The Christian Mystic Book

Welcome to Your Awakening – Ch 1 of The Christian Mystic

“We have come into an intimate experience with God’s love, and we trust in the love he has for us.” — 1 John 4:16 TPT “Jesus loves you more than you will know.” – Simon & Garfunkel

“We have come into an intimate experience with God’s love, and we trust in the love he has for us.” 

1 John 4:16 TPT

“Jesus loves you more than you will know.”

Simon & Garfunkel

Welcome to Your Awakening!

I sat in my car at a red light on the corner of Bluemound and Northland on a sunny August afternoon when Jesus unmistakably spoke these words into my heart:

“I created you to love you.”

The relief that flooded through my being at hearing these words was palpable. This simple encounter with Jesus charted a new course in my life as my very purpose for existence had now been defined by love. I went from wondering if I was a lab rat in a cosmic experiment that sometimes seemed cruel, to being introduced to the idea that I am a secure beloved son of God.

Only the week before, I was carpooling in a van with the leadership team from church heading home from a Vineyard church conference in Duluth, Minnesota. I asked them all to pray for me to understand grace. It was particularly hard for me to admit I didn’t understand grace because I was one of the worship leaders! Now God was answering my prayer. God always responds to humility.

My profound lack of understanding of grace and the true nature of God had robbed me of the courage to have children for eight years. I knew I wanted to impart a healthy spirituality to my children that, at the time, I knew I didn’t possess. Within another week after hearing Jesus’ words, my wife and I learned that we were expecting our first child. We named her Elisabeth Grace

During that season, and following, I received many more revelations and even supernatural downloads of understanding regarding the grace of God. I came to know the real Jesus even more. Jesus always perfectly reveals the true nature of our loving heavenly Papa.

Jesus Christ, whom the Scriptures reveal as the Creator, and whose Spirit fills all things everywhere, loves you more than you think he does! As the Scriptures reveal, “God is love… in whom we live and move and have our being.” Our role, as “created to be loved” beings, is to receive God’s love.

“I pray that… you will be empowered to discover what every holy one experiences—the great magnitude of the astonishing love of Christ in all its dimensions. How deeply intimate and far-reaching is his love! How enduring and inclusive it is! Endless love beyond measurement that transcends our understanding—this extravagant love pours into you until you are filled to overflowing with the fullness of God!” — Ephesians 3:18-19 TPT

Awakening

We are in the midst of Awakening. People everywhere are waking up to the reality of this astonishing, intimate, endless love of Christ. We are all in the process of discovering who Christ really is and our identity “in” Christ!

ALL of us are on a journey toward Awakening and encountering Jesus for ourselves. As the Scriptures say, “Every eye will see him”, and, “they shall all be taught by God.”

We will explore in coming chapters what being a Christian Mystic means and make it practical with a few helpful spiritual practices. Of course this book is not the “end all be all” of capturing what it is to be a Christian Mystic. It mainly focuses on the main point of it all:  

Intimacy.

Being a Christian Mystic is about enjoying intimacy with our big brother Jesus Christ and with the Father and enjoying our conscious loving union with God. It is about being a friend of God. I love breaking down the word intimacy like this: “Into-me-you-see”

If you have seen the movie Avatar you will recall these three simple words that were infused with such profound weight and meaning: “I see you.” One of God’s names is “the God Who Sees Me.” God sees you! Jesus sees you!

Take a moment. Envision Jesus looking directly into your eyes and hear him say:

“I see you.”

What does this do for your heart to know that you are known and you are loved? Yes, you were created to experience God’s intimate love and friendship. Once you see how much you are known and loved, you will learn to relax into the comfort of his affirming eyes. Yes, the Way of Jesus is to rest into the comfort of knowing he fully accepts you and has fully reconciled you. Jesus sees you and loves you.

God is no respecter of persons. This means you have as much access to Jesus and the Father as anyone. The scandalous truth of the Good News is that you are now as close to God our Father as Jesus is! For the Scriptures teach us that Christ has ascended and brought you with him! You are seated with Christ in the heavenly realms! Christ Jesus could not have brought you any higher or closer the the Father’s heart than you are right now! If we don’t see the truth of this, then what needs healing is our sight. 

In fact, the Scripture reveals that the Father loves you as much as he loves Jesus! We will delve into this marvelous mystery together throughout the course of this book.

Heaven is working with all of us from the place of the finished work of Christ Jesus and what he accomplished on the cross. The Scriptures declare that “as he is, so also are we in this world”. You are already glorified! Don’t believe me? Read what the apostle Paul wrote in Romans chapter eight! Again, all that needs healing is our sight.

Encountering Jesus

This is a book of encounters with Jesus. In the pages that follow you will read many stories of extraordinary people who have encountered Jesus Christ in a remarkable way. I want to emphasize the truth that there is no such thing as an ordinary person and there is never an unremarkable encounter with Jesus Christ! 

This is not a book about the Christian Mystics of the past, but of the seemingly ordinary Mystics you might meet in any church around the world. Nearly every one of these accounts are from people with whom I’ve had conversations with on my podcast, Sozo Talk Radio. Some people might think these kinds of encounters with Jesus described in this book are rare. In truth, I have found that the more you simply talk with people about encountering Jesus, the more stories surface. 

As you read the following accounts I want to encourage you to guard against envy. Please don’t think, “Why them and not me?” We will all soon enough realize the truth that we are One with our brother or sister in Christ. We can enter into one another’s encounter and vicariously enjoy their experience as our own with gratitude. You are part of the same body! So if something happens to any of us, in some mysterious way, it happens to all of us! 

“Whatever happens to one member happens to all. If one suffers, everyone suffers. If one is honored, everyone rejoices.” — 1 Corinthians 12:26 TPT

Ask God for your own encounter.  He wants to meet with you too! Be patient. It will happen when you are ready. 

Remember Jesus words to Thomas? He said, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.” Jesus doesn’t appear to any one of us to convince us to believe, but he will reveal himself to those who believe and love him. In fact, Jesus promises to manifest, reveal, show, or disclose himself to those who love him (John 14:21).  

We were all created to enjoy intimacy and real relationship with God. Of course this can and will include an actual face to face encounter with Jesus! I suppose that historically this has happened for most when a person passes on from their physical body. But as you will see, encountering Jesus doesn’t have to wait until then… especially during an Awakening such as this!

I begin this book with my own adventure story of when Jesus Christ floated through a wall into my room and shared some amazing things with me. Sound exciting? It certainly was! Following that, we will hear a strikingly similar encounter with Jesus from Brian Simmons whom the Lord Jesus commissioned to do the work of translating the Scriptures in a beautiful unique way in the Passion Translation.

Both Brian and I are passionate about partnering with God to see this Next Great Awakening stirring in the hearts of all. Brian talks about how encountering Jesus ignites a person with flames of glory to change the world.

I recently had a dream about the Awakening breaking out all over the world. In my dream I saw the earth from a distance and a person represented by a flame of glory, one who was lit up with the glory of God and the love of Jesus, on board a plane that flew across the Atlantic. As they landed in a city in Europe I watched as the flame spread. The city awakened. 

I was then shown America. My gaze focused on the Midwest and the Eastern part of the country. The flames sparked up and spread everywhere with some regions glowing with more intensity than others. I became aware that this was happening everywhere!

“I have come to set the earth on fire. And how I long for every heart to be already ablaze with this fiery passion for God!” — Jesus, Luke 12:49 TPT

THIS is the fire that Jesus longs to see kindled on the earth! THIS is what heaven has been working toward all this time! The kingdom of God is advancing. The leaven of Christ’s kingdom of love is permeating the dough of this earth. The Rock who is Christ is replacing all the kingdoms of this earth and will become a mountain that fills the whole earth. The Scriptures are true. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end!

Disclaimer

Everyone featured in this book shares the same Theology. And yes, “Our Theology has a bunch of holes. Two in his hands, two in his feet, and one in his side.”

Jesus Christ is Perfect Theology! Encountering Christ will eventually deal with and dispel our hopelessly confused ideas and distorted images of God that we all, even now, may still retain. Encountering and being in intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, the One who is Perfect Theology, is the Way of the Christian Mystic.

New Wineskins for New Wine

In the coming chapters we will explore many encounters with Jesus, visions, and dreams from God. There will likely be something or another along the way that’s going to stretch your faith. How flexible are you?  Jesus explained our need for flexibility in this way: 

“No one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the wine would burst the wineskins, and the wine and the skins would both be lost. New wine calls for new wineskins.” — Mark 2:22 NLT

New wineskins will stretch as the wine ages so they won’t burst and the precious wine won’t be lost. What is this “new wine”? I believe this speaks of revelation from and of God. In other words, the revealing (or apocalypse) of Christ in you. What is God highlighting in this Great Awakening? What are the various doctrines of his church that Jesus is correcting in this Reformation? Revelation will come to you by the gift of the Anointing that teaches each and every one of us. What is this Anointing? It is the Spirit of Truth and the Scriptures reveal that you, as a believer, have that Anointing.

Jesus said to his disciples:

“There is so much more I would like to say to you, but it’s more than you can grasp at this moment.  But when the truth-giving Spirit comes, he will unveil the reality of every truth within you.” — John 16:12-13 TPT

There is a phrase that Jesus said to Nicodemus that captures my imagination: 

“If you don’t believe me when I tell you about earthly things, how can you possibly believe if I tell you about heavenly things.” — John 3:12 NLT

This reminds me of a scene from a Ben Stiller movie, Night at the Museum, where he tells a security guard named Brundon, “I’ve seen things you cannot imagine”. Brundon’s response reflects my own wide eyed childlike response to Jesus’s words about “heavenly things”. 

“Like what kind of things?”

My imagination is stirred. Isn’t yours? Curiosity is the proper response for any child of God. Jesus is delighted with our childlike response to the Mystery of God. Jesus longs to reveal Himself, to reveal the Father, disclosing all the Mysteries of heaven to those who are willing to receive his love.

So, are you willing to be a new wineskin? Jesus obviously isn’t inviting you into deception. We are out of our minds if we think we can sincerely ask God for Holy Spirit and end up with an evil spirit instead. Jesus put it this way:

“Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? 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?” (Luke 11:11-13 NASB)

Your Father is Good. He gives the best gift imaginable. What is the best gift he could possibly give you? The very Presence of the fullness of God in Holy Spirit! God gives you himself. Jesus is your Good Shepherd who has proved his love and trustworthiness when he gave his life for you. He is the Shepherd and Overseer of your soul and you are in his care. Jesus would never dream of throwing his sheep to the wolves. You can trust him. Jesus is inviting you into the wild freedom of life in the Spirit. 

“This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him.” (Romans 8:15-17 MSG)

Are you ready for the good times?

Prayer:

Take some time right now and invite Jesus to reveal himself to you. Do as the Scriptures encourage us to do and come boldly to Jesus. Let us, “Look away from the natural realm and… fasten our gaze onto Jesus who birthed faith within us and who leads us forward into faith’s perfection.”

Jesus, I want to experience you. I want to know and experience the Father’s heart.  Thank you for creating me to be loved.  I receive Your love.  Thank you for seeing me and desiring a relationship with me.  Expand my heart to receive more of you. We ask to be “under the influence” of the intoxicating love of the Father and Presence of Holy Spirit. What’s next Papa?

Submit your email at www.thechristianmystic.org to download free sample of The Christian Mystic.

What is A Christian Mystic?

A good friend asked me today what a Christian Mystic is. I laughed.

I told him, “You are going to be SO excited once you discover for yourself how adventurous and fun a relationship with Jesus Christ can be. Being a Christian Mystic means you are experiencing God for yourself. You get to enjoy the dynamic, adventurous, fun person of Jesus. Your very best friend.”

Being a Christian mystic is an experience of our union with God.

Paul writes: “I am struggling for you… that you may be encouraged in heart, knit together in love, and filled with the full riches of complete understanding, so that they may know the mystery of God, namely Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

Colossians 2: 1-3

The Bible says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good…”

The Bible just isn’t enough!

The reason I say that is because Jesus does! This Scripture used to describe me so well:

“You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this life.”

John 5:39-40 NLT

I have now come to see, based on what Jesus says, that the Scriptures are far from complete. You need more!

“hmmm… are you sure you want to phrase it that way Daniel?”
“Uhhh… yea, I guess so.”
“Ok. I guess you like getting persecuted or something don’t you?”

My point is this:

“The Bible is the treasure map. Jesus is the treasure.”

Listen, the religious of Jesus day practically had the Bible memorized! Rob Bell points out in his talk “Dust”. In Jesus day, most Jewish boys by the age of 10 would have the Torah memorized. Genesis through Deuteronomy memorized! Those who showed promise as a good and bright student were accepted as disciples of a Rabbi. (Do yourself a favor and click the above link to Rob Bell’s talk). It was these exceptionally bright and promising students who had the entire Bible memorized who grew up and became the men who rejected their own Messiah and King and crucified him!

So yea, Jesus came to a culture well versed in Scripture yet they missed recognizing their own Messiah. They refused to come to, and submit to Jesus. They didn’t “know” him. How different are we?

Eternal life is found in relationship with the Living God. A real relationship with a real person. You are “saved” by knowing him.

Jesus will one day say to all those who didn’t know him, “Depart from me, I never knew you.”

“Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’” ~ Jesus Matthew 7:21-23 NLT

After all, it is knowing Jesus that is the very definition of eternal life (John 17). God is a very relational God. It is ALL about relationship.

What does it mean in the above verse to “do the will of the Father?” What is the will of the Father?

Well, from my studies in Scripture, the Father’s will is found in believing and loving Jesus and equallyimportant, to love others. And God tells us we can’t possibly hope to love God or others without first beingloved, without first receiving His love. So receiving and basking in the love of God is the first step to our love bankrupt hearts toward the will of the Father. So essentially, the Father’s will is to love you.

I believe that above all else God is asking you, “will you let me love you?”

Will we have the courage to stand in his love or will we be cowards that run and avoid and evade him – for all the various insane reasons we choose to do that?

God himself is that supply of love by which we can do what he wills. There is no love apart from God, for God is love (1 John 4).

“God is love… in whom we live and move and have our being.” – Bible

This idea has completely transformed the way I view reality. A paradigm shift took place as I began to believe and meditate on this. All of life becomes a mystical God experience when we realize this and practice the presence of God.

WHY THE WORD MYSTIC?

Well, because “mystic” is a Christian word that describes our “knowing” – our experience of God. Time spent in conversation with God can be something of a magical exhilarating experience. It can get pretty wild and wonderful. And also, due mainly to our unbelief, it can be a very frightening experience.

In order to not be stricken with stark terror and have a psychological meltdown when coming into his Presence, I would advise you to believe the Gospel – the Good News of Jesus. He has already single handedly saved you and it’s not your fault. As one translation of a verse says,

Ephesians 2:7-10The Message (MSG)

7-10 Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.

Yes, a brush with the Divine can be dangerous but you are bound to encounter him one day very soon anyway. Wouldn’t it be foolish not to get to know him now?

There is a quote from Narnia when one of the children asked if Aslan was safe:

“Safe? Who said anything about safe?

‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King.”

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