In the Father's house, God wants to satisfy us with the everlasting taste of His great goodness! He wants us to experience the overflow of the fullness of His presence as we seek Him in the safety of His house. So, let's explore the Father's house together.
Nine Rooms in My Father's House
1) The Living Room: Place of Prayer, Talk, and Fellowship.
When I first entered the Father's house, the Holy Spirit brought me into the living room. As my eyes gazed upon the decor, God said, "Todd, the living room of the Father's house is the place where My people come to pray, talk, and fellowship with Me." I saw a large sofa and commercials playing on a big-screen television. I realized that this is the place where Christians have a certain level of fellowship with the Father-they sit down and talk to Him about their day, and they let their requests be known. It's where they give God all their cares and offer up their supplications.
Unfortunately, many Christians end up living only here; they never move on. Their relationship with God consists of only talking to God when they have a need. They come into the place of prayer, sit down in the living room on God's couch and flip through the God TV channels to see what He has for them. Their relationship with the Father never moves beyond the place of asking and seeking for the things that they need. They say, "Here's my need, here's my request. What does God have for me? Bless me, bless me! What's God offering me? What's God giving? What can I get out of serving God?"
So many people seem to be completely caught up in their own worlds. They're always talking to God about their ministries, finances, bills, families-the things of their own kingdoms. I've been in that place, and I know and suspect most of you have been there too! It's good to visit, but you cannot live forever in the living room! God wants to free us from ruts; He doesn't want us to camp in one place. There is more! God wants us to move on from the living room. Our relationship is more than just seeking God's hand-what He can do for us. Besides this room, there are many other rooms for us to visit if we are to experience all the places of prayer and intimacy God has for us.
I want you to examine your heart. Think about what you talk to God about the most when you pray. What does your prayer revolve around? You or Him? In my relationship with my wife, if the only time I wanted to spend time with her was when I wanted or needed something, she would feel used. Then, when I had a need in my life, she wouldn't be so quick to help me. A relationship cannot be based on just asking, there must also be a place of giving.
The Kitchen: Place of Serving, Working, and Preparation.
2) The next room that God brought me into was the kitchen. God said, "The kitchen is the place where people are serving, working, and preparing things for Me." I saw dirty dishes, pots and pans, flour and other baking ingredients on the floor and counters. There were aprons, baked pies, and cakes everywhere. I saw a woman running around busy and frantic, totally stressed out.
The kitchen is the place of doing. Remember in the Bible account of Martha and Mary, how Mary was at the feet of Jesus listening to Him and worshiping Him, while Martha was caught up in the kitchen with her work (Luke 10:39, 40)? Essentially, Mary was in the intimacy of the (figurative) bedroom with the Lord, while Martha was caught up in the drudgery of kitchen tasks and was resentful of it. Martha's priorities needed an adjustment!
Jesus pointed out that Martha's serving distracted her from a relationship with Him (Luke 10:41, 42). She needed a balance. Too much serving distracts from intimacy with Jesus, the most important part of the Christian life. The kitchen can be a glorious place to produce fruit and conduct the Father's business, but conversely, it has the potential to create the biggest spiritual ruts and downfalls. We've seen this happen in many anointed ministries.
For instance, I can easily become stuck in the kitchen. At the beginning of my ministry when I received many invitations to speak, I became very busy doing all the things required of a growing ministry. I prepared for conferences and seminars, produced tapes and videos, worked on our Web site, planned international trips, wrote teachings, and oversaw those who worked with me.
I was so busy that I forgot to soak in God's presence, even though soaking was such an integral part of my release into full-time itinerant ministry as an evangelist that I would soak in God's presence four to twelve hours a day. Many of the things that I now preach and share came out of that season. But I, too, got all involved in the busyness of the kitchen!
The Dining Room: Place of Partaking and Sharing with the Lord
3) In the Father's house, there is a dining room with a table set just for two! When the Lord led me there, I saw a large table prepared by God (Ps. 23:5). There were two thrones, one at each end. Jesus was seated at one end on one throne and I was ushered to the other. At first, this troubled me that I was sitting in an "equal" place opposite Jesus. You'd think there would be several chairs around such a banquet table, like the setting for the knights of the round table. But there was seating for only two-me and Jesus.
Being with Him like this was intimate and personal and I felt as if the Lord said to me: "I have this seat here for My children because I have made you to sit in heavenly realms with Me. I want to dine with you and you with Me. I did not come to be served but to serve; I still serve and I have made you a joint heir with Me. All that is Mine is yours. Let's look into each other's eyes."
As I looked at the table, I could see that it was laden with the King's delicacies, a feast, and the good things of God. There was a big, hot, fresh loaf of bread and a big bowl of honey right in the center-God shall satisfy us "with honey from the rock" (Ps. 81:16). There was jam and fresh manna biscuits, as well as the meat and milk of the Word. I also saw crystal wine glasses filled with new wine and living water.
There was a spring of living water that flowed from a fountain on one side of the table and I could dip my glass in and take a drink any time I was thirsty. On the other side stood a large tree with branches that stretched across the table so that I sat in its shade. Each branch was so heavy with fruit that from where I sat I could just reach up and pick one to eat!
It's in the dining room, in an atmosphere of intimacy at God's table set for two, that we can relax in His presence and behold the loving heart of Jesus, and truly "taste and see that the LORD is good" (Ps. 34:8). This is the place where we sit down and partake of Jesus Christ-the Bread of Life, the Living Water, and the New Wine. It is in this room that we experience God's touch, where we eat and drink of His Spirit.
The Bathroom: Place of Repentance and Cleansing.
4) Then the Lord led me from the dining room into the bathroom. He said, "The bathroom is the place of repentance, the place of cleaning up, and the place of getting rid of stuff."
There are Christians who believe that once they are saved and born again, they no longer need to visit the bathroom. In other words, they feel they no longer need to enter the place of repentance, cleansing, and getting rid of their sins and bondage. How absurd it is never to use the bathroom. They say, "I'm just going to hold it; I don't need to get rid of anything." They live with spiritual constipation. They just hold everything in, not realizing they could just visit the bathroom and experience relief.
On the other hand, others live under such guilt, shame, and condemnation that they camp in the bathroom and don't emerge for hours. They are intent on looking perfect. They scrub and wash themselves, do their hair and makeup, give themselves facials and manicures, and take their sweet time at it. You just want to tell them to "hurry up!"
Even with their hours of preparation, they look in the mirror and still feel dirty and unforgiven. And so they repent again and again-"God forgive me, please forgive me"-the same sin ten times over and they just can't get out of the bathroom. These Christians can't see that they are "the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Cor. 5:21) and that Jesus's blood "cleanses us from all sin" (1 John 1:7). Are you in any of these categories? If so, understand that you are the "righteousness of God" in Jesus Christ and that His blood washes away all sin. If you confess your sins, God is faithful and just to forgive. Confess it once and receive cleansing (1 John 1:9). Then you can leave the bathroom and go explore other places in the Father's house.
The Basement: Secret Place of Intercession.
5) Next, I was taken down into the basement. As the basement door creaked open, I found the room dark and dingy. The Lord spoke to me and said, "Many Christians spend time in the basement, yet there are many others who do not want to go there because basements are usually dark, damp, dingy, and cluttered."
It's true; many basements are not inviting, and truer still, places we avoid because of the mess. A basement is often a place we won't allow friends or guests to see, filled with junk and stuff we haven't used in a while. We avoid cleaning it up because it seems like such a huge task. The Lord told me, however, that this is the secret place. It's not out in the open and there are no windows. It's the place of intercession, warfare, birthing, and calling things into the natural realm. Visible breakthroughs first take place in the spiritual basement.
What happens down in the basement forms the foundation for what God does in the world. No work of God can stand without a foundation of prayer, just as a home cannot stand firm without a basement or foundation of some kind.
The Bedroom: Place of Intimacy
6) The bedroom of the Father's house is the place of intimacy with Jesus; it's here that He touches us, where we know the kisses of His mouth (Song 1:2) and we honeymoon with Him. It's where we live the Song of Solomon with Jesus. In fact, we need to prayerfully meditate on this book of the Bible and fall in love with Jesus all over again. But the sad thing is, most Christians don't know how to be a lover and friend of God and so they never enter the bedroom!
For a moment try and picture the biblical scene of the Last Supper. There we see John, the beloved disciple, with his head resting on Jesus's chest. How intimate! Here's John among his colleagues and friends-the tax collectors, fishermen, and tough guys- not concerned about what they might think, but simply desperate to be as close as possible to the Lord. He didn't care about how he looked with his head on Jesus's chest, and Jesus didn't either!
Go and sit at Jesus's feet, look on His face and get lost in His love. Get passionate! In the bedroom, you are secure in God's love and acceptance. All ministry must flow out of this room. When you've been with Jesus on this intimate level, people will notice that you've received something fresh from God. But guard your fiery love because it's all too easy to get stuck in the kitchen afterward as you become too busy sharing God's revelations with others.
So keep feeding and kindling the flame of passion! Don't lose your first love, or all you do for God will be counted as nothing. Why? Wrong motives! Remember the warning that Jesus gave when He said, Not everyone who says to Me, "Lord, Lord," shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, "Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?" And then I will declare to them, "I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!" (Matthew 7:21-23)
God knows us-He knows everybody and everything. What the Lord was saying is that He wants to know us in a relationship, and know us through prayer.
The Recreation Room: Place of Joyful Celebration
7) The Lord brought me into the recreation room and I saw a pool table, foosball, games, and other toys of entertainment. This is the place of fun, praise, celebration, and joyous dancing- praising Him with timbrel, praising Him with the cymbal. Worship, life, and joy- that's the rec room-the place of exuberant praise! Some Christians may enter into abandoned praise at church but never at home in their private times with the Lord. Sometimes I like to put on a few CDs for hours and just praise Him. And it's in that place of passionate, unhindered praise that breakthroughs come.
Such a breakthrough happened in the days of the Book of Acts as the apostles Paul and Silas praised God while they were imprisoned. Scripture says, "But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone's chains were loosed" (Acts 16:25, 26). The ground shook and the prisoners were set free!
While you praise the Lord, not only will the prisoners hear you, as they heard Paul and Silas, but also the demons will hear you in the heavens. They'll flee. So praise! And praise even more! Your deliverance is on the way!
The Study: Place of Golden Nuggets of Truth
8) When the study door opened, I saw bookshelves packed with Greek and Hebrew Bibles, dictionaries, books, and concordances. All the materials were there for searching the Scriptures. There was a large desk in the middle of the room that a visitor could sit at while digging out golden nuggets of truth, the treasures of God's Word. "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Tim. 2:15).
God is calling us to love the Truth that sets us free and to continually fill our minds with the Word of the Lord. "This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success" (Josh. 1:8).
God is looking for those who will dig into the Word and pray for the diamonds of His Word to be deposited in their hearts. Yet sometimes it's more appealing to Christians to enjoy the intimacy of the dining room experience or the bedroom instead of studying God's written Word. But the Word and Spirit are one, and the more we get into the Word of Truth, the more we get into the Spirit and revelation. As we meditate on the Word, the Holy Spirit will cause it to come alive in our hearts and our lives will be transformed. Let's not forget the power of God's Word spoken with faith: "He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions" (Ps. 107:20).
When God sees you studying His Word, hungering for the Truth and searching the Scriptures, He will come and give you fresh revelation.
The Storage Room: The Place of Fresh Manna and Revelation
9) The next room is the storage room, the room of revelation. There are keys in this room that stir up the Spirit of wisdom and revelation. It's also the place where the Spirit of wisdom and revelation opens our eyes to see in the spirit. It is essential for us to visit this place if we want to be fully effective in our ministries.
When the door to this room opened in my vision, gold and silver coins rolled toward my feet in the hallway. Brilliant light shot out of the room and almost knocked me to the floor. Inside there was a large open treasure chest, filled to overflowing with diamonds, rubies, and gold and silver coins-all kinds of treasure. I realized this was the room of revelation.
When the apostle Peter perceived and identified Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the living God, it was as if he entered this room of revelation in the spirit. Jesus knew how Peter received this revelation and He said to Peter, "Flesh and blood have not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven" (Matt. 16:17).
After we've stirred up our revelatory gift by digging into the Word and praying, then in the spirit God supplies fresh manna and revelation, for "the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field" (Matt. 13:44). As we dig in the study room, searching and seeking, then God opens the treasure chest in the storage room and places a diamond in our hand. That diamond is like the Rhema word of God that unlocks the blessings of heaven!
Visit Every Room and Commune with the Father
Just like the psalmist, who received true revelation when he spent time in God's sanctuary (Ps. 73:17), so can we receive true revelation when we've been with Father in His house. All revelation, understanding, and true perspective come out of the presence of God, and His presence is in the Father's house!
So taste the goodness and fullness of every room in the Father's house. Don't limit the time you need to spend there or limit yourself to one room. Visit each room and become intimately acquainted with the lessons to be learned there. Spend time in fellowship with Him in the living room and express your needs; but also remain with Him for a while in the secret place of intercession, the basement. Make sure you visit the bathroom to receive cleansing and to get rid of anything that hinders your relationship with Him. Conduct the Father's business in the kitchen, but don't forget to partake with Him of the feast He has prepared for you in the dining room. Make sure you spend time in a joyful celebration in the recreation room. He also longs for that intimate and passionate one-on-one time when you lay your head on His chest and share your love for each other in the bedroom of your heart. Know Him through His Word in the study too. Dig deep there! When you spend time in every room, the storage room will fill your life with fresh manna and priceless treasure.
As you take all the time you need in each room of the Father's house, I pray that the Father of glory will transform your life just as He did mine! May the spiritual treasures found in each room draw you into deep communion with the Father and the fullness of the revelation of His great love for you.