As I was fasting and praying, I believe I heard in the spirit, the Lord, Jesus saying the following “The day is coming when My fire, My breath will blow across this land. Great swathes of the land will catch fire and the fire will spread. Those who submit themselves to the fire of my holiness and glory will be refined. They will shine like the stars of heaven. They will go out like a mighty army of people to serve me with whole hearts and faithfulness. The process of refining will be quick now. It will be a time to jump into the fire of God to be refined. All the muck and chaff to come off and away and what is left to be pure and reflect My glory. For I am a Holy God and I desire a holy people. Totally committed to me and with faith in Me. For this time is coming soon and the bride must prepare herself. Those who will not get into the fire will have no place in the ministry to come. They must be pure in Me, cleansed in Me, redeemed in Me. I have come to bring fire down from heaven. All glory and praise and honour to My name. He who has ears let him listen and understand what the Spirit is saying. The things which are not of Me are required to be burnt up like dross. They are required to be burnt and destroyed so that new life can come. Those things which are dead need to be put on the fire. I will breathe new life into you.”
As I was praying today, I felt the Lord say to declare that the gates of this nation are to be opened and not closed. In Jesus’ name, I declare that the gates of this nation are and will be open and not closed. The ports will be opened. The trade routes will be opened. The gates of this nation will not be closed but open. This nation is not a nation of shop keepers but door keepers. The doors of the nation are to be opened. Let the appointed and anointed door keepers take up their positions in the North, the South, the East and the West of this nation and open the gates for the King of Glory to come in. Swing wide the gates of this nation and let the King come in. We declare that this nation is open. Let our walls be salvation and our gates Praise to the King.
Isaiah 60 v 10 “The sons of foreigners shall build up your walls, And their Kings shall minister to you. For in my wrath I struck you, But in my Favour I have had mercy on you. Therefore your gates shall be open continually, they shall not be shut day or night, that men may bring you the wealth of the Gentiles and their kings in procession.”
Psalm 24 encourages us to open the gate and let the King of Glory, Jesus, come in. The one who is strong and mighty and mighty in battle. Gates are important places of influence and decision making. The elders gathered at the gates of the city to discuss and make decisions. Gates are opened to allow access or shut to refuse entry. This can be for protection and safety. Whoever enters through the gate brings their influence and authority with them. We all have gateways in our lives and minds. Every day we make decisions to permit or refuse things to operate in our lives and indwell our thoughts whether for good or bad . There are gateways in my home, my family, my work place, my town, my region and I want them to be opened for Christ and closed to evil. Not just a little bit open for Jesus but flung wide open. I encourage you to make a decision to swing wide the gate and let the King of Glory come into your situation whatever it is and wherever He needs to be. Trust him to help you overcome and strengthen you and bring freedom.
I believe there is power in prayer when believers come together in unity from different churches to pray about the gateways in their town. The local churches in our area did this for a season as God led us to pray at various gateways within the town. At one prayer meeting we stood on a bridge over the river which flows into and through our town. As we prayed, one of our group felt that we should all join hands and sing the words of the song “Swing wide the gate and let the King Come in” which is based on the verses in Psalm 24 and then the two people in the middle break hands and walk apart as a prophetic sign that we were opening the gate over our town to the Lord. As we did this and moved apart we looked down and a wooden gate was floating in the river and floated right underneath the bridge. We couldn’t believe our eyes at the time. The fact that a whole gate was floating down the river and that it passed just at that exact time we broke apart we believe was a heavenly sign from God. He had heard our prayers for our town and was showing us that the gate was opened. We are trusting God to bring that river of His presence into and to overflow through us in Christ Jesus so that we can bring His healing and restoring power to not only our town, but our region and nation. I encourage you to pray and believe for the same.
The words of Isaiah 55 remind us of God’s invitation to abundant life. Jesus issues this invitation to all – regardless of race, gender, creed or colour – everyone is welcome. Jesus calls people to come to Him – everyone who is weary, thirsty or hungry – only He can satisfy and give us true life in all its fullness and the promise of eternal life. I attended Encounter at my friend’s church last night. Their mission statement is simple -to help people find Jesus and follow Him. An invitation to church or a special service can be one way to help someone you know discover Jesus as Saviour for themselves. It is providing an opportunity for someone to meet and see Jesus – perhaps for the first ever time. Christmas is just around the corner and we have the opportunity to invite people to a variety of events. Jesus told a parable about people who were invited to a wedding feast but refused to come – they made lots of different excuses. People will always have the choice whether to accept the invitation or not – that is up to them, but we should not give up or be discouraged from issuing the invite because it gets refused – Jesus isn’t. He told the disciples to shake the dust from their feet and move on when their message was not welcomed at places. Perhaps we need to shake off some past disappointments and defeatist mind sets and start sending out those invitations. I know I do. There will come a time when it will be too late to issue the invites but we can encourage others to “seek Him while He can be found”. Isaiah 55 v 6. Who can you invite today to find Jesus?
Once a month our fellowship has started an evening service dedicated to worship and seeking God’s presence. I had a picture during the worship time recently of a large lake. A leisure lake and there were lots of people enjoying and having fun in the water. Some people were running and jumping into the lake, doing back flips, dive bombs etc. Some people were stood on the shore just dipping a toe into the water – testing it out. Some went up to their knees for a paddle – some ventured a bit further and started swimming. I felt God saying that the lake represented His presence. People entered and experienced it differently. Some people were taking things slowly (especially if this was new to them) whereas some would dive straight in, but the most important thing was taking that first step. If you want to start by dipping your toe or if you are the sort of person to jump straight in then that is fine. That is your starting point and from there we gain the confidence and enjoyment to stay longer and go deeper with God. God wants to encourage you not to stay in the shallows all the time though and also not just to play around on the surface but to go deeper with Him.
In the picture, I saw people diving down below the surface of the lake going deeper and deeper down. As they did so they discovered beautiful pearls on the bottom of the lake- some of the pearls were hidden in the weeds, some were hidden in the muddy depths, some were in the dark places – these pearls were God’s treasure that was hidden waiting to be discovered. As we go deeper into God’s presence we will discover this treasure that He has for each one of us. We have to search it out and press in even when we feel uncomfortable. I encourage you today not to stay at your starting point but to press into God and see what He has for you and what you will discover about Him.
Matthew 18:19 “Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”
Jesus explained in Matthew 18 18-20 what happens when two or more believers agree together for God’s will to be achieved and it is very powerful. Jesus promises to be with us at such times. This is why we are encouraged to pray together and also why corporate prayer often comes under attack. Thankfully, you only need a minimum of two people for the prayer of agreement to be effective, so even if your fellowship does not have a time of corporate prayer, hopefully you can find someone that you can share some prayer time with.
We need to know God’s Will in order to agree. If we are in agreement with God’s will and His Word, then we can confidently agree together for it to happen. We should not agree with someone in prayer for something which we know is contrary to God’s will.
1 John 5:14 “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us–whatever we ask–we know that we have what we asked of him”.
We need true Agreement between us–The word used for “agree” is “sumphoneo” – our word “symphony” comes from this “sum” = “together” “phoneo”=”to sound. i.e. to sound together, be in harmony, be in accord
Imagine that each one of us is a different musical instrument – if we are merrily playing our own tune we will sound awful – just one loud noise – however, when each instrument comes together and plays in harmony then beautiful music is heard. When we truly are in harmony together then our prayers will powerfully reflect that unity. God’s blessing will be there. When we are in unity God bestows a blessing. The Bible encourages us not to think too highly of ourselves because true unity comes through humility. The good new is that we are also stronger together in Christ – “One can chase a thousand and two put ten thousand to flight” just as Jonathan and his armour bearer did.
Jesus talks about believers taking authority in binding and loosing. What we bind on earth is bound in heaven and what we loose on earth is loosed in heaven. In the preceding verses Jesus is talking about sinful behaviour. As believers when we bind the enemy’s works, we need to be careful about the behaviour which we “loose” i.e. allow in the Church and the consequences of that in the spiritual realm. We will only ever “bind” and “loose” effectively if we understand the principles in these verses. As a body of believers in Christ we will not bind Satan’s work effectively if we are sinning ourselves and also blatantly allowing sin in our Church and turning a blind eye to it. We bind with one hand but loose with the other – That is not effective. Sin should be dealt with through grace and love.
My friend shares a testimony of someone who was trying to help deliver a person who was afflicted by an evil spirit. Although the person was taking authority and binding the spirit in Jesus’ name -it refused to budge. Eventually, the person realised that they had no authority over the evil spirit because they were also afflicted in the same way. There was unconfessed sin in their lives from that same pattern of sinful behaviour. Until they repented over their own sin they had no authority over the enemy.