As I was praying last week and in worship at Church I had a picture of a bride. I first saw a picture of a lion and knew that this was Jesus – the lion of Judah. The Lion was looking at something and when I followed his gaze, I saw that He was looking at a bride.
The picture shocked me. Although the bride was dressed in a beautiful white dress and veil -the dress was truly beautiful – spotless and pure bright white, the bride herself looked grey and gaunt, withered and frail. Her beauty had faded and she had no vitality or joy. Her skin was stretched tautly over her bones and was grey and papery. She looked weary as if she had no strength in her from lack of food. She reminded me of a living corpse. It was a terrible sight. The bride was not old which accounted for her appearance. She was young.
I thought is this a picture of the church at the moment- the body of Christ as a whole in the world? Is this what Jesus sees when He looks at us? That the body has lost its vitality, its beauty and is famished and without strength. I was encouraged that the bride’s dress was pure and white. Jesus’ blood truly cleanses us from all sin and purifies us. It reminded me that Jesus is coming back for a spotless bride, but I believe He also wants to come back for a radiant, beautiful and strong bride who is full of His life, joy, power and strength and who radiates His glory and goodness in the world.
I pray that if this picture is correct that the Holy Spirit will reveal it and show us our true condition. That our hearts will be convicted of our lack of His life working in and through us. That we will acknowledge and repent over our condition and turn again to the living hope which is in Christ Jesus by the power of His Holy Spirit to be restored and refreshed. We will realise our desperation and need of Jesus and that without Him there is no power for living. He alone is the bread of life and the living water. John 7 v37 “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink, he who believes in me as the scriptures say out of his heart will flow rivers of living water”. John 6: 48 Jesus said “I am the bread of life”. Jesus is the Word of God made flesh and His words are life to us. The bible is food for our soul.
Jesus is in the business of restoration. The Lord reminded me of the picture of the dry bones in Ezekiel 37 later in the same day and God’s question to Ezekiel – can these dry bones live? In my picture – Can the bride’s strength, joy, life, beauty and power be restored? In faith I believe that the answer is Yes and I say Yes to God. As Ezekiel prophesied to the dry bones – we say to the Church – hear the word of the Lord. “Surely I will cause breath to enter into you and you shall live” V5 “I will put My Spirit in you and you shall live” v13.
Isaiah 40 v 29 says “He gives power to the weak and to those who have no might, He increases strength”. V31 “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles. They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint”. I believe God wants to restore our strength for these days ahead so that we will not grow weary in doing good but will have the strength to continue in the face of adversity and persecution and persevere. We are called to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. May our vitality be restored. May we be filled with the Holy Spirit – the Spirit of God.
Isaiah 30: 21 says “Your ears shall hear a word behind you saying “This is the way walk in it”. Whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left”.
If you are looking for direction in your life and seeking the path that God wants you to take or a new door is opening up to you then take encouragement from the promise in these verses. God will direct your way.
This is a season for stepping into the new things of God. It may be paths that you or no-one else has travelled before, areas which you have never ventured into, things you or nobody else has ever done but take comfort that God will make it clear that you are on the right path. God will direct you to move forward into new things. Don’t look back at the old or try to do things in the same way but with boldness step into the new. This is a season for God to show you how to do things in a different way. Don’t worry or be anxious that you don’t know what’s up ahead – trust God. If you are walking where God wants you to walk then you are going in the right direction.
You may face discouragement – people may think you are crazy even to attempt something new but God will give you the vision and you will hear His still small voice saying “This is the way walk in it”. You will know it is God speaking to you. I encourage you to be bold in faith today as you hear Him speak to you. Take hold of the opportunity which God is bringing your way.
I sense this may be a season for some that God will completely turn things on their head. God will flip things upside down but you will emerge unscathed. Allow God to be in the driving seat.
I pray God will increase your vision in these days. To stir in you a new vision, a bigger vision and to break new ground for Him. To see new things and create new opportunities for the gospel to be preached and people to be reached with the good news of Jesus Christ.
In February this year as I was praying I felt God say the following to me. There is power in my Word. Whatever I declare from heaven concerning a matter or nation will be performed. My angels act on my commands. My Word is powerful. My Word is creative but also destructive. It can build up or it can tear down and root out. Whenever I speak My Word will perform whatever it is sent forth to achieve. I have declared a new time and season. A new day for the church in this nation. Too long she has been weak, ineffective and struggling like a new-born babe. Now she will rise up with renewed energy & vigour. She will have learned how to use the tools with which I have equipped her so that My kingdom can advance. It is time to take the kingdom of God and push forward. To take the light into the darkness. I do not need a vast army to achieve my purposes – only those who are willing to fight against evil (in prayer, in truth & doing good) willing to persevere, willing not to count the cost, those who are bold, those who have courage and who take their strength from me. Those will be part of my army. Those who are skilled in the Word, those who know their position, those who listen and obey – they will receive the words to speak and declare in My name. They will see My wonder-working power at work. They will be my vessels to bring Christ’s healing, holiness and salvation to nations. I am on the move and my body the church needs to discern where I am leading in this season. It is not time for the faint hearted, the men pleasers, the timid – this is the season for those who fear the Lord and show that reverence and fear. Who love righteousness and hate wickedness, injustice and wrong and will stand up and be counted. To be the carriers of my presence into all situations where I have placed them – whether in the home, work, family, government, schools, everywhere they find themselves. They can have an impact for good. – I sense that this is like the day of Gideon’s army. In the last few months, God has been calling us out to pray on the streets and at strategic locations and has given us scriptures to pray each time. It has been amazing the things God has shown us and inspired us to pray about in each location. He truly opens our eyes to see. I believe in faith that prayer changes things. Trust in the Lord and do Good – Psalm 37:4