The more I talk with people, the more I am realizing that all everyone wants, whether we realize it or not, is Jesus. I’ve discovered that people that have a problem with God don’t actually have a problem with God; they have a problem with their idea of God, often based on the misrepresentation of so-called Christians who say that he’s still counting their sins against them and that they better watch out… or else. The New Testament clearly says that God is Love (1 John 4:8) and that Love keeps no record of wrongs (1 Corinthians 13:5). The Old Testament prophet, Jeremiah, even prophesied of the New Covenant, speaking as the voice of God, saying, “I will count their sins and lawless deeds against them no longer…”
Why do we still point the finger at so-called “sinners” telling them they need to change? This is not the heart of God. Is the Love of God unconditional or are there still conditions attached – ie. Stop doing this or you must do that, etc.?
I am absolutely confident that the Love of God goes absolutely free with no strings attached whatsoever. Is it the goodness of God that leads us to live the life of our design or is it the goodness of man that makes God change? Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. His love never ends and continues to woo the hearts of his children back to him.
In August of 2012, my friends threw a huge rave here in Austin called, “Sound of Creation.” It wasn’t advertised as a “Christian” event, so a lot of people who weren’t there looking for God showed up looking to party… with drugs.
I wore a banana suit that night and had some light-up shutter shades that flashed all kinds of different colors. I was totally whacked out on Jesus and spent most of the night dancing and walking around in slow motion. I laughed pretty hard when, a few weeks later, I found out a few people thought I was on LSD and that there’s no way what I was experiencing could have been God. The truth is that there is no high like the Most High – and we’re in Him. I’m jacked up on my Union with God.
We had a room set up called the “Soaking Room,” where people could receive prayer and simply encounter the love of God like never before. It was a hit. The room was packed most of the night, with people just totally whacked out of their minds while experiencing the tangible ecstasy of God’s goodness. I was walking toward this room, through a small corridor when something amazing took place…
Jimmy stopped me, probably thinking I was high on something, and said, “Hey man, do you know where I can find some party favors?”
“Ohh… by ‘party favors’ you mean you want some ‘stuff’ huh?”
“Yeah man, do you know where I can get some?”
A huge smile spread across my face, “I have something so much better, bro! It’s called the Glory of God!”
He looked surprised and somewhat disappointed.
“I’m serious, man. Look at me – I’m high as a kite right now and I’m not even on any drugs or anything. It’s Jesus, man! Your desire for pleasure was hardwired into your design. It is a God-given thing! You were designed to experience absolute pleasure! The problem with all these drugs and things is that they are phony substitutes for the real thing – Mr. Pleasure Himself – Jesus. God is the ultimate source of pleasure and until you experience Him, you won’t ever be fulfilled. The problem with the fake stuff is that after you get high and you come down, you end up feeling more empty than you did before you took it. Then your body continually builds immunity to it, so you need more and more to get the desired effect. You find that you wake up in the morning with this sense of guilt and shame that you can’t explain and so you take more drugs to try and numb the pain of everyday living.”
Jimmy just looked at me, stunned and totally intrigued.
“Look, bro, we feel high in the presence of God because he is the Most High. There is none like him! Haha! You have heaven inside of you! I am going to pray for you and you are gonna feel it – if you want. Do you want it?”
“Yeah!” Jimmy was totally desperate for something more.
I put one hand in the center of his chest and the other on his shoulder and looked him in the eyes.
“I just release the glory of God all over you and within you right now. Heaven is in you and I bless you to experience the Love of God so tangibly that you get totally jacked up. Dad, I thank you for Jimmy and I ask that you totally overwhelm him with your goodness and show him how loved he is! Thank you!”
Jimmy began to shake a little bit.
“Do you feel that?”
“Yeah! Man! I need to introduce you to my friends!”
He walked me over to the Soaking Room and poked his head in the door as I walked in. He motioned to a girl and a guy sitting on the floor across the room and shouted, “Hey! Y’all need to meet this guy!” and pointed at me. Then he walked off.
I went and sat in front of them, still donning my banana suit and light up shutter shades.
“Hi! I don’t know why your buddy, Jimmy, just led me to you guys but here I am! What’s up?”
The girl looked at me with a straight face and got real serious.
“Hey man, we’re here to party. Know what I mean?”
“I know exactly what you mean!” I laughed, “You mean you want some party favors, don’t you?”
“Yeah! Do you know where we can get some?”
“I just gave a whole bunch to your buddy, Jimmy, out there and I have plenty more! You want some?”
She looked relieved, “Yeah!”
I removed my shutter shades so she could see my eyes.
“Check this out: I’m really high right now, but not on drugs.”
Confusion plastered itself on her face.
I chuckled, “What I’m feeling right now is a direct result of hanging out with Jesus! See? Your desire for pleasure is a God-given thing. He designed you to experience absolute pleasure! But there is only One Source of True Pleasure – that is God Himself! Jesus is the ultimate source of pleasure! All the drugs and stuff that you take will get you high, but when you come down you feel more empty than you did before! You develop addiction and constantly find yourself craving more. Your body builds immunity to the substance and you need more to get high. You wake up in the morning with a sense of guilt and shame that you can’t explain. You constantly feel like you’ve done something wrong and you don’t know what it is. You have this strange sense that something bad is going to happen…”
Her eyes were piercing as she drank in everything I was saying. “Oh my God, you are so right. You are so right!” She knew what I said was true.
“The truth is that only God can give you the pure pleasure you desire! It says that in his presence, there is fullness of joy and at his right hand there are pleasures that last forever! The reason we feel high in his presence is because he is always here and when we’re aware of his nearness, we experience the bliss of who he is because in his presence there is fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore! Heaven is in you right now and you are innocent in his sight. I am going to pray for you and you are going to feel it – if you want it. Do you want it?”
She looked at her boyfriend and then back at me. They were desperate.
I felt the urge to continue, “Now I just want to be clear, here – God is not a drug. He is not just some fleeting pleasure we go after when we want a quick fix. God is a person. He has a personality. He is lots of fun and full of love! Right now, this is an invitation into a relationship – a friendship – with the God of the universe. The One who created all things and loves you with an everlasting love. Now, you are going to get high because he is here; but it’s more than the experience. It’s a relationship that he wants. The awareness of your union with Him is what makes you high. Do you understand?”
“Yes! I want it! Hearing what you’re talking about makes so much sense! I want this!”
Her boyfriend finally spoke, “I have something to ask you to pray for.”
“Awesome, bro! What is it?”
“Well, we’ve been trying to get pregnant but we haven’t been able to. We really want a baby.”
“Wow! Yeah, dude! Are y’all married?”
“Oh! Well there’s a lot of glory on marriage, so I’ll definitely pray for you! Y’all are amazing.”
I put my hands on their knees.
“Dad, I just thank you for these two. Thank you that your love for them never changes. Thank you for their desire to know pleasure. I ask that you would tangibly embrace their hearts right now. Thank you that you are the Most High. Thanks for getting them really jacked up! Hahaha! Wow! Yeah! I just release the glory into the two of you. That the atmosphere of heaven would overwhelm your hearts! That the Love of God would be a tangible reality for you! Ecstatic bliss! And Dad, I ask that you would bless their relationship! That you would show them your heart in everything! I bless Karen’s womb and Pete’s loins! I thank you for overwhelming them both with your heart for them and showing them how beautiful you are and how wonderful you have made them! Do you guys feel that?”
“Yeah! But I want more!” Karen exclaimed.
“Okay! Haha! Papa, double the pleasure! Double the presence! Overwhelm them with your glory!”
They got whacked by the Love of God.
Suddenly, Jimmy walked back in and said they were about to leave. He helped me up off the floor and gave me a hug.
“Man, Chris, thank you so much! I love you, man! Thank you!”
My new friends came to the rave looking for pleasure and they got what their hearts had been longing for, although they didn’t know it at the start. All everyone wants whether they realize it or not is Jesus. He is the Desire of the Nations.
I love how open people are to embrace Jesus when they see him clearly. I am fully persuaded that when seen rightly, his love is absolutely irresistible. We were designed for the pleasure of God. There’s a lot of glory on unconditional love.