Monday 13 August 2012

The Providence of God

You may not know but our blogs are read in over 50 different countries around the world, so I want to share with you a little of what God is doing in me and my family, Trinity Church Network, Dublin, Ireland.

Our Sunday morning expression of the love of God and our love for God has been amazing this past year. Our fellowship has being going through a difficult time this past two years or more but I find it so amazing and special to behold what God is doing in our midst. From one that did not enjoy yet attended our church so regularly over the last 20 years in particular I find myself in awe of God today and longing for what He is doing amongst us in these days. To hear our speaker thank all for contributing to our service yesterday was a treat to my heart and my spirit became one with Andy’s words, our morning was beautiful. Many more could have shared on the morning and indeed one has already shared by email afterward.

I wanted to share a verse about Hezekiah but time did not allow for it, so I will share it now and fill in what God is speaking into me in these momentous days. Our speaker spoke for a short time on Paul and Silas in Acts 16, about working with the Holy Spirit and seeing whole families restored in relationship with God. It was so short the message but punched way above its weight, it was powerful. God did amazing things because two men were obedient. What I wanted to share was similar to what our speaker shared and this really encouraged me.

Hezekiah had called the people of Israel to celebrate the Passover “out of season” because a sufficient number of priests had not consecrated themselves, nor had the people gathered together at Jerusalem. A Passover had not been celebrated for some time as the people’s hearts were away from God. As Hezekiah’s messenger called the people to attend many laughed and did not come, yet others came. Taking up the story in 2 Chronicles 30:17-20 we read:

“17 Since many in the crowd had not consecrated themselves, the Levites had to kill the Passover lambs for all those who were not ceremonially clean and could not consecrate [their lambs] to the LORD. 18 Although most of the many people who came from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun had not purified themselves, yet they ate the Passover, contrary to what was written. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, "May the LORD, who is good, pardon everyone 19 who sets his heart on seeking God--the LORD, the God of his fathers--even if he is not clean according to the rules of the sanctuary." 20 And the LORD heard Hezekiah and healed the people”. NIV

Not only had Hezekiah “broken the rules” so to speak with the timing of the feast, but he dared to ask the Lord to pardon the people as they were not ceremonially clean to participate in the feast, and he believed in his God and knew and spoke pardon over the people again “breaking the rules” and declared that all those who set their hearts on seeking the Lord would be healed. Yes the Lord responded to his prayer and pardoned those who sought the Lord. That which was opposed to the people was broken off by one man Hezekiah, his faith in God and the boldness of his words. Hezekiah stepped into the prompting of the Spirit of the Lord and caused the Lord to break the chains off his people.

Hezekiah stepped in just as we heard Paul and Silas stepped into the Holy Spirits promptings in Acts 16 as we heard yesterday. All who attended our meeting yesterday and any of our church meetings are like the ones who set their hearts on seeking God. Jesus has pardoned each of us and it does not matter what rules we have broken or how unprepared we are to encounter God, if we seek Him the pardon of Jesus is applied to our life and healing is the response of God.

A few weeks back I spoke out one Sunday morning, when Moses obeyed God and made the Tent of Meetings, when it was finished the cloud of God’s presence came and occupied and filled the tent. The same was true for Solomon, he built the Temple of the Lord and when it was finished the cloud of God’s presence came and occupied and filled the temple. I then said when Jesus cried out on the cross it is finished, the Temple curtain tore in two and that Jesus make the way open for the cloud of God’s presence to come and fill the hearts of believers which is the Temple of the Holy Spirit. Afterward God spoke with me about all the “unoccupied temples” walking the streets of our city, those made by God and in His image, just like you and me, the only difference being that they have not received the Spirit of God.

Their physical tent/temple, their body is made and they await the infilling of the Holy Spirit. When Hezekiah stepped into the prompting of the Holy Spirit he needed to believe that God would back up his words and come and pardon the people. We know Jesus has pardoned the whole world by dying on the cross, but most of us don’t step into the prompting of the Holy Spirit all the time and enable the Lord release his healing presence.

I was asked by a friend yesterday why I started painting prophetic pictures and teaching the children to paint prophetic pictures. I answered over 2 years ago God prompted me and then two people challenged me within a few days to paint and they mentioned the craftsmen in Exodus 31. I have just read that scripture and I have been struck with the provision of God. In the few chapters preceding Exodus 31, we see a list of commands that God gave Moses to build the Tent of Meetings, its furniture and furnishings. The list is extensive and exceedingly detailed as was the list for Solomon’s Temple.

The verses that caught me are as follows:

“1 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: 2 “See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. 3 And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, 4 to design artistic works, to work in gold, in silver, in bronze, 5 in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of workmanship.6 “And I, indeed I, have appointed with him Aholiab the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan; and I have put wisdom in the hearts of all the gifted artisans, that they may make all that I have commanded you”  NIV

God provided the craftsman (and indeed an army of craftsmen), anointed him and filled him with the Spirit of God, to carry out the detailed command of God. Bezalel means the “shadow of God” and speaks of presence (Acts 5 tells us of the power in Peter’s shadow i.e. the power in the presence of God), is it any wonder God filled Bezalel with His Spirit, God completes his work; it’s what Bezalel’s name means .

The Spirit provided wisdom, ability, understanding, intelligence, knowledge and all kinds of craftsmanship. The Holy Spirit made it all work. The word craftsmanship means angel, messenger and ambassador and speaks of spiritual helps like as in Hebrews 1:14. The name Aholiab means “fathers tent” and Ahisamach means “my brother is support” The abundance of Gods provision for Moses who obediently fulfilled the command of God is just breath-taking, it oozes family and unity of the people of God all under the covering of the Father. These men were there, their parents having named them years earlier and God worked out in them the very desire their parents had put upon them, and used them in their time to be a blessing on the generations thereafter. Had Moses not obeyed, we may never have heard about these men.

Solomon inherited the works of their hands and placed these same furnishings in his Temple that was filled with the cloud of God’s presence. Not only did God give the command He provided the means to fulfil that same command. God completes His work. We are part of Gods project. We have a major role to play in God filling the “unoccupied” temples with His Holy Spirit. We are anointed and gifted to complete the task, we are called “Christians” meaning little Christ’s or “little anointed ones”. We are equipped with the ability, wisdom, revelation, knowledge and craftsmanship to co-operate with God and complete the “unoccupied temples” about us. In the book of Acts just look at the number of times people were Baptised with the Holy Spirit when the believers laid their hands on them. How many “unoccupied temples” are awaiting your hand be laid on them? So much of what God does is all about family and unity, we need relationship with our brothers, we need to be close enough to lay hands on each other.

Where am I going with this? I dare say I, and we can say and speak and cry out for our generation, churched, stumbling or un-churched people. I can ask my God or we can ask our God, the great I Am and believe in Him to come. To come encounter the people of our city and nation. I can say and you with me to our God, the creator and sustainer of all things on behalf of a people who are caught in an identity crisis, struggling in economic hardship, unemployment and a poverty mentality, to a nation whose finances are controlled by external nations, to a churched nation who have reacted to sexual revelations of the so called men of God in this land who have not personally encountered the Love of My God, a people who have disowned the God who created them and taken offence with God due to the actions and inaction of mere men as if it were God Himself who carried out these awful acts.

I ask, do you want to meet my God? If you want the Living God to come like a whirlwind into your whole being and fill you like he did Bezalel in the passage above or pardon you like the generation that Hezekiah’s words brought healing, or transform you completely like the first Christians on the day of Pentecost. If you really want this, if this is what you seek, if you are not sure about your identity or your god or about My God but you know you want more, I challenge you to seek my God and if you say yes and want more then get prepared now yourself to encounter the Living God, my prayer for you like the prayer of Hezekiah if you give me your permission to ask my God on your behalf, the only God who seeks out men is this:-

Jesus you have pardoned me (put your name here) 2000 years ago on the cross, on that Friday afternoon you paid the price and took my place and forgave me. Just as the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Life then raised you Jesus to life on that Sunday morning raise me (put your name here) today and bring me into an encounter with you that totally and completely transforms my life from this day on. I ask you God to stretch out your hand and I take hold of your hand and want to know your burning presence within me. Just as Hezekiah said all who set their hearts on seeking the Lord were healed, I say all who lift their hand to God will be healed, I ask you the living God to show yourself to me (put your name here) today and heal my life, body soul and spirit.

Like Hezekiah, I know the Lords answer and I declare over you that the Lord hears you and heals you this day and onward. The Lord rejoices over you with song and dance and feasts you with His daily bread. You are now the Temple of the Living God. The Glory cloud of God is now upon you (Christ in you the Hope of Glory (Colossians 1:27).

Just like when Moses, Solomon and Jesus completed their work, the presence of God in the Glory cloud fell and filled the Temple. I declare that the Holy One of God WILL FILL YOUR TEMPLE with His Glory Cloud the very Presence of the Holy Spirit. I DECLARE YOUR “UNOCCUPIED TEMPLE” IS NO LONGER UNOCCUPIED. As you fully hand over your Temple to God the Holy Spirit will transform you into His likeness. The Holy Spirit will fall on you more and more and you will in your life display and demonstrate the Glory of God to mankind. The Holy Spirit will work out in you the verse in 1 John 4:17 “because as He (Jesus) is, so are we in this world”.

There is no greater calling than to see Jesus manifest and demonstrated in you. This is the pinnacle of our destiny here on earth, this is your identity, and this is who you are. I have just come to realise this is who I am, it’s simply about becoming like him, the greatest honour I can offer God is to become like his son, this is my offering to God.

Does all this happen instantly? For most no, but hear these words if you have received the prayer above, God has placed His Spirit in you as a seed, This seed is for all of the above and MORE. You are a planting of the Lord. Every plant starts as a seed, becoming a tender shoot growing into a beautiful tree displaying the Glory of God. Believe me you are now a Glory carrier, and if you can’t believe me, believe it because God said so in His word.

You are destined for completion, step into it and be completed. If you don’t step you will never know. What have you to loose, try it, try Him, taste and see the Lord is good, believe me you will never look back. It’s the most amazing adventure available to man on earth.

Declan D