Tag Archives: intimacy with God

The Cygnet and the Broken Egg (A prophesy)

I was talking recently to someone who has been prominent in leading worship since the early days of charismatic renewal. He was telling me about a time when he watched a cygnet breaking out of and egg. I felt at the time that the Lord was saying “this is prophetic.” The next day I found myself reading the account of Josiah’s temple reforms in 2 Chronicles 34-35.  I believe the Holy Spirit has given me the following, that connects the two.

The Cygnet has broken out of the eggshell. At the moment she is small and vulnerable, but she will grow, for this is the beginning, the birth, of the one that will become the White Swan, the spotless bride of Christ. As the world systems are breaking she Is emerging from all that has kept her concealed: secularism, tradition, and religion. But now the egg has broken and its supply is exhausted, and she will feed on the Lord: Jehovah Jireh will be her source. She is not yet recognisable as the one that she will become, but as she grows she will take on more and more of the characteristics of the beautiful White Swan.

It is the sound of worship that has broken her shell, and it is the sound of worship that is the atmosphere in which she will grow and mature. As King Josiah restored the true temple worship in his day, so the Lord is restoring true worship in His temple now, free of all that has contained it. And as Josiah’s restoration of true worship was followed by the greatest Passover that had ever been known in Jerusalem in all the days of the kings, so the greatest Passover ever known among men will follow this time of restoration as the young Swan emerges. For it will be a true Passover: while those in the temple rejoice and celebrate under the covering of the blood of the lamb, those outside will know only the devastation of the broken shell left by the collapse of world systems. They will run around, picking up pieces of broken eggshell, saying “Is this what we cling to? Or is that piece over there what we cling to?“ while those in the temple celebrate in the presence of the One that they cling to, Jesus, the rock that is higher than them all. And just as the priests in the time of Josiah took their places at the altar where they were busy until night, meeting the needs of the many people bringing their sacrifice; so it is time for the priests of the Lord today to take up their positions, ready for the many that will come to the temple from miles around.

And so the Cygnet will grow in the house of worship until the white swan, the bride, is revealed.

“So the service was prepared, and the priests stood in their places, and the Levites in their divisions, according to the king’s command.”  (2 Chron 35:10)

Buckle up the Belt of Truth (Teaching)

When God spoke through his prophets to his old covenant people he repeated the same message many times and in many different ways: “Return to me or face the consequences!”

The same God speaks through his prophets today. He continues to say the same thing to different people in different ways. His heart of love for His people has not changed: He continues to say “Return to me!“  And the call hasn’t changed: He said to the first Adam “where are you?“ and today, although the context may be different, He still says to us, the brothers and sisters of the second Adam: “Where are you?“

Because He still is longing to walk with us in the garden of His promises, and many in His church are still nowhere to be seen. He has a plan and a purpose, and He wants to see that plan and  purpose fulfilled in our lives; but this will not happen unless we walk with him, close to him, yoked to him.

The message that He is giving to many of his prophets today is clear: the vision is “written on tablets so that he may run who reads it!” (Hab 2:2) There is a great shaking coming on the world; and there will be much upheaval; but in and through this we will find safety under the shadow of his wings; we will be a light in the darkness as we walk in his light, and as His light arises on us so many will come out of the darkness to seek Him. There have been pictures of earthquakes, of storms, of avalanches; there have been words of the lion roaring, of light shining, of a strong tower standing, but the message is fundamentally Isaiah 60: 2-3, and ultimately the deepest symbolism of the Book of Revelation:

For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth,
And deep darkness the people;
But the LORD will arise over you,
The Gentiles shall come to your light,
And kings to the brightness of your rising.
And His glory will be seen upon you.

Nevertheless there is a new emphasis now, a new note that hasn’t been heard before. In summary, what I feel the Spirit is saying to the Church is this:

“Buckle up for a bumpy ride, because this really is about to happen soon. Buckle up the belt of Truth, because this is what will keep you safe. But pay attention, because it will be the new thing I am doing, and not the old thing that you have been doing. Listen to me and learn from me and you will tread the high places of the Earth in my presence. But if you refuse to listen you will seek me but you will not find me; you will see my light shining over the mountains but you will continue to stumble through the undergrowth of the valley that I want to lead you out of; and your heart will be in danger of growing bitter and critical towards those who are experiencing my glory.”

Our response.

Prophesy requires a response. When Agabus prophesied a famine, “ the disciples, each according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea” (See Acts 11: 28-30) So how do we do to prepare for what is coming? Here are a few suggestions.

Intimacy with the Holy Spirit.
Jesus tells us that His sheep hear His voice – but it’s only through the Holy Spirit that He speaks, whether this is directly into our hearts or via the Bible, so unless we are familiar with that voice we will not recognise it when it comes, and we will miss His directions. This doesn’t just mean spending a fixed period of time every day praying and reading the Bible; it means staying close to Him all day so that we can hear his whisper as we walk, that “voice behind us, saying this is the way, walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21)

Openness to change.
God is doing “a new thing.” This doesn’t mean that it’s not in the Bible, because it is. It will either be prophesy that is now coming to fulfilment, or aspects of new testament church life and ministry that God is only now restoring to the church. We need to make sure that our openness to what God is doing today is is only shaped by what He did when He first established the church 2,000 years ago. and just not by what we, our fathers, or our Bible teachers saw God doing yesterday.

Practical love
Are we free and generous in our giving? As the financial systems of the world become more shaky, the best place to invest our money is in the Bank of Heaven, where “moth and rust do not corrupt, and thieves do not break in and steal.” (Matt 6:19) As we shovel out, God shovels in – and His shovel is bigger than ours.

Holiness
Friendship with the world is enmity with God (James 4:4). Jesus is coming for a bride without spot or blemish. God judged idolatry and compromise among His Old Covenant people and He has not changed today. We all need to ask the Holy Spirit if we have any idols ourselves, and what we need to do for our “houses” to be an acceptable dwelling place for Him. We must recognise that when Peter meant what he said when he wrote “Just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do, for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’”.

None of these – or other principals of discipleship – are new ideas. I think that the “new thing” that God is doing today is to allow unprecedented erosion of the sandy foundations that the world’s civilisation is built upon, so that what is build on the Rock of Jesus Christ is the safe haven that can be seen by all, more clearly than ever before. His call to us today is to make sure we are in it and are not wandering around outside.

Launch out into the Deep

“So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat. When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch. But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net. And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. So they signalled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.” (Luke 5 vs 1-7)

When I read the above passage of scripture this morning, I felt that the Lord gave me the following word. I believe it is for all of us to an extent, but particularly for those who feel, like Simon Peter did, that they have been ‘toiling all night and catching nothing,’ whose ministry has been “beached” by COVID, and who now have nothing better to do than sit on the shore and wonder about where their ministry is going. I believe the Lord would say this:

“It feels to you that your boat is pulled up on the shoreline. You aren’t catching fish at the moment so you are thinking about your ministry. Before you came ashore you had been working hard but catching nothing, so now you are thinking about your net and how you can improve it so that you can catch fish when you go out again.  But even now I am walking along the shoreline towards you. You don’t need to do any more to your net, because I am going to get into your boat myself. Your ministry isn’t about how good your net is, or what you do to make it better; it’s about me being in the boat and launching out with you into the deep , because that is where the fish are.  And together we will catch so many fish that you will feel overwhelmed; you will feel as if you are sinking under the weight of the catch. Will you launch out with me anyway? Will you come with me into the deep and face being overwhelmed?

So look up from your net and look out for me, because I am walking towards you. And when we get back into the shore you won’t be sitting by your nets again, making sure they are good enough and discussing them with your friends; but you will be walking with me, going wherever I go and doing whatever I do. And that is when you will be fishers of men.”

Sweep the Floor!

“Behold, I am coming soon!” (Rev 22:12)

This is a message given to me on 2nd December, for whoever has ears to hear:

“Take a yard broom and sweep the courts of My temple where you walk. Sweep the clutter and mess to the cross where it will be disposed of forever. It is the rubbish of the world that has blown into your lives. Sweep the floor! Sweep the floor! You cannot dwell in peace if you are surrounded by clutter and mess, and you cannot hear my word nor enter into my presence if you do not dwell in peace. Nor will my glory come into my temple when the courts are full of clutter and mess. So sweep the floor, I say, and prepare for my arrival! For I desire for My glory to come in to the courts of My temple and draw you to Myself, in the beauty of holiness where My presence dwells. For this is the place of commissioning, this is a place of appointments, this is the place from which I will send you into the world to take the land that I am giving you.”

If Anyone loves me, He Will Keep My Word.

A thousand thoughts and desires flood the mind daily, yet there is only one body of thought that can give meaning and wholeness to our lives, and that is “The wisdom that descends from above (James 3:17). A thousand words can pass our lips, yet the only ones that Jesus calls us to live by are “every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” Both Moses and Joshua urged the people of Israel to “meditate day and night” on the Law of God in order to walk in His blessing, but their subsequent apostasy suggests that this didn’t happen. The truth for Christians today is this: Jesus is the Word made flesh; we are flesh re-made by the word. As James put it (James 1: 18): “Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of His creatures.”

The flesh of Jesus was perfect as it was the human incarnation of The Word; God expressing Himself perfectly in human form. The flesh of Man is, of course, imperfect, as we are born into the corruption of sin; and it is only the word of God that can work His perfection in our lives as He speaks into our spirits and “writes His Law on our hearts.”  As Paul writes to the Corinthians, Jesus writes our lives as His own epistle: “Clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.” (2 Cor 3:3)

Jesus calls us to be “yoked” to Him. (Matt 11:29) If we want to understand how it’s possible to be yoked to the living Christ, I think it’s helpful to think of the material of His yoke as His word. We can’t accept His yoke unless we have died to self and picked up our cross – but if we are to follow Him closely we need to know where He is walking. And if our lives are to be His epistle, then the substance of who we are and the motivation for what we do must be found in the words that He has spoken. We cannot be like Him or do the things that He did unless the core and very makeup of our lives are the things that He says. Whatever our flesh says, whatever the enemy might whisper, our response must be: “Lord, what do You say?”

We have, in the Bible, a wonderful library of what God has already said. Whatever revelation we have by the Holy Spirit in these days will be grounded in something on the shelves of that Library. When Jesus gathered His disciples for the last time before He ascended into Heaven, they might reasonably have expected to be given a wonderful new revelation to propel them forward into the next phase of their lives. But instead He points back to the words He had already spoken during His time with them, and further back, to the Old Testament:

Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me. And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.” (Luke 24: 44-45).

More than anything, we need the Holy Spirit to open our understanding to the Scriptures. As Jesus spoke with His disciples shortly before going to the cross, he makes this wonderful promise:  “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him,” and in the next breath he assures them that they aren’t going to forget what he has said, because “the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” (John 14: 24, 26.) The primary work of the Holy Spirit is to bring the word of God alive in our hearts, to make us His epistle, as we have already noted.

Finally, there is more to walking in obedience to the Word of God that the matter of being “yoked” to Jesus, essential though that is. Psalm 119 is a treasure trove of truths about God’s word. Just to pick two jewels: It is settled in Heaven (verse 89). Even perfection has its limits, but God’s commands have none (verse 96).  Even a cursory reading of just a few verses make one truth absolutely clear: God’s word is the perfect expression of heavenly perfection and power. Nothing on Earth can even begin to approach it in beauty, truth and majesty.  It is imbued with the very atmosphere of Heaven; and that is why the Word can only be brought to life by the Emissary of Heaven who dwells within us: the Holy Spirit. But once the Holy Spirit has brought God’s word to life in our hearts, there is one thing that does connect this capsule of Heaven to the mortal realm of Earth, and that is our obedience. Our obedience grounds God’s word on Earth. When we do what Jesus says, the creative power of the Word is released into the world.

To love Jesus is to keep His word. If we do that, He and the Father will come and make their home in us. It is our obedience to the Word of God that brings Heaven down to Earth.

Sunday 13th Sept: discipleship

It’s great to have a “live stream” of the prophetic in our Sunday meetings again, even though we aren’t physically together. As I write this, I am reminded of Paul’s words to the Corinthians ; “For my part, even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit.” (1 Cor 5:3). We use the phrase “with you in spirit” a lot, so much so that it has basically lost its meaning. I think it’s time that we rediscovered the spiritual power of these words. Our born again spirits really are in the same place, seated in Heavenly places in Christ.

There were two prophetic words this morning.

Jake had the following scripture
“Therefore take up the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:13)

He felt the Lord saying “There is a battle coming, but I want you to know that I have given you everything you need to be more than conquerors, so that you will be standing strong at the end.”

The Lord spoke to me during the worship.
Anne and I were sitting on the sofa watching the meeting on my laptop. I was quite happy; the laptop was adequate for the job. But as we were watching, Anne was sorting out the connection between the wi-fi and the TV, so that we could enjoy the meeting on a bigger screen and with better volume. As she was putting in the password, I felt the Lord say to me: “Are you content with just the laptop, or do you want more?”

God want us to press in for the big screen. He wants us to move onto a new level in our relationship with Him, and not to be content with what we have at the moment.  His desire is for us to have Him on that big fixed screen and stay connected all the time, not to fold up our laptops and switch them off when we feel like it.

Discipleship is not a part-time activity. As Rob’s message that followed emphasised, it is an all-in, full time call.