Soaking: The Key to Intimacy with God
One of the Reasons: That's the place He reveals to you
His hidden strategy war plan and which specific weapons to use ...
.... another reason: His healing oil is richly available in the intimate loving presence with Him. Undealt with wounds attract *flies* ... a wounded soldier often creates more problems, and is certainly not effective!
"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'd much rather run around in a frenzy busy, busy, busy doing stuff to master or solve our problem, firing every gun in our arsenal, per chance it'll hit the enemy. Shouting and screaming machine gun volleys of fire prayer. But like in any warefare it is smarter to get His strategic battle plan. It would be foolish to fire from the best available high spec tanks, when an air-stike is needed. Only He knows the entire battlefield.
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 is 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, Gen. 28:10-16)
Visions (Dan 7:1-3,9, Acts 16:9-10)
Trances (Acts 10:9-17, 11:5)
Out of body experiences (2 Cor. 12:2-4)
Angelic visitations (Luke 1:57,11-17, Acts 12:7-10)
Being transported in the Spirit (Acts 8:39-40)
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 version 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 inner most 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.
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
During previous revivals people referred to it as “waiting on the Lord” or “tarrying” as they lingered expecting God’s revival blessings. Although “soaking” includes waiting on the Lord, in this present move of the Spirit it means much more than that. To “soak” in God’s presence is to rest in His love rather than to “strive” in prayer. As the person receiving a touch from God begins to connect with the reality of the Holy Spirit’s presence, he often responds by falling or simply lying on the floor. As he rests expectantly in God’s presence, often the Holy Spirit hovers over the person to reveal more of God’s love and to renew and repair areas of a person’s life.
As the believer soaks in God’s presence, the Lord takes control and begins to draw his attention to God’s word either in the scriptures or through internal audible impressions or pictures he sees in his mind’s eye.
Why Do I Need To Soak?
There is a deep need in every one of us to be close to God. Experiencing God is something to be sought after and not avoided. While we base our theology on God’s Word, our experiences with God make it all come alive. The Bible is a book of experiences of men and women of God throughout history, whose lives were changed through divine encounter. Your life will be changed as well as you encounter Him.
How Do I Soak?
Although you don’t have to lie down, you may sit in a chair or lie on your bed, or somewhere in the nature alone with Him; the main thing is to be in a safe place so you can be vulnerable. Set your affection on Jesus.
I like to soak while listening to intimate worship music with meaningful words that quiet my soul and help me draw near to God. As you reflect on the cross and all that Jesus has lovingly purchased for you, begin confessing your sins to Him and longing to be close to Him. After a few moments, you will become aware of the Holy Spirit’s unseen presence. People experience Him in many ways: a weight upon your body, an electric tingling upon your hands or face, or a warm sensation of love going through your heart which connects you to Him.
This is how you grow to love anyone, by a series of several encounters that bond you together. It is not only a rational process; your heart must be engaged. Experiencing God’s presence is what will cause you to love the Lord with all your heart and soul. (Matthew 22:37) Humble yourself before Him. Give all your worries and cares to the Lord talking to Him about them. Pray a prayer like this. “Lord Jesus, I invite You to come and search my heart. Come close and let me know Your love.” Let worship rise up inside you and give yourself to the Lord. If you become distracted, then re-focus on Jesus. Remind yourself why you are soaking and listen to the worship music.
Can I Trust That It Is The Holy Spirit Working?
Yes you can. Remember, everything we receive from God we receive by faith. Faith must be positive and focused on God. (Not negative and fearful, focused on the enemy.) Jesus said in Luke 11:11- 13, “If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” The key is intimacy. It is not a program to be run and managed, but a relationship to be maintained,
How Long Do I Continue Soaking?
It usually takes me fifteen minutes to quiet the business of life and enter into rest. But Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath, and He wants you to enter into His rest. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy and peace, so we need to take quality time with Him. You cannot force or hurry this. The idea is not to “get” something but to “be” with someone. Take time just to be with Him; to love Him and let Him love you. If you fall asleep, that’s OK. If you are interrupted, you can always come back for more. You will know when your time is finished. You will feel a satisfaction in your heart and a release to go and get on with life.
Occasionally people can become quite emotional during soaking prayer. God may want to touch deep places in the heart. There are often areas of past wounding where we are very reluctant to go. That is often the very place that the Lord wants you to revisit so that He can bring freedom and healing to areas of fear and pain. It is helpful to have friends and even experienced ministry people in the room so they can love you through this and help reassure you to go ahead in faith in order to, so as to bring closure to these areas.
Is “Soaking” In The Bible?
Here’s some of what the Bible has to say. (NKJV) Psalm 23:1-3 — “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul…” Psalm 131:2 — “Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with his mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.” Psalm 4:4 — “Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still.” Psalm 37:7 — “Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him.” Matthew 11:28-30 — “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Hebrews 4:9-11 — “There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest.” Isaiah 40:29-31 — “He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles. They shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
Psalm 27:14 — “Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart. Wait, I say, on the Lord!” Proverbs 1:33 — “But whoever listens to Me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil.” Luke 10:39 — “And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word.” Hosea 2:14 — “Therefore, behold, I will allure her. I will bring her into the wilderness and speak comfort to her
Soaking in God's Presence (excerpt from the Soaking step by step guide)
• Find a comfortable place to lie down. Allow the busyness of your thoughts to quieten down (don't fight them).
• Invite the Holy Spirit to soak you in His presence. Pray and surrender yourself o the Holy Spirit - mind, body, and soul.
• Focus on the Lord's presence within you. Rest in faith, believing He is working in you.
• Take as much time as you can (try to give yourself at least 20 minutes to start to relax and begin to receive.)
• Get up refreshed and full of the Holy Spirit. Watch as God changes you and the world around you
• If you are spiritually dry, soaking can revitalize your spirit.
• If you long to move more powerfully in the gifts of the Spirit, soaking can help you hear God more clearly.
• If you are looking for fresh vision and direction in your life, soaking can bring it.
• If you are hurting inside, soaking can ease the pain
• If you are about to start something new and need the Lord's strengthening, soaking can refresh you.
• If you are searching for an answer to some problem/situation, soaking can elp you find the way.
• If you carry responsibilities, soaking can lift your burden.
• If you are trapped by habitual sin, soaking can empower you to break free.
• If you are having relational difficulties, soaking can give you new resources of grace, patience and love.
• If you simply want to have more intimacy in your love for your heavenly Father, soaking can take you deeper.
Jesus says, "Ask and you will receive". We are very good at the asking part...but how about the 'receiving'? If we are the ones who are doing all the talking, it's a pretty one-way conversation. Soaking is the listening part of our conversation with Him. It's laying aside time to lie down and listen to Him.
One of the main barriers to encountering God is that we are simply trying too hard. God's top tip to us is "just relax". In Psalm 46:10, He put it this way, "Be still and know that I am God". (Note: this is also Bethesda's scripture 'motto'.) Literally translated this means, "Cease striving and know that I am God". The way to know God is through peace and stillness.
At first we may have an internal Mary/Martha struggle. We feel like Martha that we should be "doing" something. But this is Mary time. Martha got caught up in the busyness of serving Jesus, Mary got caught up in Him. Soaking is not about how much we can accomplish by our own efforts. It's about God's action in us.
Intimacy with God is the key to to fruitfulness in every area of our lives. As we become more aware of His presence in us...so do other people. As we become more affected by His presence in us...so do those around us. By taking time in the secret place with God, we start to walk by spirit in everyday life. We find that rather than striving to achieve things for God, He is building His kingdom through us. "Not by might, not by power, but by His Spirit."