God is Good – His invitation

“Oh taste and see that the Lord is Good;  Blessed is the man that trusts in Him”  Psalm 34:8 

God’s invitation is open to all to come and taste and see that He is good.    He invites us to come to His banqueting table just as we are and to feast.    The Lord says that it is free to come and to partake of all His goodness.   Jesus has paid the price for us.     Other things in this life will not satisfy us but His love, grace, mercy and goodness are more than enough to satisfy our very souls.     His banner over us is love. 

The truth is that God is good.   Jesus is good.   The Holy Spirit is good.    All good things come from God above and He is good.     We declare that truth today.    Anything which teaches or tells us otherwise is a lie.   The gifts of the Holy Spirit are good.    The fruit of the Holy Spirit is good.    Anything which is not good is not of God.     The fruit which is not good is not of Him.    

I believe that the Lord is saying in this season, Come and see that I am good.   I am a good, good, God.   I give good gifts to my children.   Come and ask of me so that I might pour My gifts into you for the benefit of others.    My Spirit living and breathing through you by the power of My resurrected son, Jesus – the very breath of God.   I bring life and truth.    I am speaking in the season to bring the dry bones to life.   As the prophet spoke to the dry bones so I am sending out My Word amongst My children to proclaim that this is the day of the Lord.  Rejoice and be glad in it.  Speak to the dry places and tell them to become fruitful in the name of the Lord – that there may be rivers of living water that will flow in the deserts.   Speak to the barren places and command them to bring forth fruit.     Whatever fruit has already withered on the vine then let it die,  but I am bringing a refreshing wind says the Lord which will revive those of My children who need refreshing.    Come and taste and see that the Lord is good.   If you will seek Him with all your heart then He will not disappoint you.   Come says the Lord.  Come.   The invitation is there.      If you choose to ignore it then you will not reap the benefits of My presence or My goodness says the Lord.    Oh taste and see that the Lord is Good.   Trust in Him and be blessed as you come in and as you go out.

Isaiah 55 New King James Version (NKJV)

An Invitation to Abundant Life

55 “Ho! Everyone who thirsts,
Come to the waters;
And you who have no money,
Come, buy and eat.
Yes, come, buy wine and milk
Without money and without price.
Why do you [a]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 let your soul delight itself in abundance.
Incline your ear, and come to Me.
Hear, and your soul shall live;
And I will make an everlasting covenant with you—
The sure mercies of David.
Indeed I have given him as a witness to the people,
A leader and commander for the people.
Surely you shall call a nation you do not know,
And nations who do not know you shall run to you,
Because of the Lord your God,
And the Holy One of Israel;
For He has glorified you.”

Seek the Lord while He may be found,
Call upon Him while He is near.
Let the [b]wicked forsake his way,
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
Let him return to the Lord,
And He will have mercy on him;
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.

10 “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven,
And do not return there,
But water the earth,
And make it bring forth and bud,
That it may give seed to the sower
And bread to the eater,
11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me [c]void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

12 “For you shall go out with joy,
And be led out with peace;
The mountains and the hills
Shall break forth into singing before you,
And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree,
And instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree;
And it shall be to the Lord for a name,
For an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”

 

Amen.

Prepare, (Re-)Position, Let Go

As we have been praying recently there has been a great sense of God speaking again about His Fire and Oil being poured out on believers in an incredible way.   A mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit to come suddenly and deluge us just as the rain came in the day of Elijah following years of drought.   The fire first and then rain with a river of His Presence, Power & Glory.    This will see many people being brought into the Kingdom as the gospel of Jesus Christ is preached with power.

I sense in my spirit that the Lord is saying Prepare and Position yourself ready to give and receive.     The Lord gave me this word “Hitch up your garments and take up your position ready”.       I believe preparation and positioning are keys for this season.    In each of our lives we can prepare and position ourselves ready to give and receive and birth as the Lord shows each one of us by His Holy Spirit.     Each of us has different gifts, callings and ministries and resources to use in the body of Christ and for the work of the gospel.     If we have put these down or let them get a bit rusty then perhaps now is the time to pick them up again and start practicing and get ready.

I pray God will show each and every one of us what we need to do to prepare.  I sense that for some people God is saying that you have to let go of the old in order to receive the new.   If you are holding on to something from the past then perhaps it is time to let it go in order that you can receive the new thing God wants to do.

I am reminded of people of faith in the bible who prepared – Joseph prepared provisions for a severe famine,  Esther prepared a whole year for a night with the King, the Jews prepared themselves with weapons to defend themselves against Haman’s plot to destroy them,   the widow in the time of Elisha prepared jars ready to receive the miraculous provision of oil which only stopped when all the jars were used.   At the wedding feast the jars were filled with water ready for Jesus’ miracle.    Jesus gives us the example of the virgins who were prepared for the bride groom’s return with sufficient oil in their lamps.   In times of difficulty God will use his people to be His voice and to help those who are in need.

In Isaiah 54 v 2 the word is “Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch out the curtains of your dwellings, do not spare, lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes”.     This was a word on preparation.   The barren woman in this verse did not need room in her tent as she had no children but God was promising that the desolate would have children and to get ready to receive them.     You may feel barren at the moment and your ministry may look barren  but believe in faith that God is going to bring in a harvest and birth something new.  There are green shoots breaking through.      Let us make room to receive the harvest and put in place the necessary support systems so that the stakes are well and truly strengthened.      Let us mend the nets ready to receive the fish.

Some of us may need to re-position ourselves in this season.    Are we in the right place to receive or prepare for what God wants to do through us?   If you are in doubt then ask God to show you.   It may take boldness and a step of faith to move out of a place of comfort – out of the comfort zone and into the new place or ministry that God has for you.    Where does God want to position you for His glory to work through you.     It might be time to move out.

The instruction to “Hitch up my garments” reminded me of Elijah.     In the time of drought Elijah first heard the rain in the Spirit.   Before the rain even came he said to the King to go up and eat and drink “for there is the sound of an abundance of rain”.     Elijah sent his servant to keep looking for the cloud and eventually on the 7th time of looking there was a small cloud.     Elijah saw the sign and knew that the rain he had heard in the Spirit was on its way.    He prepared himself by hitching up his garments in order that he was prepared to run ahead of the rain and presumably the dangerous floods due to the dry and hard ground.   Elijah managed to outrun the chariot of the King over a great distance of about 25 miles.    The people of God will do great and mighty things in these times.  Elijah did something which was not possible in the natural.  He outran a chariot and over such a distance – God enabled it miraculously.

As the people of God, I believe this is a season to prepare ourselves and position ourselves ready to give and receive.     God use us for His glory.  Lord show us how to prepare and how to position ourselves so that we are ready for you.  Ready to go, Ready to run.

Praying and declaring from a high place

If you feel the call of God and prompting of the Holy Spirit to go up to a high place in your area, city, region or town, wherever it may be,  then I encourage you to do it.  Seek the Lord before going and ask Him to reveal the strategy for your prayers and why He is calling you to this specific place.     We were led by God to pray to Him and declare the Word of God and prophetic words from a high point overlooking our area,  the Clent Hills.    We believe that this was a very strategic place.  A place that had been and was being used by others for purposes which were not of God and were corrupting and influencing our area.   It was a place that we needed to speak out with authority God’s Word and promises over our area for change to happen.

We spent a number of evenings in prayer seeking God before going out on this prayer walk as we believed that God had a specific strategy for how we should pray.   The Holy Spirit led us to a number of scriptures – Isaiah 59 – “When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Lord raises up a Standard against Him” and “Arise, Shine for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord is shining upon you”.  Isaiah 60.      Isaiah 59 says “So shall they fear; The Name of the Lord from the west; And His glory from the rising of the sun,  When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a Standard against him; The Redeemed will come to Zion and to those who turn from transgression in Jacob says the Lord.   As for Me says the Lord – this is My covenant with them; My Spirit who is upon you, and My Word which I have put in your mouth shall not depart from your descendants.”      God gave us instruction to carry a standard with us when we climbed the hill – a red flag with a picture of the Lion of Judah on it.     By carrying the flag we were making a declaration of the truth of this scripture to the enemy.   We had a picture of God’s Holy Angels being released into the area for God’s purposes – a vast army – to battle with the enemy.     Amos 4 v 13 says “For behold, He who forms mountains and creates the wind, Who declares to man what his thought is , And makes the morning darkness, Who treads the high places of the earth – The Lord of hosts is His Name.   God was releasing His angels to help us – We declared He is the Lord of hosts.  We also believed that we were “lifting up a banner for the peoples” – Isaiah 60 v 10.

Psalm 24 was a key in preparing us for this time of prayer walk.   “Who may ascend the Hill of the Lord?   He who has clean hands and a pure heart and who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully”.      The Lord searches our hearts and any unconfessed sin has to be dealt with.     It was really important for us to take time to ensure that our hearts were right before God before going into prayer warfare such as this for the area.   The heart is deceitful above all things so we allow the Holy Spirit to bring revelation to us and confess it before each other.

The Lord also gave us a word to declare from Amos 4 “Hear this word, you cows of Bashan, who are on the mountain of Samaria, who oppress the poor, who crush the needy, who say to your husbands, “Bring us wine, let us drink!”  The Lord God has sworn by His holiness:   “Behold, the days shall come upon you when He will take you away with fishhooks, and your posterity with fishhooks.  You will go out through broken walls, Each one straight ahead of her, And you will be cast into Harmon” says the Lord.

A word also about wicked Rulers Micah v 1-4  – “Hear now, O head of Jacob, and you rulers of the house of Israel:  Is it not for you to know justice? You who hate good and love evil.  Who strip the skin from My people, And the flesh from their bones, And chop them in pieces like meat for the pot, like flesh in the cauldron”.   Then they will cry to the Lord but He will not hear them; He will even hide His face from them at that time, because they have been evil in their deeds.”      Leaders cannot do ill, oppress those underneath them who they should be protecting and expect God to hear them.

In our prayer time there was a tongue and the interpretation.  This was to be an invitation to abundant life and call to repentance.  – Isaiah 55 1-13.  “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money Come buy and eat.  v6  “Seek the Lord while He may be found.  Call upon Him while He is near.  Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts.  Let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God for He will abundantly pardon.”  v12  “For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace; The mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands”.

Also, Hosea 6: 1  “Come let us return to the Lord.  For He has torn us but He will heal us.  He has stricken but He will bind us up.  After two days He will revive us.  On the third day He will raise us up that we may live in His Sight.  Let us know.  Let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord.    His going forth is established like the morning.  He will come to us like the rain.  Like the latter and former rain to the earth.”.

We fasted on the day that we were to do the prayer walk.   We felt called to do the prayer walk on a particular date.   On the evening of the prayer walk, we took communion together at the bottom of the hill.   We prayed and spoke from Psalm 121. – God the help of those who seek him.    “I will lift up my eyes to the hills – from whence comes my help?  My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth”.   We then walked up the hill, praying and singing as we went.   We played the song by Robin Marks – “Shout to the North” – “Men of faith rise up and sing, of the great and glorious King.  You are strong when you feel weak, in your brokenness complete.  Shout to the North and the South, Sing to the East and the West, Jesus is Saviour to all, Lord of heaven and earth”.   We felt led to walk in a certain order – I walked first as in a spearhead and then we came two by two with a rear guard as well.    We also brought a Shofar with us to blow from the top of the hill and a compass so that we would know which direction we were facing when declaring the Word.

We waved the flag at the top of the hill as we prayed to the north, south, east & the west and declared all the scriptures which God had previously given us.    We poured water and oil onto the ground as led by the Holy Spirit.   We then asked for the angelic host to be released to do God’s will in our area,  to carry out His orders, to help people and to battle the enemy.   We blew the Shofar and called to the wind to blow, for the wind of God to blow across our area and in that moment the wind completely changed direction.    If we had not been flying the flag, we would probably not have noticed the change in direction and we believe this was a sign from God.  We believe that God had heard our prayer and something had shifted in the spiritual realm.  Praise God.

Before we went to pray, one of our group had wanted to start a fire on the hill but we did not have peace about this particularly as open fires were forbidden.   It did not sit right in our spirits to break the law and so we gave that to God and refused permission for that to be done.    When you go to pray as a group you need unity and to be in agreement.   Sometimes,  the leader will have to exercise Godly wisdom and discernment to avoid anything being done which is not right and take authority in those circumstances.  On the evening, as we stood on the top of the hill and looked in the distance we saw a bonfire burning brightly.   There were no other fires in the area and we believe this was the sign of fire which the person had seen in the spirit.   We didn’t need to start a fire the Lord God would do that.   The Lord is an all-consuming fire – He can burn up the dross and purify.    As Elijah called down fire from heaven we called down the spiritual fire of God on our area.   Let us be on fire for God, burning brightly for Him.  Arise, Shine for your light has come, and the glory of God is shining upon you.

Calling Back

Last week we felt led by the Holy Spirit to cry out and call back from the north, south, east & west in this nation, those who had once walked with the Lord.    Those people who had previously given their lives to the Lord but were no longer serving him.    We prayed for healing, forgiveness and restoration particularly for those who may have been hurt in church life, become ensnared by sin,  who were discouraged, frustrated or had lost their first love.    Those who had lost their way and given up.   Those whose places had been taken by others – that they would be restored.      Jesus wants them back and this is the time for them to take up their place again.    We felt the trumpet was being sounded up and down the nation to draw them back to the battle field and to take up their place in Christ’s army of believers.

There is an old song which says “Sound the battle cry!  See! the foe is nigh; Raise the standard high; for the Lord; Gird your armour on, Stand firm every one; Rest your cause upon His Holy word.   Rouse, then soldiers, rally round the banner!  Ready, Steady, pass the word along; onward, forward, shout aloud Hosanna!  Christ is captain of the mighty throng.”     The cry has gone out for the prodigals to return and we believe the Holy Spirit is drawing them back.  The Word says that great strength will be given to those who turn back the enemy from the gate.   Our enemy Satan wants this nation and at this moment he wants to cause fear and disruption.  We must take up our place, pray and stand against him in faith.    To stand for righteousness and truth.     The battle belongs to the Lord – praise God.

The bible reading which God gave us as we prayed was from Isaiah 49 v 8-12 “Thus says the Lord.  “In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you.  I will preserve you and give you as a covenant to the people.  To restore the earth, To cause them to inherit the desolate heritages, That you may say to the prisoners, “Go forth” – To those you are in darkness “Show yourselves”.  They shall feed along the roads and their pastures shall be on all desolate heights,  They shall neither hunger nor thirst, Neither heat nor sun shall strike them, for He who has mercy on them will lead them, Even by the springs of water He will guide them, I will make each of My mountains a road, and My highway shall be elevated.  Surely these shall come from afar, Look! Those from the north and the west and these from the land of Sinim”.     Isaiah  55 6 & 7 “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.”

Prayers for Stourbridge – Rivers of living Water -Part 2

We were led to go and pray at the bridge over the river Stour just off the Ring Road leading up to Amblecote and also at the canal which is nearby.    We felt led by the Holy Spirit to take a red banner down with us to wave as we sang and worshipped and also to take communion when praying for the town.    We pleaded the blood of Christ over our town and declared the power in the blood of Christ to bring cleansing and redemption and break the power of sin.   Without the shedding of blood there is no remission for sins.   We dropped one drop of the communion wine into the river and canal.    There is more power in one drop of Christ’s blood that was spilt for us than in all the power of evil influencing our town.    The declaration which the Lord gave us to proclaim over Stourbridge was from Ezekiel 47 – the waters rushing in and flooding our area- particularly verses 1-12 -rivers of living waters which get deeper and deeper flowing from the throne of God and which bring healing.  v 8 “This water flows toward the eastern region, goes down into the valley and enters the sea.  When it reaches the sea, its waters are healed.  And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live.  There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed and everything will live wherever the river goes.  It shall be that fishermen will stand by it ; there will be places for spreading their nets.  Their fish will be of the same kinds as the fish of the Great Sea, exceeding many.  But its swamps and marshes will not be healed and will be given over to salt.  Along the bank of the river on this side and that, will grow all kinds of trees used for food; their leaves will not wither and their fruit will not fail.  They will bear fruit every month, because their water flows from the sanctuary.  Their fruit will be for food and their leaves for medicine”.    A picture of salvation, healing & fruitfulness for our area.  Let us be rooted in Christ who is the living water. Amen.  Stourbridge – Wells of Living Water Part 1

 

Praying for our nation

We are in a critical season for our nation and I believe that God wants us to pray and intercede with fasting at this time.    In 2008 when we were praying in our fellowship group, the Lord led us to pray for our nation.    As we prayed,  we were led by the Holy Spirit to issue a wake up call to our nation – we blew the wake up call  -just like in an army camp when soldiers are woken up by the Reveille – one of our number used to be in the army and he knew the wake up call by heart so we played it.    We also were led to do a “cock a doodle do” – 3 times to wake up the nation.    It was a prophetic call to the nation to wake up.   In the Spirit, I saw a vision of God’s throne.     God handed a scroll to an angel.   I saw the angel over our nation and the angel took out a large sword and thrust it into the middle of our nation and the earth split – I saw the earth split aside just as in an earthquake.

The Lord said to us that there would be a national recession and at the highest level of leadership corruption would be exposed and satan’s throne in this nation would be exposed.   The waters would be cut off from the land.   This revelation was to be an unfolding revelation and God was going to redeem the land for Himself.  One of our group felt a great heaviness in her hands – she said it was as if she was holding a massive key.     It was not long later in February 2008 that there was an actual earthquake in Market Rasen Leicestershire in the middle of the country, we went into a national recession and corruption in government and high profile people was exposed – the expenses scandals, abuse scandals etc.  God has been revealing wickedness in this nation.

It is not a coincidence that there has been another earthquake this year – in Grimsby on June 9th – just after the national day of prayer in Birmingham.     I believe that this is another sign and we need to pray and fast and intercede for this nation.    I believe that the contents of the scroll which God gave to the angel for this nation which I saw in the Spirit included other decrees for this nation which have not yet come to fulfilment.     We read in the bible that a King’s decree went out in Esther’s day against the Jews.     When Esther revealed the real scheme behind the decree to the King, the King was sad because the decree had already been issued and could not be changed.   However,  the King issued another decree which enabled the Jews to prepare and defend themselves for the day ahead when the original decree was carried out.    The body of Christ needs to pray to God about His decree for this nation.   How are we to pray and prepare for the day ahead?    Is the decree set or can we by fasting and prayer change things for our nation?     God wants us to seek Him at this time.   March next year will be an important time and we can prepare ahead.   The Lord has reminded me about the whale that got stranded in the River Thames in January 2006 – this was no coincidence but was a sign from God that He was going to move in this nation.   The bible teaches us that the Holy Spirit intercedes for us according to the will of God and in times like this when we don’t know exactly what or how to pray we need to rely on the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us.    When I have been praying about Brexit,  the Holy Spirit has given me a completely new tongue to pray in.    I encourage you to ask the Holy Spirit to do the same for you.

 

 

Hidden treasures

I preached on Joseph a number of years ago and as part of that preach the Lord gave me 3 words for the church.  The Lord has reminded me of those words now and so they may encourage you.  The first was that the wealth of the Egyptians and the treasures of darkness would be released to the church for God’s plans to be accomplished for His glory and to advance His kingdom.  Those who had need of resources to fulfil the vision that God had given them had to ask in faith for these resources to be released to them.   The resources would be released but not from the traditional church giving etc. but would come from external sources – “the wealth of the Egyptians” and “treasures of darkness”.   It did not matter that people may not have all of God’s purposes revealed to them but as they walked out the purposes of God and His plans then more and more would be revealed.  It just needed that first step of faith.  If you need resources to fulfil the vision that God has given you then ask God to give you the wealth of the Egyptians and the hidden riches of the secret places so that you can be a blessing to others. – Isaiah 45 v3.    v 14 “Thus says the Lord – the labour of Egypt and merchandise of Cush; and of the Sabeans, men of stature, they shall come over to you and they shall be yours.”

The second word was that some would suffer for the sake of the vision and calling which the Lord had put on their life but that God would never forsake them.  He would be with them in every situation and would reward them when they stand before His throne.  If you are going through a difficult situation then hold on to God in faith and run the race until the end.    The Lord will reward your faithfulness and will never let you down.  He is with you in all the suffering and pain to uphold you.

The third word was that some would leave and go to foreign people and foreign places and that was part of God’s purpose and plan.  He was calling them out.   If you feel the call of God to go out to foreign places then follow that vision with confidence that it is God who has put the desire in your heart.