Monday 20 February 2012

2012, The year of Power and Presence.

On Sunday 12th, Gerry Butcher shared a word from the Lord. It was a picture of a barren place with oil wells on it which were capped.
Then the fire of the Holy Spirit came and started to ignite the wells that were uncapped, and they burned with a great intensity. This is a very significant message from the Lord.
I don't want to try to add to what was spoken that Sunday morning but I do want to share what the Lord has spoken to me about it.

I saw the picture as Gerry shared it. I saw a large, dry and barren land and the Lord told me that this is very significant. The oil wells were on this land and the Lord told me that just because we can't see something, doesn't mean it's not there.
God looks at the heart- He said so to Samuel:

7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Sam 16 v7, NIV

God knows that oftentimes we look on the surface and we miss out on the potential of what's underneath. We see a barren land, God sees the oil field underneath. We see capped oil wells, God sees those oil wells burning with a fire that is only from Him.

When Gerry shared this picture, The Lord started speaking to me about Elijah, and He reminded me of the sacrifice on Mt. Carmel (you can read it in 1 Kings 18).
Elijah had been on top of the mountain with the prophets of baal, 450 of them and the people had been given the option of going with God or with baal.

Elijah knew his God. He had a confidence and a boldness in his God that meant he knew Jehovah Jireh would provide for him at his time of need. Elijah let the prophets of baal select which sacrifice they would offer up to their "god". This might seem bizarre, but Elijah knew what was going to happen, and that they would not be able to offer a sacrifice to baal.

You can read the story yourself, but the outcome was this: baal was not able to answer the requests of 450 prophets so Elijah taunted them, reminding them of all the things that baal wasn't and God is. God never sleeps, never goes away, is never deep in thought or busy.
These prophets spent hours, begging, cutting themselves, pleading but nothing happened.

Elijah started to build his altar. He placed 12 stones, one for each of the tribes of Israel and built his altar on it. He dug a large trench around the altar. He then stacked up wood and cut the bull into pieces, placing them on the altar. His sacrifice was almost ready. Under normal circumstances, he would now light it but Elijah knew God had a better plan. He also knew that God would send fire, so he raised the stakes. (God is always able, when we raise the stakes, it is no more difficult for God than when we don't).

Elijah drenched the altar, completely.
Then he did it a second time.
And then he did it a third time.
It was so wet that the trench was filled with water.
What looked to be a completely daft thing to do, on a human level, is but a Joy to the Lord.
Elijah prayed a simple prayer and the fire of the Lord consumed everything: The sacrifice, the wood, the stones, the water and even the dust.

The people knew who is the Lord when this happened and they fell prostrate and worshipped Him.

You see, The fire of God is the most powerful force there is. It doesn't matter what we've done, what excuses we've made, what impossibilities we've put in place, God can overcome and Elijah knew this.
He knew it because he knew his God. He knew his God because he spent time with Him.

At the beginning of 2012, The Lord gave us a word that we are moving from Grace and Favour into Power and Presence.
Elijah saw the Power of God because he was used to being in the Presence of God.
This year, God is longing to spread His Holy Spirit Fire like wildfire. He has a desire to pour it into us, to release us into the image of Him that we were created to be.

Elijah spent time in God's presence and God's victory was complete- even the dust was burned up. Elijah gave the altar to the Lord and God accepted it in a way that had never been seen before. A supernatural fire that consumed everything. No ashes, no bits of bone, no broken stone fragments. Elijah gave it to God and God said yes.

It's our choice. We can either decide to leave the cap on and refuse the fire that God is sending, or we can spend time with Him, sitting in His presence, allowing Him into our lives and getting to know Him so that we too, can see His power released.

Say yes. Go and spend more time with Jesus this week than you normally would. There is no better way to spend your time. Watch His power flow as we become more aware of His presence.

Roger C.

Thursday 16 February 2012

Have you met John’s Jesus and God's Jesus?

John 1:29-34

29. The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
30. This is the one I meant when I said, 'A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.'
31. I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel."
32. Then John gave this testimony: "I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him.
33. I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, 'The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.'
34. I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God."

This is a very interesting passage of scripture, the Gospel written by John is the only Gospel that expands on the introduction of Jesus to man at the start of his three years of ministry.

Just to back up, Jesus is now approximately 30 years old and we are told very little of those first 30 years. A very small few were told by God before Jesus birth what was about to happen. God spoke of Jesus as the Savior (save, make whole, heal, preserve, deliverer), Immanuel (God with us), Jesus (salvation), Christ (anointed one) and Son of God. Jesus Although born on earth in a humble stable, most of us don’t notice the fanfare from Heaven that accompanied his birth, the star illuminated the sky, the glory of the Lord shone around and music and song from Heaven broke out, creation noticed and joined with Heaven and celebrated this Life and praised God. That was pretty much it, we are also told Jesus grew in wisdom, stature and in favour with God in these early years. This last bit sounds a bit odd if you see Jesus as God (which he was and is), but we are told that he left all his divinity behind him (Philippians 2:6-8 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man).In this light I can understand Jesus growing in wisdom, but as God it would not be possible to grow in wisdom, where would the source of the wisdom be.

Now back to the day God publicly introduced Jesus. John the Baptist, a man (not just an ordinary man but an old school prophet) introduced Jesus in John 1:29 "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”. John like you and me probably more familiar with worldly ways introduced Jesus as “a solution for our sinfulness” this he could understand (What’s in this for me so to speak). Probably aware of the guilt that we all wear as men and women because of our short comings and failures, John was acutely aware that we are incomplete and walked burdened with our sin. You might say John’s immediate need swayed the words he chose when he introduced Jesus. To be fair to John the Baptist it is most probable that his mind did not allow him comprehend what it meant to baptize with the Holy Spirit and Fire. These are the words he used to tell the people in the desert about the one who was to come, but when that One stood in front of him he called out “The Lamb of God” which was a fitting and a beautiful introduction.

What I find amazing though is how God introduced Jesus to John. John 1:33 “I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, “The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit”. God’s plan is much more and therefore Gods introduction of Jesus is more revealing. Yes Jesus is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, but God did not call us to be washed clean, He called us to transform the very place we walk, to bring Heaven to earth, and to make a name for God on earth. (1 Chronicles 17:21 and who is like your people--the one nation on earth whose God went out to redeem a people for himself, and to make a name for yourself). We are unable to do this without being washed clean though and therefore I gladly come to the cross to be washed clean. Just because we are washed clean does not mean we can carry out our God given purpose.

Acts 10:37-38 offers insight into how we carry out our mission “You know what has happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached--how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how He went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with Him”. Jesus a mere man showed us how, He accomplished great things as a man because He was anointed by the Holy Spirit. When we are Baptized by the Spirit just like Jesus, abiding in Him we carry Gods presence everywhere we go and transform the very ground we walk upon.

The previous blog entitled “The God of the Increase” spoke of Elisha picking up Elijah’s mantle. Note he had to pick it up, note he asked for more and note as a result he received both. Jesus just like Elijah was taken into heaven. Just like Elijah’s mantle fell back to earth, so did Jesus' mantle fall back to earth. It took Jesus mantle 10 days to fall back to earth because it is alive and full of power and presence. Only one could pick up Elijah’s mantle, but do you know what?
All that come to Jesus can pick up his mantle. Remember you can be washed from sin and become a child of God but that does not mean you have picked up Jesus mantle, Luke 11:13 says how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" Are you hungry enough to ask? Jesus appeared to 500 people between the resurrection and his ascension, taught them and gave them instruction. Did you ever wonder why only 120 turned up on Pentecost morning, that’s just 1 in 4.

I met John’s Jesus in 1985 and Gods Jesus two years ago. This time 2 years ago God asked me to dance with him at our Sunday service in Lucan and I did just that, Two nights later at a prayer meeting in town I was so desperate for the life that’s spoken of in the bible that I cried out in a loud voice “Spirit of Life I love you” and just at that moment Heaven opened an I encountered Jesus is a way not known to me. Since that day onward I have fallen in Love with Jesus my savior in a completely different way and seen Him move in ways natural to this world because He made it but described as supernatural because the minds of men can’t comprehend it.

Isaiah 55:1 says "Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. To the world this makes no sense, how can you buy without money. To those of Christ you must participate in the buying process, Jesus has already paid the price so come buy without cost and remember your wallet never ever runs dry in Gods kingdom so keep shopping.

Declan D.