If there is one over-riding theme in what the Holy Spirit has been saying to the Church over the last year, it can be found in James 4:4 “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” God is calling His people into greater intimacy with Him. This is nothing new, of course, but it is something that He is emphasising at the moment. The Lord has given Jake two pictures recently which help us to capture something of why this is so important. They are both very different, but they both emphasise the importance of intimacy with God. He writes:
The other day I looked up why it is that sometimes we get such a beautiful display of colour in the leaves of autumn. It is due to the amount of light and sun they get. Then I felt the lord say this: ‘My people are like these leaves of autumn. The more they let my light in, the more glorious they appear, due to my light shining on and through them. And when I shine upon you, like the sun on the trees, my glory shines out, so that even at the changing of the seasons they are radiant to those around them. My beloved I want to use you to reveal my glory to this desperate world.’
I saw a hurricane swirling around the country: there was mass destruction – buildings , nature all being razed to the ground. This was across the whole country. Then the Lord reminded me that the eye or the centre of the storm is not only calm but quite often cloudless. He said to me that the hurricane is God moving across the Land. And those (churches and world systems) that do not get in line with what the Lord is doing will be destroyed. I felt both a comfort and also a warning from the Lord on this, in that as long as we stay close to the Lord and move with Him, we will be safe and enjoy life to the full. On the flip side there is a warning, that if we, as individuals or as the body of Christ – whether local, national or international – do not stay close to Jesus, in the eye of the storm, then not only are we in danger of destruction, but we also become part of the destructive force affecting those around us, like the bits of rubbish swirling around in the winds of the hurricane.