Saturday 12 January 2013

Embrace Transition

Recently I wrote a blog entitled “Who Am I”. Now I want to share with you how this identity is impacting and shaping me.

Almost immediately after being baptised with Holy Spirit a few years back, I had a series of dreams and trances which ran for five nights. I kept very much quiet about these dreams because I did not have a reference point for these matters. As time has passed the Holy Spirit has thought me much, so I want to share these dreams with you. Are they for my church, are they for my city or nation, I don’t think that is for me to answer, I believe first and foremost they are for me and you. 

In one dream which I have briefly shared before, I was in the Exchange (our church building). God called me to come to the cross and as I walked I noticed a river flowing from Heaven and falling down on the cross in our building. As the water was falling it took the shape of a cross at times. The song “At the Foot of the Cross” was bellowing out and I knelt at the foot of the cross. As I did so I was soaked in the River of Life and I turned to watch the river flow out amongst the congregation. As it did so I was just struck by what I saw happen amongst the body. The congregation began to minister to each other as the Holy Spirit poured over them. To witness this revelation and see it manifest as if it were totally real was awesome to watch, it was like our very own Pentecost amongst our family.

In other dream, as I stood in the Exchange and looked out over my city, Dublin, I saw the city as an amazing forest. A silver-back gorilla just beside me began to sing the name of “Jesus” over and over again as he beat his chest as this gorilla does to display his power and strength. As I watched in awe, gradually the city forest became like an orchestra with many silver-back gorillas joining in and singing and displaying like the first one. After some time, they all began to sing the word “surrender” and again after some time they all began to sing the words “Holy Spirit”. This was awesome to watch and heavenly to hear and it has left a mark on my heart that will never be extinguished. They began then to expand the words “Holy Spirit” and sang the different names and different attributes of the Holy Spirit. This was an amazing experience and as time has gone by I sense this dream cries out as we surrender to Jesus we will open a way for our city to see Jesus which will open a pathway that the whole city will become consumed with the Holy Spirit and display the Presence and power of God. This will reach the whole nation and be visible throughout Europe.

Since these dreams and others I have turned to the scriptures for answers and the Holy Spirit has been captivating my heart as I allow Him reveal and release truth into the core of my being. As you read on you will see some of the things He has been revealing to me, concerning prophecy, testimony and encountering in an experiential way the Presence of God. 

Just roll back for a bit of my history and see how closed I was to the prophetic. Just over two years ago a person that I knew but not that well said to me I have a prophetic picture for you. They said I see you, you “were” in a black box and then in a flash, the roof was taken away, then the four walls fell away. I started to laugh because I knew exactly what my friend shared with me. I told him I knew what He spoke of as I had come into a place of experiencing this freedom. He did not know or indeed anyone know what I had been seeing between about 1995 up to the start of 2010. I was having a frequently recurring trance like day dream which I spoke or shared with no one because I feared what people might say or think. In this dream I was in a dark room or box with a small opening or door out into this most beautiful sun light colourful garden one could imagine. My understanding of this dream was a typical evangelical one, there was a garden of beauty through a door and that door was Christ, so this revelation for me was telling me that which I already knew and therefore I never responded in any way to this revelation. Simply I did not understand what the Spirit of God was revealing to me. Today, reflecting on this dream I wonder what would have been if I had properly understood this dream. I had no reference point as I did not believe in the prophetic, I believed a very narrow Gospel of salvation, it was all about the cross and the Holy Spirit’s work was for the conviction of sin. I knew nothing of the Holy Spirit as a person and therefore to have a friendship with the Holy Spirit was not something which I thought available to man. Hearing that word was so lovely because now I knew the Holy Spirit was saying to me that which I was experiencing was indeed freedom in the Spirit. Another friend spoke a prophetic word to me about three years ago and this time though not knowing much about the prophetic, I stepped straight into it because I knew I was pathetically broken in spirit and to my utter amazement I instantly experienced the Presence of the Holy Spirit in my life. Stepping in activated that word and blew my theology out the window. Today I know where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. I had stepped into the “path of life” as mentioned in Psalm 16:11 and experienced His Presence in the process. 

From this experience I have learned that the prophetic must be stepped into so you can activate it in your life. Many Christians fear the prophetic and therefore miss this truth altogether at a grave cost to the church body. Some Christians carry prophetic words for years which I can’t say I understand, I understand pondering the word as Mary did, but it is in the release of the word in faith that creates the word.  The prophetic word is the creative nature of God and must be spoken to be created. There is no point is speaking the word after it has come to be and many words because they have not been spoken will be fulfilled but only when an individual with faith comes along to release the word. 

My understanding and theology has changed in these last few years. I hear numerous teachers teach that faith is not a feeling. I believe that is a very narrow view. I believe faith can be felt and in this way my faith is indeed a feeling built on truth. One can know the nature of God but it this nature can also be experienced, it’s not essentially a matter of faith, though to enter into His presence you must walk in faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God. 
Faith comes in hearing, (Romans 10:17 “faith comes from hearing the message and the message is heard through the word of Christ”
Hearing is not the same as having heard, heard is what God said, hearing is what God is now saying. Faith is built in the hearing, hearing is an experience that can be felt.

When Mary visited Elizabeth in Luke 1:41, when the sound (not words) hit Elizabeth, the baby leaped in her womb (ask any mother if they felt that when pregnant). Did the unborn baby understand those words  –  no, yet the unborn baby responded and Elizabeth was instantly filled with the Holy Spirit. Do you see Presence can be felt, seen and displayed. Feelings are vital in any relationship, and to have a relationship with God the Holy Spirit is impossible without feelings. 
When we are impregnated with the Spirit of God, believe me we will feel it. If you don’t feel it, listen to me; you are discerning the Holy Spirits voice calling you and saying “Come to Me – there is much more for You”.  
Just follow through the Gospels and the Book of Acts and look at the amount of times the Presence (The Presence of God is the Holy Spirit) was felt and look at the manifestation of that same Presence in the people. Paul says in Romans, the Kingdom of Heaven is in the Spirit. More than any other thing my theology has been exposed to the New Wine (The Holy Spirit) and I have felt the strain in my person working through the throwing off my old Wine Skin and taking on a New Wine Skin. New Wine is not put into Old Wine Skins, when I let go of me and died to self, the Holy Spirit invaded and now God has an opening to transform my life. The prophetic gifting is being awakened in the church worldwide and with it the world is witnessing a revelation of the nature of God which has been hidden for centuries.

Presence manifests power because that’s the nature of God. In Church we received a prophetic word at the start of 2012 that declared we were moving into a place of “Presence and Power”. Have you experienced it, if not contend for it, we are told in Isaiah 48:7 that the prophetic word once spoken is created. Therefore your positioning in Presence and Power is created and its is your responsibility to activate it, grasp the truth in these prophetic words, you must contend for the prophetic. 

We are the pinnacle of God’s creation, created in His image, how He imagined us. We were precisely created to relate with God, all our senses highly tuned to hear from God, yet we box ourselves in to hear from God in such limited ways. Some rely on hearing when being thought, others on eyes while reading the word, but probably most rely on a combination of these two senses. What about touch, smell and taste. Words of knowledge for healing are frequently received through feeling. 
Other ways of hearing are dreams, visions, trances and senses and the list continues, yet dreamers are stigmatised as aloof. I suggest we have allowed a rational culture alienate ourselves from God, precisely like the Pharisees did when the Presence of God walked amongst them in the flesh. Are we really any different today? Are we the churched, the new Pharisees of this day? 

Today I believe scripture without revelation is dead, no different than any other book. Proverbs 29:18 says “where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint” (KJV – Where there is no vision {Hebrew meaning – prophecy} the people perish” and Hosea 4:6 says “my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge {Hebrew meaning – discernment,  understanding... Greek meaning – revelation}”). 

I believe we have allowed a theology based in rationalism dominate and shape our spirit rather than allow the Holy Spirit dominate and shape our theology. Please don’t be offended by this, it’s not my intention, a rational mind or the flesh man restricts the spirit man, a bondage to words that constrict can cause us to feel a comfort and security in a faith that we just accept because “it is written” rather than embracing a revelation that brings us into the Presence of the living God, an encounter with our Creator. I believe our environment reflects the disposition of our heart, the nation reflects the disposition of the church. Our nation and many nations are constricted and I believe this reflects the constraint in heart of the church. We moan and knock our governments and fail to discern that they reflect the heart of the people they govern, who in turn reflect the heart of the church, this is very sobering indeed. If the church were fully committed to the kingdom the landscape of our nation would be transformed, stop moaning at the government and start groaning for the transformation of the church, and the transformation of the church is embedded in the apostolic and prophetic anointing.

I was given a prophetic word about 6 weeks ago, Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God”

As I read the word I repeated it as “Be still and EXPERIENCE that I am God”. This word “Experience” has dominated my walk with God in recent years. One of the Hebrew meanings for “know” is “experience”. Another word that God has been building into my walk with Him is again related to experience and it is “Testimony”. 

Revelation 19:10 says “The testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy”. Testimony is written by your experience with God. The root word of testimony is “to repeat or to do again”. In built in the nature of this word is the potential of duplication, when we are impregnated with this expectation we move the Spirit of God to do the Fathers works in us. 
The first use of the word Testimony in the Bible is Exodus 16:35 and it talks about keeping the “manna” in the Testimony for the generations who come after. Testimony is so critical for the next generation, your children and mine and their children after them. The people of God strayed in the desert and throughout most of the Old Testament age because their people stopped telling the next generation their Testimony with God. 

Where is your Testimony today? 
What is the Testimony of the church today? 
Almost all of the church is invisible in our nation today? 
Lets release Testimony and watch the Spirit of God move.

 A little later in time Moses built an Ark and was called the Ark of the Testimony (later known as the Ark of the Covenant). The point most of us miss is that the Presence of God sits upon the Testimony Ark, it’s the place where God meets with His people, the place where man comes into the Presence of God. It’ s no different today, the Spirit of God rides upon the Testimony of His people just like the Spirit of God moved as the Ark of Testimony moved in the Old Testament. Moses experienced God face to face and walked in His Presence, that invitation is open to you today, to feel God is normal and I suggest it’s the norm and should be your expectation. This verse has much more for us “The testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy”. Have you ever encountered the “Spirit of Prophecy”? It’s an uplifting experience. King Saul did when he met the prophets on the road and he began to prophesy with them. Prophecy is the Nature of God. 

Matthew 10:41 says “If you receive a prophet as a prophet, you receive a prophets reward”. Do you wish for this reward, and what about the experience which I say is uplifting? On top of grace, which is receiving what you do not deserve, there is also the principle of “reaping what you sow”. Well I want to tell you, you receive the prophet’s reward as a result of the importance which you place on the prophetic words you hear. If you contend for the prophetic word, like I said earlier, the Spirit creates that prophetic word once it is spoken, declared and proclaimed. 
The prophet’s reward is to hear from God. Contending brings the unseen from the Heavenly realm where it was created into the physical world where it will now be seen, it’s not bound by the constraints of Physics. This is the nature of the world we live in. I beg you to start living in this world.

Have you the courage to leave everything behind and step into the prophetic future and bring the manifestation of the two dreams I shared with you in the beginning of this paper into being. (A city surrendered to Christ, Baptised with the Holy Spirit). When this comes to be, nations will swarm to our nation to encounter the Presence of God. In the past our nation was called “the land of saints and scholars”, this is the modern name give it by intellects. At the said time our land was called “the land of apostles and prophets”, now just grasp our legacy and identity in the Kingdom of God. You know God is indebted to no nation, We as an “Apostolic, Prophetic Missionary Nation” brought an “Apostolic Gospel” to Europe, God’s pay back is 100 fold, are you contending for the outpouring that God intends for our people, He is waiting for us and will wait until the next generation unless the church today grasp and move in their divine calling.

All the choices are yours, be careful how you choose. What you decide to speak and think manifests around you. What’s taught in our churches manifest in our environment. The dimension in which you allow God speak will be the measure used upon you. Does your heart win the battle with reasoning? If you are a believer, which is your stronger man, your spirit man or flesh man? Does your desire to experience the Word win over your desire to know the word? Does your desire for the prophetic outweigh your fear of the prophetic? Does your duty to give praise and Testimony to God for what He does in your life win over your shyness or sense of modesty which dulls your speech? Is your kingdom a kingdom of light greater than your kingdom of darkness? Is your God greater than fear of the enemy? God is calling the church to shine forth His glory, are you waiting on your leaders to shine for you – believe me they can’t, they shine for Him but so must you.

I believe the church as we have known it, is now at a cross roads. The future church will be one who displays and models Gods true and full identity, His Triune identity. An Awakening is at hand where the new church will stand in the glory and splendour of the Fullness of the Spirit. The lack of “Presence” in the church will not be accepted, there is currently a hunger for more, and God satisfies the hungry. The new age movement displays more power than the children of God and the lack is not with God. What is your vision for 2013, vision forces you to follow your its plan and restricts all other options available to you, you become of one mind and come into agreement with the vision of God – your destiny. His vision for you fills every ache of your soul and blesses the nations as a consequence. His Kingdom Come be yours in 2013 and forevermore.

Declan D.