An Intimate Vision
(Please listen to Craig’s story by clicking the white play button at the top of this post. You can read the transcript of the story below.)
It says the true worshipers will worship in spirit and truth. And so there has to be balance in that. I’m a lucky guy, because I get to partake in all the areas of the body. I have a family of God up north of here in Pilot Point Baptist, where these guys are like salt of the earth, ex-military, like deep in the Word, man. I go, I go and do studies with them. And you can get some things from them that you can’t get anywhere else. They, these guys are like encyclopedias; I love that stuff. I go hang out there with them. And they see the same thing in me. And they welcome me in and they know that I’m Spirit-filled. And there’s no clash, like I’m not going to go walking around speaking in tongues in front of them or anything. But there’s like a common ground where we meet.
And then I get to go to Upper Room and, you know, mingle with those young kids and CFNI [Christ for the Nations] and stuff like that. And they’re like, “Whoa, like flowy, and sometimes I’m like, “Yeah, I want to, I want to tie ’em down too, you know, I want to like a kite, like, I want to get, I’m like, “Hey, man, let me tie you off so you don’t, float away, you know?” I mean, we find balance in it, spirit and truth. Like, we’re the body, man. Why can’t we all just get along? You know, it’s bullseye theology. Like, if I have in this bullseye, that Jesus Christ is Lord and he died for my sins, and that he was buried and resurrected, then we’re unified. We’re not in unity because we believe everything the same way, that would be silly. The Word of God is like a love letter. And that love letter should lead you into encounter.
Now, I could read a love letter for 25 years. Or I could sit down across from my loved one and hold her hand and look into her eyes. And I could do more in five minutes than I did in 25 years reading that letter. Because there’s touch, there’s smell. There’s visually, like, oh my gosh, she’s so beautiful. I’m just gonna get romantic and just stare into her eyes. You know what I mean? There’s encounter man. Right? So the two have to meet.
And this is the crazy part, they both go hand in hand. See, I will never get what the Word is saying, really saying, unless I look at it through the through the lens of the Father’s love. And I will never see the Father’s heart for who he really is unless I look at him through the window of grace. And once I do that, then I can read the Word. And Holy Spirit can show me what it’s saying. So I’m in the Word, man. I’m devouring it, and he’s writing it on my heart. But then I’m taking that into encounter. And he’s making it real in me in these, in, in this. And it doesn’t always have to be visual. Sometimes it’s emotional. It could happen in a worship session, it can happen in a dream. It can happen through a hug. You see what I’m saying?
I’m not saying that it needs to happen this way. It happens a lot of different ways for a lot of different people. I’m just sharing my experience. I will take what I know of the truth of the written word of God into an encounter with Jesus. And He will speak to me directly. And if Jesus is the way, and he is, right? He’s shown it. He’s like, Hey, man, this is it, guys, this is how you do it. Jesus would go out, meet with his dad, he would ask his dad questions, his dad would give him the answers. And that word was his bread.
When he’s being tempted by Satan in the wilderness, Satan says, Hey, man, if you really are the Son of God, why don’t you turn these stones into bread? And Jesus says, “I live on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” Out of his mouth, the spoken word.
And so Jesus is taking that word on the inside. And it’s nourishing him. He tells the disciples, “I have food that you do not know about to do the will of my Father.” Right? So he’s having this intimate encounter with God, right? Holy Spirit shows us Jesus, He loves to show us Jesus. Jesus loves to show us our Father. He’s the gate, man, we go in and out through him to pasture. Right? So there’s this is a beautiful relationship between us and every member of the Godhead, and I want to encounter every single one.
The Lord started telling me something different about visions, you know, he’s like, “Craig, I’m not just showing you cute pictures to make you feel good.”What he said, it was was he said, “I’m actually, I’m writing this on the tablet of your heart. And I’m making this real in your heart. And it’s interactive, and it’s intimate.” Now, he says, “You’re my sheep, you hear my voice. And I know you, and you follow me.”
What’s a vision except a picture that speaks 1000 words. I remember I was praying with Ray. And I knew that I needed help, man. I had some stuff going on in my heart. I was hurting. And I had been crying out to God for a while. And I was like, “God, I can’t see or feel you the way I’m used to.” And I felt like I was getting farther and farther away from his love.
So I met with him, prayed with him. In that session, I had an incredible encounter with Jesus. And in this encounter, Jesus, he called unto my spirit, and my spirit came into the vision. And in the vision, my spirit took on the form of a bald eagle. That’s basically how he represented. It was a representative of how he saw me in the spirit. So that’s not a spirit animal, right? And nothing weird like that. We’re not going New Age, this is just, God giving me a representation of something that would speak to my heart. And man, it really did, like, I mean, incredibly moved me in incredible ways. And over time, it spoke a lot more to me.
And when I would have encounters with Jesus, I would show up in the visions as this bald eagle, but God was telling me through, through this vision, he was saying, “Craig, you can get really high by flapping. You know, there’s two kinds of birds, right? Ones that flap and ones that soar. You can get really high by flapping. But let me show you how high you can get when you soar. And it was him starting to talk to my heart and speak to my heart about what that would look like, you know, waiting on him to lift me up, to lift me up on the wings of an eagle.
You know, over time, this is how, you know I would when he would speak to me in a vision. I would I would experience myself in that way. One day. I’m in a Brazilian cafe in Dallas with Ray. And we’re talking about leading people into the secret place where you meet with Jesus in these visual encounters. And I’m telling Ray like, that I’ve not gotten into the secret place, like a secret place, like a place where I meet the Lord all the time. I’ve never been there. So he’s like, “Alright, let’s do it right now. And I’m like, right here, like in the middle of the diner? And he’s like, “Yeah, right now.” I’m like, “All right, let’s do it.” So he starts leading me in.
The Word of God is like a love letter. And that love letter should lead you into encounter. Now, I could read a love letter for 25 years, or I could sit down across from my loved one and hold her hand and look into her eyes.
He’s, he’s having me ask God questions. And so God will show me pictures of things. And, and so I start to have this visual encounter. By the way, for me, visions often start as just an image in my heart, right? It says a picture of my mind. And that’s a Daniel vision. Daniel says, I see images in my in my mind. So I can have one of those right now, while I’m sitting here looking at you, eyes open, I can get a mental picture. I’m sure you can too, right, anybody can. But what will happen is as I bow my heart before him, maybe it starts to become more visual, and maybe it’s a little murky or obscure. But as I grow in my confidence that he is speaking to me, and as I grow in confidence in myself that I am hearing him, then I start to get drawn more into it. And I start to experience more vibrant effects. And now all sudden, the imagery starts to become more clear. Most of the time, for me, it’s just more in my heart, and maybe some images are a little obscure, and at certain points that become very clear.
This is the process that I’m in, like Ray’s drawing me into that in the middle of this diner. And I’m just, I can’t find my way there. But Ray keeps drawing me in. And he just tells me to just be at peace. like you don’t have to reach out and take anything. You don’t have to earn anything. You don’t have to. You don’t have to do anything to deserve this. Just let Jesus draw you in.
And as I that happened to my heart, suddenly I’m in this space that looks like an Arizonian landscape. And I see Jesus sitting on a Harley. And he’s got these round John Lennon sunglasses on, he’s wearing a bandana. And he’s got a black leather jacket, and he’s got tattoos on his arms. And I’m like, No way, man. This doesn’t even make sense. And Ray’s going, why, why doesn’t it make sense? I’m like, I’m not a John Lennon guy. I’m not a bandana, or a black leather guy. I’m not a motorcycle guy. I mean, I don’t even understand what this is supposed to speak to me.
And so Ray says, “Well, ask him, ask him. Jesus, why the motorcycle?
So I asked him, I said, “Jesus, why the motorcycle?” And in the vision, I see Jesus kind of pull his sunglasses down a little bit and look right at me. And his eyes just pierced me. And he says, “Because I made you to go fast.”
And bam, I start ugly crying in the middle of the diner, man, like I started having this radical encounter with Jesus, right? So I’m just like, and that’s it. I’m off to the races. At this point, I don’t even care, like, and when I cry, I’m talking about, like, snot, then like, I usually need like paper towels, like tissues aren’t gonna cut it, you know. And, and so I’m in this encounter with Jesus. And all of a sudden, I see the, the bald eagle circling in the air high above him.
And the next thing I notice is that on his left arm is like the thing that the bird handlers wear, like for falconry. And he calls to the eagle and the eagle swoops down and lands on his arm. And he’s like, cupping the eagle’s head and like pulling it to his head, and like, we’re forehead to forehead. I’m losing it, man. I’m straight up losing it, you know. And with that, he just kind of like, like, throws me up into the air, and I take off, and I see him. And he takes off on the bike. And he’s just going like, vroom, like through this desert area. And I’m following him as he goes.
I kind of come out of that vision. And I’m just like, covered in snot and tears and stuff in the middle of the diner. And so, I, one of the things I think the Lord wanted me to share was that, Hey, man, this thing is done in layers, and done in levels.
You know, I didn’t really know what to do with that at the time, I’m telling the story. And I can look back and I can put all the pieces together, right? Because I’m standing, you know, hindsight is 20/20. Now I’m in these different visions with him. And man, sometimes I would go to meet him. And I would be in that Arizonian landscape. And he called it my Heartland. And he would like, you know, drive out, he would ride out to this one area. And he would start to show me the landscape. And I would see something approaching. And one example is I see this hot air balloon coming towards me. And as I look at it in the vision, I start to get this like, just tremendous, like anxiety and like, and I’m not an anxious person, I’m not a fearful person. And I start to feel that. And I’m like, Jesus, what is that? He says, it’s, it’s fear. And he said, What do you want to do about that? And I said, Well, I want to break it. And so I broke it off my life in the name of Jesus.
And in this image, I see the eagle streak forward, and just like shoot through the balloon, like a bullet. And the thing popped and just fell. And I just felt it dissipate. And I felt like he was doing this thing with me, which was like, Hey, man, we’re going to patrol the areas of your heart. I’m going to show you some of the stuff that’s affecting you. And I was thinking for a while like, Oh, this is great. Like, I’m just gonna be able to do this all the time. No, it was it was just seasonal. It was just a thing where he was kind of taking me deeper, and saying like, Hey, man, this is real. This is relational. Like, let me prove to you that it’s real. It makes me think of the word faith pistis. The root of that is to stay or means to be persuaded. And I think during this period of time, he’s persuading me of his relationship with me and what he could do and of the supernatural and being in the spirit with him. And he was leading me into more all the time. And so through this entire process, man, as I’ve come back to him, and let him write this on the tablet of my heart again, and again, I have stepped more into my true identity, my true oneness with him. And I’ve seen the natural outflow of that in ministry, because I’m dead, to all that stuff. Like I have literally become one with him through this process.
And so I’m not saying it’s all been done just in the encounters and the visual, you know, you know, the visions. But it was a major part of it. There was a lot of revelation, there was a lot of diving deep in the Word, right, spirit and truth, there was all that. But in these encounters is where it was really written on my heart made real. Again, I’m not saying that’s the only way that it’s done. But that was one of the most impactful ways that he’s done it for me in my life.