At these times she is totally safe in these face to face encounters.
Imagine someone coming into her life, or your life and saying, “Don’t trust him, there are things that are better for you than this, and if you experience it (or just take this bite), your life will be so much better?”
Once our innocence and trust is broken, doubt, unbelief and a host of other sinful thoughts begin to turn our joy into ungodly thoughts and eventually desires. It is difficult many times for us, like it was for Adam and Eve to understand WHY?
God does allow us and those we know and love to experience hurt, brokenness, and the effects of sin. It seems like we are unprotected. But, God’s unconditional love for us and for mankind is always available and never negates His desire to be with us face to face.
God loves us so much He sent his son to restore a never ending life with Him. When we accept and follow His plan of redemption we are empowered to overcome sin and death in all of it’s ugly forms.
God’s intentions are always to restore us to this face-to-face position with him. He banished Adam and Eve from the garden, but continued to provide for them.
Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.
I don’t find it any coincidence in the story of Anna the Prophetess that her father’s name was Phanuel which means face of God.
Luke 2:35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your soul as well.” 36There was also a prophetess named Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher, who was well along in years. She had been married for seven years, 37and then was a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.…
She was also standing in it at that hour and she gave thanks to THE LORD JEHOVAH and was speaking about him with everyone who was waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem. Luke 2:38
And every priest stands ministering daily and
offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.
But this Man,
after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever,
sat down at the right hand of God,
from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool.
For by one offering
He has perfected forever those who are being [d]sanctified.
When we realize we have sinned and have been sinned against, we can regain our original position God gave Adam and Eve and all mankind through the plan of salvation and redemption God provided in and through Jesus.
Coming to Jesus as a little child puts us in the same position of innocence and complete humbleness that enables us to receive eternal life, and all of the benefits of becoming His child.
What God wants from us, is a face-to face encounter. I hear the voice of God say,
“Stop struggling, It’s time for you to trust me, and let down the walls and those hidden places of sin that separate you and I from being totally “face to face”.”
Searching for God’s Treasures,
Marlene has been called to go and serve others
wherever God calls her.
She combines teaching, prayer, worship
with the prophetic, words of knowledge and
wisdom to bring salvation, deliverance &
healing to those who are lost, hurting & sick.
from ashes to beauty…
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