THE WHOLE-HEARTED LEADER
PILLAR 2: INTIMACY
Learning to Experience the Immanuel Moment
As we are growing into whole-hearted leaders, and especially as we are maturing in intimacy, we want to have a deeper interactive relationship with Jesus. And that’s why I want us to tap into a powerful inner-healing tool, called the Immanuel Moment, that will take us to special moments of connection and communication with Him. This concept was introduced by Dr. Karl Lehman, a Christian psychiatrist who loves to integrate his personal faith with medical science.
Living life with an awareness of the nearness of God directly impacts our levels of peace and joy. I especially love using the Immanuel Moment to draw into deeper intimacy with Jesus because it’s rooted and grounded in brain science and in a lot of what I’ve learned as a therapist and clinician.
What does Immanuel mean?
Immanuel means “God with us.” We need to know this – not just intellectually – but in an experience that captures our soul and spirit and heart: “I know that I know that God is with me, and it is good.” Having this deep knowing of Jesus’ presence with us builds up our joy capacity, our joy connection. This powerful tool helps us grow in our prayer life, our worship life, and our intimacy with God.
What is an Immanuel Moment?
An Immanuel Moment is a time when you are particularly aware of Jesus being with you. Now, of course, He’s always with us, whether we think about it or feel His presence. Yet, most Christians go through their lives without the consciousness of Jesus being with them. And we don’t want to settle for that.
When we truly know He’s right there with us, it changes everything, because we see our situation differently. We know we’re not alone, even when passing through a difficult season. His presence brings light to our confusion and direction when we don’t know where to turn. A tangible sense of His presence heals feelings of abandonment, shame, and worthlessness.
How do I prepare myself for an Emmanuel Moment?
You want to do this when you can be in a quiet place and can pay attention to unlocking all of your senses.
Where we want to start is to close your eyes, so you’re completely focused on your spiritual sight. I want you to pay attention to hearing, so you want to have no distractions – not a lot of loud noise, not when the kids are running around. You need to be able to have peace and quiet to listen to the Lord.
And then touch is really important, so you want to be in a comfortable position. You might want to lean back, you might want to lie down. You don’t want to be too hot or too cold.
Taste and smell are very much connected. If your nose is stuffy, you can’t taste your food as well. Our taste buds are connected to our sense of smell. You want to smell so much that you can taste it. We want to use our sanctified imagination, so if I say “I want you to imagine you’re smelling a rose,” imagine smelling that rose so strongly that you can taste it. Or coffee – we all love coffee, right? Imagine smelling coffee so strongly that you can taste it.
How does activating my spiritual senses help me hear God?
As we activate all our spiritual senses, this is how we can unlock ourselves into our spiritual gifts, knowing and hearing God through our spiritual ears, eyes, touch, taste, and smell. In Luke 16, there’s a story that Jesus tells of the rich man and Lazarus after death, and the rich man asks if Lazarus can bring him a drop of water. And he’s told, “No, there’s a chasm between, we can’t do that.” That story helps us know that in the afterlife you can see, you can hear, you can taste, you can touch – so, our senses are going to be alive, forever.
How do I move into an Immanuel Moment?
Start thinking about a time when you were especially aware of God’s presence when you were connected to the Lord, and it was so strong and so good. Now, this might have been your quiet time this morning. This might have been the birth of your child. It might have been a time out in nature. It’s that fond memory – “I know that I know that God is with me, and it is good.”
I’m going to pray and ask God to remind you: So, Lord, I thank You so much that You are present right now with us. You love to engage in intimacy with us. Come Holy Spirit. Thank You Lord. And Jesus, just cover this time right now. As we enter into Your presence, stretch out Your hand, Father, and protect us from any distractions right now from the enemy. May we hear your voice alone as we center in and focus on You.
Now just let yourself move in right now to thankfulness, gratitude, appreciation. Begin to thank God: Lord, You’re so good. You’re so kind and so faithful. You’re so worthy of our worship.
Just feel His presence. Just let yourself move into gratitude. Let your heart open. Allow yourself to feel the connection. Thank You for Your love, God!
Now, just sit right there and do that for a while until your entire focus is on Jesus. Then you can pray along these lines: Lord Jesus, will You now refresh a particular memory? Just flood my mind. Where is a particular memory of a strong connection with You? Can you refresh it and bring it back to my mind? A strong connection with You that was good and I knew that You were there. Thank You God.
For some people, it might be a mixed emotion. You may have been going through a time of sorrow, a time of loss, and yet you knew God was there in the midst of it. Whatever it is, tap into the presence of God.
Jesus, please refresh this memory. Give them eyes to see, ears to hear. Use their senses to remember the Lord their God.
Now just let yourself stay in this place. Refresh what it looks like – remember where you were in detail. Let your ears open to hear any sounds you may have been hearing. Take a deep breath and smell…so strongly that you can taste. If you were standing on the beach, you might feel sand between your toes or water. It’s wherever you are, engaging with God in intimacy and quiet. Of being still and knowing that He is God.
Be still and know that I am God. Be still and know that I AM…that is My Name. Be still and know…trust. Be still…and just be.
Now just take the time you need. Let all your senses be awake and receptive to His presence. Remember the Lord and how He was there with You. Let all of that begin to flood back in – all the joy, all the affection, and comfort. In whatever way He came to you at that moment, just be there. Just soak it in and give yourself plenty of time.
Continue to build your joy!
This is something you want to practice doing because you need to have that consistent awareness that God is with you. And He’s not just with you, He’s glad to be there! He’s exulting to be there! Think how having that experience of His joy is building joy in you!
“In Your presence is fullness of joy!” Psalm 16:11
Was this Article Helpful?
If this article was helpful to you, please consider linking this article to your own blog or sharing this through the social buttons below. You will also find other great articles at “Blog“.