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By Wendy Jepsen
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"Deep calls unto deep at the noise of your waterfalls: all your waves and your billows are gone over me." (Psalms 42:7)
In my spirit I hear the wooing of the Lord tenderly calling to His treasured Bride in 2018. The deep things inside Him are stirring the deep things inside us. All over the world we see this holy cry for more of Him. He's stirring in us an urgency to run after Him with all that is in us because time is short, and the wise virgins of Matthew 25 must have their lamps filled with oil and be ready for His soon return to establish His kingdom.
"As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?" (Psalms 42:1)
This scripture expresses the unquenchable thirst we have for God, which can be filled by nothing else.
Right now, the lukewarm, apathetic spirit of Laodicea is doing its best to blind the eyes of the body of Christ, while the Lord is busy preparing a pure and beautiful Bride for His Son. The Bride is "buying gold tried by fire," His divine nature. In His presence our nature is transformed so that we become the radiant Bride that shines with the very glory of our God.
Many within the church are experiencing an inner restlessness placed there by the Lord, which creates in them a yearning for more of God than they've ever experienced before. You'll find this deeper cry echoing from every corner of the earth, where the Lord is stirring up His Bride, filling her with deeper passion than she's ever known. She's yearning, longing for the Living God, and nothing and no one else can satisfy that longing. The Lord says in 2018, "I am placing a yearning inside of you for only the living God; dead religion will no longer satisfy you, nor will worshipping me from a distance quench your thirst for more of Me. I am awakening within you a yearning for Me only, and I will certainly fill you up if you only ask."
In fact, I can hear a cry over the waters, where deep is calling unto deep, wooing us into His presence. I sense that this deep cry has three distinct functions, each prophetic in nature that will be very pivotal in 2018.
The Cry of Father's Heart
The first deep cry I've heard coming over the waters is the cry from Father's heart. From the very depths of Abba's heart is a deep longing to spend quality time with His Bride. No matter where we are in our walk with God, He will lift us up and fan into flames His abiding love and tender care for us, as we simply call on His name and spend time alone with Him in the secret place. Just like a lock and key, what we lack He is, completing and filling us with Himself so that we no longer feel out of sync or ill-equipped for the tasks before us.
"My beloved is like a roe or a young hart: behold, he standeth behind our wall, he looketh forth at the windows, shewing himself through the lattice." (Song of Solomon 2:9)
Time is short. We no longer have time to squander on frivolous pursuits and distractions. He wants us to come away with Him in 2018. The Heavenly Bridegroom stands outside the wall looking through the window. He waits patiently for us and calls out softly, "Rise up, my darling! Come away with me, my fair one!" Then He waits for our response. Will we agree to come away? Will we leave our warm beds and the distractions of the world and come away? Will we leave our normal routine and sit with Him awhile?
He wants us to know He is there. As He looks through the window, He slowly reveals His presence and hopes we will notice Him. Do we? Or do we sit alone, content with the blessings He has provided, while the Lord of glory stands outside alone and lonely? As hard as it is to believe, He longs for our company, for intimacy with us. He wants us to know we have a higher purpose than merely taking up space until we die. He yearns for us to go deeper in 2018 and bask in His warm embrace where we can finally rest and find true contentment and security. In reality, this will be our only place of refuge from life's assaults and the relentless spiritual warfare that's driving the enemy's plots to steal, kill and destroy.
Our Heavenly Bridegroom is not content that we merely hear stories about His manifest presence. He wants us to draw near and enjoy fellowship with Him in the secret place. He longs to bring us into the experiential reality of His manifest presence where we have those experiences ourselves. It's there that He awakens the desire for more of Him and reveals the deeper things of the Spirit.
The Cry of Fervent Intercession—Birthing a New Season in the Church
The second deep cry I've heard coming over the waters is a cry of fervent intercession birthing a new season in the church in 2018. Today the Lord is preparing a company of forerunners who know how to pray and intercede; they shake heaven and Earth with continuous deep intercession. You will find them lying on the floor in deep groaning for many hours, weeping for the lost. You will find them birthing with travail the next great awakening.
For even as the Lord used Johnathan Edwards in the First Great Awakening and Charles Finney in the second, there will be a third move of God that will hit America, Canada and the world like a tsunami that affects every continent on the planet. There is once again a brooding occurring over the face of the deep. The Lord is moving over the waters, preparing a company of intercessors that will pray it in—not just one man but an army of fervent believers like the early prayer warriors Nash, Hyde and Howell.
I see a cloud moving; the glory is drawing near, the very manifest presence is building and as we pray the cloud will draw nearer still. The glory is invading the enemy's camp where the people of God will dance and sing again, rejoicing that heaven is being released. The throne room is cracked open and the very atmosphere of heaven is leaking out toward the earth. Open your hearts; open the gates to welcome the presence of the very King of Glory Himself. Seek the Lord while He may be found; invite Him in to rest and abide in you, for as He dwells there the earth shall be transformed. With a kiss of His presence we, as the Bride, shall come forth arrayed in His magnificent glory.
Yet not all of us are eagerly preparing for this grand entrance. Many of us are sleeping and completely unaware of the urgency of our times. It's time to wake up, wipe the sleep from our eyes, and repent of our complacency. The time is now!
The Cry of Our Hearts
The last deep cry I've heard coming over the waters in 2018 is the earnest cry from our own yearning hearts. There is this "want" many are finding within for the deeper things of God. We can't really communicate it, but we long for it and know that it's available to all who ask. Many have searched diligently for it but cannot find it. Like a newborn infant who is desperately hungry for milk, we're starving for a real touch from Him this year. This sense of desperation is growing in intensity in 2018 and will not be satisfied with anything less than all He has for us. The Lord says, "I will touch you afresh in 2018. Those who truly love me with all their hearts will find me. I will come and fellowship with them, and we will share a special intimacy this year. Have I not called you and bidden you to come deeper? Can you not hear me calling from My private chambers, inviting you to come? Those who will truly desire Me this year will find Me. They will hear my footsteps approaching them as I announce My presence in a fresh new way . . ."
I see a glow flooding through an open door in 2018. It's a door to the secret place where the garden of the Lord is in full bloom, and the fresh scent of flowers is intoxicating. The Lord is waiting with great anticipation for you to enter this special place where you will enjoy greater intimacy in 2018. There He will give you a new infilling of peace and restoration, share all His secret hopes and desires, and recruit you to play a part in making them a reality so that you will never be the same again!
If you allow it, this year He will take you deeper into the springs of His endless love, sweeping you up to a new level of understanding where turmoil and warfare no longer hinder you. I heard the Lord say He was baking living Bread in 2018. Can you smell the scent of baking bread? There's truly nothing like it. He's taking us into a new season where we're filled with what we need most—things we've only dreamt of but never experienced. In the past, many were enamored with just His blessings and manifestations—the things He could do for us. But no longer will we stop there as we starve for more. In fact, this year we will not stop until we have the Lord's very heart and the tender compassion that will address the needs of a broken world.
I also see that in the past many spectators watched from a safe distance, seeing divine movement from inside the very holy of holies' inner chambers. They could see the soft glow of glory coming from the secret place but could not join in because of fear or shame, believing that the Lord was out of reach. The enemy used to come with blame and word curses to prevent us from coming into His fullness, but in 2018 His Bride will not be held back because of her past or allow the enemy access because of the sin of yesterday. She will enter into her new season, unencumbered and free to move and live and have her being in Him alone.
I see His Bride walking on the water with a lamp in her hands, eager to enter into His presence, anticipating everything He has for her in that place where she will see the sweet Master face to face. The waters symbolize the depth of God's presence, passing unnoticed, waves of fear or old hindrances that have previously stopped her progress. I see this Bride walking on top of the waters, unaffected by anything around her. She has a lamp in her hands because she has been busy loving the Lord, allowing the Holy Spirit to fill her moment by moment with the oil of fellowship, seeking after Him in prayer with great joy and mounting excitement.
The Lord will have a people who will be consumed by that inner cry for more. They are wrecked by the Living God because old, stale bread from yesterday no longer satisfies where they're being called into a new realm, desperate for the living bread that comes from the ovens of heaven in moment to moment communion with our King.
"Draw me, we will run after thee: the king hath brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine: the upright love thee." (Song of Solomon 1:4)
I often pray this prayer: "Lord, draw me. Increase my spiritual hunger." We can easily become content where we are, allowing ourselves to become apathetic so that we sit in church week after week, month after month and leave without ever being changed. Yet there are some who are crying out, "Draw me, Lord, I'm thankful for what I have, but it's not enough. I want more in 2018—a deeper spiritual hunger—than I've ever had before. Draw me this year, my Heavenly Bridegroom. Let my heart become one with yours, Precious One."
To sum it up: This year we will hear the cry of the Father's heart for His Bride to draw near to fill up all that is empty within us. Secondly, the fervent prayer of the saints will be heard over the deep. Third will be the cry of our hearts, asking for more of Him. When all three cries go up simultaneously, it will create a resounding echo that will shake the very foundations of heaven and Earth and leave us changed as never before. So, let's seek the Lord with all our hearts while He may be found for we are stunningly beautiful in His sight!
I hear the Lord whisper, "The greatest hunger you've possessed in your past will only be the starting point of the hunger I will give you from now on. For I am placing a great hunger in the heart of My Bride and she will not be content with 'things' but only with My face. I'm calling you deeper today," says the Lord! "Will you cry out to Me with all your heart?"