Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Cultivating intimacy with God - Mike Bickle - One Thing Conference 2006


The sons of Isaachar

Isaachar first appears in Genesis 30 vs 17. He is the 5th biological son of Leah. He came into her life when it was thought she was past bearing children, perhaps she thought God was done with her; the later part of Genesis 29 vs 35 says 'Then she stopped having children'. What I found most interesting about vs 17a is that it says 'He is listening Elohim to Leah', that is the literal translation but I did not find anywhere where Leah directly prayed to God recorded in that Chapter or the one before, In chapter 29 it says that the Lord saw that she was not loved and He opened her womb. He is the God of all comfort. God saw her struggles, He saw how she fought to be noticed, He saw that she was ignored, she went as far bargaining vegetables to get a night with Jacob, she used her maid as means to gain more ground in the family home.

I do feel that God was calling Leah, He was trying to pull her to Himself, all through her struggles.

When she named her son Levi which means attached, she hoped her husband would become attached to her. Well, he didn't really become attached to her but you know what God did with Levi - He attached Levi to Himself instead. Levi was the tribe chosen to serve as priests before God in Israel.

God was always pulling Leah to look up, but as we get a glimpse to her background we see that she came from a family where they mixed and matched things up, so she couldn't really see. Rachel had hidden her father's household gods when they left his house, they were still dealing at the level of household gods - idolatry, dependence on other things for help or divination, that was the kind of environment they came from, there was some fear of God but they were not thorough in their ways with God, they were not sold out completely to God, we see how Laban changed Jacob's pay 10 times and how he substituted one sister for another which created the dysfunction and polygamy in Jacob's home.

Issachar was a gift from God, same way Issachar is a gift to the body of Christ, Issachar will always be a vessel through which God will lend Himself to a people, to a nation, to a season, to a time. In Issachar we see God pulling Leah up and saying come to me, look up to me...

Genesis 49 vs 14-15: Issachar is a raw boned donkey lying down among the sheep pens. When he sees how good is his resting place and how pleasant is his land, he will bend his shoulder to the burden and submit to forced labour.

The literal translation is as follows: Issachar donkey of rib reclining between the hearthstones and he is seeing the resting place that it is good and the land that she is pleasant and he shall stretch out shoulder blades of him to bear the burden of and he shall become to tribute of one serving.

When Jacob called his sons together he said I will tell you what will happen to you in the days to come. He gave each son the blessing appropriate to him. See Gen 49 vs 1 & 28

Issachar is a discerner, he may be a nobody, he may just be reclining when God gives him the Spirit of discernment to recognise that where he is reclining - is good & the land is pleasant

II Kings 2 vs 19 "Then the men of the city said to Elisha, “Please notice, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord sees; but the water is bad, and the ground barren" These were discerners, they didn't just give up on the city, they saw it's potential.

What does Issachar do: He bends his shoulders to bear the burden and becomes a gift of service - a gift through service...

What does Elisha do: 'And he said, “Bring me a new bowl, and put salt in it.” So they brought it to him. Then he went out to the source of the water, and cast in the salt there, and said, “Thus says the Lord: ‘I have healed this water; from it there shall be no more death or barrenness.' So the water remains healed to this day, according to the word of Elisha which he spoke.' 2 Kings 2 vs 22-23

1 Chronicles 12 vs 32: of the sons of Issachar who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do, their chiefs were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their command;

There is one thing to understand times and there is another to know what to do. Issachar knew how to do both. 1 Chronicles 12 verse 1 records that David was still a fugitive but they knew that it was time for David to be king and it was the right thing to do to come to fight and make him king.

We see the tribe of Issachar again in Judges 5 vs 15 "And the princes of Issachar were with Deborah; As Issachar, so was Barak sent into the valley under his command"

The princes of Issachar again, they did not leave the work to the lower ranks, at all times their chiefs & princes were present & got involved - rolled up their sleeves and got busy bearing the burden of service. The place of service is not always glamorous, the position of travailing prayer is not always easy. Our Lord Himself says 'A woman, when she is in labour, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.'

Some background is given in Judges 4 about the oppression of Israel under the hands of the king of Canaan for 20 years and Israel's cry out to God, I find in Judges 4 that a lot of the natural detail is given whilst in Judges 5 the spiritual detail is given. I find Judges 5 so rich, it is rich indeed in detail - we can only draw on a few aspects of it in this post as there is so much in there.

Vs 7 & 8: village life in Israel ceased, until Deborah arose - a mother in Israel. A mother to birth the purposes of God, she got up with the princes and willing volunteers.

Vs 15: they sing that Issachar was with Barak (and I don't mean Barack Obama :-), they sing again that Issachar rushed after him into the valley and in vs 18: they tell again that the people of Zebulum risked their own lives

Vs 15b & 16: they sing about Reuben, Gilead, Dan & Asher and this is not a song of praise or tribute but one of rebuke. They are described as ones with 'great investigations of heart' they want to "think" about it 'ones who shuffle their feet' 'who seat on their bums' and the song enquiry goes 'what were you waiting behind to hear - the bleating of sheep?'

Vs 19: the kings came and they fought and they took no gain of money. These are people who did not come to fight for financial gain or reward.

Hebrews 11 vs 16 'But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is NOT ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them'

There is a time when God is looking for people to act, people who will rise up, who will not care about rank, who will not act for gain or reward but who will simply be motivated by their love and passion for the purposes of God, who will say 'here I am send me', who will see a resting place and recognise that it is good, this is a place God could use, discern that this is a place God wants to use and say Lord how do we bring Your sanity back to this place? That time is now.

Deuteronomy 33 vs 18 -19 'Rejoice, Zebulun, in your going out, and you, Issachar, in your tents. They will summon peoples to the mountain and there offer the sacrifices of the righteous; they will feast on the abundance of the seas, on the treasures hidden in the sand.'

God is calling us to be a part of a heavenly fight, As I said earlier Judges 5 is so rich in detail

Vs 20 says 'They fought from the heavens; The stars from their courses fought against Sisera'

When Deborah rose up knowing what needed to be done, Barak and those with him including the sons of Issachar, they knew that there was a battle before them and they needed to fight it. As they mobilised and fought it on the earth. Heaven fought above for them and we know that heaven never looses a fight! The stars describe the angelic host.

I have been trying to write about Issachar for a long time and I knew then in my spirit that it wasn't quite ready until today. I had thought I would write something generic (about discernment, times & seasons) but I realise God wants to be very specific today.

At beginning of this year, God began to speak to me about His Church - His bride, as mentioned in an earlier post I shared this with In God's Company and we responded by standing in the gap for the Church. There were times like Elijah and Jonah - I wondered if we should abandon it through the course of the year BUT you have to remember what God said to you and set your face like a flint and keep going.

The church may not be looking like all she has been called to be right now, neither can we see yet the harvest that a no of us are looking to see in the greater public, just like when Issachar came to David, he was still a fugitive. It is time to push for the glorious bride of Christ to be revealed from her hiding place and for harvest to come. It is time to push for revival. There is so much darkness but that is when the light must shine brighter and brighter, and the darkness will not comprehend her.

We have come to the time in the Church where God is looking for mothers to birth the purposes of God, He is looking for valiant men, leaders & nobodies who will put their hand to the plough and not look back. The heavens belong to God and the earth He has given to the sons of men. God is looking for people who will stand in the gap to push for revival here on earth and as we push, heaven will back us up, people who will stand in the gap for the bride of Christ and pray the prayer of repentance like Daniel, like Nehemiah, like Ezra. He is looking for Peters and Pauls who will preach the gospel, Philips and Stephens who will evangelise the world.

The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 2 Corinthians 4:4

Some of the prayers that we need to pray at this time are prayers of warfare. To disarm principalities and powers blinding people's minds from seeing the light of the gospel and also to pray for the church to rise up & take her rightful place as SALT & LIGHT of the earth. We need to cry out and ask God to intervene as A MAN OF WAR.

The Lord is a Man of War, The Lord is His name Exodus 15:3
Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle Psalm 144 vs 1
He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze Psalm 18 vs 34

Ephesians 6 vs 19-20 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

Acts 12 vs 5 'Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church' vs 10-11 When they were past the first and the second guard posts, they came to the iron gate that leads to the city, which opened to them of its own accord; and they went out and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him. And when Peter had come to himself, he said, “Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel, and has delivered me from the hand of Herod and from all the expectation of the Jewish people.

Acts 4 vs 31 'And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.'

God is looking for intercessors that will pray for the Church, that will pray for the gospel to be spread and that will go forth and preach same gospel amongst the lost.

A beautiful young lady called Praise wrote and I copy her post: Before we are SENT out by God, we are CALLED by Him. Our tendency is to skip the "called" part. And we get burnt out in our mission fields, because we haven't gathered the strength, and the wisdom from the quiet place. How is God calling you today? Is He beckoning you to spend time in His word? In worship? In prayer? In reflection?

Luke 9:1-2 Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.

This is the time that God is calling the Church to His feet in prayer, worship & fasting so that we can be sent out in power and for the Church to take her rightful place in the world.

I believed; therefore I have spoken

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Coming up higher, what is God saying about my situation...

Dearly Beloved as we are gathered together on this day........................k!

Let me come at you in the language you'll understand - guys, here's the deal, we need to pray...

First, I need to apologise that I don't blog often, am not sure if this blog is ever going to be that kind of blog where I blog every day but my prayer is that it will be all that God means it to be and that I won't get in His way (we can do that you know sometimes - get in His way). My deepest desire is that you will hear His voice in all of the posts. I do tag the posts with labels so that if there is ever a time when you need to reflect or study on a topic, you can find it easily using the labels. The "Living" tags I use for items that I feel are generally related to every day life, so if life is coming at you as life often does, come on over and click on a post, meditate on the scriptures attached & get with Our Papa.

Some of the posts are long because they are teaching posts and you will need to do some bible study along with them, which is why I often don't post frequently - as they do sometimes require some depth of study which take time and err well, there's also the me factor, urmm... urgh... will be working on that... and I hope that you will be praying for me as well for loads of energy and also revelation ;-)

Today I thought I'd drop a sound bite on the place of intensifying prayers:

I was reading Isaiah 1:15 "When you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you; Even though you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood."

The Lord had been speaking to Israel on the fact that they held a form of religion but denied its power, they'd been making sacrifices, observing ordinances but still doing evil & not seeking justice for the oppressed. But what jumped at me this instance from the message that I wanted to talk to you about today was verse 15 where God said - even if you made MANY prayers, I wasn't going to hear you... Wow, now that's a thought I said to myself, so My Father, it must mean that under normal circumstances - many prayers do move You! 

Luke 18 vs 6 & 7: "Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day AND night to Him, though He bears long with them?" And in verse 1 "And He spake a parable unto them (to this end), that men ought always to pray and not to faint" - the word translated to faint is literally translated to be being despondent.

My encouragement to you today is keep praying, when you are offered the alternative to be down, get praying instead, you might have a good cry that's okay but do get praying AND also seek to hear what God says. Our relationship with God should be relational - where we speak and then He speaks back. Let's approach prayer as a relational encounter, tell God - Father, I want to hear you.

Let the Holy Spirit help you to pray in tongues when you don't know what direction to pray about on an issue, pray till you start to feel the peace of God and have direction. (We have talked about the ministry of the Holy Spirit in prayer in previous posts and I will leave you with a quote on that from Oswald Chambers on that "I tell God what He knows in order that I may get to know it in the way that He knows it" The Holy Spirit in prayer is God coming along side you to pray, to help you in prayer, where you start to see things from God's point of view instead of yours - that is what the Holy Spirit does - He reveals the mind of God on a matter) He is like Your Governess who comes along side to help you.

Get some insight to what is happening around you and what you need to do about the situation if your action or inaction is required.

Prayer is relational. Paul said "Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But HE SAID to me... 2 Corinthians 12:9

for behold, he is prayingAnd in a vision HE HAS SEEN a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight.” Acts 9:11b -12

The two times described above Paul was given feedback, which were insights into his situation, the first one was - I won't take it away but I have given you strength to walk through it and Paul understood why because in the earlier verses he says ~ this was given to me to buffet me because of the many revelations God has given to me so I don't get proud. Second time the answer was I have heard you and someone is coming to lay hands on you to receive your sight.

You know God is so amazing because I feel He wants to talk about revelation today, I was going to just do a sound bite on the power of many prayers & the place of intensifying prayers but The Lord seems to be taking me to share about revelation - having a living & active relational (two way) relationship with God in prayer (forgive my grammatical error as I don't think relationship should follow relational but at this point "mine" English is limited to that as the best way to convey what I am trying to say!)

Sometimes you need to ask God: Father what are you saying about this situation or that...

Another person I looked at was Elisha, when the Shunamite woman came to him distressed as her son was sick and she grabbed his foot, and zealous Gehazi - armour bearer -ADC (aide de camp) tried to push her away (okay, looking left, looking right, I don't think I have any friend who is in the armour bearers or protocol team so I can tease them today :-) Back to Elisha anyways, Elisha said let her alone God has hidden it from me and has not shown me. First I love his honesty and second what got me the most was that in his answer I saw a man who lived in a place where God spoke to him about things happening around him, his answer sounded like that of someone who God usually tells things to! The literal Hebrew translation to English says Yahweh has obscured from me and He has not told me.

Let's look at Abraham in Genesis 18:17 "Then the LORD said, "Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do?"

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. John 15:15

The word translated to friends literally from Greek is "fond ones" - philos... God is fond of you, He wont hide things from you that you need to know, He will give you an answer, it may be "Wait, its not yet time" or "Trust me" or "you are not ready to handle it, pray for your capacity to handle it to increase" or "I am taking you through school, daughter... this is just a school, you'll come out of it and AM here with you" or "you are in the wrong place, child" or it may be that Gabriel is being withstood in second Heaven by the prince of Persia (thank God Michael came and Gabriel went back to fight him!)

Our Lord will not ignore us when we come by The Blood of Jesus, His word says "Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." Hebrews 4:16

Rebekah is an example of a woman who inquired of the Lord: "Two] children struggled together within her; and she said, If it is so [that the Lord has heard our prayer], why am I like this? And she went to inquire of the Lord. The Lord said to her, [The founders of] two nations are in your womb, and the separation of two peoples has begun in your body; the one people shall be stronger than the other, and the elder shall serve the younger." Genesis 25 vs 22&23

Jeremiah 33 vs 2&3 “This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it—the Lord is his name: ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’

I for one, I want to know, the Lord said I should not call Him Baali anymore and has invited me to call Him Ishi. He is my Ishi, my husband. That is the premise on which I stand, I stand before a God Who desires intimacy and in that intimacy He will speak to me as I speak to Him. He will show me great and mighty things which I do not know on my own...

Hosea 2 vs 16 "And in that day, says the Lord, That you will call me My Husband (Ishi) and no longer call Me My Master (Baali)" Jesus again says the same thing, you are my friends, my fond ones because I do not obscure from you what I am doing.

My Father and My God, I don't want to live far from You. I want to hear You speak as I speak with You. I need a word from You because Your words they are Spirit and they are life. They infuse LIFE into me! They make me come alive, they cause me to SEE, they give me DIRECTION.  Paul's answer caused Paul to see his circumstance in the light of the truth which was he should not see it as weakness but as an opportunity for God's strength to be made perfect, if he did not get an answer he would not have known this...

Sometimes a person could keep making the same mistake over and over again because they have never had an insight into their situation. Esau was passed over because he was described as a profane person, thank God for the Holy Spirit and the Bible because often times we may have an inkling but we sometimes do not realise the extent of the damage some of those recurring "mistakes" have - revelation brings that.

Sometimes you need revelation to get to the next level.

This might be a good place to stop and to take off next time. I had said to some people that I would do a series on some of the sons of Jacob. Issachar will probably be my next one, I have started to write it so hopefully it will be the next post which ties in to this one... The sons of Issachar were a people who understood times, seasons & what needed doing to get to the next level. May the Lord enlighten us.

Ciao Ciao

Till we meet again my brethren! Ha! Till next time guys :-)

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Looking up, don't look down - Give God Praise!

Genesis 29

When the Lord saw that Leah was not loved, he enabled her to conceive, but Rachel remained childless.  Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, “It is because the Lord has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now.” She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “Because the Lord heard that I am not loved, he gave me this one too.” So she named him Simeon. Again she conceived, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “Now at last my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.” So he was named Levi. She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” So she named him Judah. 

After Judah came, bible records that Leah stopped having children, we know that in the next chapter she did have more children, so why did the bible record this? I believe it is instructive, somewhere along the line, Leah turned her attention to God, finally He had got her attention even if but for a moment in time, she could in that season learn to turn to God. 

One thing I know through all of this was that God wanted Leah's attention, He was already in love with Leah as He is in love with us all. The bible records that He saw that Leah was not loved so HE opened her womb - HE DID IT, HE SAW!

1 Samuel 2:8 "He raises the poor from the dust, He lifts the needy from the ash heap To make them sit with nobles, And inherit a seat of honor; For the pillars of the earth are the LORD'S, And He set the world on them."

I couldn't help feeling Leah should have named her first son Judah as I read through Genesis 29

Judah means praise
Reuben means see, a son!
Simeon means heard.
Levi means attached.

Initially I thought perhaps Simeon at first but as I read through I concluded that it should have been Judah, why did I decide on Judah?

Because in her first son, Leah was saying - ah ha, I have a son, now Jacob will love me, see Rachel I beat you to it. Her focus was on the gift and those around her not on the giver, the one who loved her wholly and completely.

Praise is a means by which we connect & communicate with Him - in praise, we are looking up but when we focus on the gift we are looking downwards; and the Lord is not there, that's not where He lives, its not His post code.

Leah was conversing with Rachel through her gift, also hoping that Jacob would notice her, her conversation was not with God. Although He had seen her distress and helped her, she did not respond to Him; her first response was to those around her and her focus was on them but when she decided within her to say: this time, I will praise God! I believe heaven said: now I have your attention, let's get together and for a season she stopped having children that perhaps she would focus on getting to know this ONE Who loved her so.

Psalm 22 tell us that God dwells within the praises of His people, it is so much more beautiful and powerful when our dealings on the issues of life are with God, not man. When she decided to praise God, He responded as He likes to live within our praises, it is an invitation for Him to enter in.

God is not in that outward showy striving stuff, it's not how He rolls. So when we go aha, see a son, He's not in all of that. God will display you, He will celebrate you but He will not bless your human pride or show off. He's not in there brother - that's all on you, you are as they say are on your own.

It is no wonder that when God was going to spare one of the tribes of Israel when He tore the kingdom from Solomon. He spared Judah, for in Jerusalem of Judah He had chosen to place the banner of His name. He choose the place of Praise & Worship, it was no coincidence.

1 Kings 11:

13 "Yet I will not tear the whole kingdom from him, but will give him one tribe for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem, which I have chosen"

32 "But for the sake of my servant David and the city of Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, he will have one tribe"

As the brothers are a type, a foreshadow, it is important that we look at their lives and glean wisdom from it...

Selah - pause & think about it

Marinate it people!

Next time you are tempted to respond to those around you in that fashion or focus on the gift you've been given, look upwards! There is power there, there is strength there not downwards.

Monday, 19 August 2013


As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10: 38-42

In this instance, Mary chose the teachings of Jesus, she chose to listen to what He had to say. In today's life stage, we can say that she chose her bible study, she chose her quiet time in prayer, she chose being attentive to hear what the Spirit says, she sought carefully to hear the Lord's teachings ~ His messages. Mary is one who wants to know what the Spirit is saying to the Church today and to her each day.

In contrast, Martha was distracted from hearing what the Lord had to say due too much activity. The literal translation from Greek translates literally as distracted/pulled about [with] much serving. Martha wanted to know if everyone had enough to eat, if the serviettes were well laid out, if the punch bowl was being refilled, if all the dirty dishes were cleared up and replaced immediately. Martha wasn't a bad woman, she was hard working, she wasn't lazy, she was just busy.

But service must never replace intimacy; service must never take the place of the presence of God in our lives; our bible study, our prayer time, waiting in fasting to hear God's voice - these are times of fellowship with God that must be protected. I heard Cindy Trimm say prayer is a discipline and I agree.

The Lord's response from the literal Greek translation was: Martha! Martha! You are being anxious and you are being turbid-ed [muddled/state of turmoil] about many things. He called her sharply and corrected her, teaching that in the grand scheme of things, Mary had chosen the one important thing which will not be wrestled away from her, the word the Lord used was translated wrested [forcibly pull something from someone's grasp]. We mustn't go running on empty - busy going up and down, running around but too busy to sit at the King's feet to learn,  hear and receive direction & instruction.

When the storms of life come, the busy can not help me but the words of God which I learnt and the revelation which He's shown me - those can not be wrestled away from me by the enemy, they will be my anchor through the storms of life and navigation for safe passage.

Busy can involve so many things, it can be busy with work, or with family or with church activities; so busy that you haven't made time to talk to Him lately, so busy that you have not studied the word to hear what He is saying to you. So busy that you can not say: Excuse me kindly, but I have an audience with the King; Excuse me but I have an appointment with my Father and He would already be gazing out, waiting on me, I mustn't be late or keep Him waiting any longer than I already have.

I got a sense when we set out a 21 day period of waiting on the Lord in my local Church, that the Lord had been waiting and had penciled it out in His agenda expectantly. When we make appointments to keep with God, we are not the only ones with an expectation. My children have said they are coming at this time, so I am looking forward to having them, I am expecting them, I have laid out the table, brought out the best china and my choicest food, I am waiting... Like a Father peeping out at the horizon for you, he eagerly waits for you, to talk to you and hear your voice... 

“In that day,” declares the Lord,“you will call me ‘my husband’; you will no longer call me ‘my master. Hosea 2:16 Your husband is someone you are meant to be close to whilst your master is someone whom you serve but do not share any secrets or level of intimacy. The Lord is calling us to that higher level of relationship, of intimacy & purpose...

Devotion, whatever you do - let it be driven by your devotion to Me, don't get so busy that you don't make time for Me. I am passing by your house today, your city today, I have something to say to you, it would be a tragedy for Me to have come all this way but you were too busy in the kitchen to come out to say hello & hear what I have to say. I require intimacy... It's you that I am after - your heart not just your service...

“Let me never lose the all-important truth that to be in Thy will is better than success, and grant that I may ever love Thyself more than Thy service.” Howard Carter

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Go tell it on the mountains!

I am going to shout this one from the roof tops to you:

Reading an amazing book: Seven Pentecostal Pioneers by Colin Whittaker

It chronicles some of the lives' work and ministry of the following men:

Smith Wigglesworth - The Apostle of Faith
Stephen Jeffreys - The Healing Evangelist
Donald Gee - The Apostle of Balance
Howard Carter - The teacher with the Prophetic Touch
Harold Horton - God's Penman
William F.P Burton - Missionary Pioneer
Teddy Hodgson - Missionary Martyr

I have had to stop reading it once on a train else I would have ended up leaving behind a pool of tears and several other times having to pause to fight back the tears, as I beheld the glory of God that was upon the lives of these men. Pastor Patrick too shared a similar experience reading it on a plane, I am sure it will bless you too!

This book which will encourage your faith tremendously.

An excerpt:

'On Sunday evening July 1914, some two weeks before the outbreak of what would become known first as the Great War (and then World War I), a most remarkable phenomenon occurred. Stephen was preaching on the text, "That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death" (Philippians 3:10). He was conscious of extra power and blessing, and he could see that the people were riveted in his direction but not on him. As soon as he finished, his wife beckoned him to come down from the pulpit; then he saw the reason for the remarkable effect upon the congregation - there on the wall behind the pulpit was a vision of Christ for all to see.

Mrs Harris Williams, a woman who had been sitting next to Mrs Jeffreys in the service, said, "Just behind our dear pastor there appeared the head of a lamb with two horns. Then, as I was trying to get Mrs Jeffreys to see it, the head became a face with two beautiful tears rolling down. The pastor was appealing to sinners and the beautiful face of the Man of Sorrows was enshrouded with glory."

Stephen's version of this experience is noteworthy, particularly for the description of Jesus:
When I came down among the congregation and looked where I had been, there in the wall was the living face of Jesus, with a Roman nose and Jewish features. His hair was like wool, parted in the middle. When I examined (it) closer it looked as though his hair was streaked with white like that of a middle aged man in grief. We remained in the chapel for a long time looking and scores of others who heard about it came to examine. Among them was a strong sceptic, who declared, "I have seen and now I believe". He came in an infidel and went out a believer"

Hundreds flocked in to see the sight, which remained for several hours. Some actually tried to erase the face but failed to do so. One man, John Richards, a painter and decorator, testified. "With my handkerchief in my hands I went and placed it over the object. Then imagine my surprise to find that object shining through my handkerchief"'

Another excerpt:

'The next day they faced the last lap of their journey, twenty two miles to Mwanza. Jimmy was still too weak to walk; porters had to be hired to carry him in a canvass hammock. Their little caravan set off, but soon Willie himself was in trouble. As he was walking behind the others, the weeks of nursing his friends, the utter weariness of it all, overwhelmed him. He had to sit down; then he collapsed. He felt himself slowly sinking - suddenly the almost unconscious Burton felt a wam glow; it seemed as though warm water was being poured over hi. His head stopped throbbing, his eyes cleared, and energy returned. In a matter of moments he was able to walk, then run, and he began to sing and laugh. He soon caught up with the others and finished the journey fitter than at the start of the day. (Might I add that one of their company had already died of blackwater fever after developing malaria on this journey)

Six years later he discovered the secret behind his remarkable recovery. Back in Britain on furlough he was approached by a lady with her diary in her hand. What had he been doing at eight o'clock in the morning on Wednesday, September 1 1915? She wanted to know. He was easily able to pinpoint the day: It was the day they had arrived at Mwanza. He told her that at about half past ten in the morning he had sunk into a coma and then suddenly made a miraculous recovery. Allowing for the time difference of two and a half hours between Mwanza and London, it was eight o'clock British time.

She then told him that at around that time on September 1, 1915, she had experienced a strong prompting to pray for Burton. As she prayed, the burden seemed intolerable, but she continued to intercede until the burden lifted. She was so impressed that she entered it in her diary. At last she knew why the burden had been given to her'

Thank God for intercessors! One thing I started doing this year is keep a prayer diary, I do need to be more diligent in filling it more regularly but so far it has been of help to me. I am looking to the Holy Spirit to help me revolutionise how I use it more. I put down prayer points the Holy Spirit lays upon my heart to pray through, prayer points I have committed or desire to pray about, things I prayed for on a particular day.

I believe the book 'Seven Pentecostal Pioneers' is out of print but you can get used copies below:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, Hebrews 12:1

Monday, 8 July 2013

My FATHER and the little things - He cares about the details...

Today, I am just going to blog about how thankful I am and I hope that it will encourage somebody out there.

I looked around my flat, kneeling down I realized how God had made an impossibility possible and what amazed me the most was His attention to detail. The detail gets me, the care, love and concern that goes into it just bowls me over...

How precious to me are your thoughts, God! Psalm 139: 17. I knelt down thanking God...

Rewind 2 years ago, getting a hand delivered letter from my landlord that he needed his flat and my work contract ending sooner than expected, I wondered how I was going to get somewhere to rent without a job - they ask for these things you see in the UK - letter of employment et cetera et cetera. My lease wasn't up for the next 4 months or more, so this was unexpected, the landlord was moving back in and he was in a hurry... Anyways I remember holding the letter with tears in my eyes, despite having an overwhelming sense of peace and a sense that God was closing some doors so that He could open new ones, I was gonna just be a baby anyways & let the tears roll. My sister happened to be in town for a vacation with me, she's a little voltron force - my sister. I imagine she took the matter upstairs to Papa; and Papa responded. My sister said to me: Lara, God showed me your new place, he took me from room to room, he showed me this and that, your dining area and the place was like this and like that - describing the details He showed her, she also said to me "you will move from this flat to a place of your own". At this time, that wasn't looking at all likely because the Landlord was giving me just one month's notice, I hadn't really looked seriously for a place to buy neither had I thought the timing was exactly the right one for buying - job situation and all.

Anyways, everything happened exactly as the Lord had showed my sister. Even when everything seemed to be crumbling around me, only God's counsel stood as I held on to Him and I moved from that flat directly into my flat. I must add as well that before the Landlord came round with the notice, I had a dream about having to look for a place, so when he called to say he wanted to stop by, I had a sense of what was coming...

My Lord and My God, how He prepares us and goes ahead of us...

I look around me, understanding the details of the flat which He showed my sister, I see the reality now before me. So friends I sing "When I think about the goodness of Jesus..."

God cares about the details of your life, I dare you to share it with Him and to trust Him with it.

As a teenager, I remember telling God on my way to the hair dressing salon that I would like to have a good hair day. I had enough bad ones, lo and behold I would indeed have a good hair day because I asked Him.

The God of all the universe, The Judge of the whole earth is interested in the details of your life. It is true that the older you get, you might have more pressing things to share than hair :) But it is important that you share whatever is on your heart with Him.

He is a God of detail, you only have to look around you to acknowledge this...

Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows. Luke 12:7

Monday, 13 May 2013

sOphroEsate - Be Clear Minded - Keep Your Mind Safe

Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. 1 Peter 4:7

sOphroEsate is the word translated to be alert, literal translation translates as - be ye sane!

Another translation explains the two words that make up sOphroEsate as 'to keep safe' and 'the mind' which we can interpret as keep safe the mind.nEpstate translated as of sober mind is translated as be ye sober! - on literal translation from Greek

I found that the enemy likes to attack the mind and if our minds are distracted, it will make praying difficult. When you find things going awry around you, the goal of the enemy is not just to make things challenging for you but to keep your mind so preoccupied and distracted, that you are overwhelmed with worry so that you cannot pray. It's the relationship that he is really after...

Therefore let us guard our minds and be sober & vigilant so that we can pray.

"He who is too busy to pray will be too busy to live a holy life. Satan had rather we let the grass grow on the path to our prayer chamber than anything else." E.M.Bounds

"No man is greater than his prayer life" - Leonard RavenHill

"When a Christian shuns fellowship with other Christians, the devil smiles. When he stops studying the Bible, the devil laughs. When he stops praying, the devil shouts for joy." Corrie Ten Boom

"Satan is not really after your money or your success, he is after something far greater - your relationship with God! DISAPPOINT him!" Lara Allan Balogun

“Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.” Job 1:9-11

Monday, 18 March 2013

What are you fighting for?

People will often fight for a cause that they think is greater than them.

Christian, there is a cause bigger than you, its not only bigger than you, it is also about you.

It is time to come up higher, it's time for our prayer points to be bigger than our individual needs.

Jesus is asking you today, do you care about My bride?

This is a follow on to my last post. I ask you the question that Jesus would like to ask you today, what will your contribution be in this battle to get The Lord's bride ready for Him?

That getting ready is also individual and corporate.

Guys, it's time to clean up our act. It is time to be your brother's keeper - fight for a cause that is greater than you and a cause that includes you.

Have you come to Jesus to be a spectator or have you come to be counted?

God has hidden His treasure in us earthen vessels - in His children. Every Christian has a great treasure within them, every Christian is a superstar, none is a celebrity. We may have leaders but we do not have mega stars among us. Each of us is carrying something of tremendous value on the inside of us as long as the Holy Spirit is within us.

Jesus has sent me to ask you today, if you will fight for His bride, His church.

We do not fight as men fight for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty to the pulling down of strongholds. I pray that you will catch the fire of God and the rain of revival will fall on you. And that as people cross your path you will set them on fire for Jesus.

The good news in this battle is we already know the outcome - the war has been won but the battle will be fought, and each warrior will determine for themselves if they choose to be swept away in the battle or if they will stand with the winning side.

Arise, shine for your light has come and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the people, but the Lord arises upon you and His glory appears over you. Nations will come to the light and kings to the brightness of your dawn.

It is at the time of great darkness that the light shines brighter and brighter. The Bible says that the light shines out of the darkness and the darkness comprehended it not.

Where can you start from you might ask, start from prayer and start from a place of repentance. Start making intercession for the body of Christ. Start interceding for yourself.

This is the call.

We meet on our prayer line at 8.30PM GMT on Thursdays. We have UK, US, Norway, Canada dial in numbers as well as other countries (Nigeria we do not have a dial in for at the moment). If you would like to join us as we make intercession for the body of Christ on Thursdays and as the Spirit of God leads us to pray The Father's will, send me a message with your email address, country and time zone; so that we can add your email to our invite list & include dial in details for your location. We would like to invite those of you that have decided to answer His call to say yes, I will stand up and be counted. I am going to place my needs on the shelf for a while and sow this time into the Lord's burden and as I behold Him - I will be transformed.

Some of you may feel led to get your own group of friends - believers together to start the same thing, I encourage you to do so. Some will feel led to gather together in a place to do the same thing - I encourage you to do so.

When you start to make intercession, you can start from praying in the Holy Spirit - in tongues if you don't know what particular point to start from and He will lead you as you should pray in English or your local dialect.

We also try to commit our meetings and our worship in advance to the Lord that we may do all of the Father's will. Whoever will be facilitating the line and worship, we come together in advance before we start to commit to God.

I pray that as you heed the call, the lesser things will no longer consume you and hold you ransom and that your love for each other - the body of Christ will cover a multitude of sins that we may dwell in unity and harmony as the Father intended & go on to fulfill the call of God as each one becomes a champion for the Father & Son's heart.

Thank you and God Bless.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

For the friends of The Bridegroom...

Grandma asked me to go help my brother find a job. I said to my friend standing next to me 'not sure this woman knows that I have my own problems; with all of the issues on my plate now, she wants me to help him find a job?'

Nevertheless, I went looking for him...

I was surprised when I found him living in the servants quarters, I found him in a room that wasn't so nice, his physical condition was really bad, he was pencil skinny, he looked malnourished, his clothes were in tatters, he had on a pair of shorts and top, they looked like rags. He had someone with him, which I came to understand was his personal assistant. My brother, who looked like a famine and a tsunami had walked through his life, had a personal assistant. This personal assistant was robust, he had on a nice looking print shirt and a pair of trousers - he was well dressed - definitely very healthy looking. He spoke very flamboyantly, I guess you could say that he pontificated... He had a lot of confidence in himself, he boasted and put himself forward, it was kind of like - he beat on his chest saying 'I am PA, hear me roar!' Whilst I was still getting my head around why my brother who looked like he hadn't eaten in a year or changed his clothes in six or have two pennies to rub together had a PA?! I saw sadly that he seemed to have a lot of trust in this PA of his, had a lot of confidence in the PA's abilities and saddest was that he couldn't see himself. My brother couldn't see that he was wretched...

You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realise that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. Rev 3:17

I woke up and my first thought was - what's going on, is my brother Moby alright? But as I shared with In God's Company on the prayer line, I knew it couldn't be Moby- first Moby is not skinny - he would have a go at me for saying that, plus it didn't even look like him. And then it hit me (I have had a series of dreams about this person) I realised who it was and when I realised what God was asking - my next thought was fear! Fear, because I didn't think I was up to the task but you know what, I may not be, In God's Company members may not be but Christ is and it is He who lives and works in us to do according to all of His good pleasure.

If the revelation of God's plan produces fear then the revelation of God's power produces FAITH.

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the exceeding greatness of the power may be of God, and not from ourselves; 2 Corinthians 4:7

Jesus has a bride and her name is called the Church. He is The Bridegroom and He needs His friends to get her ready.

Luke 1:17 'And he will go before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous - TO MAKE READY A PEOPLE PREPARED FOR THE LORD.'

The above was written about John the Baptist, he was a true friend of The Bridegroom. My question to you today, if you are christian and reading this, what is your position? Are you a friend of The Bridegroom?

The friend of The Brigegroom is one who attends to the Bridegroom, he waits and listens for Him and is full of joy when he hears The Bridegroom's voice. He says my joy is complete when I hear The Bridegroom's voice. The friend says He must be greater, I MUST become less. John 3: 29-20

The friend has no agenda of His own at the wedding, the bride belongs to The bridegroom and his job is to prepare the way for The Bridegroom. Get things ready for His arrival, sets the stage and gets the bride ready for her Groom.

The dream I had was about the Church, the man in tattered clothes is the Church, the PA are the add ons, the lesser things - tools to assist, aid in some way - which have taken over the weightier things. Majoring on the minor, we have minored on the major...

Some of us know these things - we know things are not as they should be, we know things are not right but we say: well, what can we really do?

Well, here is what we can do. We can do what they did in Barvas on the Island of Lewis during the Lewis awakening; we can do what Daniel did in Daniel 9:4-19.

The answer to the question of what they did is: they prayed, they interceded, they called on The One greater than them. Daniel stood in the gap for Israel, confessed her sins and petitioned God in fasting. In Barvas, they turned to prayer, two old ladies (one blind) 82 and 84 years old were some of those people who took the call of God to heart - what is your excuse? what is my excuse?

With our ministry In God's Company, we recognise that this is our primary assignment for now - intercession for the body of Christ. We are a group of friends who come together on the telephone lines once every week to pray, we belong to different churches, we live across different countries, some of us have never met each other and we are few in number BUT CHRIST IS MIGHTY IN US.

I ask you today as the local presbytery did on the Island of Lewis: Consider now the low estate of the church - the body of Christ. And ask yourself if you truly love Him, what will your contribution be?

Let me tell you one thing, when we stand on behalf of the body of Christ before God, we are standing for OURSELVES, we are not doing anyone any favours. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. We do not presume to be holy, we stand on the blood of Jesus and we say Bridegroom - we are here to do Your will. Judgement will begin with the household of God, if revival & harvest in the greater public must come, God will clean up His bride first. I pray that we will not get swept away in the clean up. The Bible says to us to judge ourselves so that we are not judged. The Bible also says God disciplines the one that He loves and chastises the one that He receives. He must chastise you if He is to receive you. Do not allow the chastening of the Lord to be grievous to your soul because that can be a sister to pride. And we know where pride leads to...

I have told you what I saw & heard and I know that it is true.

I recommend two books to you that have been such a blessing to me in recent times: Visions of the harvest and The Harvest by Rick Joyner (I recommend the 25th anniversary editions). One of the most important books I believe I have ever read after the Bible is The Final Quest also by Rick Joyner, I read it over 10 years ago. It is in a series of 3 books, The Final Quest is the 1st one, after which The Call and then The Torch and The Sword. Right now He is writing the 4th and yippee I get an extract of it every month or so - because I subscribe to the Morning Star Journal - this is different from the weekly word for the week - should you be interested, you will need to subscribe to journal.

I personally believe that the body of Christ needs to return to proper & regular corporate prayer - serious worship & tarrying before the Lord. We are always in a hurry, everything is scripted, I pray we don't write God out of our scripts. We need prayer meetings where people are on their faces on the floor before God, not the one where you walk in and out leisurely - chew gum, buy drink, text a friend, go out, come back. There is a place for conferences & corporate meetings so please don't get me wrong but there is another place for tarrying before the Lord, and there ain't nothing old school about it. God responds to hunger. See, I went to a boarding school where at the time, students were not allowed to have their own Christian meetings. Yes, we suffered persecution and we were only between the ages of approximately 12 to 17 years old. Let me tell you how we met sometimes - somebody got the key for the home economics room from a teacher who was Christian if my memory serves me well, and we would sneak off at night, we could not turn on the lights in the room so as not to get caught, we met to worship, pray & share testimonies to encourage each other - we couldn't see ourselves in the dark - so pls tell me if you can text your friend in there or really if you can chew gum? We met in the dining room after people were done eating late at night sometimes, we used the choir practice meetings which we were allowed to have as an opportunity for also tarrying before the Lord. I had some friends, we were prayer partners, we would go into the wooded areas of the school, very quiet, to pray - especially to intercede and we did not just go for a few minutes. I would do you a disservice not to tell you the truth. We were children but we paid a price for His glory. In many of those meetings, we would feel the tangible presence of God, nobody laid hands on me when we put on a tape of a preacher preaching in one of those meetings and as soon as the man's voice boomed from the tape, I blacked out under His glory. When His glory hoovers over a place, no one needs to lay hands much for people to know God is there. I would do the new Christians today a disservice if I did not share these things because I am not sure how much opportunity they have been given in recent times to truly experience God for themselves within corporate settings. The individual walk & tarrying is extremely important and so is the corporate one.

Jesus said 'my house shall be called a house of prayer' See Matthew 21:13 M

In beholding His glory - herein we are being transformed - that is what the presence of the Lord does, it changes you. That is why prayer & worship are important. We have lambs among us, that the sheep must lead into the Shepherd's presence. I don't think it is good enough that we pray individually only, just as it is not good enough that we only pray corporately.

There are divers gifts within each of us, that when we come together like that, the Lord speaks and we bless one another, we miss out when we can not come together. Do not forsake the assembling of the saints - this  also means an assembling of the gifts God has placed in each of us - the gifts need to come together to form one whole so we can truly function as a wholesome body.

Thank you for reading and God bless you.

Monday, 18 February 2013


"Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many." 1 Corinthians 12 vs 12-14

Rewind to Exodus 26 vs 1-6
"Moreover you shall make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine woven linen and blue, purple, and scarlet thread; with artistic designs of cherubim you shall weave them. The length of each curtain shall be twenty-eight cubits, and the width of each curtain four cubits. And every one of the curtains shall have the same measurements. Five curtains shall be coupled to one another, and the other five curtains shall be coupled to one another. And you shall make loops of blue yarn on the edge of the curtain on the selvedge of one set, and likewise you shall do on the outer edge of the other curtain of the second set. Fifty loops you shall make in the one curtain, and fifty loops you shall make on the edge of the curtain that is on the end of the second set, that the loops may be clasped to one another. And you shall make fifty clasps of gold, and couple the curtains together with the clasps, so that it may be ONE TABERNACLE."

I encourage you to read the entire chapter of Exodus 26 and you will see the pattern across the tabernacle structure as being made up of:
  1. Many Parts 
  2. Same/Equal Measurements 
  3. Coupled/Joint Together to Make ONE WHOLE 
The Holy Spirit opened my understanding to see that the pattern of the tabernacle represents the body of Christ - the intricacy of multiples, equality and joining. It was a shadow of you & I to come.

Colossians 2:17 'These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ'
Hebrews 10:1 'The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming-not the realities themselves'

Like the tabernacle, we are made of many parts and we must be careful to understand that though many parts, we are of equal importance just as the curtains were made up of the equal measurements; and that it is only when joined together (unity- just as the various bits of the tabernacle were joined together, can we make one whole and be as truly effective as we should be.

The Lord said to Moses in Exodus 25 vs 8-9 "Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you." Hebrews 8:5b This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: "See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain."

For God to have a sanctuary that He will dwell in and carry out His work according to His pattern, there must be UNITY and there must be LOVE. It is the love that will bind us together. Sometimes we wonder why we are not making as much impact as we ought? Then we should ask ourselves the question is the tabernacle according to His pattern?

On unity, the Lord says in Psalm 133: How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down on the collar of his robe. It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the Lord bestows His blessing, even life forevermore.

I once heard Francis Frangipane aptly say: Hell came out of a split in Heaven!!

Does that bring it home to you? If so, then why do we have so many church splits - why do we so easily divide, why do we have divisions among ourselves - divisions such that we don't care about the other anymore, divisions so great that we stop relating to one another, divisions so wide that we can no longer bear each other, even though we say we profess the same Lordship of Jesus? I am not referring to when a member leaves a ministry to focus on functioning under another ministry umbrella as they are instructed by God, that is different - we should bless them, send them on their way & let them flow in the calling to which God has called them.

Lack of unity is evident when we see the attitude Paul talks about in 1 Corinthians 12: 21-24

When we can say to each other 'I don't need you', when we don't give any honor to certain members because we feel they don't hold an important enough office - what do they know? They don't know anything - so we treat them shabbily, when we have no concern for or about other members because well, we don't really know them that well, when we are not concerned when one of us is suffering. When one of us falls, we should all be concerned, when one of us is dishonored - it is not the time to pull them down, join the world and scorn them but we must be concerned for them, because if one of us suffers dishonor then we all suffer dishonor!

It is like a mother teaching her children a simple rule - drumming it into their ears saying that 'you must be one', such that they are not easily disposed to back bite each other, they do not encourage people to tattletale on them to each other - it's just not how they roll in their family. When they have disagreements  - people outside the family do not hear about it, if they ever were to hear - it would be a close friend to the family whom they know genuinely loves the family & is able to call the other to order if at all necessary. If one of them has a problem, they all rally round, make contributions & help. They do not compete against each other, for them life is not a competition - they have a logic that says if one of us does well - then we have all done well and if we all do well - then life will be easier for us all around - so they rally, they support; And because they love, they want to see the other succeed and smile. That is what a close knit family looks like, we need to look at ourselves & at the body of Christ and ask the question 'Is that what we look like? Is that what I look like?' How do I get myself to look like that? What is my contribution to the body of Christ to get us looking like that?

"The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it."

On Love, Paul says at the end of 1 Corinthians 12: 31b 'And yet I will show you a MORE excellent way' After which he went on to teach in chapter 13,on what love is - the AGAPE kind of love. It is not a love which is based on the touchy feely, it is a love which values - that is the value that you place on the other. A value which says because I value you and this relationship - therefore I will not behave or react in a way that will risk our relationship because you are valuable to me.

Proverbs 19:11 "A man's wisdom gives him patience and it is his glory to overlook an offence."
1 Peter 4:8 "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins."
John 13:35 "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

God is looking for a tabernacle (BODY) in which to dwell which is unified, He is looking for a tabernacle (BODY) that is closely knit together in love to function through. "Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You prepared for Me;" Hebrews 10:7

We as Christians want to reach the world and the Lord is saying if we love each other, the world will know that He sent us - that we are His disciples. Charity begins at home. How well do we love each other?

The Lord has been speaking to me about us - about His body, He wants unity, let it become a thing of the past where we crucify each other, where we stand with the world and satan to pull each other down, fighting and biting each other.

He wants us to learn to love one another - not with a superficial kind of love but an agape love. It is interesting to note that when the Lord spoke to Peter in John 21, He asked do you AGAPE me, Peter at the time replied I PHILEO you. Phileo is not the same as agape, Phileo is affection/tenderness, whilst the strength of agape is in DEMONSTRATION, Agape is a love which is demonstrated - that's why when Peter said he loved Him - the Lord said feed my sheep, feed my lambs, shepherd my sheep - invariably he was saying demonstrate your love. If you take care of them (each other) (minister to each other) then you love me

How do you demonstrate your love to God through His body?

One of the ways that God has been encouraging us to show our love for each other in recent times in our ministry In God's Company - on the prayer line is to pray for each other by praying for our pastors, interceding for the body of Christ, you can set aside as a start a day in the week where you focus on these two prayer points - for the body of Christ to grow in love and unity and as God lays on your heart, for your local Church/fellowship leadership, knowing that their success is your success, their shame is your shame.

I remember the brownie guide law: a guide thinks of others before herself and does a good turn every day. It was drilled down into us so much as children such that if you were offered cakes, you would usually take the smallest piece, you would ask others to make their choice before you, you would share your piece of cake easily if you had just the one, you would not eat without offering some of your food to others if they didn't have something on their plates. We sought opportunities to do a good turn, we went on what we called 'bob-a-job' round the estate where my brownie club was, asking to clean and do some house chores.

When is the last time you sought an opportunity to be of service to another? Your friend who is out of work or business not doing good and you know things are really tight for them - have you considered slipping them a tenner or topping up their oyster travel card, your single friend - when was the last time you called them just because - to make sure they are not entirely on their own or invited them over for dinner, your single mother friend - when have you offered your services to babysit so she could have a night out, the elderly grandma whose kids are abroad - when did you last check in on her? When was the last time someone came to you with the hottest gossip about the sister in Church who wears the really short skirts and you excused yourself or simply said 'you've got to learn to love her just as she is'. When was the last time a man of God was accused of something, embarrassed, mocked and vilified by the world and you wept?

And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. Matthew 24:12

Let's think about these things, is our love waxing cold?


Monday, 4 February 2013

How do we get to the EXCEL Center??

I had a dream which I wanted to share: I was given a choice between my 5 year old daughter and myself getting us to the Excel center. Of course I did not choose my 5 year old daughter, except well if I did not really want to get to the Excel center.

The Lord has been speaking to me a lot lately using this type - a young daughter.

The Lord helped me to understand that it is just as pointless in life taking over the issues of life instead of letting and trusting Him, that would be the same as choosing a five year old girl to lead me to a destination over myself - an adult who knows where the Excel center is and understands that I need the DLR train or a car or bus to get there, not a plastic scooter, helicopter or fairy wings :))

He let me see the disparity between my point of view and His. Mostly He wanted me to be aware of His competence, He came to reassure, to give understanding and clarity of vision.

For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so My ways are higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:9

It is not that the Lord needs to stamp and roar, it is basically a statement of the fact. It is a statement sent to give perspective. JESUS said learn of Me for I am meek and lowly in heart so I know my Lord enough to understand that He wasn't trying to stamp and roar but that rather He was pointing me to a basic truth using an example that I could understand. He knew that if I could get hold of this truth, the picture of life would be clearer.

I believe God wants somebody out there reading this to understand this truth: God's wisdom is as far removed from yours as much as a five year old's in getting you to the Excel center in comparison to yours and as high as the heavens to the earth.

God does not do things randomly, he does them because He is wise and has an understanding which we don't have.

It is a simple analogy but the Lord was very clear - I didn't just dream of having to make the choice, He clearly told me: well, this is the difference between me and You - it is that simple.

Selah - pause and think about it.