A Battle for Intimacy and the Worship Revolution
Carol Arnott is known for her love of the presence of God. So how did she cope in a wilderness season, battling for intimacy with the Father?
The journey started back when I first surrendered to Jesus. My life was in turmoil; my first marriage was breaking up and I was very discouraged. One night, God came to me in an audible voice, reciting to me the 23rd Psalm.
“Joy bubbled up within me”
That night, I met Jesus. I was overwhelmed by the presence of the Holy Spirit, even though I didn’t understand who He was yet. As I read the 23rd Psalm over and over, joy bubbled up within me; the more I read it, the more of His presence came.
Since then, my life’s cry has been “God, I want more of your presence. Lord, I must have you. You are the pearl of great price.”
In recent years John and I have been really busy in ministry, travelling to the nations. It can be hard when we’re travelling and struggling with jet lag to have alone time to seek the Lord - to really be in His presence as much as I want to be. I noticed that God was calling me, “Come on Carol, you need to give up some other things and come and be more with me.” Here’s how that happened.
“God, what are you saying?”
A young man came to me one day and gave me a set of pearls. I didn’t think I needed them because I already had some - you only need so many pearls! But he insisted that God had told him to give them to me, so I kept them.
I had a dream the next week, where God spoke to me: “I gave you those pearls. There are three strands, and I gave them to you to remind you of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. But I want you to notice how they’re held together, by a big clasp of pearl. Carol, sell all and buy the Pearl of great price.” I woke up, asking Him, “God, what are you saying? Sell my house? The only other thing I own that is valuable maybe is my horse. What are you saying? I don’t understand what you are asking me to do?
Then He said “I want you to sell me the most valuable thing that you own.” Again I asked, “Lord, please tell me exactly what you are saying?” He replied, “Carol I want you to sell me your time. Your time is the most valuable thing that you own. Buy the Pearl of great price and sell me your time.”
I tried really hard to get into His presence, but with the busyness of travelling it was a battle. I call it ‘the battle for intimacy’, I think it’s one that we all at some point or another end up fighting; sometimes I win and sometimes I don’t.
“The sicker I got, the worse the battle became”
Then I got sick. The sicker I got, the worse the battle became. In all of the things I used to do, like soaking, read the Word or worship, I knew that His presence was there. But now I couldn’t feel Him so tangibly as I used to. I searched my heart and sought God for what was going on. In that wilderness time, I kept calling out to Him, “Oh God, I must have you.” There was a real longing and urgency within me.
The doctors in Canada said I had a medically incurable disease. They were going to give me steroids and when that didn’t work anymore, they would cut out part or all of my colon. But I believe in the miraculous healing power of God, so when a friend of mine told me to go to a Christian Community in Germany, I decided to go.
Through a prayer chain praying for me all the time, working together with various disciplines of the medical profession, along with lots of laughter, lots of love and lots of walking in God’s beautiful creation, God healed me.
“What a revolution!”
That was about a two year period. At the end of that time I met Dr Arne Elsen, who told me how God spoke to him 9 years earlier, saying, “Arne, I want you to worship me every 10 minutes.” Since then his ministry changed. Arne is a medical doctor with his own clinic but now he prays for his patients, tells them to go home and worship every ten minutes, and read two pages of scripture a day. He is seeing about 5 terminally ill people healed each week. What a revolution!
“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” (John 4:23-24 NIV)
When Dr Elsen told me about this, my heart went “Oh, yes!” - something jumped inside me. So I got a timer (buzzer) and started to worship every 10 minutes. At the beginning I was faithfully doing it, and not much changed. Then about two weeks into it the presence of God came so amazingly!
I have seen such an increase in ministry and healing as I worship. One of the biggest challenges was figuring out what to do when speaking at a conference. I asked the Lord and He said, “Just stop what you’re saying every 10 minutes and worship me. Tell the people and have them worship me with you.”
It’s been incredible. I have been able to lead people in worship as I speak. People enter in and catch the vision because they feel the presence of the Lord and it changes their lives. So many people have joined in, worshipping every 10 minutes. We started a group on Facebook called ‘The 10 Minute Worship Revolution’ where people are constantly sharing their worship, encouragements and testimonies.
Many people are using a timer on their phone, or buying a timer, and at Catch The Fire we are developing an App for smartphones to help people worship every 10 minutes.
There are days when the worship is absolutely glorifying and uplifting. There are other days when you’re really busy and it’s an obedience thing, not quite so intimate. But ultimately, the Father is looking for steadfastness and obedience. He wants our hearts. Will we follow through? Will we be worshippers in Spirit and in Truth?
I want to put out a challenge to all of you: try getting a timer for a month and see the difference that happens. His presence will come and your life will be totally changed. You will rediscover your first love and passion for Jesus.