It’s time to be free

dawn sunset beach womanGod wants us to be free.  He is the God who sets the captives free.  The God of deliverance.    Jesus died and rose again so that we might live in spiritual freedom.   I believe the church is entering into a season during which God is going to reveal by the power of the Holy Spirit the things in our lives or mind sets which are obstacles or hindrances to us living fully as Jesus wants us to live and doing His works.    The power of the gospel working in and through us.   Jesus wants to set us free from every oppressive work and lie of the enemy which is operating in our lives and restricting us.   It might be fear, unbelief, guilt, lack of self-belief, un-forgiveness, trauma, depression, anxiety, sinful behaviour or addictions – there can be many things which hold us back and from stepping out in faith.   Things which restrict the flow of the power of the Holy Spirit in and through us to others.

 

There is a word for this season from Isaiah 60 verse 1- “Arise, Shine – for your light has come and the glory of the Lord is risen upon you”.    The Lord asked me -What is stopping you from rising – what is trying to stop you from doing things for me?    What is stopping you from shining?   What is tainting the light shining from you?   In my case it was fear – fear which I didn’t even realise was there.   The Lord showed me that a traumatic event in my childhood had left a mark of fear on my life.   It wasn’t a gripping, completely debilitating fear which paralysed me but it still used to rise up out of the blue causing me to question and torment myself over things I had said or done.   Decisions made and actions taken – Was I right or wrong.   It caused me to worry about making mistakes and over analyse the decisions I had made.   Thankfully the Lord set me free and healed me from this fear.   Who the son sets free is free indeed – Fear no longer has a part in me because of Jesus’ finished work on the Cross and His resurrection power.

I encourage you to let the Holy Spirit reveal things which may be holding you back in this season or which may be tainting your light so you are not shining brightly for Him.   Jesus wants you to be free and He alone can set you free.

The refining fire

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.”

Protection over the Gates of the nation

The Lord has been impressing the importance of the gatekeepers taking up their positions as watchmen in the gateways of our nation.   To stand against the wicked schemes and influence of the evil one in and against our nation.     There is a sense of urgency to pray for the protection of the nation, especially that any schemes or plots (particularly terrorism) which would seek to bring violence and destruction in public places will be discovered, foiled and exposed.    Please pray for those who are in positions of authority and overseeing the security or involved in the security of our nation on any level that they will be blessed with Godly wisdom, foresight and knowledge to stop any such evil plans and expose the works of darkness.    Pray that eyes will be anointed to notice and see the truth about situations especially to see through things which are not what they seem.   That people in positions of authority will heed any warnings and not ignore them but take the right action at the right time.    We declare our trust in God.   God help us, protect us and guide us at this time.  We declare that light is more powerful than darkness.

Open the gate for the King

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.

Restoring the Church’s appetite for God

Over recent weeks God keeps bringing these verses from Isaiah 55 back to mind.   v1 “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.  2 Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare.”
Many years ago our Pastor had a vision in which he felt God say the following to him. 
” I am going to restore the appetite of the church for the manifest power and presence of God.    A spiritual famine has touched your land.  It’s not the result of the lack of or withdrawal of God’s presence and power but it’s a famine of the appetite of God’s people.
Then I looked and saw two groups of people.  The first group looked thin and drawn and slightly withered, they were frail and looked prematurely old.  God said to me,  these people are not the result of an imposed famine.  Their condition is the result of a famine in their appetites for the presence and power of God.   They have withdrawn in their faith, belief and expectation of God.  As a result their appetites have been suppressed, reduced and their health is at risk.
Then I looked and saw another group of people,  they were overweight, large people.  I said to myself, they must have an appetite Lord.  And I felt the Lord say to me “they are also part of a famine.  They have just filled their lives with something other than the manifest power and presence of God.  They have substituted their appetite for God for other things, as a result they too have suppressed their appetites.   I was reminded of this scripture. Isaiah 55 v 1-2. Ho everyone who thirsts come to the waters and you who have no money come buy and eat, come buy wine and milk without money and without cost.  Why do you spend money for what is not bread and your wages for what does not satisfy?  Listen carefully to me and eat what is good and delight yourself in abundance. “ 
I pray that God will restore our appetite during these days so that we may hunger and thirst for righteousness and will overflow the “goodness of God in the land of the living”.

Watching and Praying

woman in blue denim jacket holding a gray steel tower viewer
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Paul said – 2 Cor 6: 5  “in watchings, in fastings”; 2 Cor 11: 27 “in watchings often,”

 Eph 6: 13 “and watching” thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints”

Paul encouraged the church to watch and pray.

The expression “Watchman” comes from the word “Tsaphah” which means “to look out, peer into the distance, spy, keep watch, to scope something out: especially in order to see approaching danger and to warn those who are endangered”

The amplified Bible says “Keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance interceding on behalf of all the saints”

In the Old Testament the watchmen referred to were “soldiers” or “prophets and intercessors”.   The soldiers stood on the walls of the city and watched out for the enemy so that they wouldn’t be taken by surprise – they were there for protection and to raise the alarm.   The prophets/intercessors watched out for the things of God.  They brought revelation of God’s plans and purposes, His warnings & corrections to the people just as prophets & intercessors do today.   Habakkuk 2: 1 says ” I will stand my watch And set myself on the rampart, And watch to see what He will say to me, And what I will answer when I am corrected”.

Isaiah 62: 6 “I have set watchmen upon your walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: you that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence, 7 And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.”

Ezekiel 3:17 Son of man, I have made you a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. 

The Watchmen who guarded the walls in Nehemiah had swords in their hands. When we watch in prayer we need to be prepared with the sword of the Spirit at our side.

Have you ever woken you up in the night and been burdened to pray for someone?  I think God wakes us at night or prompts us to pray at night because that is when the enemy is mostly at work  -in darkness.    The enemy has a strategy against us.    In watchings, we can receive revelation and pray against the strategies and work of the enemy.   This is why there is a great need for watchmen in the Church.  People who will be alert and watch out and pray into what God reveals.

Jesus told us that we need to watch & pray in connection with His return and when in the last days so that we are not deceived.

Mark 13:33 “Take heed, watch and pray: for you know not when the time is”.

37 “And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.”

Luke 21:36  “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man”.

There are hindrances to watching.  One is our flesh– Jesus said to His Disciples

Matt 26:40 And he came to the disciples, and found them asleep, and said to Peter, What, could you not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray, that you enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

I pray that there will be a rising up of the watchmen in these days who will take up their places on the watchtowers and ramparts and watch & pray at all times of the day and night.

All kinds of prayers

Ephesians 6: 13 says ”And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints”. NIV

Paul is encouraging his readers to pray with all kinds of prayer and to keep on praying.      After all,  we are all kinds of people – all different and each one unique, who make up the body of Christ.   You are unique – you have a personality that is you.  Some types of prayer will come easier to you than others because they are a natural expression of you.   God doesn’t want you to pretend to be someone you’re not when you pray.

If you are currently struggling in your prayer life then one reason may be because you are trying to be like someone else and model their prayer life.   Whilst it is vital to have good spiritual role models and understand the biblical principles of prayer, you might find yourself struggling because what suits others just may be doesn’t suit you.    It can mean you end up feeling guilty when you don’t pray and a failure when you can’t pray like you feel you ought to.     You feel you don’t measure up when you compare yourself to other believers so why even bother – you question what difference your prayers actually make.    Eventually, you can end up feeling discouraged and worn out and your prayer life suffers and fizzles out.    The body of Christ loses out.

Perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate your prayer life.    When you find your natural prayer rhythm it will inspire you, show results and lead you deeper into the things of God.   You will start to thrive.   Scripture says Jesus rose early in the morning whilst it was still dark to go off to a private place to pray  (Mark 1:35)- if you are an early riser with time in the morning then great, but if not you’ll exhaust yourself trying to do this every day,  feel stressed, guilty if you miss a day,  rush it, get distracted by the million and one other things vying for your attention, get frustrated and then eventually you may give up all together.  Instead of trying to force it, find another time of the day to spend that quiet quality time with God.