Illusion of Power

London, England, Great Britain, Downing, Street
Pixabay

Colleen’s challenge this week is to write o syllabic poem on the theme of the illusion of power.   I have attached a photo of Downing Street, but the White House, or any number of other political and economic locations would done as well.


Illusion of having complete control
People bow and do whate’er you say
Might making right in your own view
No concern for ethics’ ways
Your conceit and power
Going hand in hand
Till the piper
In the end
You must
Pay

Padre


Tsunami of Fire

Fire, Beautiful, Flame

Pixabay

Pastor Vince this week spoke of a vision of a wave of revival coming over the church and the land.  He noted that for such a revival to come, God’s people need to be focused on Him, not their own agendas.  He went on to say that it is through praise that we can find that focus.  When we offer our praise and thanksgiving to god, He responds with even more blessings.  The pastor on several occasions reminded us that as our praise goes up, His blessings come down.  What a mighty truth!

Psalm 71 reminds us of the place of praise,

“As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more.  My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds, of your saving acts all day long— though I know not how to relate them all.  I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, Sovereign LordI will proclaim your righteous deeds, yours alone (verses 14-16).”

Note that in praise we have hope, and as we have God’s mighty acts to proclaim, He will show us even more of them to praise.

But such praise is not a solo act if we want true revival.  A revival that will sweep over the land like a tsunami.  It is an act of praise that is unified, and of common purpose.  Psalm 133 reminds us,

“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”

Notice that in unified purpose (v 1) that God bestows His blessings (v 3).   Compare that to the words of Matthew 18:19 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.”

So what is the nature of such unified praise?  The Psalmist states it clearly in the 100th,

“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God.  It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.  Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.  For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;  his faithfulness continues through all generations.”  

It’s as simple as that, praise Him as our creator, our shepherd, our faithful provider.  Praise Him for His love.

 

Such praise will change the land.  It will “sow seeds” of righteousness.  The harvest of which will be of fire, the fire of the Spirit.  As in Acts 2 when the flames of the Spirit came like a mighty wind, not a drizzle but a storm. 

Hosea 10:12 tells us, 

Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground;  for it is time to seek the Lorduntil he comes and showers his righteousness on you.”

Okay, some mixed metaphor but truth all the same.  When we prepare the unplanted land of our praise.  When we till and prepare the soil of our hearts, then he will shower (even pour down) His righteousness on us.

Do we want revival?  Look at Matthew 13: 18-23,

 

 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means:  When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy.   But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.  The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.  But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

In our acceptance of God’s word, in our thanksgiving for His gifts, in our praise of Him for His goodness, we prepare the soil.  We break up the hard ground, we remove the rocks and weeds.  We in short fulfill Hosea’s words, and in so doing we can await the tsunami of fire, the revival of the land!

Padre

 

 

Manifesting Power

 

Pastor Vince spoke this week on the topic of manifesting power.  He gave his message the title:  POWER THAT WILL END THE MATTER.

He began the lesson with Joshua 2 which, in paraphrase, recalls the two spies sent by Joshua to the region of Jericho.   They are harboured by Rahab, and she gives a telling admission, that the Canaanites are in terror of the people of Israel.  They have seen God’s hand in the crossing of the Red Sea and the defeat of the kings of the Wilderness.   They now cower behind the mighty walls of Jericho.  She then gives a wonderful revelation that she is convinced that God will give the Hebrews the land.  She then seeks assurances that she and her family will be spared because she has acted in a friendly way to the people of God.

She didn’t have to help them.  She didn’t have to be fearful just because of the Hebrew numbers.  She was fearful because she could observe the power of God among the Hebrews.

We need to have such a power.  We are not “going into all the world,” just as smiley or “happy clappy” people, but ones forged in and instilled with the Holy Spirit.  We like the Hebrew children before us are empowered.

But we need to focus on how that power is manifested and what is required.  Psalm 133 reads, “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!”  Like Israel approaching the walls of Jericho we are to be united.   United with God and His purposes and instructions, but also with one another.  Look at 1 John 4: 7-8, “ Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”  We are the people of God unified in love and purpose.  With that comes power.   Here we can return to Psalm 133 which says our unity, “It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion (v 3),” a dew of dedication or common purpose.

Pastor Vince next called our attention to Matthew 13:44f in which a man sells all he has to buy a field in which he will find treasure.  All else falls short of the dedication to the goal.  Our service to God is to be like that.  But again this is not ideally an individual act.  It is an act of a loving brotherhood of people.  Remember when Jesus was asked about the greatest commandment of the Law.  He started out with saying we need to love God with our whole being, but the second point is like onto it, “Love your neighbour.”  We are not meant to do this alone.  Yes our Christian walk can be done in a solitary manner, but it will often lack the power possible when together.  It may well be the reason for Hebrews 10:25 telling us not to forsake meeting together.   When we are combined and committed we will be like the church at Jerusalem in Acts 2 and following – having all things in common, and dwelling in the Apostles’ teachings.  The result – the church was held in high regard by all of the people.

Here we can go to Hebrews 11: 31 “By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.”  She witnessed the unity of the Hebrews, saw the power of God, and she believed.   Think of what we can achieve when we come together in God’s plan, unified and supportive of one another.  We will act in one accord, and then just look out for the power to become manifest!

Padre

This is a message that was well understood by Dianne.  Even in her weakened last weeks, her goal was to be unified with her church family and actively sought prayer requests that she could life up her brothers and sisters.  Seeking first the kingdom of God, we likewise should always unite with and lift up our Christian family.

 

 

Caves: Power in the Darkness

imageedit__8648029502 (1)

Caves near En Gedi

Pastor Nick Hughes of Emmanuel Gateway Church London spoke to us this weekend. He drew his message from Ephesians 1:19-20,

” . . . and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength  he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, . . .”

Brother Nick noted that we who believe have access to power.  The same mighty power that raised Jesus from the dead!

Jesus’ disciples were in need of this power.  The crucifixion, alluded to in Ephesians, had left the 11 scattered and “defeated.” Only John dared attend the crucifixion. Others had denied, or hid. They were in need of power.

That power, the same power Paul attests to in Ephesians 1, came upon disciples in Acts 2.  They were moved from defeated men to champions of faith.

Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.  All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them (verses 2-4).”

These same men went on to proclaim in power.  They went from a gathered handful, to the 2 billion plus (who call upon the name of the Lord) today.  All through that power.

This theme of power and light in the darkness was expanded on by Pastor Nick.  He noted a clear pattern using the life of David.  David was a man who knew “ups” and “downs.”  A man who understood a fall, and yet held onto hope.

And why? Well Nick calls David an “inside out” man.  He let the power of God be manifested from what was in him.  This was shown from David’s anointing onwards. Samuel was looking for the outward signs of kingship. God said, no, look at the inside.  This led to the anointing of the boy shepherd.

David used the inward power against Goliath, he calmed the distress of Saul, and became a favourite in court.  Yet in the highs he remained inwardly dedicated to God. But then the fall came. David looses the favour of Saul, he loses his wife Michal, and his best friend Jonathon.  He flees to the lands of his enemy the Philistines, and eventually to the caves of En Gedi. David was literally in the darkness. But God again in that power of Ephesians 1, lifts him up again to become not only a great king, but “a man after God’s own heart.”

This transforming power in darkness was not just manifested in the scattered disciples, or the fugitive David.  It was personally known to God Himself in Jesus. In the same pattern as the apostles and David, Jesus entered Jerusalem on a high with cries of “Hosanna.” Then He systematically fell foul of the leaders of Israel, and then most of the people.  He was crucified, died, and was buried.  Yes, His own cave experience. But then that manifested power of God “raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms.”

These dark caves of life surely are a message God wanted shared this week. On the same day which Brother Nick preached, I had already posted on trusting in God in the darkness or the “rains” of life.  It addressed how there is a transforming and learning opportunity in those “cave” experiences.  But these were not the only references to the theme; as Sister Sue Love posted on the same day reflections on Jeremiah 29:4-9, in which she notes that in the “cave” days of our lives “[God] gives us everything we need to survive, to thrive, to conquer, to be faithful, and to fight off those attacks of the enemy and to walk in holiness and purity.” Then a little later, Shirle Bedient posted on the same passage in Jeremiah.

The prevalence of this message has assured me.  I trust that if it has a significance to any of you reading this, please explore it further, and do not despair in the darkness.  There is power that can light any cave. Only believe, and it is yours.

Padre