For a while now the Lord has been speaking to me about this season being the "season of the garden". There is a glorious invitation being released right now from the heart of the Father, in this season of acceleration to come deeper "into the garden of intimacy". He has been highlighting one of my favourite movies as a child, "The secret garden".
There is so much that I love about the "secret garden" and there is so much in this story that I believe the Lord is highlighting right now.
Mary, (the little girl who is the main character) is an orphan, her parents died in an earthquake in India and she is sent to England to live with her uncle Archibald Craven who she never met. She is angry and quite selfish and has a strong sense of entitlement. She moves to England and little does she know, she is about to embark on an adventure that will change her life and the lives of others forever.
One of the first things that was highlighted to me from this story, was "Martha Sowerby tells Mary about the late Mrs Craven, who would spend hours in a private walled garden growing roses. Mrs Craven died after an accident in the garden, and the devastated Mr Craven locked the garden and buried the key. Mary becomes interested in finding the secret garden herself, and her ill manners begin to soften as a result. Soon she comes to enjoy the company of Martha, the gardener Ben Weatherstaff, and a friendly robin redbreast. Her health and attitude improve, and she grows stronger as she explores the moor and plays with a skipping rope that Mrs Sowerby buys for her. Mary wonders about both the secret garden.As Mary explores the gardens, her robin draws her attention to an area of disturbed soil. Here Mary finds the key to the locked garden and eventually the door to the garden itself." (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Secret_Garden)
I felt the Lord highlight the robin to me and after some research I found this:
"The robin symbolizes joy and a sense of renewal. Robins got this symbolic meaning because seeing them is one of the first visual signs that spring is on the way. They are a sign that it's time for people to come out of their homes and enjoy nature again." (Google)
We are in a season where God is RESTORING JOY and He is RENEWING and RESTORING!!!!! The first VISUAL SIGNS of breakthrough are upon us! It is time for God's people to come out of hiding and experience JOY again! The firstfruits of breakthrough are upon us!
HE IS LEADING YOU TO A DEEPER PLACE OF INTIMACY IN THE GARDEN WITH HIM
In this season of acceleration, that is a depth of the 'secret place' that He is calling us into. The 'secret garden' place, where He is bringing us to life in a whole new way. Mary in the secret garden, asked her cousin Martha for garden tools, so she could begin to bring this dead, dry garden back to life. He is healing the past hurts, pain, disappointments and loss.
We are in the season of the greatest acceleration we have ever seen in the body of Christ, but at the same time, the Lord is calling His people to "come away" in greater ways than ever before. He is calling His people to spend "more time in the secret garden" than ever. For some, it means taking a step back in some areas, and there has been confusion, but I want to encourage you, the stepping "back and deeper into" the secret garden place, is not a demotion, it is not a step back, it's the place of preparation for greater acceleration and increase.
In the "secret garden" place, the people of God are going to encounter His love and the LIFE that comes from knowing Jesus in ways that will bring sudden transformation.
The overarching theme of the "secret garden" is REJUVENATION! God is REJUVENATING His people in the "secret garden." He is bringing His people to the deeper place of knowing what it is to "walk with Him in the cool of the day". (Genesis 3:8) In the "secret garden" place of intimacy, He is uprooting, He is replanting, He is healing, He is breathing life into, He is reviving, He is strengthening. EVERYTHING is changing and will change in the "secret garden" of intimacy.
YOU ARE GOING TO SEE HIS FACE IN A WHOLE NEW WAY
I felt the Lord saying "As My people make room in their lives to come deeper into the "secret garden" place in this season, they are going to SEE MY FACE in a whole new way. They are going to see Me in a COMPLETELY NEW DIMENSION! I am coming to them in the secret garden place in a whole new way. It is time for them to see Me in a whole new way!!!"
It is time for God's people to see Him in a whole new way, and that "whole new way" correlates to how He wants to reveal Himself in this season, an aspect of His nature and the area of their lives that He wants to heal and bring breakthrough to. It reminded me of Song of Songs chapter 2 where the Shulamite Woman hears her lover's voice, but He comes to her in a completely new way. He comes to her skipping over the mountains as a gazelle.
As Brian and Candice Simmons so eloquently state in the Sacred Journey, "He is the searching one, looking for His beloved. First, she hears his voice and recognises it. Jesus comes to her with an entirely new look. It's time for her to see Him in a new dimension. This Warrior-King is totally victorious and cannot be intimidated by her difficulties. What hinders her is nothing to Him. Jesus wants to show her His omnipotent resurrection power, for only God could leap over mountains. Jesus comes as the gazelle – speaking of His resurrection. He is the Jesus that leapt out of the dark tomb on resurrection morning. He skips in resurrection power and the maiden begins to recognise that and He is inviting her to arise and go with Him in that same power."
In the encounters with Jesus that await His people in the "secret garden" place are going to awaken them to a whole new revelation of His nature. In the new dimensions of seeing Him, in the deeper revelations of His nature, the weeds and dead, dry places of hearts and souls are SUDDENLY coming to life with RESURRECTION POWER! Life is going to EXPLODE and ABOUND ALL AROUND! Not partial transformation, COMPLETE, TOTAL, "looks nothing like before" TRANSFORMATION, and it is ALL being birthed from the "secret garden" place.
FIREWORKS OF SUDDENLIES AND DOORS OPENING
As I watched God's people taking time and "making room" in their lives to commit to this deeper season of the "secret garden" place with Him, as they communed, delighted and danced with Jesus, a DEEP, DEEP, DEEP rest came to their hearts and souls. The deep calls unto deep places (Psalm 42:7) were being experienced. His love, truth and life was touching the deepest of places within them and they were experiencing the DEEP places of Him and His heart that they had NEVER seen. I watched the people of God crying, sobbing with thankfulness and awe and the words flowing out of their mouths "This is the greatest season of My life, seeing You, being with You like this.. this is the greatest season of My life" and the atmosphere thundered with the sense of a "marker, life changing moment, nothing stays the same from this point on." All chains, hindrances, disappointments, disillusionments, fears, pain – ALL being melted away in the "secret garden" place of rejuvenation with Him.
Suddenly, I heard FIREWORKS going off all around. I saw God's people looking up and all around was fireworks. Each one declared breakthrough, each one declared joy, each one declared freedom.
It was like nothing else mattered but being with Jesus, the secret garden place. The deep communion with Him and the place of "better is one day in your courts than a thousand days elsewhere." (Psalm 84:10) The rest of Psalm 23 bursting forth within them. A deep feasting upon Him was being had and they were overflowing. Souls were being restored, refreshed, strengthened and healed. I feel His heart so strongly yearning and longing for more time 1-1 with His people in the "secret garden" place. A whole new world of intimacy with Jesus is being opened up for God's people. Splashing and diving deeper into the rivers of His Spirit, exploring and encountering Him with such JOY! The pressure of the battle being washed away by the JOY and PEACE of being with Him.
The sense surrounded me the level of intimacy He is wooing His people into is like NOTHING they have ever experienced with Him before. Knowing and encountering His love in ways they have NEVER known, leaving them UNDONE.
From that place, doors, acceleration and favour exploded all around them outside the secret place. In the place of "making room" for more of the "secret garden place" God was opening up and doing more than they had ever seen, and they were learning to live from the "secret garden" place in a whole new way, a deeper place of rest, to move into the SPRING that God was flourishing all around them, because of the SPRING that was flourishing WITHIN THEM!
THE GOLDEN FOREST PLACE – NARNIA!!!
I had a vision recently where I saw myself walking into a beautiful forest, but the forest was GOLDEN. Everything in this forest was GOLDEN. The atmosphere was FULL OF LIFE!!!! As I began to walk into this "golden forest", the sense surrounded me so strongly that it was a place like Narnia. I asked the Lord "Why Narnia, Lord?"
The Lord spoke to me that He is leading His people into that golden forest of life, a place of ADVENTURE with Him. A place of ENCOUNTER with Aslan. A place of ENCOUNTER with the Lion of Judah! He is bringing us back to the place of childlike wonder! Those who have "eyes to see" like Lucy did, to SEE Aslan, to always be looking for Him with a childlike purity.
He is leading us in the "secret garden" place in this season into the "golden forest" Narnia-like place, where we will experience childlike WONDER and AWE of who He is, and who HE is and who WE are. We are being FOUND in the garden and the forest in the season.
LIFE, FRUITFULNESS and BREAKTHROUGH will abound ALL around. It will BURST and FLOURISH within the garden of your heart and also explode in the natural all around you in your life and circumstances like fireworks.
This IS a season of celebration, refreshment, rejuvenation and wonder!
We are walking into places with Him we have never been, like Lucy from Narnia, with wide-eyed wonder and awe and crossing a threshold in our intimacy with Him where nothing will remain the same. Everything will change!