Category Archives: Christian Life

Seeking God’s presence and walking in His ways as a Spirit-filled believer.

Holiness: you shall be perfect

You shall go to the ball…

If you are married, it is very likely that you and your spouse became man and wife because you loved one another. If your marriage is successful, one of the reasons is probably the fact that you were attracted to the qualities you saw in your spouse. You loved – and hopefully still love! – your spouse because of who they are, and because you love the qualities and the attributes that characterise them. We worship God, and tell Him we love Him. It’s reasonable to say that God’s standout attribute is His holiness. So do we love holiness?

If we put a poster on the wall saying Be holy, for I am holy,” our response to it at any given time would be a good litmus test of whether we are walking in the flesh or in the Spirit. The flesh is corrupt so it will always want to avoid even the thought of holiness, so in the flesh we would most likely just want to take it off the wall and put a photo frame there instead. If we want to run from the poster there is no point praying about anything, because we won’t be praying in the Spirit and our prayers will have no Life – unless of course we are praying about not wanting to run from the poster. However in the Spirit we will see those words and be drawn to Jesus, and coming from our heart will be a cry that He will continue to work in our lives to remove anything that stops the light of His holiness shining in our lives. That would be a good time to pray.

In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus sets us a goal which is more or less interchangeable with Holiness, when he says “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (Matt 5:48) Seated in heavenly places, as we are, it is true that our spirits are “the righteousness of God in Christ,” and when the Father sees us in His Son all He sees is perfection, and the Beauty of Holiness. But earlier in the same chapter (verse 16), Jesus exhorts us to “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Our mission on Earth is to live our lives in such a way that the world also sees what God sees. Paul uses the same Greek word for perfect – telios – when he writes to the Ephesians that the purpose of ministry is “the edifying of the body of Christ till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” (Ep 4: 12-13)

As we have already explored, the words of Life that Jesus is sowing, the seeds of the Kingdom of God, would not be activated until the Holy Spirit came and watered them in. So we too need to hear them in the Spirit: perfection, just like holiness, comes by faith and by intimacy with Jesus – “the knowledge of the Son of God.” The pursuit of perfection is for the Church on earth: now, so that the light of Christ in us is not clouded by the flesh but shines strongly into the darkness that covers the nations; and ultimately so that when the groom returns He finds His bride pure, spotless, and “without blemish.” In these last seconds, (see “three seconds to midnight”) the Holy Spirit is reminding the Church that Jesus meant what He said in the sermon on the mount. And if we listen with the hearing of faith, we hear the promise as well as the instruction: “You shall be perfect, just as your Father in Heaven in perfect.”

Cinderella church, you shall go to the ball. But in our story, the ball starts at midnight…

Commit to the lord whatever you do…

Here’s an encouragement for all of us all to be bold in our witness to Jesus and to our faith, and a testimony to God’s faithfulness to His word.

Proverbs 16:3 says “Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” He WILL establish them. That’s not a “might”; that’s a promise.

If you use a computer, you will probably use the font “calibri”. It’s the default font for Microsoft Word, and is one of the most used fonts in the world. It’s created by a Dutch font designer called Lucas de Groot. If you click on the“fonts” page, showing all the different font families created by his company Lucas Fonts, you’ll see this, right in the middle:

Lucas teaches typed design at Potsdam University in Germany, and lectures all over the world. It would seem that he doesn’t do it alone…

So commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.

The Quest for the Presence of God

The Winepress

It’s 23rd March 2020, and the world is in the Grip of Coronavirus. This is a Christian bog, and I’ve launched it today because I wanted to open a channel whereby I could still continue to encourage and edify the church even though that is no longer an option, for the time being, on a Sunday morning.  If you don’t know me I’m a member of Wildwood Church, Stafford, UK – a Christ Central Church, part of New Frontiers. I lead the prophetic ministry there.

And here’s the first encouraging thought: whenever the devil thinks he can blow out the flame of the Body of Christ, all he does is blow away God’s dandelion seeds, and they spring up and multiply in different places. As it was in the time of Nero’s persecution, so it was in China in the late 20th century, so it is in Iran today, and so it will be during this coronavirus pandemic. We’ve been praying for revival, and I believe we’re going to see it soon. We just didn’t expect it to start with a plague. But then the journey into the Promised Land started with a plague as well…

So why the winepress?

Jesus is the vine, and we are the branches (John 15: 1-5). The purpose of the fruit – the grapes – is for them to be turned into wine. I believe this is what God is doing at the moment: he’s cut us off from our Sunday morning routines so that the good stuff that He has been growing inside us can be extracted. The winepress is not a very comfortable place for a grape, but it’s the purpose that we have been called to. And He is calling us to know His presence and His peace – “peace not as the World gives” – in the midst of the pressure.

We can expect transformations. I also think that we will find a new Unity in the Spirit, even while we are physically separated from one another. We have a message for the panic buyers in the supermarkets, which is that we have a Father who knows our needs, and whose Son taught us to pray “Give us TODAY our daily bread/pasta/toilet roll”-  not enough for the next six months.  If we go into that madding crowd as grapes, we’ll just get squashed and trampled on; but if we let the Lord transform us by His presence and go as wine, they will want a drink.

Finally, if God is transforming His church, we can’t expect to go back when this is all over and find things just as they were. Because I don’t think they’ll be there any more: they will have been blown away.

“Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. (I’ll be using the Kings James version here, as there are no copyright restrictions.) Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen. This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.” (Isaiah 43 18-21)

So as the winepress does its work, let’s remember whose hand is on it. What comes out is going to be different, and it’s going to be good!